systematic excellence

Podcast

Description

Chris Mims is a bookkeeper with plenty of experience helping businesses save money, plan their future, and prevent business failure by using the amazing Profit First Method. She’s been working with us here at Systematic Excellence Consulting so we know firsthand how awesome she is. Join us in this episode to find out why you and your business can benefit from having a bookkeeper!

Show Notes

As a business owner, you probably know how important it is to have current and precise financial information; and if your business is growing and you’re finally reaching a point where you are taking on more customers, taking a close look at your reports becomes imperative.

In fact, no matter the size of your company, having someone look at your numbers is important to ensure steady business growth. 

Are you ready to take your business to the next level? 

Join us in this episode where we had the amazing Chris Mims with us to talk about having a bookkeeper makes running a business easier and enjoyable, and the best part, keeping your business finances healthy! 

In this episode, we discussed:

➡️ Profit First method vs traditional accounting: which is the best for me? 

➡️ Why is accounting important for businesses?

➡️ Things to consider when hiring a bookkeeper

➡️ Tips to keep your business finances healthy

And a lot more. Check this episode out now!

Connect With Chris

https://chrismimsva.com/

Hello@Chrismims.com

https://www.instagram.com/chrismimsva/

https://www.facebook.com/ChrisMimsVirtualAssistant/

https://www.linkedin.com/in/chrismimsva/

Our Website

https://systematicexcellenceconsulting.com/home/

Hire Your First Contractor Bundle

Connect with Amalie:

https://www.instagram.com/amalie.shaffer/

https://www.facebook.com/amalie.shaffer/

https://www.linkedin.com/in/amalieshaffer/

Connect with Janine:

https://www.linkedin.com/in/janine-suvak

https://www.instagram.com/systematicexcellence/

https://www.facebook.com/systematicexcellenceconsulting/

Note: This episode was recorded in July 2019 the information is still relevant but some programs that were mentioned are no longer available. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to us at hello@systematicexcellence.com.

Content Disclaimer: The information contained above is provided for information purposes only. The contents of this article, video or audio are not intended to amount to advice and you should not rely on any of the contents of this article, video, or audio. Professional advice should be obtained before taking or refraining from taking any action as a result of the contents of this article, video, or audio. Systematic Excellence Consulting LLC disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on any of the contents of this article, video, or audio.

Disclaimer: Some of these links are for products and services offered by the podcast creators. 

Affiliate Disclaimer: The article, video, or audio may contain affiliate links. We may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post. Although you won’t pay any more for any purchases you make, the commissions will enable us to continue to provide free content to readers and listeners.

Episode Transcript

Amalie Shaffer  0:01  

All right. Thank you everyone for joining us for another episode of Systematic Excellence Podcast. We are super excited to be here today because we have the lovely Chris Mims who is our amazing MVP, VIP bookkeeper who was the very first person that I worked within my business. And when I was working by myself and then now Janine and I work with her, and we constantly refer her to clients because she’s amazing. But I’m going to tell you a little bit about Chris before we start asking some questions. So Chris is a QuickBooks Pro advisor and bookkeeper with 15 years of experience. Before she was a bookkeeper, she was a professional pet groomer and had owned a store and she is from South Carolina. Well, she lives there now. And she is on a quest to prevent business’s failure from bank balance accounting using the Profit First method of business finance and let me tell you Profit First is amazing. When I set up in my business it seriously changed everything. Now, hold on. I do want to say some interesting facts because when I asked Chris to send me her bio, she sent me some cool stuff. So let me just go through this one. You sing the national anthem for the Yankees game in the early 90s. Maybe I shouldn’t have said the 90s because that’s gonna tell your age but anyway, that’s pretty cool.

 

Chris Mims  1:34  

That just speaks to my life experience.

 

Amalie Shaffer  1:36  

That’s really cool. Your first job was selling sweet corn on a roadside stand which is awesome. You grew up on a dairy farm in Vermont. And you have two puppies which are adorable. So if you’re not friends with Chris on Facebook, you need to be, or Instagram so you can see her adorable puppies. Okay, so you have an RV parked and waiting for your next cross country adventure. That’s exciting.

 

Chris Mims  2:08  

Yes, yes.

 

Amalie Shaffer  2:10  

Awesome. So we are so excited for you to be here because I seriously love you. And I don’t know where my business would be without you. And now I don’t know where Systematic Excellence Consulting would be without you because you seriously are amazing. So did I miss any interesting facts? Or did I catch everything?

 

Chris Mims  2:28  

I think you got the gist of it. Thank you. Thank you very much for even inviting me to do this. This is really fun. And it’s just fun to talk to you and we rarely speak to each other on video, both of you as well instead of just texting or messaging.

 

Amalie Shaffer  2:45  

So now I normally call you and I’m like, “there’s a thing that went through and I’m not sure how to fix it”… and anyway.

 

Chris Mims  2:51  

And I’m like, “got it, don’t worry.”

 

But it’s been awesome. So I think I was a nomad when you hired me. We met in Chicago a few years ago.  And then, I kind of built this business out of necessity and, I was married at the time and I was following my husband everywhere. His job was taking him and you know, I kind of needed something flexible and a job that I could do anywhere. Bookkeeping comes naturally to me. So it just seemed like a good fit. And so I think when I started working with you, I was on a four-month trip. I think east coast of Texas. And so yeah, it was a great time. And yeah, I love the flexibility of this kind of work. And with Coronavirus, happening at the moment that we’re recording this, I’m so grateful to be able to work from home.

 

Amalie Shaffer  3:47  

Yeah, definitely. I agree. So let’s just start because I did mention that you use the Profit First method, which I think is amazing. So if any listeners haven’t read the book, get the book. It’s awesome, by Mike Michalowicz. Could you give us just a quick little explanation of what the Profit First method is?

 

Chris Mims  4:11  

Sure, sure. Profit First is, I like to call it a method as well as a mindset. And bank balance accounting is when you just spend money when you have it. You enjoy it when it’s in your bank account and you panic when it’s not there. And it’s that cycle of “I have money, I can spend, I don’t have money, what am I going to do?” And the fear that comes up in April 15 when it’s tax time and you go, “oh my goodness, do I have enough money for taxes this year?” That’s bank balance accounting. And it’s the way that I used to do business when I had my retail store and it gets to be Thursday and I was like “good grief, is payroll going to clear this week?” And it’s very stressful, very stressful. And as much as many systems as we can have in place, and as many procedures and good planning and good marketing, all those things fall apart if there isn’t good accounting. You have to keep track of what’s coming in and what’s going out and making sure that you have enough to cover the lean times. And over the next couple of months, there are going to be businesses that suffer just because their employees can’t work or trips have been canceled and they’ve lost deposits. There’s going to be a lot of change that happens over the next month or so. Anyway. So the beauty of profit first is as income comes in, you split it out based on percentage into four different accounts. And that way, you’ve got money for payroll and you’ve got money for taxes and you’ve got money for operating expenses and you’ve got money to pay yourself, which is the first thing people cut when they have a tight budget. And that’s not how you… I wrote down a quote, let me grab it.

 

Amalie Shaffer  6:15  

And that’s really not how you survive. I mean, that’s how the business initially breaks down. Right? And well, did you find the quote? I was gonna keep going.

 

Chris Mims  6:26  

There’s a quote from Jon Acuff and he says that, you know, you can be really great at your craft. But if you’re not good at your business, you don’t get to keep doing that craft. And so you can be incredibly passionate about your work and your purpose and all those things, but you have to be good at your business. And if you’re not, then you need to outsource it and that’s and that’s where a good bookkeeper, a trustworthy bookkeeper can come into play where they can just handle stuff for you. And then you can keep doing what you need to do and allow your brain to instead of being stuck on all those numbers and the tedium of bookkeeping you can then be creative and do what you are amazing at.

 

Amalie Shaffer  7:15  

Yeah, no, definitely. And like I said, you were the first person that I hired to work with my business. You were also the first person that Janine and I hired to work with in our business, because I think it’s so important. And the other thing about having a great bookkeeper like you is to help us understand the numbers and understand these things. And from your explanation, I feel like we’ve always run my business and how we’re running Systematic Excellence Consulting is almost to the extreme where I’m like, “save it all”, you know, “just give me this tiny little…” And I love the explanation the best way whenever someone asks me about it, I always say it’s like living off the tiny plate like, you know, where you live off this tiny plate and then you have what we like to call “the vault” where the money gets put in there and then once a quarter we get a bonus and it’s like Christmas and it’s amazing. But then instead of you know, it’s not that tight but I mean, I live tight. You know, I do I mean, we do we live tight. And then we get the bonus every quarter. And I think living that way, it’s been a change, but it is made such a difference. And Janine, were you about to say something?

 

Janine Suvak  8:31  

Oh, yeah, I just wanted to jump in. The saving of the brain space on the task itself is a small part of it, saving the brain space on the emotions around it, that is huge.

 

Chris Mims  8:43  

Yeah, there’s a lot connected to our stress and our money. And if you can just outsource a little bit and give yourself that freedom, you can save so much stress.

 

Janine Suvak  8:55  

Yes, yeah, absolutely.

 

Amalie Shaffer  8:57  

So let’s talk about it. I want to ask kind of two different questions. One, I want to ask, what should people be doing, you know, daily or weekly? What kinds of things do they need to be responsible for if they have a bookkeeper? Because I mean, really, let’s just be honest, we are advocates for having a bookkeeper. So I don’t even really want to address what it means to not have one because I strongly, strongly, strongly recommend having one and I really wouldn’t be having my business, I wouldn’t have it set up any other way. So I want to talk about like what people should be doing. You know, even with a bookkeeper, are there things that they need to do? What do they need to be aware of? And then I’d love to talk about, you know, kinds of things to look for when you’re hiring one. And then you know, we can kind of go from there, but I like I said, I’m an advocate for bookkeepers, so I don’t even want to kind of go into like, what it would look like is honestly, to me, that’s hell and I’d rather not talk about that. So.

 

Chris Mims  9:59  

it’s a really frightening thing because you need to have someone you can trust, that is the primary thing. So don’t hire the friend that you know that does bookkeeping because I made that mistake once and I can tell you that story if you want. But you need to hire somebody who’s got some qualifications. There’s currently no licensing for bookkeepers. So it’s not about finding somebody through your licensing board in your state, but you could contact your CPA and ask them for a referral. They might offer bookkeeping in house in their firm, but the rates are generally higher.

 

Amalie Shaffer  10:42  

What do you have? Do you have any kind of certifications?

 

Chris Mims  10:46  

Yeah, I’m currently QuickBooks Pro. I’m a QuickBooks Pro advisor, which is a certification from QuickBooks. I’m working on one through Xero Software as well, that’s spelled X e r o and that one is better for international business. And that’s the next level that I have service that I want to provide, because freelancers need to be able to do business, especially nomadic type businesses need to be able to work across international boundaries. So as far as finding one, QuickBooks does have a list of everybody who’s QuickBooks Pro advisors, so you can search within QuickBooks, if that’s your software, if you were using Wave which is a free software or Xero, which is another option. There’s another one called Patriot where every one of these programs has their own certification and will probably provide a list of vendors that you can hire, but I would encourage anyone to interview them. Have a good conversation about what their experiences and how they were trained and you know, you can ask how many clients do you have currently? Do you have time for me? Those kinds of things, because that’s going to change their level of service and how much time there…

 

Amalie Shaffer  12:10  

Are you currently taking new clients on?

 

Chris Mims  12:12  

I am. I’m going full time very soon. So I’m working temporarily with a CPA right now because I love to be in that environment during tax season, and I just get to absorb so much experience and education just being in that facility. But honestly, what I’m doing is processing tax returns, I’m not actually filing anything. I’m literally stamping and flagging for signatures and putting things in envelopes, but like organizing. So I will tell you that when I was a pet groomer, I would get a messy dog in the morning and give it a haircut, give it a wash, clean it up, clip its nails, do all those things. And then I would hand back this clean, pretty dog and it’s funny that it’s been consistent that that’s what I love to do in bookkeeping, give me messy books. And let me clean them up, let me organize it. And even at the CPA firm, I’m taking a stack of paperwork and I’m organizing it. So the W-2s are here and the 1099 are here and that everything is paperclip envelopes, and everything is ready to go. And I just love it. It just makes me happy. I love just organizing things. But that can be done digitally. So I had a client reach out to me, these are the kind of… Actually I’ve got a funny story. Let me, I can get ahead of myself. So forgive me. Do you remember a video a couple years ago and it went viral? And it was about this gentleman that was giving a news report from Hong Kong I think and he was sitting in his home office and his child walks in. And I remember the little girl in the yellow sweater, and she was just bouncing into the room. I was thinking like that is the perfect analogy of our businesses. Because, yes, we’ve got our suit and tie if you’re a man, you know, and then we’re wearing yoga pants on the bottoms because nobody can see that right? That’s below camera. And that’s the facade that our businesses are, it’s like, we got everything together. Our marketing is on point, our website’s gorgeous. We’ve got our books, calendar, everything looks amazing. And then something comes in from the back door. And that backdoor anything can happen. So I had a client who had a real estate transaction that came up. She had an opportunity to buy some property, and she needed her books done immediately. Good thing was we already had them done. So on a Sunday afternoon when I’m sitting in an outlet store, and I get her email that says “hey, I need my balance sheet because I’m trying to get financing for this piece of property we need to put an offer in like immediately.” I emailed her that balance sheet, she had it within five minutes. And that’s the value of having good bookkeeping ready to go at any time is not when that little when that child comes in and breaks into the facade. “Are your business books ready? Is your tax prep done? Are you on track?” Because just remember that woman that came in and just pulled the children back out of the room and close the door? Yeah, I think of myself as that woman. You know, you’ve got like crazy financial things that pop up and I just remove them from the room.

 

Amalie Shaffer  15:43  

You know, you’ve done that for me for sure, yeah.

 

Chris Mims  15:46  

But it’s just, that’s what it’s all about is that, you know, it’s one thing to have the facade of a great business model and everything’s going great, but underneath you have to have good accounting, so that you can continue to do what you’re passionate about and continuing your craft.

 

Amalie Shaffer  16:02  

Awesome. So I do have a question I just thought, so how would you recognize if you had a not so good bookkeeper? What are some signs to recognize? Janine, were you about to ask that? But so how would you recognize, and not that I want to like bash, I don’t, obviously I advocate for bookkeepers. But how does someone recognize that they don’t have a good one?

 

Chris Mims  16:31  

That is a challenge because there’s a steep learning curve for bookkeeping. So…  and let me tell you how this might go longer than 20 minutes. So my story was I had my retail store. I had nine employees at one point, so my head was in the game. I’m taking care of clients, I’m taking care of their dogs. I’m taking care of my employees. I’m trying to mop floors and all these things. I was not paying attention to the balance sheet and the profit and loss statements. That was the last thing on my mind. And I was totally doing balance book, I mean, bank balance accounting. So I hired a friend to do my bookkeeping. And I never checked credentials. He just, he was available. So I hired him. I would give him my laptop, in my bank statement, and he would borrow it for a couple of nights and then bring it back to me with the books done. I never looked at my P&Ls. I never looked at the balance sheet. All I wanted to know is are my books ready for tax prep. So when it came time to sell my business, I didn’t have a whole lot of notice that I was going to sell my business I had about six months. That’s not a lot of time to sell a business. And when someone was evaluating my books, and it took an outside person to evaluate them, they said “we don’t know how you’ve lasted.” And oh, and I knew how I was struggling to pay my mortgage and pay myself and my employees and everything else, I knew things were tight. I didn’t know how bad but the reality was is that he wasn’t putting things on the balance sheet that should have been on the balance sheet. The profit and losses are going to tell you about short term income and expenses. The balance sheet is going to show you the long term financials. And he was coding things for very short term, over nine years of business that meant that devalued my business, so I was trying to get a certain dollar figure for my shop, and there was no way I could get it. No way because of bad bookkeeping. I lost 10s of thousands of dollars. And that’s a painful lesson that I don’t want anyone that I’m associated with to have that experience. So I advocate that you should meet with your accountant in November, book an appointment with them every year. And just have them look at your books. And it may cost you 150 bucks, it may cost you 200 bucks depending on what they charge per hour. But just have them look at your financials to make sure that you are on the right track. While you can still make adjustments before the end of the year. November’s an ideal time because all the tax deadlines are behind them. And they’re in that low before the storm.

 

Amalie Shaffer  19:26  

Just a side note. So Janine and I have the CPA that we work with, and we do meet with him in November. So just good. Just as a side note, well, you know that but I was just making. We do do that.

 

Chris Mims  19:40  

But I’m glad you both do it because you guys have a partnership. So I think that’s a valuable thing not to let one person do it and not the other, I applaud you for that. That’s good business minded. That’s very smart.

 

Amalie Shaffer  19:54  

Yeah. Awesome.

 

Chris Mims  19:56  

You guys are an amazing team. Can I just tell you that?

 

Amalie Shaffer  19:59  

Oh, thank you.

 

Chris Mims  20:00  

The first time I talked to Amalie, I was like, “I don’t know, partnership? I don’t know.” There are so many horror stories, but you guys are an amazing team and it’s just, it’s wonderful to work with you. It really is.

 

Janine Suvak  20:12  

Aw, thank you. Thanks.

 

Amalie Shaffer  20:14  

So my next question is… So having a bookkeeper, what are things people should be doing? I mean, I know how I do things, which is like call you on the phone, maybe that’s not the best way to do it. But what are things that people should be doing? Even though they have a bookkeeper? That’s just responsible, obviously, one is meeting with an accountant in November to go over things just to have a second set of eyes on everything. What else can people do? And even if it means like bigger businesses and things like that, but what can people do on top of having a bookkeeper or while still having a bookkeeper?

 

Chris Mims  20:54  

Sure. Setting aside money for taxes is a good tip. Just automate it if you have to, just set it aside that way, you have money to pay the CPA, and you’ve got money to file the taxes and pay taxes if they come up because you can. You can just implode the business in one tax return. If it just drains all of your cash flow, and you have nothing to operate on, you’re done. And that’s, you know, so many businesses fail within the first five years and that’s often one of the problems is either they were noncompliant with their taxes, or they just did not plan for annual expenses. Another thing is something that I applaud you guys for doing as well. And that’s if there’s a subscription, instead of paying for it for 12 months, you pay for it annually and get the discount. Like if I see ways to save money, I will tell you, and I think I think you’re you guys have been doing those kind of things which is great. Another trick is when comes to getting QuickBooks or another software, whatever it is if it’s not a free bookkeeping software is ask either a CPA, an accountant, a bookkeeper, ask them what they can offer you because a lot of these software’s want to sell retail, but give discounted rates to professionals. And they know that if they give the discounted rates to professionals that are professionals going to be working on the books, and that means that business is less likely to fail, which means they get to keep the client long term out and they reward that with that discounted rate, but they charge a premium, they charge the retail rate for the software for folks that are going to do their own books because they know they’re gonna have it up.

 

And they’re the kind of folks who rush a set of bad books to an overwhelmed CPA and expect them to fix it and they won’t. They’re just going to draw the numbers out of the books and say, “Okay, here’s your tax return.” And they don’t have time to analyze your books on March, you know, today is, you know, it’s March, we’re three days away from a corporate tax deadline. They’re not looking at your books right now they are plugging in numbers and sending out tax returns as fast as they can.

 

Amalie Shaffer  23:16  

Yeah. And so we use QuickBooks in our business, and we use Square for payroll and both of them are I mean, you use them more than I do. So then we do stuff. But I think, as far as I know, you know, I like them, they seem easy to use. And we previously when I was working solo, I used Wave which is also really good. But QuickBooks I really like we use that in our business, for invoicing and everything and then also square for payroll.

 

Chris Mims  23:50  

And Wave is great when you’re getting started. Once you gain some traction and you’re generating some revenue, and if you want to switch to the profit first method QuickBooks or Xero are definitely a better choice just because Wave doesn’t handle transfers between accounts very well. It’s very confusing. And then you really need a professional to intervene.

 

Amalie Shaffer  24:10  

Right. And the thing about the profit first method is that it’s multiple bank accounts. That’s where the multiple transfers comes in. Just I don’t know if you guys can notice, but you see my dog, all up in my face? Anyway, Janine, did you have a question?

 

Janine Suvak  24:30  

Oh, I was just thinking back to when, you know, people bring in their messy things. What are the kind of things that leads you to think of that and when did you think this was a problem, right?

 

Chris Mims  24:43  

Yeah, so some of the messiness that I get and granted I love cleanup work when it comes to QuickBooks like give me a year’s worth of bank statements and I will fix it. The chart of accounts is the framework for bookkeeping. So it tells us where your loans are, where your savings are, where your checking accounts are, where the income is coming in where it’s going out, but it’s also the long term and short term. So the long term loans, let’s say you’ve got a leased vehicle, and you lease it for five years, that’s got to be on your balance sheet. That’s all on the chart of accounts. So recently, I saw groceries on a chart of account, and clothing on the chart of accounts, and I was like, hold up, those are not business expenses. And it’s like those aren’t, that doesn’t belong on the chart of accounts. And so someone had mixed in their personal banking in with their business banking, and that’s where it gets ugly really fast. But QuickBooks kind of it’s deceiving, but QuickBooks kind of leads you into that if you are a Schedule C filer and you’re filing on your personal tax return with your social security number, they kind of want you to put all your bank accounts on QuickBooks so that you can transfer money between the accounts and all these things. And it’s a terrible idea, like separating business from personal is the first rule of bookkeeping, keep them separate. Clothing and groceries should never be on your chart of accounts.

 

Amalie Shaffer  26:20  

And although it seems like a lot, having the separate bank accounts it’s so nice because you can visually see the difference in, “Okay, this is this pot of money, this is this pot of money.” If it was all together, I think it doesn’t allow you to really see the number right so I can go look at our operating expense account and know how much is there. Whereas if all of our money was sitting in one bank account, we wouldn’t really know because but visually being able to see the number do I have enough money for taxes? I can go look at that account and know exactly how much money I have in there. To me, I couldn’t, I wouldn’t want to do it any other way, then, you know, I prefer to just be able to visually see, otherwise, you’re trying to like, subtract from the main number. And I mean, just that’s too much like being able to just quickly log into my bank account, or into like, the main account that has the multiple ones. I mean, it’s just, you know, it is it’s great. And I just, I can’t imagine doing the other way.

 

Chris Mims  27:23  

Yeah, I can’t either. Honestly, like to go back to the old way. It just, it would be too confusing at this point.

 

Amalie Shaffer  27:28  

Yeah, for sure.

 

So Janine, did you have any other questions?

 

Janine Suvak  27:32  

Nope. That’s all I had.

 

Amalie Shaffer  27:34  

Okay, so tell us what we now know. One, you are available to new clients and I highly, highly, highly recommend.

 

Janine Suvak  27:41  

Absolutely.

 

Amalie Shaffer  27:42  

So where tell us like, what do you have going on? Where can people find you? We will make sure we share all the links, if you want to give us links for like QuickBooks referrals, Square referrals, so if people are doing payroll, Square is super easy, I know. We’ve been using it in our business for a long time you’ve been running it. So whatever links you have, we’ll make sure we put them into the show notes. People can find it. But where is it? What is the best way to get in touch with you if someone’s interested in working with you?

 

Chris Mims  28:12  

So I’m on all the socials with the same name. And it’s the same as my website. So it’s just ChrisMimsVA, VA standing for virtual assistant. That was originally what I was going to do. And then I just kind of narrowed it right down into QuickBooks and bookkeeping. So it’s Chris Mims VA. So that’s Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook. And that’s my website as well. So the best way to get in touch with me is my email which is Hello@Chrismims.com shoot me an email, I can reply and it will have a Calendly link on there in the signature line so you can book a call with me. We can just talk about your books. I am happy, happy to talk to someone and if you are in the stages of setting up your business, I can give you a few tips and ideas to get you in the right direction. So you don’t have to waste a lot of time asking banks or asking an accountant because in the early stages, those things can cost a lot of time. And when you’re setting up a business, you don’t have a lot of time you are busting it.

 

Amalie Shaffer  29:23  

If your accounting is the hot mess express they should also get in touch with you and you’re happy to clean up their mess.

 

Chris Mims  29:35  

Happy to clean up books, and I am now connecting myself with these CPAs that are also online and I have a few of my preferred ones that I love to work with. And they are in the midst of growing their businesses as well. And they love me because I give them a clean set of books. So they reward my clients with a lower rate because they know they don’t have any hassle factor. So it does end up costing you less long term. And it saves you stress and heartache. And yeah, and the tension in the household when your spouse is like, “what do you mean your books aren’t done? We need to get our taxes done and I want my refund.” Yeah. So it all helps.

 

Amalie Shaffer  30:18  

Awesome. Well, thank you. Thank you so much for being here. Thank you for being on our team. You know, we really appreciate you and to everyone listening. We’ll drop the links in the show notes for you. And if you enjoyed this episode of the Systematic Excellence Podcast, leave us a review. And we will see you next time. Thank you so much. Bye.

 

Description

Sonya Lee is passionate about helping teams achieve goals that might seem impossible to some. She focuses on customer behavior, psychology, user experience, design, branding, and many more things. Join us in this episode where she shares how her broad expertise, systems, and methods help companies fix internal problems to grow like never before!

Show Notes

Do you want to know the secret to what your clients really, really want? 

It really isn’t that big of a secret!

But you don’t have to worry about that anymore! We invited Sonya Lee, an expert in finding creative solutions to help businesses reach their potential, to talk about how she inspires teams to achieve goals they thought were unattainable.

In this episode, we discussed:

➡️ The ONE big business mistake you definitely need to avoid 

➡️ Why being disruptive is needed sometimes

➡️ Why you need to start working on your communication skills

➡️ Understanding what doing business is really about

And a lot more. Check this episode out now!

Connect With Sonya

https://www.sonyalee.io

https://www.facebook.com/SonyaLeeHQ/

https://www.linkedin.com/in/sonyaslee/

Our Website

https://systematicexcellenceconsulting.com/home/

Hire Your First Contractor Bundle

Connect with Amalie:

https://www.instagram.com/amalie.shaffer/

https://www.facebook.com/amalie.shaffer/

https://www.linkedin.com/in/amalieshaffer/

Connect with Janine:

https://www.linkedin.com/in/janine-suvak

https://www.instagram.com/systematicexcellence/

https://www.facebook.com/systematicexcellenceconsulting/

Resources:

clarity.fm

Note: This episode was recorded in July 2019 the information is still relevant but some programs that were mentioned are no longer available. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to us at hello@systematicexcellence.com.

Content Disclaimer: The information contained above is provided for information purposes only. The contents of this article, video or audio are not intended to amount to advice and you should not rely on any of the contents of this article, video, or audio. Professional advice should be obtained before taking or refraining from taking any action as a result of the contents of this article, video, or audio. Systematic Excellence Consulting LLC disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on any of the contents of this article, video, or audio.

Disclaimer: Some of these links are for products and services offered by the podcast creators. 

Affiliate Disclaimer: The article, video, or audio may contain affiliate links. We may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post. Although you won’t pay any more for any purchases you make, the commissions will enable us to continue to provide free content to readers and listeners.

Episode Transcript

Janine: (00:00)

Hi, Sonya, welcome to the podcast. How are you doing today?

Sonya: (00:03)

I’m really good. How are you?

Janine: (00:05)

I’m doing great. And I’m so appreciative of you being here. Thanks for coming on.

Sonya: (00:10)

Absolutely. I’m looking forward to this wonderful conversation.

Janine: (00:14)

Yeah, me too. Me too. Cause you have this amazing experience and I can hardly wait to hear you share your story. So as you know, our audience are businesses that where the business owner or the business leader may have had, or experienced trouble with the systems or something internal to their business has been slowing them down. And we’re looking for the kind of stories of how they got past that because it’s the real world stories that help us learn, I think, best than just talking about theory. Right?

Sonya: (00:48)

Absolutely.

Janine: (00:49)

And I know you have an amazing story, so I’m gonna step back and let you just get started with it.

Sonya: (00:55)

Okay. So you want me to just start jumping into it?

Janine: (00:58)

You can, yeah, we can start with a little bit about your background.

Sonya: (01:01)

Okay, great. So my name is Sonya Lee. I am a brand strategist, but I’ve had a very colorful career as a creative director. As a web designer. I started a couple of tech companies and now I work with business owners to help them discover a brand and create messages that captivate their audience. So I want to talk about how I got started in my journey and where I went and how I ended up here, where I am today. So I actually, I’m going to cut to a very, very fun time in my life where I was working at Disney. And I was brought in to work with the disney.com team to help them launch. And it was really interesting, you know, kind of following the corporate environment. Everybody has their thing that they do. Everybody has a specific role and you stay within your comfort zone and you don’t necessarily go out of that. Now, what was really interesting is that Bob Iger had recently at that time gone to CES, which is a really big conference in Las Vegas. And now that the website was going to be launching in two to three weeks. Now, what he didn’t know was what we had shown him was actually a demo. And he didn’t realize that we had basically hodgepodged everything together. And there were still a whole lot of work that needed to be done. So being somebody who’s done several launches and helped, you know, put sites together through the marketing team, through the copy team, the creative team, everyone, technology, everyone needs to come together, but there was something in that structure that corporate environment where it was lacking.

Sonya: (02:42)

And so this is kind of my breakthrough story where I realized kind of looking and observing and seeing that something was not going to go well if things didn’t change. I think, you know what I mean? So I took it upon myself to kind of go and talk to all of these different departments and say, “Hey, what are you missing? What do you need in order to move forward?!” And they’re like, “I need this, this and this.” And I’m like, “okay.” I go over to the next department and say, “okay, I have these requirements and I’m going to get you this, what else do you need?” So I became that facilitator. Now my title at that time was not a director. I was not a VP. I was just a senior designer/art director at that time. So this was beyond my role. Now I took it upon myself to move myself into the development room, which we called the command center.

Sonya: (03:35)

And I sat with all the developers and ask them, “okay, what do you need right now? All right, let’s go, I’ll go get it.” You need me to go talk to the copywriter, I’ll go get it. You need something, you need a specification? I’ll go get it. You need something designed, I’m on it. And I became that person that really pulled everything together. So we ended up launching on time. It was really stressful. They started serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner at the office and we’d stay until 11, which is really crazy. But yeah, we launched on time. Now, the irony in all of this, having done a really, really amazing job and, you know, gotten the site launched on time was I got a slap on my wrist and I was written up for being disruptive, which is kind of strange considering I got the company to launch on time, you know, we did not lose millions of dollars.

Janine: (04:24)

And it’s interesting world how in the tech world being disruptive is a goal, right?

Sonya: (04:31)

It is, back then I wasn’t, but I am disruptive. I really, I truly was. So that, you know, when I got written up, I actually took that moment to ask myself, “Sonya, do you really deserve to be here? I think you’re worth more.” And so I ended up leaving and that became the beginning of my own business, a design agency where I worked ironically with Disney and also several other really big top corporations as well. So yeah, that’s kind of where I started in how I moved into what I kind of do today.

Janine: (05:11)

Okay. So if you were reviewing back with what the role you stepped into because of the lack you saw, what would you say was the biggest problem with communications?

Sonya: (05:23)

So they definitely didn’t have a problem with understanding the goal. The goal is there. The thing that was missing was the culture in order to help everyone understand that they can rely and trust on each other without having to go through normal channels. Right. Which is again, culture, but also what you said, communication, feeling confident that they could go to anybody within the company to get stuff done. And that wasn’t the norm.

Janine: (05:51)

That’s interesting. The only other little inside peek to Disney which has its reputation, right? It’s Disney. My dad was a building inspector when they were redoing the park. And that was amazing in that all the different layers of construction, you know, from drywall to paint to whatever it’s like, it was like clockwork getting stuff done in such a short period of time. It’s just fascinating to me to hear this project that went in behind the scenes, but it’s just, you know, that went the way it did like that. So how did you take those lessons learned in putting so as an agency yourself, a design agency, you still have many pieces that you have to coordinate and put together, right. So how did you apply the lessons you learned from that to what you’re doing today?

Sonya: (06:46)

I think this is really important for any entrepreneur and business owner is to understand that any business is not about you, it’s about the client, because guess who’s paying you? The client. So even as an employee, I had to remind myself that I’m not the superstar here. The company is the superstar. So my job is to make the company move forward. So in that point, when I realized that we had to launch under a really, really big deadline, I removed ego and said, you know, if I’m going to get into trouble, then I’m going to get into trouble, but I have to put my client at first. And so when I started my agency, the same concept came about. And again, the reason why I’ve done so well and I’ve been able to continue working with so many big companies is because I don’t put my ego into my client’s work.

Sonya: (07:36)

It’s not about me. It’s about their customers that I’m helping them attract. So I think that is something that’s continued to follow me through my entire career. And even as I began to, you know, so I ran my design agency for about 10 years, ended up going and starting two tech companies. And then after that, I returned to my roots, not as an agency, but as a branding, strategist and marketer. So again, building this business has been very much similar. So what I had to do, because now I’m building my own business. I am the client and I have to go get customers. I had to remove myself from my own ego, which is really, really hard. So kind of parlaying into this current experience. I think one of the hardest things about branding and creating a compelling story for your customers is to realize that you have to speak the language that your customers want to hear.

Sonya: (08:36)

You have to go and speak at what is important to them, right? So a lot of people think I can help you X, Y, and Z, but that’s speaking from, from ego, right? It’s not about what I can do for you. It’s what this system or this method can do for you. So in layman’s terms, right. Hopefully I’m not going too far, but in layman’s terms, you have to be able to speak to the frustrations of your customer, not what you think they need, but what they actually need right now. And that involves going and doing research, talking to them, figuring out what is truly wrong in their business, and then using that exact language to captivate and capture their attention.

Janine: (09:21)

Okay. And so are you a solo at this time or do you have a team behind you doing this?

Sonya: (09:28)

I work with a team, but for the most part, it is me.

Janine: (09:31)

Okay. So how do you, so when we’re talking about corporate culture, how do you help your team? Or how did you choose the people for your team that have that kind of adaptability?

Sonya: (09:44)

Yeah. So I have the three CS. These are the three CS that I use to hire anybody within my team. Okay. So the first one is ability to communicate. If you can’t talk and you can’t tell me what’s wrong, then that’s a no go. The second one is the ability to collaborate. If you don’t play nice with other people, guess what? This isn’t going to work. And then the last one is to commit. If you can’t commit to a project and you’re Willy nilly and you’re kind of flopping all over the place, that’s also a no go for me. So what I look for in people is a mixture of culture and talent. But when they meet three CS, then that is a really, really big deal for me because I’m looking for partners, not just employees. I think for any business owner, you don’t want to spend your time writing down every single thing that you want them to do. You want them to have the initiative, you want them to be self motivated and have kind of the instinct on what they need to do in order to move themselves forward. So I think for anyone who’s growing a team, those are the most important things that you should always, always, always remember.

Janine: (10:52)

Okay. That’s great. Cause I’ve talked to a lot of people who are really challenged by both hiring and then firing. How you do one leads to problems or not so many problems with that.

Sonya: (11:06)

The saying is to hire slow and fire quick.

Janine: (11:10)

What does that look like for you, for slow?

Sonya: (11:13)

It’s just taking the time to get to know someone as a person, not jumping into a situation where someone’s trying to please you, I do a slow interview process. We’ll give it a couple of weeks, have multiple conversations, let our guard down, go grab a drink. You know, I really want to know what you’re all about and how we can help each other grow. And that’s, again, as an employer, I also do the same thing. My ability is to communicate, collaborate, and commit, you know? So it goes both ways.

Janine: (11:45)

What are your feelings on when you’re speaking more to the character of the person? You look more for that and then much does their skillset weigh or, or how do you test that — this is in terms of how trainable they are when you have the person you would like to work with versus people who weigh heavily the skillset. And aren’t really looking at the personality and how they fit in.

Sonya: (12:10)

You know, I think the right person will always have the drive to learn and please to learn for themselves, to learn for the business and to please themselves and to please the business as well. So I would rather find someone who is hungry to learn, who might be mediocre and doesn’t have a huge ego about in themselves if you go for the expert and they think they know better and they don’t listen and they don’t collaborate, guess what? You’re going to sink all this time and money into something that might not even work. So I’d rather work with someone who has the, you know, the right capabilities to kind of grow with the company. Does that make sense? 

Janine: (12:51)

Oh, absolutely. So what happens in those situations where you feel like that’s what’s going on, but, and maybe that’s how they were progressing and working with you at first, but it seems like they have plateaued and not quite reached the level or kept up with the company?

Sonya: (13:09)

At that point, you know, we can do a couple of different things. Again, you’re drawing upon my experience, having run my tech companies and also my nonprofit is you want to be able to bring outside experts in house, right? So maybe it’s calling somebody within your network asking for expertise. There is such thing as an information meeting where you say, “Hey, we’re stuck on this. Can you help us?” There’s also clarity.fm where you can consult an expert and get guidance. So you don’t have to. I mean, it’s kind of expecting the perfect specimen of a human being to show up in your business and have all of the answers and the reality of it all is that that does not exist. The more you can leverage your network, rely on them for information and then create your own system, your own solutions, the stronger that becomes, because now you’ve truly owned it and you’ve learned it and inherited it.

Janine: (14:07)

Yeah. That’s wonderful. Yeah. Well, that’s, you know what I do with operations and systems coming from the military where it’s like, they’ve kind of had that down for 244 years, and yet it’s the human factor that you’re constantly dealing with. Even as the structure inside your business may have to change, to adapt to market conditions and what’s going on. So, and I think that business owners and leaders like yourself, you know, that’s the never ending thing. It’s the human factor.

Sonya: (14:35)

Yeah, definitely. And I think the same would would be with where I’m working with clients is I have to constantly remind themselves to not put their ego into any project. Branding is such a delicate thing because it is your messaging through and through, right? What you say, how you position yourself, how you execute and go out into the market and put your name out there really, really matters. Now, if you’re looking at it through the lens of yourself and not your customer, guess what, same problem. We’re not communicating properly. We’re not committing to them and we’re not collaborating. Right. So it’s so important to remove the ego from any situation, especially in a work environment and maybe even at home too, but to, to just kind of say, you know what, it’s not about me. And that’s hard. That’s hard for a lot of people.

Janine: (15:26)

It is. Yeah. So how would you recommend someone? If they struggled with it as a business owner and they know it’s something they need to do, what is something that can help them do that?

Sonya: (15:40)

Yeah. So I run an exercise called “journey mapping”. And what we do is we break down what’s going on within the customer’s life, right? So we break it down into what they’re thinking, feeling, doing, expecting, and then we track them through their buying cycle. Now what this does, what this exercise is all about is helping business owners understand what the customer is going through and creating that empathy, right? No customer randomly says, I’m going to pay you $10,000 today to do this, right. It has to solve a problem and you have to understand how your customer is feeling. So it’s interesting that, you know, using, so I teach business empathy. So using this framework, we help business owners understand from the customer’s perspective, what is going on, right? So we sit down and we’d go through every single thing that they’re doing, what they’re thinking, what they’re feeling, what their frustrations are, where they’re at, are they at home in their office?

Sonya: (16:40)

You know, are they out shopping and constantly thinking about it? And then you decide, okay, if they’re thinking about it and obsessing about this problem, while they’re doing grocery shopping, I guess I’m going to have to design my advertising on mobile because they’re constantly on the go, which is a completely different experience. If your customer is sitting at home, you know, working from home, that experience might be on the computer. In which case you would run, you know, browser ads. So all of this kind of goes back to creating empathy and the journey mapping exercise is part of my course as well. And that really is very powerful in helping business owners understand what’s going on.

Janine: (17:19)

That’s fantastic. Yeah. It’s so funny. You don’t think of putting together the doors, business and empathy, and yet that’s what they need to do, right, to attract their customers. That’s so funny. How often do you see a disjoint between the Sonya “this is who I am” and this is what I want to portray, but these are the market I’m trying to target, which totally will not connect with who I am. Right. How do you bridge that gap?

Sonya: (17:49)

You know, there’s a happy medium for everything. I had one client of mine who is very grungy, very punk, and she wanted to target high end corporate clients. And I said, you know, I love your look. I love your energy. It’s really great. But you have to look what your customers, you have to look like what your customers are looking for. So if they’re in a corporate environment and you look like that, guess what? You’re not going to be invited into their office. So is there something you can do? Put on a nice shirt, maybe earrings, if you don’t like wearing makeup, don’t wear makeup, but you have to look apart, right? This is your contribution to your brand and helping them step into your universe. So that took maybe a couple of weeks of going back and forth. “I don’t want to, Sonya, this doesn’t feel right.” And I’m like, “okay, well, if you don’t want to, let’s talk about the right audience that would be attracted to your current look.” Right. And she was like, “okay, I get it now.” And so it was really as simple as going and buying a blouse. That was it.

Janine: (18:58)

Yeah. Well then it’s interesting. I mean, how this all ties together to me, the connection between, you know, there’s your operations in your systems, but the connection to the leadership, the personality and there’s branding and leadership and how you lead your company. Your clients and your team, right. Who are going to follow your example or the kind of people who want to work with you, right?

Janine: (19:26)

That’s our time for this episode. I really appreciate you sharing these things. It’s wonderful. Thank you for coming on today.

Sonya: (19:34)

Oh, you are so welcome. This was amazing. Thank you so much.

Janine: (19:38)

Yeah. Before we go, can you tell me where our audience can find you?

Sonya: (19:42)

Absolutely. So if you guys are listening and you want to find out more, you can find me on my website sonyalee.io. It is S O N Y A L E E . I O. And you can also find me on LinkedIn or also Facebook. And again, just spell it, my name and that’s how you find me.

Janine: (20:01)

Okay. And we will also have these links in the show notes to make it super easy. So we’ve heard that too. Thanks so much, Sonya.

Sonya: (20:07)

Okay. You’re welcome.

Description

Kevin Barber started Lean Labs to prove that using a market strategy rather than templates, focusing on great work rather than the size of the projects, and focusing on success stories rather than revenue will create more success than anything else. Join us for this episode where Kevin shared with us his journey and success story in the digital agency world, all with the help of a supportive team, efficient systems, and measurable results.

Show Notes

Kevin Barber, CEO of Lean Labs, was tired of designing and building websites that no one got to see because his clients had no marketing plan. He wanted to build results, not pretty things. So he drew a line in the sand: no more clients without their own marketing team. Today, he only accepts clients who want to deliver a brand experience that their customers will love. 

 

You don’t want to miss this episode where Kevin joined us to share how his systems help him manage a remote team with outstanding results and made his company grow exponentially!

 

These are the topics we discussed:

➡️ Best ways to achieve maximum efficiency 

➡️ The one method to keep your team motivated 

➡️ Why you need to start tracking your KPIs — and how to do it!

➡️ The only advice you need if you are growing your team

 

Connect with Kevin:

https://www.lean-labs.com/

https://www.linkedin.com/in/kevindbarber/

https://twitter.com/lean_labs

 

Our Website

https://systematicexcellenceconsulting.com/home/

Hire Your First Contractor Bundle

 

Connect with Amalie:

https://www.instagram.com/amalie.shaffer/

https://www.facebook.com/amalie.shaffer/

https://www.linkedin.com/in/amalieshaffer/

 

Connect with Janine:

https://www.linkedin.com/in/janine-suvak

https://www.instagram.com/systematicexcellence/

https://www.facebook.com/systematicexcellenceconsulting/

 

Note: This episode was recorded in July 2019 the information is still relevant but some programs that were mentioned are no longer available. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to us at hello@systematicexcellence.com.

Content Disclaimer: The information contained above is provided for information purposes only. The contents of this article, video or audio are not intended to amount to advice and you should not rely on any of the contents of this article, video, or audio. Professional advice should be obtained before taking or refraining from taking any action as a result of the contents of this article, video, or audio. Systematic Excellence Consulting LLC disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on any of the contents of this article, video, or audio.

 

Disclaimer: Some of these links are for products and services offered by the podcast creators. 

 

Affiliate Disclaimer: The article, video, or audio may contain affiliate links. We may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post. Although you won’t pay any more for any purchases you make, the commissions will enable us to continue to provide free content to readers and listeners.

Episode Transcript

Amalie: (00:37)

All right. All right. Welcome to the podcast today. I’m so excited. I have Kevin Barber here with me today. He is the CEO of Lean Labs and, Kevin, I’m so glad you’re here. Would you go ahead and introduce yourself really quickly and then I really want to dive into the questions that I have for you today.

 

Kevin: (00:59)

Sure. So Amalie, thanks for having me on. And yeah, I’m Kevin Barber. I’m the head of growth of basically a digital agency called Lean Labs. We’re a remote team that serves high ticket brands with complex sales, with their digital marketing and sales systems.

 

Amalie: (01:15)

Awesome. And we’ll just quickly throw out, you’re also a HubSpot certified, you’re Inbound Certified and partner certified as well as Platinum Partner with HubSpot. Is that right?

 

Kevin: (01:30)

Yeah, that’s right. We became a HubSpot Partner in 2013. Basically the reason for that is we were a design agency prior to that where we did a little bit of marketing and frankly, over the years I got quite tired of designing and building websites and web apps for which there was no marketing plan. And I’m tired of making pretty things that no one gets to see. So, I was like, “we’re only going to take on clients who either have their own marketing team in house or have the abilities to hire a marketing team and we’re going to basically build results, not pretty things.” That was the change we made back then.

 

Amalie: (02:10)

Great. So how many, you have 12 people on your team, is that right?

 

Kevin 4: (02:13)

Yeah, that’s about right. I think one’s part-time, but yes.

 

Amalie: (02:17)

Okay. All right. So in regards to business operations, what do you think is the key to efficiency?

 

Kevin: (02:26)

Right. So there’s probably several keys to efficiency, but I can share with you one of the keys to our efficiency. Maybe that’ll be, I don’t know if I’m the master of efficiency, but I’ve learned a couple of things. So, one of the things that I think is a key to efficiency is understanding, having the entire team or organization understand what’s expected and then have a system by which you’re measuring results versus expectations. So I read this book one time and it said, “imagine if you were so good that people would pay you to watch you work?” And I was like, “well, you’d have to be really good for someone to watch you work.” And they’re like, “you know, we do it all the time in professional sports.” And it’s like, why do we do that? And they’re like, “mmm,  because people were performing at the top level.”

 

And the second, almost more important part is you’re keeping score. And if you weren’t keeping score, it wouldn’t be interesting and no tickets would be sold and no championships would be won. So the next week, Lean Labs had a scoreboard. And here’s our goal and here’s our individual scores. And we have MVP awards, most improved awards. We have team competitions between the two teams in our organization. Those people win lunches on the company. So I’m a pretty big fan of keeping score. So here’s the goal, here’s your progress to that goal, here’s how we’re working individually in our team. And then organizationally, and I have found that that has been a great alignment and motivating and frankly kind of a little whip cracking factor to help us all work on efficiency.

 

Amalie: (04:10)

Awesome. Can you tell me some of the things that you keep score? What are some of the things that you use as you know, like KPIs or key performance indicators and then where do you track it? Do you have some sort of system that you track it on? So, I guess those are two questions.

 

Kevin: (04:26)

Yeah, so first, our unit of measure for productivity is a point. And a point is a perfect hour. So all of our efforts, all of our projects and deliverables have efforts applied to them of how long it should take. If there’s no confusion, deliberation, unnecessary revision, it’s the perfect hour. So some things like five points, that means if there’s nothing that goes wrong with it, it’ll be done in five hours. But we’re in the creative realm, so something always is going to take more. So we know it’s never five real hours, but we log in and everyone has a goal based upon their role, how many points they put up each week. And then we track that. And the goal is to cut out as much waste as possible while delivering high-level results, get maximum points. So.

 

Amalie: (05:15)

Awesome. And are there things that help them stay on track or is there, when you say you cut things out, so what might that look like as far as cutting things out that aren’t helping the efficiency? What would something like that look like?

 

Kevin: (05:32)

Well, a couple of things that we did is we kind of broke down a 40 hour week and said, “Hey, here are some suggested maximums. Like try to limit these things to the maximum.” So admin overage time, have a maximum. Internal meeting time, have a maximum. Slack time, have a maximum. So we know where our likely distractions are coming from. And then the other thing is to try to, like Stephen Covey says, don’t prioritize your schedule, schedule your priorities. So we asked the team to figure out what’s the most important thing that you need to get done each day when we post that into an accountability room. And then we basically say, “now let’s go away and get that thing done.”

 

Amalie: (06:13)

Oh, I love that. I’m big on making appointments, like schedule appointments. If you want something done, you’ve got to schedule an appointment with yourself. Even if it’s, you have to treat it as though it’s a client, you know, a client meeting. But even if it’s just with yourself, I’m really big on that.

 

Kevin: (06:26)

I think every day is a mission and it’s like, “do we want to win the mission or do we want to kind of maybe think about the mission?” and you get to choose. So you know, choose wisely.

 

Amalie: (06:36)

Yeah, that’s great. Yeah. I always pick the three things. That’s my big thing is picking three and then executing on that. Right? Like the three things that I need to get done today and three things I need to get done this week. And then if I get those three things done, then I can move onto the next thing. But just because I think if you choose too many things, you’re setting yourself up for failure. So you really need to focus on what’s the priority, what needs to happen. And if it is a priority, it probably needs to go in your calendar. Right. With the time blocked off for it.

 

Kevin: (07:08)

Absolutely. We started off with weekly plans and we still do those weekly plans for the team of everything they want to get done each day. But then for the daily SLA, it’s without fail. This is the most important thing that has to get done. And we’re going to focus on that first.

 

Amalie: (07:22)

I love it. And what system did you say, so you use Slack, you said, and what other like communication tools do you use for that?

 

Kevin: (07:30)

So for keeping our scoreboard, it’s actually a slightly complicated excels, you know, Google sheet but for communicating around our plan for the week and plan for the day, we’re posting that in a channel in our Slack channel and our team style.

 

Amalie: (07:47)

Awesome. I like Slack cause then I can go back and find things if I need to.

 

Kevin: (07:52)

Right, right. And you know, someone called us like a Scrum process, which is kind of modeled after and we’ve tried every version of that; weekly meetings, daily meetings. Now we have a twice a week short meeting just to kind of plan for the week and then midweek checkup, just to kind of organizationally align. But I’m sure there are different models for different teams, whether or not they’re remote. One of our challenges is quite a few of our team members are in all different time zones, so it’s kind of hard to do at the start of the day. So yeah.

 

Amalie: (08:25)

And I think it’s important to designate what is the communication channel and what isn’t. So something I do when working with clients is we designate, okay Slack is for conversations, but if anything applies directly to a task, it needs to go in the project management tool, right? So you know exactly where the conversation is happening. So it’s not like you’re half talking about it and you know, Asana or Trello and then half talking about it in Slack and then trying to go back and find those things. It’s part of having a communication standard operating procedure in place. Otherwise, I think it does get confusing. So designating channels, you know, specific channels for certain things. And I think that’s super important. That’s great.

 

Kevin: (09:10)

Yeah, we’re probably not perfect at that. There are three places. Something could be a ticket. We have a ticketing system that replaces email. It could be in our Slack and it could be in a task and we’re probably not great at that. But one thing we put in as a rule that’s super helpful, which is if there’s back and forth, it’s likely to last more than five minutes, get off of Slack and get on the phone, actually communicate old rules so you can come to a resolution. Otherwise, 47 minutes later, nothing got done, you know, and everyone just been texting all day on Slack.

 

Amalie: (09:40)

That’s awesome. Okay. So my next question is, based on your experience of running your business and team, what advice would you give to some that’s just starting to build their team or maybe has one or two contractors and they’re bringing more people on? What advice would you give them?

 

Kevin: (09:58)

Yeah. So, this probably comes from someone with my type of makeup. And if you were to like, use like the Rocket Fuel metaphor, I’m more of the visionary type, although I don’t know if love, love that label. But you know, you put Amalie and I together, we start looking really smart cause you know, but for me, the most important thing when you’re building your team is to cash a vision for that team. That neat team needs to see the vision, not for the organization, but they need to see themselves in that vision. That makes sense. They need to see the vision for themselves and how they’re part of this larger mission. And I think that, if you Google Elon Musk vectors, there is this, you know, you’ll find a talk from one of the guys at HubSpot around what Elon Musk taught him about building teams.

 

And he basically said that having an efficient team is really just about aligning your vectors and, you know, they go on to the story about how, yeah, that’s typical Elon Musk, cause I have no idea what that means. And they’re like, “well a vector has magnitude and direction. So basically every person on your team has a certain amount of power and they’re going to apply that in a direction. And your job is to get all of that magnitude all going in the same direction.” So a common vision and a common purpose with a common culture. And when you can make that happen, then you’re going to be able to actually make progress. Cause if half your team’s going left and half of your team is going right, then that’s a lot of effort for a zeroed out, no progress movement. So, I think it’s a lot about casting that vision of where are we going on a macro, like five years, 10 years. I know people don’t like to think like that anymore, but I do. You know, and where are we going this year in order to make a major stride of that, where we’re going this quarter and what can we do today? I think that that is oftentimes missing. And people are just out there running around doing tasks without really understanding the why behind it.

 

Amalie: (12:08)

Yeah. The bigger picture. Right?

 

Kevin: (12:11)

Yeah. And how it builds their career and how this week is going to be a milestone week towards who they’re able to become in the process of completing this work. We probably focus on that more than most. Yeah.

 

Amalie: (12:24)

To add to that, I think having people understand their responsibilities, expectations, and responsibilities that is on them, you know, what are they responsible for? What are your expectations of them, so that way they can move forward and know exactly what they need to do and have all the resources to be able to do it or find them. Right. So understanding, “okay, here this is my piece. This is what I’m responsible for, but here’s how it fits into the bigger picture.” Right. So understanding that overall I think is also really important in establishing that with the team members.

 

Kevin: (13:01)

Yeah, and I’m a pretty big believer that every meeting is a sales meeting. Every external meeting with clients is either selling them or reselling them. And every internal meeting with your team members is they’re selling them when you’re hiring them, selling them when you’re inspiring them for the initial vision or selling them when you’re re-hiring and respiring them on a weekly, monthly basis. I believe that that’s critical, but that kind of comes from my bend of things. You know, one of the things we try to help people see is like the way that you obtain mastery in an organization is you plan like you’re going to be able to work forever. And if you’re going to work forever, then why not get really good at it so you can get really high paid at it. So what are we going to do that’s going to build our skills? And when people realize that the work that we’re doing isn’t just delivering tasks for clients in our case, but it’s actually, if we frame it white, we’re pushing ourselves every single week to develop ourselves into something more than I think you can get the best work out of people.

 

Amalie: (14:08)

Yeah. Would you recommend someone to have a team meeting to put out the overall mission and then individually clarify and make sure that each person knows what their responsibility is or how would you recommend someone sort of going about taking that first step? Like obviously they need to understand what the mission is first, right? And then they can communicate it, but once they know what their mission is, the CEO or the business owner, what would you say the first step should be?

 

Kevin: (14:38)

I think the first step is communicating the reason we’re here. Let’s say you take on a new client, take on a new project. Okay. This is the problem. This is where we’re being held back. This is the opportunity we see to overcome it. This is why we’re taking it on now. This is what success looks like. Short term, medium term, long term. These are the people that we’re counting on to deliver that for us. This is what done looks like for these things, you know, the things that we need to get accomplished. And then it’s basically saying, now how can we work on a plan that’s going to accomplish those things? You know? So for me it’s that sales piece of like selling while we’re here and what needs to get done and, and how that’s a win. That’s a win for the client. How it’s a win for us, it’s a win for our team members when we make this a success.

 

Amalie: (15:29)

Do you get input from your team? So when you say, “okay, here’s the new client project, here’s where we’re at and here’s where we need to go.” Do you get input from them or do you generally come up with the plan and then put it out to the team?

 

Kevin: (15:42)

Right. So we’re work in progress on that. If every idea came from me, we’re in trouble, right? Because then my idea bank is going to get to a negative balance. So what we tend to do is look back on work that we’ve done that’s related and similar and be like, “okay, let’s use past experience as a starting point of what are the main things that need to have happened and then what something we do.” If you look at lean or scrum processes, sometimes when you’re developing ideation, you know, basically your idea is that the question is, how might we double leads for this client? How might we drop the bounce rate of the homepage from 70% to 40%? How might we double the number of calls scheduled for salespeople next month? You know, and then we recreate those ideas in a kind of free filtering environment.

 

And then we go back after we’re done with that and throw some rocks at those ideas to kill off the weak ones. Sometimes in throwing the rocks is where you actually come up with the real idea. Like, “well, that wouldn’t work, but what about this?” and I do think that that’s best from two and involve, if not rely upon the people that are actually going to be doing the work to come up with the ideas. Cause then they’re completely bought into the scope from the beginning. They come up with the idea. So that’s the way I would propose doing it. You know, I probably have some growing to do, to grow my own ideas and they’re too often.

 

Amalie: (17:16)

Yeah, I think we’ve talked about that a time or two before.

 

Kevin: (17:19)

Yeah, we had sidebar conversations on that. 

 

Amalie: (17:22)

Yeah. Okay. So my next question is, what indicators might someone see or experience when they’re in need of more operational structure or what were some that maybe you saw when you started to make a change inside of your business?

 

Kevin: (17:41)

Right. So I think there’s a ton. Keep in mind this one here, this question of “how would we experience when we need more operational structure” that’s the one we’re living every day right now. So, for the owner or head of marketing that’s going to be the, “Oh, I’d love to go on vacation this summer, but that’s not gonna happen cause everything’s going to break.” Well that’s a giant billboard that says you need operational structure. If you feel like you have to be in every single meeting, you probably lack operational structure. If you have to ask somebody and distract them from their work to know where something’s at, you probably lack operational structure. If you can’t communicate deadlines without spending time looking at spreadsheets or talking to people or you know, looking at your time trackers to give a deadline for a project, you probably lack operational structure. If your team members don’t even know when something will be done or even worse when it will be started, you probably lack operational structure. So I think there’s a lot of signs now, the solutions to all of those we’re working out, but I think it’s when your sales go up, but your workload doubles with it, you probably lack operational structure. So, you know, I think there’s a lot of those types of signals. Most growing organizations are gonna probably always run into that at some level.

 

Amalie: (19:02)

Yeah. And so for you what was sort of the turning point for you? So you sorta said that you’re in the midst of it right now, so what was the turning point for you that was like, “you know what, I need to make some changes.” What did that look like for you personally? As the CEO.

 

Kevin: (19:26)

Yeah. So, I know exactly what it was for us. We set a five-year goal, we hit that goal and in the midst of a goal, I don’t like to miss on goals, by the way. So like goals are not like say someone says I want to lose 10 pounds and then lose nine and a half. And they’re like, “yeah!” I’m like… “failed.” So the goal is translated for me as minimum criteria for success. Like a hard line. Yeah. That’s the minimum that could possibly happen. So when I say goal, I mean this or Kevin is mad for a year. So with that mindset comes a whatever-it-takes attitude. So we hit our goal, we actually got ahead on several years of this five-year goal and beat it pretty well, pretty handily. And then that was the end of 2018.

 

The beginning of 2019 is like, “great, now I want my life back.” So, we ran ragged and a little bit, it’s like if you see like a football team that wins the game, but it was ugly. So like everyone needs a check into the hospital for IVs. So we were running a little bit like that or at least I was and that’s where I know that we have… it got us to where we are, but now shifting into an operational execution machine is what’s going to get us to the next level. So we’re going to have to retool for the next leg of the journey.

 

Amalie: (20:58)

That’s awesome. Well, Kevin, thank you so much. I really appreciate it. Can you just tell us where people can find you, where it’s best to reach out or look you up, get some information, Facebook stalk you, that kind of thing.

 

Kevin: (21:11)

Yeah, absolutely. So you can look me up on LinkedIn under Kevin Barber. If you want to have a conversation, there’s a schedule link on our website, Lean Labs. You can also check us out on Twitter at Twitter, at Lean Labs as well.

 

Amalie: (21:24)

Awesome. Yeah, so we’ll get those links in the show notes then. And thanks again for joining me for this interview. I really appreciate it. This has been great. I think being able to hear, especially you coming from where you are and you’re sort of in the midst of this and getting more structure in place, it’s really great to hear the real world story and I think it’s awesome. So I really appreciate it. Take care and I’m sure I’ll talk to you soon. Okay.

 

Kevin: (21:54)

Yeah. Thanks for having me. Wouldn’t miss it.

 

Description

Caleb Guilliams is not just a young entrepreneur with dreams in his head. Caleb is actually making them real and crushing it. We dive in with Caleb to find out how he is managing his team and keeping them motivated and focused on their mission of impacting a million people by 2025.

His company, Better Wealth, helps entrepreneurs change their financial thinking so they can have control over their money. Find out how his management tools, systems, and team leadership skills have helped him and his company thrive!

Show Notes

We are taught to put our money in 401k or an IRA account, give up TOTAL control and just hope our money grows, not really thinking about growth percentages, taxes, and all that additional stuff that comes along with it. We leave those problems for the future us to deal with.

And that’s exactly what Caleb Guilliams; a successful young entrepreneur that runs a company called Better Wealth. 

His mission? Challenge the status quo, work with people from all around the country to help them change their financial thinking; and most importantly, teach them how to have control over their money TODAY, not in 30 years’ time.

These are the topics we discussed:

➡️ Proven ways to grow your team quickly 

➡️ Using the best project management tools for your business

➡️ The struggle with having employees who are not a good fit (and how to deal with that)

➡️ Preparing for growth: how to expand your team

And a lot more. Check this episode out now!

Connect with Caleb Guilliams:

https://www.linkedin.com/in/calebguilliams/

https://twitter.com/CalebGuilliams

https://www.instagram.com/calebguilliams/

https://betterwealthsolutions.com/

https://andasset.com/blueprint

Better Wealth Podcast

Our Website

https://systematicexcellenceconsulting.com/home/

Hire Your First Contractor Bundle

Connect with Amalie:

https://www.instagram.com/amalie.shaffer/

https://www.facebook.com/amalie.shaffer/

https://www.linkedin.com/in/amalieshaffer/

Connect with Janine:

https://www.linkedin.com/in/janine-suvak

https://www.instagram.com/systematicexcellence/

https://www.facebook.com/systematicexcellenceconsulting/

Resources:

The AND Asset

Asana 

Clockwork

Note: This episode was recorded in July 2019 the information is still relevant but some programs that were mentioned are no longer available. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to us at hello@systematicexcellence.com.

Content Disclaimer: The information contained above is provided for information purposes only. The contents of this article, video or audio are not intended to amount to advice and you should not rely on any of the contents of this article, video, or audio. Professional advice should be obtained before taking or refraining from taking any action as a result of the contents of this article, video, or audio. Systematic Excellence Consulting LLC disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on any of the contents of this article, video, or audio.

Disclaimer: Some of these links are for products and services offered by the podcast creators. 

Affiliate Disclaimer: The article, video, or audio may contain affiliate links. We may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post. Although you won’t pay any more for any purchases you make, the commissions will enable us to continue to provide free content to readers and listeners.

Episode Transcript

Janine: (00:36)

Welcome to today’s podcast. We are with Caleb Guilliams and he’s going to tell us a little bit about them and then we’re going to dive into discussing how he grew his team so quickly, how he manages it, talking about kind of the good, the bad, the ugly and of all those things. So go ahead Caleb if you want to tell us a little bit about yourself. I know you have a book out, so I’d love for you to drop that and if you would like drop the link and we can put that into the show notes as well. 

Caleb: (01:06)

Awesome. Awesome. First of all, thank you so much for having me on your show. I am and I’m already enjoying listening, and I’m excited to do what I’m going to learn just by being on the show with you guys. So thank you for your audience. I am 23 years old. I look like I’m 16 years old though, so if you, I don’t know if they’re going to be seeing my face or not, but I actually run a company called Better Wealth and we work with people all around the country and we help them rethink their thinking as it relates to their money. And so we are very big into challenging the status quo and helping entrepreneurs especially rethink the way that they think about their money. For instance, we are taught to give up total control, put our monies in 401k IRA accounts and hope it grows and not really think about the growth and the taxes and all that kind of stuff. And what we really teach our clients is how they can have more control today.

Not have to choose between someday in the future, now in the present. And we really do it in a creative way. I wrote a book called The AND Asset: The Secret Way To Save And Use Your Money At The Same Time. And we can drop the show link, it’s Andasset.com for those of you that are interested. And I got my start — I took over a bank’s investment department at 19 years old, traveled the country, learned from experts all over the world and in the US about how money really works. And I think they pitied me. At first they were like, “okay, we got to help this kid. He’s clueless.” And I’ve just had the pleasure of working with some amazing people and then now have an incredible team. And with that we’re able to serve a lot of people and I’m just really grateful for that opportunity.

Amalie: (02:43)

That’s awesome. That’s so great. And I just want to make sure I got the link right. It’s Andasset.com

Caleb: (02:50)

Yeah. So it’s A and D and an asset, a s s e t.com. Doing a free book. Just pay shipping and handling. So I want to get it into as many hands as possible. 

Amalie: (03:02)

Perfect. Well, we’ll put it in the show notes. That’s great. So tell us how many people do you have on your team right now, currently?

Caleb: (03:09)

So we currently have seven people on our team. I just hired an assistant two weeks ago now. And then we have a couple people in sales that I guess are not included in that. But we have a lot of people that love our message that are promoting, that are either affiliates or are based on full commission. But we have seven people on our team that are on payroll and helping us build from.

Amalie: (03:33)

Are they employees? So you said they’re on payroll, they’re employees. Awesome. And what positions do they fill? 

Caleb: (03:37)

So one of the things that I’ve realized is I believe we have total gold in our hands. If people understand the power of what we get to do as it relates to money, there’s going to be a line outside the door. Very few people are focused on the operation backend. So the very first person that was on the team and helped me cofound Better Wealth, his name’s Dan and he runs our operations. So anything, paperwork, operations, he actually manages. Now within that, because we do a lot of life insurance, we help people rethink their thinking as it relates to life insurance. And we over-fund and save it instead of using it for death benefit.

There’s a lot of paperwork that goes into it. If people need to take medical exams, they need to fill out paperwork. So we have someone that just manages that and works with our clients around the country. Then we have someone that does all of our, we’re building calculator systems and online forms. And then also runs our security because as an online company, we need to make sure that we’re compliant and secure. And then we also have, I have an assistant who helps me manage like my crazy life.

Amalie: (04:43)

#Allthethings.

Caleb: (04:45)

Pretty much, yeah, pretty much. I am doing so much more because she’s just like a professional babysitter, let’s just say I don’t pity her at all. And then we have three people in marketing. Cause I would say I’m really passionate as it relates to marketing.

And so we have someone that works as our CMO that manages the whole thing. We have someone in the Philippines that does all of our video editing and then we have someone that’s in charge of filming. So I have two cameras looking at me right now and, and if there’s any good content that comes out of me will most likely be shared on social media. And then we have a Better Wealth coach. Cause when people come in through our courses and want to learn more, I can only work with so many people. And so we’re building our coaching out as well. So that’s how our team looks. 

Amalie: (05:30)

Okay. And how many of those people report directly to you?

Caleb: (05:33)

I have CMO and COO reports to me. 

Amalie: (05:37)

Okay. And the CEO is Dan. And he was the first person you hired?

Caleb: (05:41)

He was the first person I hired and really is coming on as a cofounder. He’s really helped me build this from ever since I left the bank, he’s been a part of what we’re doing. 

Amalie: (05:50)

Awesome. And how do you manage all the moving pieces? So I know not you specifically. When I say you, I mean team. So do you have a project management tool? Do you have something? What does that look like? 

Caleb: (06:05)

Yeah, and this is where I want your guys’ feedback. We use Pipedrive for all of our client information and moving them through the system. And then we use Asana for all of our tasks. So anyone, people related, we keep Pipedrive and I’m trying to get on a hundred podcasts this year, trying to win stages, we’re doing a Dream 100 campaign.

Any relationship goes into Pipedrive, any task goes into Asana. 

Amalie: (06:32)

Awesome. Awesome. So let’s talk about something good about it, about how you guys do your system, what works best for you and then let’s kind of dive into some of the things that might not be working well. 

Caleb: (06:45)

Yeah. So I would say yeah. Being a new company, especially I’m an ENFJ, we could go into personality tests, like pretty much I get really excited and don’t follow. My follow through is awful. So really, I don’t know if it’s the CRM or if it’s me, you’re like staring at the issue.

Amalie: (07:05)

But I was going to say it’s usually a human factor. Right? 

Caleb: (07:10)

Right. So I would say our biggest, what’s working is we’re actually like “get it”. Having an assistant has changed the game because I’m automating a lot of things.

I don’t look at my email, I only look at my email twice a day. So she’s very much helping me take it, take advantage of those things where we’re playing offense, not just defense. Cause I would always dread like, I dunno if you’ve been in this situation where you dread opening up your email and you start starring because you don’t want to forget that email. Like yesterday I just responded to an email eight days ago, a really important email that I didn’t respond for eight days. That’s an issue. So we have some things working. The biggest thing is just how to get me out of my brain and into just being unemotional about follow up. And just recently, it’s interesting that you’re catching us right now. Just recently we’ve been, because of my assistant, we’ve been really, crushing follow up.

And so I did 30, I had 30 tasks in a Pipedrive alone today that I knocked out before the interview. And that feels good to know that they’re not only connected, but we’re following up. We already have a follow up sequence. And before that we didn’t have that. So I don’t know if that answers your question, but we’re still…

Amalie: (08:24)

How long did it take you to implement this follow up sequence and did your assistant help you? How did you get it set up? Did you communicate to her what you needed and then she did it or how did the follow up sequence get set up?

Caleb: (08:40)

I would say we’ve always had it set up for like the last year I just started using it. I don’t know. Is that common? Like people don’t read this.

Amalie: (08:40)

For sure. The reason I ask is that I think that for a lot of people, it takes some time to set up whatever the system is. It takes some time to set it up. But if you take the time to set it up, then once you move forward, you just have to kind of stop for a minute. The process in place, whatever that looks like. If it’s the follow up sequence, emails, templates, whatever you need, set that up and then you can move forward. But if you move forward without setting it up, you’re going to constantly kind of be hitting these like, road bumps, you know, and so it’s like the bumps in the road, you gotta get it set up first and then you can kind of smooth it out.

Caleb: (09:25)

So you want to know, a perfect analogy of that is actually compound interest. Most people never start, they’re like a car that’s super inefficient stopping and starting, stopping and starting. And when you make the right investment and you understand how money works and you do it right every single, every single year, exponentially, it gets better and better. And I can imagine if you do the right thing on the front end, that every year, every day after creating the right habits and systems, it just gets exponentially easier. I’ve found that already and we’ve only scratched the surface. 

Amalie: (10:01)

So if you were talking to someone that is in a position where they’re getting ready to start to build a team, what advice would you give them? Maybe they have, let’s say they have one or two people working, but they’re ready to expand to like five or six, seven. What advice would you give them? Just based on where you’re at right now? What advice would you give them?

Caleb: (10:24)

I would say… So a lot of people ask, okay, Caleb, like what? I was asked to speak at a big time company this week actually in Cincinnati because they’re super curious. They’re like “there’s not a lot of 23 year olds in our business, let alone like crushing it and having a team. So what are you doing?” This is what I would say is while I’m not low, I have my downfalls. For sure. One of the things that I value is people and I really, really, I don’t just say that, I really care about the people in our organization. So every single person on our team has taken a pay cut to come on board. And the reason they do that is we’ve painted the vision of what can be, we were on a mission to impact a million people by 2025 and I personally can’t do that and I need an amazing team, but the overflow that will come by impacting a million people, it’s just going to be incredible. So the reason why, the best piece of advice that I can give your audience is to really care for the people. Because if someone’s coming to you for money, they’re going to leave you for money or someone comes to you because they believe in what you believe, then then they’re going to get their blood, sweat and tears at work. But then they’re also going to be a lot more dedicated to the mission and that’s if we’ve done a lot of things, like there’s a lot of things that we can improve on. Well, one thing we’ve had dialed in is everyone is super engaged and, we’re all very mission focused and I think that really does come from the top and that’s something that I try to focus on is how to live that out and how to encourage people to make sure that they’re there knowing that they are contributing to our mission.

Amalie: (12:01)

That’s awesome. Yeah, we’ve actually, Janine and I’ve talked about that a couple of times through a few episodes, that getting buy in and getting from your team is so important. They have to understand why they’re doing what they’re doing, how it fits into the big picture. And they have to believe in it. If they aren’t, then they’re just there doing a job or they’re just, they’re doing a task and it’s not really benefiting the whole of the team. Right. So it’s so important. So I’m so glad you said that cause Janine and I’ve talked about that multiple times on a few episodes here about how important it is to get buy in. And for them to understand how they fit into the big picture. That’s the biggest thing too, because when you have people working and doing different things, they’re not working by themselves just in this vertical space. Right? Like there’s so much that connects to other people and it’s important for them to all be on the same page.

Caleb: (12:52)

100%. Yep. Yeah. 

Janine: (12:54)

Especially in a lean environment like you’re working in, is that the importance in the leadership role of recognizing them for how important every little thing they do is…

Caleb: (13:04)

At 100%. I couldn’t agree more.

Amalie: (13:08)

Do you do any incentives for your employees? Cause you said they took pay cuts. So is there, you know, ways that you can help or you can reward people are time and money. So do you have any incentives that you’re able to do for them?

Caleb: (13:22)

Yeah, so I think the biggest thing is time wise there will never be, and so I should be careful, right? But like we are not going to…

Amalie: (13:29)

It’s recorded, so definitely.

Caleb: (13:30)

Right. They’re going to watch it. They’re going to pull this up and be like:

Amalie: (13:33)

“Hey,  Hey, I heard you say…”

Caleb: (13:35)

“You’re on this podcast and you promised $1 million to everyone”. No. So, here’s the deal. I hate the idea of micromanagement. And so no one on our team is micromanaged. If you, by the way, if you have to be micromanaged, you’re not going to thrive here. And so the big thing is we give people the time freedom. If someone has to go do something, how awful would it be to be at a place that you like you actually can’t go. So that’s the one thing in it.

So, but then there’s also people on my team that are working at 9:00 PM at night. So I would say the time frame is a big thing. And then yeah, I mean as everyone’s going to profit as we grow as a company and one of the things that we built in is we have a blueprint package. So when people want to take action and they want to go, we have a blueprint implementation package because I believe implementation is a real value. You can listen to this podcast, you can read books, but the true value is actually having someone come alongside you and helping you implement and get the results you want to get. And so we charge for that. And anyone on our team that helps get people in the door, we give them the lion’s share of that as just kind of a bonus.

And that’s a precursor of as we grow as a company, yes, everyone’s going to get paid more money as we grow. But that is an immediate money incentive and that’s obviously a win-win because we’re trying to get more revenue as a company. And then we’re also trying to build a community. People have raving fans. And so the time, freedom and incentive and then, I mean we’ve only been in business independently. I’d run the stuff at the bank but independently over two years. So we are going to develop as a team. 

Amalie: (15:11)

So like in a couple of years we’ll hit you up and see where you’re at. Cause then by then you’re going to have like department heads and then like people managing those people and you’re gonna have like a full out org chart. 

Caleb: (15:23)

How’s this? If, and if we have a private jet, I’ll fly you out and we can do an in person interview. How’s that?

Amalie: (15:30)

Awesome. Yep. And well then, we can make sure everything’s working smoothly and if you need any tips, we’ll help you with that. So I do want to ask one thing, have you had to fire anybody? 

Caleb: (15:43)

Yes. 

Amalie: (15:44)

Okay. How’d that go for you? 

Caleb: (15:46)

Not good cause I’m an ENFJ so it’s not good. I think here’s the deal. It was one of those things where it was not a good fit for that person and our company. 

Amalie: (15:58)

How long did you know it wasn’t a good fit before you decided to fire them? 

Caleb: (16:02)

Like three weeks in hiring them and they were on for about four months. I wouldn’t even call it firing. I would more call it like, “listen, this is not a good fit.”

Amalie: (16:16)

It’s not about you. It’s about me.

Caleb: (16:19)

It’s like the whole breakup. You know, it’s like… This is where we struggle because it’s I am such a feeler and if someone’s onboard and loves our mission, I believe that like you have the right person, you can always find a place. But the problem was this person was not proactive. And so when you’re in a startup, you can have the great feeling of wanting to make change, but if you’re not proactive and you’re not looking for how we can, it just wasn’t a good fit. Now, maybe when we have hundreds of employees and there’s a task oriented, you know, you show up at eight, you leave at five. Awesome. We’re still great friends and they’re in a better environment for them to thrive.

And so yeah, but definitely if you’re going to get fired, you probably want it. You’re definitely gonna feel like 1 million bucks going out the door right now with me because it goes back to I love people. 

Amalie: (17:22)

Yeah. Janine, what were you about to say? 

Janine: (17:24)

Oh, I was going to say what Amalie was really asking was how long did you agonize over the decision before you…

Amalie: (17:30)

And the reason I asked that is because I think you won in this situation because I think it is very important that you fire them before they quit because it sends the message to your team that you have their back, that you notice that there was a problem, someone wasn’t buying in, they weren’t doing what they needed to do. So you actually won in this situation. So it’s something that I’ve talked about, you need to fire before they can quit because if they quit, you’ve lost, right. You’ve lost that battle, but you actually won by firing them and showing to your team that you have their back and you remove the person that was essentially causing an issue or whatever. You know, maybe they weren’t disruptive, but essentially you were caused that. You got rid of the weak link and then that made your team stronger by them seeing that you did that.

Caleb: (18:19)

That’s a really interesting perspective. I’ve never thought about it that way. 

Amalie: (18:22)

Well, there you go. So think about it like that. So then you don’t feel bad that you broke up with them. Sorry Janine, what were you about to ask? Something I didn’t know.

Janine: (18:30)

Oh no, no. I was just…

Amalie: (18:34)

Ok. But yeah, so I think that’s great. So you brought the assistant on when, just recently, right? And that’s going well. Are there any prospective new hires other than that, are you guys kinda settling into?

Caleb: (18:47)

Yeah, I mean our, as our company grows, we have some part of marketing partnerships in the mix that’s going to be that could Tenex our company. And as that comes we’ll need people in admin to do the paperwork, but then also we’ll need more coaches because up until this point, I’ve done a lot of meetings with people and now that we’re getting a higher demand, I am no longer the person meeting with people.

So I think the toughest thing is, and this is probably as tough as PR people listening this can probably agree it’s not, I don’t want to make this come across the wrong way. But when you’ve gotten to where you are because you’re good in meetings and now you’re giving the most precious thing that’s helped you get to where you are to someone else. I’m not a control freak and I’m a control freak in that area. Right? So that’s the biggest challenge that I think we’re going to be facing is. It’s so important because I want the client experience to be amazing. And when we’re there meeting with me, I’m not going to say it’s amazing, but at least I can control it. And now when you give up that most important piece of your business to other people, we really need to focus as a company on training and we’ve already done, we’ve put together training and the guy that does our coaching now is incredible, but how do you hire for that? I’ve come to the conclusion that you don’t hire for skill, you hire for people…

Amalie: (20:06)

And for personality. I also talked about that.

Caleb: (20:12)

And that’s, and by the way like that makes sense because that’s a cue for me is so important. I can train you, if you give me a week, I could train. Like this stuff’s not rocket science. I can train you on this stuff, but I can’t train you on how to ask a good question or be empathetic online.

Amalie: (20:28)

Yeah. For sure. I agree 110%. I think that you might bring someone in because they have a certain skill, but don’t be afraid to move them around in your company because they might fit in a better place. So I just want to recommend a book cause you were talking about getting yourself out of the business. It’s Clockwork. It’s a fantastic book. I don’t know if you’ve ever read it but it is fantastic and if you have read it, you might want to go back and revisit it. But I recommend it to everybody. It’s super, super fantastic and it has such good information about getting things set up so that you can go.

Caleb: (21:03)

Who wrote that? Because I actually have that on Audible.

Amalie: (21:07)

Mike Michalowicz. 

Caleb: (21:07)

Okay. What other books did he write? 

Amalie: (21:08)

“Profit First.” So make sure you read that. Yeah, it’s super good. And you know, for the people listening, “Clockwork”. Another great book that I’ll recommend that you mentioned cause you’re totally a visionary is “Rocket Fuel”. I have them sitting here because I actually referenced them all the time. Like when we do interviews and things like that and in different things. So “Rocket Fuel”, another great one, it talks about the difference between the visionary and the integrator. So you’re the visionary, obviously you’re the one that doesn’t follow through, but the integrator is the person that falls through your assistant. Sounds like she is the integrator for you, helping you get things done. So that’s awesome.

Janine: (21:46)

Yeah, I’d like to say that feeling you have that difficulty letting go is a really common experience and theme that we’ve come across in our interviews and the ones who have turned around to build their next business, they’re just like, “Nope, I need this person, this person, this person.” And there’s no hesitation the second time around. It’s just that first time that it’s a struggle. 

Caleb: (22:06)

Yeah, absolutely.

Amalie: (22:08)

All right. Well, thank you so much for being with us, Caleb. We really appreciate it. Let us know where people can find you really quickly. And so I have the link for the book, so we’ll put that in the show notes. Let us know where else we can find you.

Speaker 1: (22:23)

Yeah. So my first name, Caleb, my last name, G. U. I. L. L. I. A. M. S. you can follow me on social media, get a book. If you do get a book, make sure to let us know. And I’ll sign it and do kind of like, if we can help any of your audience, I would love that. I appreciate your guys’ questions and I love the work that you’re doing and I’m going to go get Clockwork. I have Clockwork. I’m actually gonna read it. A problem with me is I’ll buy books…

Amalie: (22:56)

Just have your assistant read it and give you the cliff notes or something. 

Caleb: (22:58)

Or find the podcast of that person. 

Amalie: (23:02)

There you go. They have one, “Run Like Clockwork.” That’s their podcast. It’s really good. Yeah. 

Caleb: (23:10)

That’s great guys. Yeah, I wish you guys well and thank you for having me on your show.

Amalie: (23:14)

Thank you so, so much. We really appreciate it.

Description

Emily Baker is a bad-ass lawyer that focuses on online businesses with over 15 years of experience. She’s here to tell you which laws apply to your business, what you might be doing wrong when it comes to hiring contractors and employees and how to fix it. You definitely don’t want to miss this episode of the podcast!

Show Notes

The world is in a very strange and complicated place right now. Things are changing and we need to be ready to adapt, in every way — this includes businesses, and even more if they are online businesses. If you aren’t aware of the laws that affect your business – even before the coronavirus arrived – now is the time to do so.

We had Emily Baker, a bad-ass lawyer for online businesses, with us on this episode of the Systematic Excellence Podcast to discuss the laws in regards to hiring contractors versus employees and how to structure your business so you’re on the right side of the law.

These are the topics we covered:

➡️ Which laws might apply to your business

➡️ Main differences between an employee and a contractor relationships

➡️ What you need to know if you have a contractor living in California

➡️ The benefits of outsourcing

& many more things.

Listen now! https://systematicexcellenceconsulting.com/podcast/

Connect with Emily Baker:

https://www.emilydbaker.com/

https://www.linkedin.com/in/theemilydbaker/

https://www.facebook.com/TheEmilyDBaker/

https://www.instagram.com/theemilydbaker/ 

Our Website

https://systematicexcellenceconsulting.com/home/

Hire Your First Contractor Bundle

Connect with Amalie:

https://www.instagram.com/amalie.shaffer/

https://www.facebook.com/amalie.shaffer/

https://www.linkedin.com/in/amalieshaffer/

Connect with Janine:

https://www.linkedin.com/in/janine-suvak

https://www.instagram.com/systematicexcellence/

https://www.facebook.com/systematicexcellenceconsulting/

Content Disclaimer: The information contained above is provided for information purposes only. The contents of this article, video or audio are not intended to amount to advice and you should not rely on any of the contents of this article, video, or audio. Professional advice should be obtained before taking or refraining from taking any action as a result of the contents of this article, video or audio. Systematic Excellence Consulting LLC disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on any of the contents of this article, video, or audio.

Disclaimer: Some of these links are for products and services offered by the podcast creators.

Affiliate Disclaimer: The article, video, or audio may contain affiliate links. We may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post. Although you won’t pay any more for any purchases you make, the commissions will enable us to continue to provide free content to readers and listeners.

Episode Transcript

Emily: (01:24)

and I’m always like the “wa wa” I don’t mean to rain on your parade, but with what’s going on in the world right now, I am getting so many calls from businesses going, “gosh, hey, what if my business, my contractors are misclassified and they’re filing for unemployment.” I’m like, “yeah, so when we talked about changing this over before the world exploded, that would have been the time.” Yeah, so it is, it is such a relevant topic all the time to talk about in business and I’m so happy to be here and share this with your audience and I will try not to be wa-wa about it.

Amalie: (02:01)

No, it’s okay there. There’s lots of laws in this this topic.

Emily: (02:06)

Business is business, man. And there is, when it comes to law, there’s some things that are really fun and you can talk about, you know, money strategies and stuff. But when it comes to hiring, right, it’s something that people don’t think of until generally something goes wrong. Right now it’s coming up in conversation because the world is changing, right? But when you wait until something goes wrong in legal, it’s really hard for us to fix it, right?

Amalie: (02:31)

And so many people are starting to work remotely now they’re looking to figure out ways to make their business work. You know, whether it’s, you know, remotely or at home or letting people work virtually and trying to just figure out all of that. So there’s a lot going on. So I just want to start just kind of what’s one of the biggest mistakes that you see on online businesses? So I really want to focus on that cause most of our, most of our audience consists of online businesses. We do have some that are local in brick and mortar, but we focus a lot on online businesses. So what’s one of the biggest mistakes you see that they make when it comes to the contractor versus the employee relationship?

Emily: (03:10)

I think the biggest mistake is just lack of awareness that even though you’re in an online business, your business has to run the same way any other business runs. So when a lot of, especially a lot of my clients get into business accidentally, they start doing something and then they transition either a career or transition after a pregnancy and are like, Oh, I’m going to work from home. And then their business grows. And a business coach somewhere says, you need to hire a contractor. It’s the fastest way to grow your team and it’s how you’re going to get help. So just hire a VA or something to help you. And then they just followed that advice without looking into what the legal is behind employment arrangements and then end up down the road going, “I’m hearing all this scary stuff about California and AB five and what does that mean for my business if I’m not in California? What about if I am in California? What if my contractors are in California?” So the biggest thing is lack of awareness. And today is not meant to be a buzzkill. It’s meant so that if you are doing it wrong, you can make that choice. And like if you choose a business to roll the dice, I’m not going to come and smack you on the hand and tell you not to, but I want you to at least know that if you’re doing it wrong, you’re making that choice and that is a strategic option. You’re going, “okay, I don’t think this is going to be a problem for me. I don’t think I’m going to get caught. I don’t care if I get fined, whatever.” I think a lot of people are doing it wrong and don’t know that they’re doing it wrong and then go, “what do you mean? I’ve been doing this improperly.” And when States like California are coming with fairly large fines, it becomes unnerving for businesses that weren’t aware that the relationships they had created were in fact not proper.

Amalie: (04:54)

No, I think so. After reading your PDF, which we will share them because it was very helpful, was that if you’re in a different state then the contractor that you’ve hired that they both apply and it’s usually the more strict one that you need to follow. But they essentially both apply, which I thought was interesting. Because I’ve done lots of research around this because we help people build their virtual teams, we help manage those teams. We have teams of our own, you know, that kind of thing. So I thought that was really interesting piece that I didn’t realize. I mean I assumed that it would apply to one, but then realizing, so that if you do have a contractor in California, you really need to be aware of what’s going on there and, and the AB five and all of that because it’s all going to count for you and it’s going to apply to what you’re, to your business and the contractor that you hired.

Emily: (05:52)

So different States are doing… state by state runs their contractors differently. So California is the newest ABC state and that is the shorter three part test that they’re using to determine if someone’s a contractor or not. We’ll get into that in a minute and that got passed under AB five. The reason it was such a big deal is because the, the politicians in California that were behind this are very polarizing and very much like we’re going to get Uber and we’re going to get lift and Instacart, screw you and you can’t. All these people are employees and that fight has ramped up by a thousand. Now that they’re saying, see all of these contractors in California have no work because of coronavirus and they don’t have benefits and they don’t have healthcare. This is why you all suck and we are going to fight you all to the death on the contractors. Other States also have this rule. Massachusetts, New Jersey, Connecticut also apply this test, but New York’s considering it though I think they’re reconsidering because New York has benefited so much from bringing in travel nurses, and those are all contractors though. They would normally be employees, maybe five. Anyway, Oregon’s looking at it. Washington’s looking at it. The thing about employment law is that as an online business owner, you’re generally not versed in employment law in every state in the 50 States, right? The law that applies to you where you sit as a business owner is one thing you need to consider and know, but you also need to know which laws apply to your contractors, where they sit, because at the end of the day, your business is responsible for doing it right. Even where your contractors sit, unless your contractors are easily true contractors, when I as an online consultant and lawyer hire a web designer, I’m like, “Hey, I kind of needed to go like this. Can you do that? Great. Here’s my brand colors.” I’ll tell you if it looks pretty or not like, and I’ll try to kick it around and, but I’m not going to tell her how to do it or what the timeline is or what I’m going to pay her. I’m not calling up my web developer and saying, Hey, I’m gonna pay you 150 bucks. Can you do this website? She’s going to send me a proposal and say, this is how long it takes, this is how much I’m charging you for it. And then my company pays her company. Perfect contracting relationship. But if I hired a VA and said, Hey, I need you to go through like my Herro inquiries, my emails and customer service, check my social and make sure I don’t miss anything and I’m not on blast on Twitter. And then keep my to do list, organize and make sure I don’t miss any appointments and maybe schedule some travel and I’m gonna pay you $15 an hour and I need you to be available during these hours. I’m hiring an employee that’s not a contractor at that point. That is somebody that’s helping run my business.

Amalie: (08:37)

And the reason that that VA would be your employees cause you’ve now dictated when they need to be available. That was like one of the big things. It’s like when they’re available, telling them how to do it, when to do it and putting those kinds of restrictions around it. Even like where they have to do it, right. So do you have a contractor? Let’s say, you know, your neighbor is your virtual assistant. You’re like, “come over and you have to work from my house.” I mean that you can’t do, right?

Emily: (09:05)

No, you cannot. Well you can, I mean the, in the online space, there’s a perception that having employees is bad. In most States having employees isn’t the worst thing ever. Different States have lower taxes and having people, you can have employees in other States and having employees isn’t terrible. It just ramps up your paperwork a bit and then you’ve got to follow certain rules. But if you’re building a business to sustain and to thrive, if you’re looking towards, I want to be $1 million business, then paying an employee shouldn’t be terrifying. If you’re like, I am cool making like five K a month and I don’t really want to grow that much bigger than you need to look at the tasks that are proper contractor tasks. And for a lot of businesses that can be things like social media management, Pinterest management, you know, sometimes blog writing. Like, it’s easy for me to argue I am not a blogger. So somebody coming in to copyright my blogs is not somebody doing the same thing I do, where if I bring on a paralegal, it’s more like they’re helping me with the fundamental part of my business.

Amalie: (10:15)

And that makes them an employee, is that right? Right. If they’re doing something that you already do, then technically, that makes them, I mean there’s other check marks, right? So that PDF on…

Emily: (10:28)

They’re more likely an employee, right.

Amalie: (10:29)

But if they’re doing something outside, so if we hire someone to create our website, like neither of us are website designers, it’s just not something we do. Right? Or if we hire a copywriter to write our sales page, that’s not something either one of us do. So, and that’s not what our business about. Even if we do it, it’s not what we’re defining our business as.

Emily: (10:48)

Exactly. So the more that you’re bringing in, when you think of like your house, the more you’re bringing in proper contractors. You’re bringing in electrician, a plumber, people who don’t do the stuff you do. Those are proper contractors. So in the service provider, online space, people who don’t support your business in the day to day of your business. So if you are a social media manager, you as the social media manager are a contractor to your clients easily. But if you have a graphic designer working with you and somebody doing pins and then somebody else helping you manage social media, those might be your employees. Some States are in agency relationship works right now. Some States it doesn’t. So that gets really like you need to have somebody look at how you’re structuring your business. If you’re running an agency to make sure that you are not just misclassifying employees as contractors, but the more that they’re doing their own thing, they have other clients, they send you a proposal, they send you a contract, those are more properly contractors, somebody, a VA who works for you 15 hours week, every single week, and you’d give them instruction every week about what needs to be done, more likely an employee in every state. Not just in the ABC state. In every state.

Amalie: (12:03)

Gotcha. So one of the things that I know or have had conversations with people about, so bringing on an employee I think, can be overwhelming. But also, with contractors, there’s an understanding that there might not always be work available. And so if you’re bringing on an employee, how do you, how do you deal with that? So if it is a VA and you go down the checklist and you realize to know what this person’s really more of an employee than a contractor, but I’m scared that I’m not going to be able to have work for them, you know, because my income is it, you know, it changes, I don’t have a consistent income right now. I mean, how, what do you say to someone like that that’s in a situation? Cause like I said, I, I have had multiple conversations with business owners that are in that way and that same in that situation I just described and they’re just not sure. They’re like, “well, I mean, I don’t know if I’m gonna have work for them. “So then I’m going to have to, so what do you do? You have to lay them off or like, well, how do you handle that? Or what do you tell business owners that are in that situation?

Amalie: (13:04)

Emily: (13:06)

The first thing I would do is look at what other thing you can outsource. So if there’s something else that’s taking up a lot of your time that’s not general business management and that might be something like Pinterest graphics, that might be blog writing. If you can outsource contractor jobs to contractors to free up your own time, then that is the first step in doing that. If you are looking to hire on an employee, hiring and firing becomes much more particular and you can bring people on part time and say, I’m bringing you on as an employee five hours a week, five hours a month, whatever it is. But then you need to know if you terminate them, that has to be done properly. You have to do the proper paperwork for your state. And there’s, this is why you see a lot of us companies outsourcing VA’s to other countries because the rules aren’t the same if you use, VA’s in other countries. But I work with a lot of VA’s MBA agencies. I don’t see the downside of bringing on an employee as being so overwhelming. But if your business is not consistent where a VA is going to help you increase your revenue and increase your productivity and give you back some of your quality of life, then there are other things that should be outsourced first.

Amalie: (14:23)

Okay. So outsource the things that are going to be traditional contractor relationships prior to bringing on a VA that would be your employee until you have consistent income. Okay. So one of my other…

Emily: (14:37)

I love things like Fiverr. I mean if you can find somebody on Fiverr to handle the tasks that might take you 40 hours this month and you might never have to do again, that is the perfect thing to find someone to outsource. But people have to look at how they’re spending their time cause you’re either going to have to spend time or money and if the money’s inconsistent, then you need to find other ways to outsource on a project basis for things that are appropriately outsourced.

Amalie: (15:01)

So what if you don’t, what if you have the work but you don’t tell them when they need to get it done. You just give them I can’t think of a good example right now. I mean if it was, I guess if there’s not really, I’m just thinking is there a way, and look, I’m probably just trying to like get, is there a way to justify it? Not telling them cause you’re not telling the when to work or how, you know how they have to do it.

Janine: (15:29)

Here’s, here’s one that’s come up a lot in conversation around the, when they have to work is what about team meetings? That’s one of my every other criteria. But your team meeting is at a certain time, so you’re requiring them to be there.

Emily: (15:47)

So under, I’m going to give you kind of a breakdown of the two tests and we’ll take that example and we will talk it through because I think that’s really helpful. So in the California, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Connecticut, the three part test is part A is the worker free from control and direction of the hiring entity in the performance of the work both under the contract and in fact, so in that situation, performance of the work isn’t normally dictated by a meeting. So a check-in would probably not be the end of the world unless it becomes, you know, you’re doing five hours of meetings a week and then they’re also directing other people. And I’ve had contractors call me going, “I’m basically the head of marketing for this company”, but they’re “I’m a contractor, but I’m managing their marketing team” and I’m like, “you use the word managing describing it to me because you’re a manager, you’re an employee.” Part B does the worker perform work that is outside the usual course of the hiring entities business? That is the part that is really tough for general VA’s OBMs. And then in the context of gig workers, that’s, that’s the slice that’s killing Uber and Instacart and all of that. Uber’s arguing that they’re a platform, that they’re an app, they’re not a ride sharing service. California is not pleased.

Amalie: (17:10)

They’re not buying that.

Emily: (17:12)

Telford is not pleased with that argument. Now they’re like, “no, you’re a ride sharing service.” They’re like, “we’re a software platform and we provide a way for writers and drivers to connect. We’re like Etsy.” No, you’re not like Etsy. Leave Etsy alone. And then part C is, is the worker customarily engaged in an independently established trade occupation or business out of the same nature as the work performed for the hiring entities. So this means if you are hiring someone to do social media management and they are also booking your travel, they’re more like an employee and you are more like that bad boss like, “Hey, could you just handle this too? And this too.” So if you’re giving them things outside of the scope, they are not a contractor because a, a seasoned contractor will be like, “that’s not what I do. That’s outside of my scope or I can do that, but you’re going to have to pay me, we’ll set up a new project and talk about that.”

Amalie: (18:09)

You’re not going to have the plumber come in. And then also ask that person to do your, your electrical work. Right?

Emily: (18:14)

Exactly. Exactly. So you’re not going to, you’re not going to hire someone to do web development and then be like, “can you also create a strategy for Instagram growth?” No! They’re going to find someone else to do that. So those are the under the three prong test. The federal government’s also considering this in the ProAct, which we, I was starting to get riled up about and then Corona happened. So the ProAct we will see what happens. I think it’s going to get backburnered for at least a year or two. But the federal government is also considering this. So if you’re listening to this going, I’m so glad I don’t live in California, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Connecticut. Don’t gloat too hard yet. This is the direction this is going. And I think with 10 million people filing for unemployment and then the government having to extend unemployment to independent contractors and gig workers, we’re going to see this pushed nationally, faster probably outside of the ProAct. This is, it’s like winter folks. This is coming. Right. Understand. Be ready. And you know what, for all the LLCs I am consulting with right now, most of them don’t have themselves on payroll as W2. And if they don’t, they can’t apply for a lot of the government aid that’s happening right now. So this is also going to push business owners to be like, yeah I didn’t. And a lot of business owners are like, “I want the LLC benefits in liability and some of the tax breaks. But I also don’t want to be double taxed on paying payroll taxes,” which is a valid consideration. But now if you’re an LLC and you don’t pay yourself W2 the paycheck protection program, the free money one, doesn’t count. So there are reasons to consider if you’re going to bring on an employee what that looks like. Employees can be five hours a month. Nothing says they have to be 40 hours a week. You can, you can structure an employee relationship within the law how you want. You can pay people more, you can give them more hours. You can say five hours a week as your baseline. If we’re really busy, I will ask you for more hours. And if you have that, you can say yes. So under the bigger test when we’re talking about time, there are questions in that test. It’s 21 factors. Does the company require reports and accounting for time? So are you requiring time tracking of your people? Does the company determine which order the services performed? Does the company pay the individual by the hour, the week or the month? Not the project. Does the company pay individuals business or travel expenses? So do you have somebody come with you if you’re a speaker and travel? Does the client have the ability to fire the individual cause with contractors, normally when you sign an agreement, it’s like I’m signing an agreement till the end of this project, unless these things happen. But if you’re doing it this open, like as you want, that’s an at will work situation. That’s not a contractor who you’re required to pay for the project. So it’s those kinds of things also does the individual work for more than one company at a time? So if you have an OBM and you’re their only client, they might be, they might be your employee. I’m sorry. They’re OBMs everywhere who are like “Emily, you ruined my world” and I, I get it.

Amalie: (21:44)

I know, but it’s better to be better to be on the right side of this. So yeah. I have another question. All right, so we doing hopefully, hopefully. So we do a lot of developing like standard operating procedures. And if we have someone– like we wouldn’t, I guess cause one of the lines was about training them. Do you have to train them on how to do it? But it’s not a matter of training them on how to do their skill. It’s training them how to like work inside the business. And like if we use a certain software or project management tool or something to, can you tell me what you think about that?

Emily: (22:31)

Well, I hate to say it depends. It, it gets harder the more somebody is like a project manager where because most contractors will use their own tools. So if the business is like, you need to do this within my software, it becomes harder to argue they’re contractor. Because again, with a web developer, I say I have a WordPress site. I don’t know how they make that stuff happen. Like I don’t, I don’t know how you make it do the things it does. All I’m telling you is the platform I use. You use whatever tools you want to work on that platform. Or I have a Shopify site and I need help with it, but I don’t tell you how to code it and what program to use to code it. So it becomes a harder with project management saying, I need you to do these things within this software and framework. But I do think SLPs are very, very valuable to a business. So if a contractor uses SLPs for proper guidance, a marketing person using a brand guide is an easy way to see an SOP is not telling them how to do their job. It’s giving them guidelines so that they can work with the brand. Same with giving a copywriter like “this is my brand voice,” that’s guidance. So if it is giving them the tools and telling them what they have to do, more like an employee; guidance on your brand and your business more like a contractor. And each state looks at these things differently court by court. And the way we have guidance on this is these things go to court and judges are like, this counts, this doesn’t. So it’s going to depend on the state where the contractor is, the state whose law applies in the contract because every contractor’s contract should have a jurisdiction clause. So look at your contractor agreements and figure out what state law applies to that relationship. And that’s what’s going to apply. So it can be, it can feel daunting.

Amalie: (24:23)

Gotcha. Gotcha.

Emily: (24:26)

And your contractor needs to provide very clear boundaries and needs to provide a contract versus you bringing them on, you giving them a contract, you telling them how much you’re paying, the contractor needs to set those things.

Amalie: (24:41)

Okay. So what is like, if it’s, we’re talking to someone that has, let’s say they have a VA, they have a social media manager and they have someone that does their blog writing. Let’s just say what’s the first step that they need to do? The first thing they need to do right now to figure out if they are in a shitty place. And I’m just kidding there.

Emily: (25:08)

If they’re classified in pro, if they’re misclassified. The first thing would be to look at the working relationship and I do have a guide. Grab the guide. It is guidelines to go through. It’s going to be in the show notes, get the guide, and go through the prongs for the state where you’re in and look at each relationship. Evaluate your VA, what do they do for me? How do I sign them? Work, do, do I pay them hourly? Do I make them track their time and tasks, then they’re more likely an employee. It gets a little easier with a copywriter, but know that you can treat a copywriter like an employee. Just the same way you can treat a VA like an employee, so you need to make sure that they are providing the contracts. They are providing the scope of work. They are providing their rates, not, “Hey, I need a blog writer. I need four blogs a month. These are the topics. This is the amount I need them done by this time every single day.” That’s more like a staff writer and so going through the guide and looking at each business relationship or I know nobody wants to do it. Everybody when they start a business want to pick brand colors and logoing and a URL and a website. Nobody wants to talk to a lawyer because they think we’re assholes. We’re not. We’re here to help. You’re not, we’re here to help, but sometimes we do rain on rain on the parade and say, “this is the right way to do it.” I know that that feels overwhelming. It’s, it’s linear and online business. There aren’t the same triggers to like pause and about it that there are with brick and mortars, right? So a brick and mortar, when you’re going to spend 5,000 or more a month on a lease of a location, you’re going to be asked for a crap ton of paperwork. And if you didn’t know you needed to have a business license for your location or a DBA filed with the state or insurance, those kinds of things, it’s all in the paperwork and you’re like, “Oh shit, I need to do all of this before I can do that with online business.” Unless you’ve found me and the guides that I have on business, there’s not a lot of barrier to entry. You’re like, “all right, well I’ve got an acuity account and I got a, you know, I’ve done this page Facebook business page. I maybe have a URL and I take money through Venmo. I have a business, right?” Well not the right way. Don’t take money through Venmo. So you, there aren’t those same stop gaps when you’re starting an online business that say, “Hey, you have to do these things.” So unless a business owner finds the people to tell them the true information, you can find business owners new in their online business, spinning around on email funnels and what is a trip wire and what does my logo look like versus what do I need to know to run a proper business? Cause they don’t always see it as a proper business. When they first start. They’re like, “well, I’m not really making that much money. Nobody will notice.” Guess what? They do. That’s not the test, right? The test is not, I’m not making enough money for anyone to notice. That’s not the test, right?

Amalie: (28:23)

So, if someone has a copywriter that is writing blogs. They’ve said, “okay, here’s what we’re doing. We need four blogs a month. Here’s the list of topics. Here’s this, here’s that.” And basically they’re, they’re essentially like a staff writer. Okay. So let’s say they’re in that situation, and they realize that is it, I don’t, I don’t know exactly how is it better to just figure out and bring the person on as employee and have them as employees? Or is it better to figure out a way to, to have them be a contractor? I mean, but I don’t even know how you would then change the relationship because I mean, then you’d have to be like, Hey, come up with those blog ideas on your own and I’ll approve them. Or, you know, like, I don’t know how you would even, is it better just to go down that route and just get them on as employees?

Emily: (29:12)

It’s hard to say better because it’s going to really depend on where the business is located, where that copywriter is located, and then if that copywriter is comfortable being on more of a project base, I think it’s, it’s okay to say, “Hey, these are the topics we’re working on. Please flush this out and give me some ideas.” I think there is, there are fine lines when it comes to copywriters. Some States, copywriters are just exempt. So final line. Yeah, so some States copywriters are just like “whatever, they’re copywriters like let the writers be free.” It’s like California, the freelance writers are limited right now to 35 submissions a year. So if you’ve got a, a copywriter in California that’s writing four or five blogs a bump, you can’t use them for the full year. So you’re seeing then you’re seeing media outlets like Vox media and even things like Upwork and Fiverr and rev saying if your address is in California, we won’t work with you anymore. So it’s, it’s meant to protect California freelancers. But now everyone in California is stuck at home and they’re like, “I’ll go, I’ll go transcribe for rev. Like I’ve done transcription work. “It’s kind of easy and fun if you like to type, um, and Rev’s like we have work on their website. It’s like we have work we’re taking on transcribers and if you put in a California address, they’re like, “I’m sorry, we’re not accepting contractors in your area.” So it’s causing a lot of problems now that everybody’s at home and looking for freelance work online. Because most of the online portals will not accept freelance workers with a California address. That is a long way to say in some States there are exceptions to the rule and those exceptions vary greatly from state to state. So if you are freaking out, know that if we got into all the exceptions, we would be here for an hour and 45 minutes. This is why you go to someone who knows the things and says, Emily Baker, all of the people, I’m happy to do it. These are all of the people that I work with in my business. Can we evaluate these working relationships and see either how to fix them? And that might be going to your contractor and saying, “Hey, I love you. I love working with you. We did that wrong. This is what I’m seeing and I want to protect you and I want to protect me and I want to keep working with you in this way. Can we, can you provide me with a proposal? Can you provide me with a contract? Can you tell me how you work versus me telling you how I want you to work with me.” So it’s really about making sure the contractor is again doing proper contract work. And if you think of the house example, it’s easier to see like, Oh yeah, if you’re hiring a plumber, they’re not coming to your house and you’re like “okay this is what I want you to fix. Cause that might not be the problem cause I don’t know. I want you to fix this. I’m going to pay you $15 an hour. I think it’ll only take you two hours. Cool, great. Just get it done.” Your plumber would be like, “peace. that’s not how that works.” And then you tell them you’re also going to need these parts and you’re going to do it this way. No, they’re going to be like, “I’ll evaluate the problem. I will tell you how much it will cost for me to fix your problem. And if that does not work with you, I will go away and you can find someone else.” That is very much how a proper contract relationship works. You can’t tell a copywriter, I have one of my, one of my good business friends is a copywriter. People are like, “Hey, I just need you to tweak a few things on these seven website pages so that shouldn’t take you very long.” And she’s like, “I can’t just tweak a few words in your copy. I have to evaluate all of your copy. You can’t tell me what needs to be tweaked. You’re hiring me to do the writing. I do the writing, the way I do the writing. So if that doesn’t work for you, you really just want someone to edit.”

Amalie: (33:01)

Right, exactly. And if you need an edit you might as well just do it yourself. So, okay.

Emily: (33:05)

I hope that helps. I know it’s hard to say. It’s hard to say sometimes it depends, but there’s more to this and, and even businesses that have been established for a while don’t always know that when you are, depending on the state, you’re in your contractor, you could be required to withhold payroll taxes from them in your state or in their state. You could be required to register your business. If you’re a business doing business in Texas and you have three contractors in California, you might need out doing business in California and needing to register your company in California and paying business taxes in California. Having contractors in certain States can trigger sales tax being applied to people buying things from you from those States. So it’s not just the contractor relationship and people are like, “how are you supposed to know that you’re not?” You’re supposed to know that you need to talk to an attorney and at least have a conversation with the CPA about making sure that you are paying people right. And where your contractors are located aren’t triggering other things for your business because unfortunately it can.

Amalie: (34:16)

Yeah. Got it. So, okay, one last question about, and then Janine, you can go, but what I would tell, okay, so in this situation, right now there’s a lot of businesses that have slowed down. And in an online business situation, you don’t want to necessarily fire the person if you’ve brought them on as an employee. But you can, you lay them off and just say, “look right now, like we just don’t have work,” but you know, and, and do something like that. Is there an option for that? If you know you have like, you know for a fact your summer months are slow and you’re like, “look, you know, I just know that I’m just not going to have that five hours a week” or whatever for the person. Can you do something like that? And as, as an employee.

Emily: (35:07)

So if you have W-2 employees right now, and we’re talking beginning of April, 2020 in the midst of a national pandemic world, global pandemic, and in the midst of most States being shut down, businesses being shut down, doors being closed, it is affecting online businesses. There are a number of options. If you have W-2 employees, the paycheck protection program is still alive and well. It is quickly running out of money, but now you can still apply for that and that will pay your payroll for two months at least to keep people on your payroll. If that program is not a right fit for your business, you can furlough your employees, meaning, “Hey, while this pandemic is happening, our business is really slow because I do something in a industry that requires either travel or weddings or just because all of your clients are freaked out and don’t want to spend any money because they don’t know how long their own businesses will be slow.” You can say, “I’m furloughing you until at least this month or I’m furloughing you until further notice. You have a job here. Once I’m able to be up and running, but I’m not up and running.” That allows the employee to file for unemployment. And right now, unemployment has been broadened by two different pieces of legislation. The FCRA and the cares act and it’s had money added to it. You get that extra 600 a month. So if you can’t sustain payroll, your two options are paycheck protection program or considering furloughs, which is a specific way of saying, I have your job, just not right now. So when we can do this again, please come back. And that way your employee doesn’t have to continue to prove that they’re looking for work under unemployment. Some States are suspending that requirement anyway cause they’re like, what’s the point of having you on unemployment saying you have to look for work when you can’t leave your house? And it’s really hard to look for work.

Amalie: (37:07)

What about outside of the coronavirus? Outside of that, just in normal climate.

Emily: (37:13)

You can furlough people in normal climates for load employees can’t always file for unemployment. But you can, you can also, depending on the way your employment contract is written, you might be able to just terminate people if the business can’t sustain it. But if you can’t sustain payroll, you go back to the first, one of the first things we talked about, which is look at what you can outsource to contractors properly. Look at what services you can use and then wait until your income is at least somewhat consistent to bring on an employee at a few hours. Cause when you bring on employees, you are bringing on payment of taxes for them. So it’s not just their hourly rate, it’s also the other stuff that goes with it.

Amalie: (37:56)

Okay. Janine, now you can ask a question.

Janine: (38:00)

Oh yeah, thank you. Thanks so much. I don’t actually have a list of questions because you’ve answered so many things and a lot of it depends. I understand it depends. I just think it’s, it’s awesome your comment about a business coach saying, Oh, “we’ll hire a VA or whatever.” It’s like there’s so much advice out there about hire that first DA or whatever, and there’s, and there’s a lot of disclaimers about law. I’m not an attorney and I’m not an accountant, but you should do this, this, and this that. I just, I think it’s really helpful to hear that you’re part of the team, right? Well, okay, but you’re not an employer or an employee but for a business person. You know, it’s like when you’re talking about “what does that trigger, when to do this?” It’s like when to talk to an attorney? So they have that basic understanding and I just think it’s important and make the point that well, I love the UC so our attorneys aren’t assholes and they are your friends and you’re hiring them to help you with your business. But also that that knowledge isn’t lost if it turns out that’s not the right time that you need that kind of thing. Now you know and you will have a really clear picture for you and your business and when is the time to do that and that is helpful because I think a lot of people just walk around in that fog or denial or they’re just busy focusing on what they’re doing, but they don’t think about it until something comes up.

Emily: (39:24)

And I use this phrase with my clients all the time, and I know you guys are down, but in law and sometimes in medicine as well, you can’t put the shit back in the horse. Like once it’s out, it’s out. Your best thing is to clean it up, cleaning up, hiring me to clean up the mess is way more expensive than hiring me for a 30 or 45 minute consultation to lay out a structure and a roadmap for your business as you grow. My goal is that most of my clients make more money than I do and true story. Most of my clients make more money than I do because it is my goal. Their businesses thrive and it is. What I want to do is have a business owner say I’m confident in the people that I’m working with. I’m confident that my business is right. I’m confident that my signature thing is protected, that my intellectual property is protected. I’m confident that if somebody comes at me sideways, I at least know who to ask for help and I’m confident that when I’m paying this little teeny amount of taxes, I’m not actually evading my taxes. That’s how business is run. Cause a lot of business owners in the online space don’t come from generational wealth. So some of the rich people moves that they’re able to make feels like money laundering to them and I’m like, “No, this is really cool business rich people shit.” You just don’t know about it because if you’re like me, my parents were employees their entire life. We don’t have a family business. My parents were never entrepreneurial. They worked, they got a pension and a retirement program and they retired. That is what they did and a lot of our parents did that. So you don’t know that you can have multiple LLCs and lend money back and forth. Could be money laundering, but it’s not. It’s using your income to generate wealth. There is so much you can do with a business when you set it up right and it gets really cool. Yes, you can pay your kids from your business and a lot of times you don’t pay taxes on this. Yes, you can rent out your own house and don’t pay taxes on it. That’s income to you. That’s not tax and it’s an expense to your business that’s beneficial. There is so much can do with your business when it’s set up right and if you set up the foundation right, you can get to like the next level rich people shit and do some really awesome stuff with your business that doesn’t just impact you but impacts your community. It impacts the people you want to help. I’ve seen so much good from entrepreneurs during coronavirus helping other businesses, reaching out, creating solutions and when you have the money to do that, it’s amazing. You’re like, you know Bethany Frankel’s like “I don’t care what you say. I’m getting a plane, I’m getting it handled. I’m just, I’m making things happen. The government’s moving too slow for me. Fix the problem.” She can do that because she has fucked tons of money. She has fucked tons of money cause she set up her businesses right way back at the beginning of, you know, real Housewives of New Jersey when she was selling shit at a Whole Foods, right into a business empire. You know she’s got a million lawyers and that’s not including the divorce ones and set her business up to the point that she can now do the good she wants to do in the world. She sees a problem. She’s like, “screw it. I’m getting a plane. I’ll just fix it. Puerto Rico, you need water. I’ve got you. I got you.” She just did it, but that’s what you can set your business up to be, even if it’s not on that scale, but you need the structure in place. You need to build the foundation. It’s not the fun stuff. Branding and websites and social media is really fun. Emails are fun for most of us, not everyone, but if you don’t have the foundation, it doesn’t matter what you’re selling, your business will max out or you will burn out because you don’t know the direction you’re running in.

Amalie: (43:07)

Or you’re getting trouble and have to pay lots of money and fines.

Emily: (43:13)

I do get phone calls like “will I go to jail?” And I’m like, “this is going to be expensive, but you might not go to jail. It’s still going to be very expensive.”

Amalie: (43:23)

Emily, thank you so, so, so much for joining us today. We really appreciate it. This has been super helpful. Um, if you’re listening, make sure you subscribe, leave us a comment and we will see you next time. And Emily, thank you again so much.

Emily: (43:38)

Thank you so much. Thank you guys.

Description

Carla White, a self-proclaimed Technical Spiritual Junkie, was the first woman ever to develop an iPhone app. After working with Microsoft for years, she realized she didn’t enjoy programming as much as she did designing interfaces. So one day she decided to create an app, in a time and place where nobody within miles knew how to do it — Ten years later, that app is still at the top of the charts… and the best part is that she did it all by herself. Find out how systems helped her build a business empire around the Gratitude app!

Show Notes

It’s hard to stay positive when you find yourself in a rut. 

Things go slow and you can’t seem to break the cycle.

This is what inspired Carla White, a self-proclaimed Technical Spiritual Junkie, to develop her first iPhone app — the first iOS app made by a woman — “Gratitude”, an app that makes it easy to document good things that happened to you during the day. Mind you, this was all before the app craze started. To this day, this app continues to be in the top of the charts, ten years later. Her success inspired her audiobook, “The Inside Secrets to an iPhone” and more so, changed her professional path to do what she loves.

Nowadays, she develops apps for big and small companies, creates courses for like-minded people, and helps them transform their personal and professional lives via her apps, public speaking, newsletters, seminars, and books.

In this episode, we discussed:

➡️ The #1 way to get reliable and responsible contractors 

➡️ Steps to successful recruiting

➡️ Best ways to manage big projects

➡️ What YOU need to do if you’re just starting out in the business

And a lot more. Check this episode out now!

Connect With Carla 

https://carlawhite.org/

https://ideatoiphone.com/

https://twitter.com/carlawhite

https://radicalshiftpodcast.com/

https://www.instagram.com/heycarlawhite

Our Website

https://systematicexcellenceconsulting.com/home/

Hire Your First Contractor Bundle

Connect with Amalie:

https://www.instagram.com/amalie.shaffer/

https://www.facebook.com/amalie.shaffer/

https://www.linkedin.com/in/amalieshaffer/

Connect with Janine:

https://www.linkedin.com/in/janine-suvak

https://www.instagram.com/systematicexcellence/

https://www.facebook.com/systematicexcellenceconsulting/

Note: This episode was recorded in July 2019 the information is still relevant but some programs that were mentioned are no longer available. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to us at hello@systematicexcellence.com.

Content Disclaimer: The information contained above is provided for information purposes only. The contents of this article, video or audio are not intended to amount to advice and you should not rely on any of the contents of this article, video, or audio. Professional advice should be obtained before taking or refraining from taking any action as a result of the contents of this article, video, or audio. Systematic Excellence Consulting LLC disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on any of the contents of this article, video, or audio.

Disclaimer: Some of these links are for products and services offered by the podcast creators. 

Affiliate Disclaimer: The article, video, or audio may contain affiliate links. We may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post. Although you won’t pay any more for any purchases you make, the commissions will enable us to continue to provide free content to readers and listeners.

Episode Transcript

Amalie: (00:36)

Welcome back to the podcast. I’m here with Janine and we have a special guest, Carla White. I’m so excited that she’s here today. Carla, would you let us know a little bit about yourself and what you have going on right now?

Carla: (00:50)

Yeah. Hey, thank you for having me. So I am, I call myself a technical spiritual junkie, kind of a mismatch of ancient wisdom meets new technology and I’m also the first woman to launch an iPhone app. 

Janine: (01:07)

Yes. That is so exciting. Yeah, it is pretty cool. 

Amalie: (01:12)

I have to, do you want to tell us about the app that you launched?

Carla (01:15)

Yeah. So the app that I launched over 10 years ago is Gratitude Journal. My Gratitude Journal, if you look it up, it’s got a little Buddha icon and it’s been in the top of the charts for 10 years and it’s just me, team of one, unless you include my dog, he’s in the company all day long. No funding, no marketing, nothing like that. So, no startup capital. And yeah, it’s been an amazing experience.

Janine: (01:49)

Awesome. I spent about five years in the tech startup world and that’s rare. That’s so rare. And I’m so happy to meet with you, it’s amazing. Yeah. I’m kind of a fan girl, but yeah.

Amalie: (02:01)

So what did you do with the app? What did you use the app for when you, you know, you did this, you created it, and then what did you do? 

Carla: (02:11)

Yeah, so to back up a little bit. I was a programmer with Microsoft and that was a really bad one, you know, super bad. And so I discovered that my true love is designing interfaces more than programming. So the front end rather than the back end. And with designing interfaces for NASA, now that might sound super cool and sexy, but it’s, you know, government, and projects go slow. And that’s when started keeping a gratitude journal myself with this, which is just a notebook where you write down things each day that are good. And it helped me turn my life around. So I thought, well, I’m going to make this into an app, which was crazy because nobody knew how to make apps and where I live in the middle of America, as far landlocked as you can get, there’s nobody who knows that, nobody within thousands of miles.

So, and the government facility that I worked at was like Area 51. There was no internet connection, nothing. So it was like going into a little bubble every day. So I’d get up early in the morning and I make this app and it was basically just a notes app, but I added a couple of little features to push it a little bit more towards a gratitude journal. You can rate your day. You can add a photo. I mean it was so simple back then cause you could barely do anything with those devices. 

Amalie: (03:45)

Awesome. Okay. So in your time, so tell us a little bit about what you’re doing now. 

Carla: (03:53)

Yeah. So what happened on after I created that app is I got a lot of emails from people asking me how to do that. And nice little Carla, I sat down and I wrote a reply to every single one.

And then after about the 20th line, I’m like, “okay, there’s a better way of doing that.” I created an ebook, it was called “The Inside Secrets to an iPhone.” And I put that for sale for 17 bucks or 30. I can’t even remember. And it went viral. And then on the heels of that I ended up starting an app agency. So I was making apps for other people, other businesses, really big businesses, major newspapers down to smaller businesses that are local, you know. And for the longest time I was doing that while having my own app out there and my own app grows and my list, my email list, and they tell me like, “you’re supposed to get a dollar for each email you have.” But I was getting the growing list email list and they got my app and then I never sold them anything after that.

I never did. Maybe I wrote him an email to say hi, I’m still here. And then I came across funnels and I realized how I can take them on a journey. And so that’s what I’m doing now is I create courses for these people that give my half, I create a community. I help them if they are what I call “soul preneurs.” So people that are kind of spiritual, maybe their Reiki master guru sort of people you have. I helped them build their online business and I also still make apps. So that’s a thing I’m doing on the side as well. 

Amalie: (05:54)

Awesome. So one of the big things that Janine and I wanted to talk to you about is, so in your experience while you’re doing this, you’ve worked with a lot of contractors, right? So tell us about, and people like our audience work with contractors and you know, getting started with a contractor and what kind of agreements do you have, what kind of nondisclosure agreements you have that, those kinds of things like screening, let’s dive into that a little bit. So let’s start with with screening, like Janine said, let’s start with that and talk about how do you screen a contractor before bringing them on? And then let’s roll to some of the other things around that topic, because I think it’s a really important topic to talk about.

Carla: (06:42)

Yeah. So a lot of the contractors that I bring in are all word of mouth. I never just put an application out there because it’s just, I did that in the past and it always bit me, it always came back and haunted me. Now if you, I wrote a book, well, the idea to iPhone, but “The Inside Secrets” book got republished as “Idea to iPhone” under violate and I have a big section in there about how to hire and what you need to go through in the hiring process and do not skip any of these steps. It’s bold and in parenthesis like exclamation points. And guess what Carla did when she went to hire: she skipped a little and that ended up, you know, losing thousands of dollars and having to redo stuff because you know, when you’re making a lot of other projects to other software, but especially with apps, it’s like building a house and if you build up a wall and you bring in another developer to change it out, well they’re going to have to practically demolish the whole house and start over.

So, going cheap is expensive in the long run. What I do is I ask him all sorts of technical questions. I don’t even know the answers to those technical questions, but if they don’t know the answers, then they are not ready to be hired. Another little thing I do is I’ll ask technical friends of mine, developers that are working at Starbucks or at Nike, you know, these are really seasoned developers, and I ask them to sit in on the interviews with me or question them as well. And just like them sitting in on the interview, you can gauge whether that person is a good fit.

Amalie: (08:44)

So one of the things I just did with a client, actually, I did her hiring process and I did put out an application and got responses and I did all the initial interviews and everything, but something did, was a practice project where we actually set something up and then she paid them, you know, gave them say, “listen, we approximate it’ll probably take you about, you know, two hours to do this and we’ll pay you this much to do it.” And they all, you know, they agreed to do it. But what was great is because she was looking for someone that’s really detailed oriented and so she was really quickly able to see who was going to be a good candidate for that and who wasn’t. So it’s something that I recommend for sure is giving them some sort of practice project and starting on a trial basis. So let’s just try 30 days, right? So maybe the first thing is just one project and then let’s do 30 days, see how it goes and then you know, moving from there. So is that something you would recommend as well?

Carla: (09:41)

Oh yeah, absolutely. I do all those things because you got to compare apples to apples. You’ve got to give them the exact same project. Everybody do this. It’s a little bit tricker trickier with code because even just setting up an app project is a couple of few days to do that. So you know, by the time you actually created anything, but what I do is I also ask them for sample code and I’m looking for certain things in that sample code. Are they documenting, what is this, you know, do they even have it? Other things I look for is do they have existing apps in the app store that they developed? And then I’ll talk to the app owner and make sure that they developed it because I’ve had other people who are creating apps. Say so-and-so told me he built your app is a true. And I’m like, no. So if they’re putting, an app in their portfolio…

Amalie: (10:35)

Do you ask people for references and then will you contact those references? Is that something that is part of your policy?

Carla: (10:45)

Oh, absolutely. I’ll contact those references, you know, here’s the thing, I’ve been contacted as a reference and I’ve been completely honest about my experience working with somebody. So you can’t always assume that they’re going to just give a glowing review.

Amalie: (11:03)

What about someone just starting out? So there’s a lot of people that might not have an app in but would be able to take on the job. Do you, how do you deal with someone like that who applies for a job or you get a reference from but it’s just starting out or what would you recommend someone that’s just starting out that just need that first “yes”?

Carla: (11:23)

Yeah, right. That was a lot of people that I met when I was starting the game because you know, nobody was developing apps. They all wanted to get in on it. And there were a few that I took on that were green but I looked at how much other development they had, you know, other, and it’s more of being able to code is a part of it or being able to design, it’s just a fraction of it, being able to manage a project as a fraction. The other larger part is can they communicate? do they give you updates? Do they use the tools that you use? I mean that communication part is so huge to the project ready. Cause if you’ve got a killer developer, but you don’t hear from him for weeks or her for weeks and you know you can’t update your client, everybody’s kind of feeling queasy. Everybody’s got skin in the game and yeah.

Janine: (12:20)

Carla, I had a designer who gave me almost 600 graphics all called untitled one. Oh, communication breakdown. 

Carla: (12:33)

Oh, no. Yeah. Right. How do they even label things? How organized are they? Do they have any SLPs themselves? Are you going to be training them on all that? You know, that’s huge.

Amalie: (12:47)

And I definitely think that that’s something that you need to know up front when you bring someone on is if they are newer and they don’t necessarily have standard operating procedures, that’s going to be some time that you need to spend with them teaching them. But most of the time I would think if you brought someone into your business, you would, you would teach them on how you run your business. “Okay, this is what we do, here’s our standard operating procedures, and you need to follow those,” you know, and have them in place that will help smooth the hiring process or onboarding process. So, okay. So I want to touch on agreements and let’s talk about the kinds of agreements that you have when you bring a contractor on. I’d love to hear how you, how you handle that with your business.

Carla: (13:30)

Yeah. You know, I outline everything they’re going to do. I have ever, when before I bring the contractor into the project, I have the design finalized. There is no changing the design unless it absolutely has to change. So we know exactly what the developer’s going to build. Now my contract for him is not legally, it’s straight up talk, like “this is the stuff you’re going to do. You’re going to call me once every two days, you’re gonna push the code”. How often they’re going to push the code, what we’re going to speak, what tools we’re gonna use. Everything is outlined in that contract, but it’s in English, not a legal lease. And at the end I put a little bit of a legal lease saying, okay, although this is really easy to read, this is as binding as a complicated legal contract because I feel like otherwise they’re not going to read it. I need to know that we’re both on the same page and that contract has helped me tremendously.

Amalie: (14:36)

That’s awesome. Yeah. Janine had you had experiences with when you were in the app development world with, with contracts and things like that as well? 

Janine: (14:52)

Well yeah, a little bit. I’ve used them. One of the common problems I saw are people kind of subcontracting, you know, online. They’re not doing the kind of vetting that Carla’s doing or simply not actually reading what the developer is offering. And so they think they’re getting a finished piece handed over to them when the developer’s like, “no, I’m going to publish this under my developer account and you’re actually going to have to pay me tens of thousands of dollars more if you want the whole thing.” I think, yeah, Carla is nodding. 

Carla: (15:23)

Yeah. There’s all these little pieces. And I learned all this because I have like 10, 12, 15 years with Microsoft. 

Janine: (15:32)

So Carla, how big of a project before you start breaking it into pieces between different developers so you don’t have all your eggs in one basket? 

Carla: (15:42)

I used to have a project manager and three developers. Now I strategically go for apps that where the features don’t require that. Okay. Because it’s just… nobody enjoys it. It’s not the clients that I want. It’s not the type of projects I want, the developers get burnt out, you know, lose that shiny object syndrome after about six months. So I like to keep out projects four to six months I suppose.

Amalie: (16:21)

I was going to ask you, so in your contracts, do you put milestones that when things will need to be due and then about, you said, so most of your contracts are anywhere from four to six months when you bring them on? 

Carla: (16:32)

Yes. Yeah. And if they go over, it’s normally because of the client. You know, we’re waiting weeks to hear a decision on the blue or the green. 

Amalie: (16:47)

Do you use any sort of project management tool to deal with the back and forth conversations or how do you deal with that? 

Carla: (16:56)

Unfortunately they’re kind of scattered because it has to cater to the easiest for everybody. But we use Trello to track everything. I used to use Asana, but now I’ve moved over to Trello. instant messenger has a lot of it. My developer, my main developer, he just is, I wish a Trello was part of instant messenger, but my client likes text messages so she’ll text all day long.

Amalie: (17:40)

So if someone was just sort of starting out and they need to start to hire contractors, whether they’re doing something a lot like you’re doing or maybe a slightly different, what advice would you give them? You know, if they’re in that position. 

Carla: (17:58)

Yeah. So if you, if I’m going to just talk about creating apps, not, you know, cause there’s different ways to hire a contractor, but if you’re, if you’re going to build an app, you have to really think about the design first. And a lot of people when they think about building an app, they just think, I gotta get a coder. I got to get a developer. And they don’t think about that design piece and how critical that is to the app success. And so, I kinda think of it as the 80 20 rule.

80% of your success comes from 20% of the project. And a lot of people are thinking about the marketing and the design, that’s where 80% of your success comes from. So make sure you have that design nailed, iterative design. So, if you need help with that design and finding designers, there’s a lot of really good younger kids who understand apps and flow much better now. And I’m sure you get a good deal on that. And there’s even websites where they’ve vetted the talent first. 

Amalie: (19:15)

Do you have any favorites?

Carla: (19:15)

You know, I haven’t used them, but I see, I hear that one that is recommended in a Mixergy podcast. I can’t even remember what it’s called now. 

Amalie: (19:28)

When you remember you can send it to us and we can put it in the show notes.

Carla: (19:30)

Yeah, yeah. So they, but you have to, I think you have to put a deposit in just to like, and you work with a project manager who basically finds the talent for you.

But now I have coached people, I’m making their apps and I’ve had students just go around to neighbors and loved ones and friends and say “look, I want to make an app. Do you know an app developer?” And word of mouth is, to me always the best start. And especially if it’s somebody that you know is good. So my app developers, I have certain criteria, like they have to have attended WWDC, which is Apple’s developer content contest. They’ve have to done certain and one certain contest, they have to speak fluent English, you know, because here’s the thing, you’ll see some stunning portfolios out there. But when you hire them, that’s just all shiny paint. It’s not the real deal. 

Janine: (20:35)

It’s really interesting using an event like the WWDC two screen. That’s great. They went there. That’s the start.

Carla: (20:46)

Yeah. Cause that’s a expensive event to get to and they don’t have to go every year but at least, you know, are investing in that. So, but you know, because I’ve been in the game for 10 years or so, I feel like I know so many seasoned app developers, you know the ones who wrote all the books and who are featured at all the speaking events and things like that. So when I’m in a pinch I just send them a message a lot of times and say, do you have anybody you recommend? It doesn’t always work out, but it is kind of my go to because I just haven’t had the luck going to Upwork and these other websites. Not as in the past few years.

Amalie: (21:30)

Well thank you so much for being with us today. Will you let us know where we can find you? So let our audience know where they can find you, where they can contact you if they are interested in reaching out.

Carla: (21:44)

Yeah. Yeah. So, if you want to get my book “Idea to iPhone” that’s ideatoiphone.com or you can find it on Amazon and if you want to learn more about me and my apps and the courses I do, you can go to Carlawhite.org.

Amalie: (22:04)

Awesome. Awesome. Well that’s great. Thank you again for being with us. We really appreciate it. And thank you for sharing your information with us. I think it was super helpful. And we will catch you guys on the next episode.

Carla: (22:19)

Awesome. Thank you.

Description

Growth is amazing. It brings more opportunities, opens new doors, and overall it’s simply great for your business. But as you and your business start growing, you realize pretty quickly that this growth also brings challenges that you probably can’t overcome on your own without going crazy.

Truth is that finding that one person that has it all: personality, skills, willingness, and dependability, is very hard to find. But, sometimes, that magical person you need has been in your company all along.

Join us for this episode where Holly Homer, a writer, blogger, and public speaker for over 13 years shared her process to help you grow your team and hire within your own company effectively!

Show Notes

You don’t want to miss this episode of the Systematic Excellence Podcast where famous blogger, writer, and public speaker (and more!) Holly Homer shares her experience with hiring: the process she follows, where she found her team that’s been by her side for years, and how growing her team from within has worked so well for her.

Topics we covered on this episode:

➡️The one place to look for great talent that will make the hiring process super easy

➡️How to ensure your team and business continue to thrive

➡️How to get your foot in the door if you’re looking to get hired 

And a lot of other useful information! Join us now!

Connect with Holly Homer

https://kidsactivitiesblog.com/

https://hollyhomer.com/

https://www.facebook.com/QuirkyMomma/

https://www.instagram.com/texasholly/

https://www.pinterest.com.mx/hollyhomer

https://twitter.com/texasholly

https://www.youtube.com/hollyhomer

Our Website

https://systematicexcellenceconsulting.com/home/

Hire Your First Contractor Bundle

Connect with Amalie:

https://www.instagram.com/amalie.shaffer/

https://www.facebook.com/amalie.shaffer/

https://www.linkedin.com/in/amalieshaffer/

Connect with Janine:

https://www.linkedin.com/in/janine-suvak

https://www.instagram.com/systematicexcellence/

https://www.facebook.com/systematicexcellenceconsulting/

RESOURCES:

Holly’s courses: https://hollyhomer.com/courses/

Note: This episode was recorded in July 2019 the information is still relevant but some programs that were mentioned are no longer available. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to us at hello@systematicexcellence.com.

Content Disclaimer: The information contained above is provided for information purposes only. The contents of this article, video or audio are not intended to amount to advice and you should not rely on any of the contents of this article, video, or audio. Professional advice should be obtained before taking or refraining from taking any action as a result of the contents of this article, video, or audio. Systematic Excellence Consulting LLC disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on any of the contents of this article, video, or audio.

Disclaimer: Some of these links are for products and services offered by the podcast creators. 

Affiliate Disclaimer: The article, video, or audio may contain affiliate links. We may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post. Although you won’t pay any more for any purchases you make, the commissions will enable us to continue to provide free content to readers and listeners.

Episode Transcript

Janine: (00:05)

Hello. Welcome to the podcast today. This is Janine. We’ve got Amalie here. Hi Amalie. And our guest today is Holly Homer. How’s it going Holly?

Holly: (00:14)

Well, it’s going well. Thanks for having me.

Janine: (00:18)

Absolutely. It’s a pleasure to have you here. So Holly is amazing, she started out in blogging. She’s got a huge blog. She’s a social media and SEO mastermind. Has built out, her team is running two businesses, has physical products for audience, ran a virtual summit this year and is doing all kinds of amazing things. And our topic in this round of episodes is on hiring, and you’ve been growing your team and hiring within your team, which is from one position to another, which is a little different approach than we were really hoping you could share with us how that is going for you. What made you decide to do that and how you implemented it?

Holly: (01:03)

Yeah. Well I’ve had a team for a while. I’ve been blogging for 13 years. And, I realized pretty early on as far as when I started monetizing my blog that it was going to be really hard to do it all by myself besides the fact that other people are better at it than I am. So, that was a thing I learned pretty quickly is that in fact, I learned that when I wrote my first book and I realize that the book came along as kind of an opportunity because of the blog and the blog had opened the doors for the book. But then I was like, “how am I going to write a book when I have a blog to run?” And so I decided, you know, I’ll hire contributors and I’ll have them write out a whole summer worth of content and we’ll do that in the spring and then schedule that out over the summer.

And then over the summer when that’s publishing, I will go write the book. And so when I hired these contributors and I brought in all these posts and I was scheduling them, I was in some cases, I was cringing and thinking, “no, that’s not what I want on my blog.” And, but they were like “this is what I committed to do it.” And then at the end of the summer, I looked back and statistically those posts did better than my own posts. So “Holly, get over yourself, you don’t know what people want.” And so it was really cool because that just kind of opened the door for realizing that if I brought in more voices, I could attract a wider audience. And that was also the summer that we got a lot more traffic because there was more stuff on the blog and it was more variety than I could do on my own.

Holly: (02:55)

And so early on, I was hiring just contributors and then, because I didn’t know the ins and outs of hiring online, the people I was hiring, my assistant was in Turkey, a lot of the contributors were all across the country in the world and people I had never met in person, which is a little scary at first. I really looked at Penn of siloing people. So I would hire them for a project or a series of posts that had an ending to it. Or they were in a bubble where they couldn’t take down the whole side. And I was always trying to think, “I don’t destroy the kingdom in one swell even when one fail swoop.” But as I’ve grown, and as I’m joining the team and stuff like that is that if we have good people in place, a lot of times it’s easier for us to have them do multiple things because managing a lot of people is harder than a few good people.

So recently I needed a virtual assistant again. And so it was really funny because I just didn’t have the energy to go out and hire, cause last time I did it it took several weeks and quite a lot of my effort and we’re in the middle of a launch and all these other things. And I realized I needed it and then it was obvious that the person that was perfect for that position was in our team already and we had just completely overlooked it. I don’t know how that happened. 

Janine: (04:41)

I was going to ask what made you realize that? 

Holly: (04:47)

Yeah. So, I think it was the pain of the thing, I got to the point where I knew we needed that person, because that person is, I have an email address that been online for 13 years.

So I get hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of emails a day. And that’s literally no joke. And here I was spending 30, 45 minutes, an hour a day, deleting and unsubscribing from things which was not a good use of my time. And as we were putting more things on my plate that were more important and trying to take things off that were less important, I was like, “Oh crap, I’m gonna have to go and find this person again,” but we didn’t have time. And so I think that I kept delaying, you know, putting that out there into the world. And I think often when we procrastinate on something we know is super, super important, it’s for a reason. And so here I was, you know, sitting around my house, knowing I was procrastinating for a reason and then it was like, “Oh, now I know the reason.”

My mind is telling me I don’t need to do that because that person is already on the team. And the fact that she’s already on the team, she’s been on the team for years by the way. And so she already knows how the inner workings of the team work. She knows the different people involved. One of the people that this person has to interact with a lot is my husband because he does all the financials and stuff on the business. And she was literally his favorite employee because she was always on time with her timesheet. She was always, I mean she had already gotten a gold star from him. And he kind of lurks in the shadows of the business normally. So it was kinda good to find someone that he was really comfortable with.

Amalie: (06:52)

What did she do before? And then what is she doing now?

Holly: (06:54)

So before she was, she started out as doing our social media. In fact she had started with another one of my companies that I had with a partner and my partner had brought her on and she did a really good job with the social media. So then when she needed more hours, I brought her into kind of my blog. She was a writer, she wrote books. And so, originally I had her writing content and so she’s been doing content, social media and kind of floating.

Amalie: (07:29)

And what’s she doing now?

Holly: (07:30)

And so now she’s my virtual assistant. Although, in this case, I’m going to call her a virtual manager because she’s having to manage me.

Janine: (07:44)

It’s so much more than just this thing. So I know the story here cause I got to see behind the scenes, but, we talked about your, you know, you brought up the concerns you had. Well first you have the job description for what you wanted because you’ve already had people in this position, but then you had concerns about approach. 

Holly: (08:06)

Yeah. You know, it was kind of funny because I know how important a virtual assistant or a virtual manager is in that position. And this goes back to when I was a physical therapist running a rehab clinic and you know, the most important person in that organization was the receptionist because you know, answers the phones, takes the complaints, gets the patients in, organizes the waiting room, and that is the lowest-paid employee in the entire place. And they are the absolute front line of what that patient or what that customer thinks about the business. And I feel this is almost the same situation here is, I’ll oftentimes, speaking on my behalf and reading my mind as far as decisions that need to be made as far as triaging where things are going and all this kind of stuff. And she’s literally the most important person in that company. But yet she’s going through emails. It’s not a glamorous position.

So I think that’s what I’ve always, I don’t want to be like, “I know you’re overqualified for this, but I would really love to put you in this position.”

Amalie: (09:36)

What were some of the skills that you saw she had? One of the things I advocate for is hiring people that their experience might not be in the thing you want to hire them for, but they have the personality for it. So someone that was a graphic designer might be really great at customer service and just because they don’t have any experience doing customer service doesn’t mean they won’t be great at it. So what were the things that you recognize from her skill-wise or personality-wise that made you think she’d be perfect for this position? 

Holly: (10:02)

So one of the things that just is at the top of her list of skills and she has a ton of skills, which makes her a really easy fit because I do a lot of stuff.

So a lot of times, you know, it’s good to know a lot of things. But the second, the most important thing to me was dependability. She is someone who shows, when others in her situation wouldn’t and just as completely dependable and, and I think one of the things that, yeah, and she has experienced, I’m not her only client, she has several clients and well some people would shy away from that. I actually think it’s kind of a benefit because I used to communicate like you would to a client where sometimes if someone comes in and just works for me and just writes a few blog posts or something like that, they don’t necessarily think of me as a client. And may, you know, they’re like, “Oh, I just do this for Holly” and don’t take it to the level of importance that I actually feel it is.

Amalie: (11:14)

Well, one of the things I was alluding to in my questions about concerns was, you had expressed a concern about if you offered this to her, would she feel like she couldn’t say no? 

Holly: (11:28)

Right. Yeah. And I do think that’s kind of a double edged sword because you want her to know that you put this importance on this job and think it’s a good fit. But then you don’t want, if she’s like, “ah, that’s not a good fit for me.” You don’t want it to be weird or awkward afterwards. So there’s always a little bit of that. And online it is challenging because I don’t think I’ve ever met her in real life. I mean now that I think about it, maybe many, many years ago, but it was before our relations, our working relationship was so, you know, you don’t always know everything that goes on with each other, you know, you only see what that person puts forward online.

Amalie: (12:19)

Did you hire someone to replace her in her other position now? 

Holly: (12:22)

So we didn’t. And that’s our next step, but it’s kind of a quarter one goal for next year. What we did end up doing is I’m shifting a few things amongst some other team members and to a certain extent we know that the whole team understands that there’s going to be something that may get left out for a little bit for the next few months as we are able to add to the team. 

Janine: (12:57)

Gotcha. That’s awesome. So hiring and being able to work from home and get hired is something that is near and dear to your heart. I know. Would you like to tell us about what you’re working on now? 

Holly: (13:10)

Yeah. So one of the things that, you know, so kids activities blog is my main blog and I’ve had a team, you know, since the book, which is probably six years and ever since that we’ve just had a really nice late, we publish two to three times a day, you know, seven days a week, 365 days a year kind of thing.

A lot of those aren’t necessarily new blog posts, but there may be, you know, blog posts we’ve published like last Christmas or the Christmas before for that season. And they just are refreshed or updated to make sure that they’re kind of up to date. But that takes a lot of work and, and scheduling. And so I have a really good team. I don’t know about five people. It’s not something I have to go back and count, but about five or six people that help with the blog and the social media and you know, Pinterest, all this, and everybody kind of has their role. And so when, you know, when I realized that, you know, just one of my passions is teaching people how to do this, you know, I started writing on my own blog at hollyhomer.com and all of a sudden I’m like, “why is this so hard?”

And then I’m like, “Oh, that’s because you’re doing everything and over on this machine of kids activities blog, you’re just there and everybody else is doing the hard work”. And I was like, “you know, my team for kids activities blog was pretty full.” So I was like, “I’ll go out and hire someone to help me with Holly Homer” and I went out and you know, we tried interns. We tried one of those companies where you get unlimited amounts of something for a certain amount of money. And, there was just one blockade after another. And you know, I reached out to see if there was anyone that was available that, you know, kind of from my sphere that I wouldn’t have to train.

Cause here again, it’s not like I had just a ton of time to train and there wasn’t. And I’m like, “how is it possible that there’s no one out there trained in what I need them to do, which is basically, you know, creating content from, you know, maybe one piece of content and multiplying it across social media and all that kind of stuff?” And I went to looking at VA trainings and stuff like that. And they have a lot of great trainings but not what I need them to do. And then I realized when I do some consulting for bloggers and they’re all in the similar situation, they were like, “the people that I’ve trained are doing well, but I need more people and there’s nobody out there training them to do SEO, to do this content multiplication to do the best practices of our scheduling social media and scheduling these things by looking at the analytics and making decisions on their own and not having to have there, someone looking over their shoulder, telling them exactly what to do.” And so I was like, “you know, if I’m going to set this training up for some more people that I bring in, why don’t I just set it up as an academy?”

So that’s when I started Virtual Manager Academy and then the more I talk to other entrepreneurs, other small businesses, that kind of hurt in the struggle. I feel like it’s kind of a, bloggers too, but, it’s kind of that one person shop. You need to bring someone in that can do multiple things. You don’t want to have to hire five people when you’re kind of, you need one person that can do multiple things for you. So I think this is a really nice fit because there’s people wanting to work from home and this is such a nice, kind of step into it. And then of course the opposite. People who like us who are desperate for the work. So I’m like, we got to get people in there and train so that I’m hiring the first few, I have a list of friends that are like, “ah, yeah, put me on that list.”

Janine: (17:38)

Well I think that’s a super important point cause you know, good, bad or indifferent. There’s, there are trainings out there but people don’t know how to then connect that to getting hired. Right. Or if their skills are good, bad or indifferent based on whatever kind of training they did. So, but for your friends, once you’ve hired yours, what kind of, well, actually for the other people that are starting out that you’re talking about, what advice would you give them about hiring their first team members? 

Holly: (18:09)

Yes. So, I do think, you know, one of the things I say when, when if it’s someone hiring for the first time, I would absolutely hire someone for a project bring them in, with a start and an end date with a completion kind of scenario. And then saying, “Hey, if this goes well, I may have more stuff more for you in the future.” Because I think one of the biggest problems we have at first when we haven’t dealt with people is the tip toeing around this wasn’t a good fit for me. And then being stuck with some of them long term because they feel bad about, you know, telling them that they can’t work. I mean, you know, we’re human.

Janine: (18:58)

Yeah. Yeah. The emotional side of that, it can be very challenging.

Holly: (19:03)

Well, and I think a lot of people who run their own business, they’re also like at first they have a really hard time letting go of things. And so quite honestly, a lot of times those first contractors fail. Not because the contractor was bad, but because the entrepreneur did not set them up to succeed. And so, you know, by giving them clear parameters for a project, I think that sets both sides up for some success. And then a nice conversation at the end of that to say, “Hey, that went well,” or “Hey, thank you so much. This project’s ending.”

Amalie: (19:45)

Yeah. That’s good. That keeps it. Yeah, I totally agree.

Janine: (19:50)

Well, I just had one more thing I was hoping you could talk about was, so on the other side of it, for that nucleus person with the skillset looking to get hired, and how that connects well displaying that skill or once hired, showing that first, here’s how, here’s the ROI, here’s how I show you what I’ve actually been able to do for you in this position. 

Holly: (20:14)

Yeah. So, originally, if you’re just getting started and you want to get your foot in the door, one of the best ways to do this is to reach out to someone who has a team already and volunteer to work for free. I will say probably three or four of the people that work for me right now, that’s what they did. They’re like, “Hey,” they may have heard me speak or something like that, and they’re like, “Hey, I want to work for you. You know, I’m willing, you know, whatever you want me to, you know, whatever it takes.”

 I just want to get in the door because the truth is they know I’m going to train them and they know that they’re going to get value beyond that. So I think that’s always a really good option. And, you might be surprised how few offers that we get. So you might like, “Oh, but she’s a big blogger with a big team, you know, and people must be falling all over.” I’m like, “no, literally, it’s probably been three people in the last seven years and they’re all on my team today.” Wow. Then in most cases you may work for free for a minute or two, but, you know, most people who are like, “Oh my gosh, this person is somebody that is really conscientious and is a real learner.”

You know, it’s going to be very quickly that you’d say, “Hey, I want to bring you on for some money so that you don’t go somewhere else and leave.” So I think that’s always a really good option. So then once you have, another option is a guest post. And what I need you to understand about if you want to guest post on a blog is that we get probably, I mean, I probably get 15 to 30 emails a day asking for people to guest post, but they’re from spammers. So they’re from people who want, SEO links and just kind of, under the table, not good things. And so what you need to do in that email to that blogger is say, “Hey, I’m not a spammer.” You know, explain your situation. “I’m somebody who wants to work for a blogger or be a blogger myself sometime. And one of the things I thought would be good is to get some experience guest posting and you know, here’s where I’ve written before or I’ve attached a sample post that you can use on your blog if you put my name on it or something like that.” So give them a reason to know to step out of the spam so that they understand that you’re not looking for a link, you’re looking for experience and to be helpful, in a win-win situation. So that works really well. So then once you have some content out there, you know, if you have guests posts on some other places, that’s another thing you could put in that email or in that request tech to work for someone is say, “Hey, here’s, you know, three places, I guess posts here, the links.” And it’s just, you know, when I go click on those and see, you know, reputable sites that have your content with nice pictures and a real positive article, then it makes your decision really easy because quite honestly we’re often looking for people, but it’s a big hassle to go out and find the right person. So if they kind of drop into your lap, you just figure it’s karma. Health karma, just drop into someone’s lap. 

Janine: (23:56)

But that’s just, that’s a great distinction for people who are trying to reach out and may not understand that something they have to do. That’s awesome. 

Holly: (24:03)

Yeah. I know it’s kind of across the board like algorithms, emails, all this kind of stuff is all we’re trying to do is get rid of the spammers. So you just have to raise your hand and be like, 

“I’m not a spammer.”

Janine: (24:22)

That’s awesome. Well that’s great. I mean both from the people who are looking for the skilled people and the people looking to put them together. You’re going to make a lot of people happy, I’m so excited about it. Can you tell our audience where they can find you? 

Holly: (24:41)

Yes. So you can obviously find me on Kidsactivitiesblog.comand then Hollyhomer.com as well. And we will be getting information up today or tomorrow on both those sites as to how to find the Virtual Manager Academy information as well. 

Janine: (24:56)

And as soon as that’s locked in, we’ll add it to the show notes. 

Holly: (25:00)

Exactly. So it is all coming together in good time. It is. 

Janine: (25:06)

Well thanks so much for joining us. Thank you. This is really fun. Have a great day. Bye. See you next time.

Description

You love your business, but you’re tired all the time, you’re doing everything yourself and you don’t have any free time left… You know you could use some help, but you don’t know where to start with your hiring process.

Job posting, interviewing, portfolios, test projects; hiring your first employee or contractor can be an intimidating process. 

Join us for this episode where we tell you all you need to know to choose your PERFECT team and how to avoid having it be a painful process. 

Show Notes

If you feel exhausted from running your business on your own…

If you think it’s too soon to hire people…

Or you are ready to hire, but you’re not sure where to start… then this is the perfect episode for you! 

Today, Amalie showed us the most effective way to hire in order to create the perfect team.

We know finding the right people might seem scary at first, but in reality, it means you’re getting things off your plate so you can work on your superpower. Not only that, but it also means your business is growing. It means good things are happening!

Topics we covered in this episode:

➡️ When’s the “right” time to start hiring?

➡️ How can delegating tasks help me reach my goal?

➡️ Skills vs Personality: which one should I choose?

➡️ What an efficient 90-day hiring plan should look like

➡️ Why you need this “Hire Your First Contractor Bundle”

Our Website

https://systematicexcellenceconsulting.com/home/

Hire Your First Contractor Bundle

Connect with Amalie:

https://www.instagram.com/amalie.shaffer/

https://www.facebook.com/amalie.shaffer/

https://www.linkedin.com/in/amalieshaffer/

Connect with Janine:

https://www.linkedin.com/in/janine-suvak

https://www.instagram.com/systematicexcellence/

https://www.facebook.com/systematicexcellenceconsulting/

RESOURCES:

Living the Laptop Life: https://cyllnetwork.com/hire

Hunt Wisely: https://huntwisely.com/

Micala Quinn: https://micalaquinn.com/hire/

Google Forms: https://docs.google.com/forms/u/0/

Note: This episode was recorded in July 2019 the information is still relevant but some programs that were mentioned are no longer available. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to us at hello@systematicexcellence.com.

Content Disclaimer: The information contained above is provided for information purposes only. The contents of this article, video or audio are not intended to amount to advice and you should not rely on any of the contents of this article, video, or audio. Professional advice should be obtained before taking or refraining from taking any action as a result of the contents of this article, video, or audio. Systematic Excellence Consulting LLC disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on any of the contents of this article, video, or audio.

Disclaimer: Some of these links are for products and services offered by the podcast creators. 

Affiliate Disclaimer: The article, video, or audio may contain affiliate links. We may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post. Although you won’t pay any more for any purchases you make, the commissions will enable us to continue to provide free content to readers and listeners.

Episode Transcript

Amalie: (00:00)

All right. Welcome to another episode of the systematic excellence podcasts. I’m Amalie Shaffer and I’m here with Janine Suvak, say hi.

 

Janine: (00:10)

Hello. Hi everyone. 

 

Amalie: (00:12)

We’re really excited to be here today to discuss something that I have a lot to say a lot about, which, I mean, I generally have a lot to say about a lot of things, but we’re going to talk about the hiring process today. It’s something that I very much enjoy and help clients with, and it’s something we work with clients on to help them find their perfect team and you know, and so I’m really excited to talk about the topic today.

 

Janine: (00:41)

Yeah, hiring is always super fun. It can be intimidating, but it’s fun because it means you’re getting things off your plate and the right people doing the right job so you can work your superpower. It means your company’s growing. It’s all kinds of good stuff going on when you’re hiring people. 

 

Amalie: (00:57)

Yes, exactly. 

 

Janine: (00:58)

Yeah. So, today we’re going to do interview style. I’m going to interview Amalie. She’s our super expert on the hiring process. So only how do you know when you’re ready to hire someone? 

 

Amalie: (01:09)

Okay, so it’s funny, I was just on a podcast the other day with my friend Mallory and we were just talking about this and that. Generally speaking, people when they think they’re ready to hire is usually too late because they’re feeling the pain. So you want to hire someone before you feel the pain, but if you are feeling a pain, it’s okay and you can, you know, obviously you still want to hire if you’re feeling the pain. But to know when you’re ready is usually before you think you’re ready. So that might look like hiring and delegating. Just something small to start with. And then the role grows. So if you want to do it sort of, it’s almost doing it preemptively, but really it’s on time and you just start with little tasks, you know, little things first and then the role grows.

 

Janine: (02:00)

Hiring somebody seems, especially the first time seems like this big scary thing to do all by itself in relation to whatever it is you want to hire someone for. So what would be a couple examples of small tasks that you would hire for and what would that look like? 

 

Amalie: (02:06)

Okay, so you know, maybe bookkeeping and I don’t think bookkeeping is a small task. I don’t mean it like that. I mean taking one little thing off your plate. And so I mean obviously bookkeeping is a big part of your business, but unless you’re good at that, I think it’s something that you can take off your plate right away. Even, you know, some admin tasks, your inbox management, like email, inbox management, social media posting. And I want to, I don’t want to downplay the importance of those tasks, but I think what I’m trying to say is I want, I would start delegating just one thing at a time versus like offloading all of these things because that can feel really to do. And so just piece it one at a time and then allow the rule to grow. Does that make sense? 

 

Janine: (03:00)

So something that either I’m not necessarily very good at that someone else can do something you don’t like doing and I don’t like doing small road repeatable things.

 

Amalie:  (03:16)

Something that you already have a process for. That’s also a really good one. So if you have a process, something that you do, like you said, repeated in your business over and over and over again, that is really a great thing to offload because you already have a process that is designated for that specific task and it’ll make it easier to delegate. 

 

Janine: (03:36)

Do you find people find it difficult to task those because they have a process and they get comfortable doing it? 

 

Amalie: (03:34)

Not necessarily. I find that people have a hard time offloading because they want to control everything and they’re used to doing all the things themselves. And so trying to help someone understand how to do what they do, you can feel a little painful. So I don’t think it’s… and if it’s something that they enjoy doing or they’re good at doing, I think that they feel a little more protective over it. That’s why I start with things that either I’m not good at or the client’s not good at or something that they don’t like doing or I don’t like doing it.

 

Janine: (04:17)

So what about, so how do processes in place, they’re doing it themselves, but now bringing on someone else, they have to add to that process on how to check on it. Right? I mean control but verify. Yeah. Well, trust with verify or just quality control, right. You have that, you’ve explained it right, or that they’re doing it the way you want. 

 

Amalie: (04:38)

Yeah. And that takes time too. And building trust with the person, right? Like, you know, getting clients and hiring team members is a lot like dating and you know, you have to kind of go on the first date before you decide to get in a long-term relationship or marry the person. Right? So you got a date first, then you, you know, move in together, you know, like you gotta go through the progress, you know, the progression of the relationship. So it’s the same thing with clients and hiring team members. 

 

Janine: (05:03)

So we’re not going to hire Las Vegas style. 

 

Amalie: (05:05)

No, no. I mean, I don’t recommend it if that’s your thing, you know, that’s cool. But not mine. 

 

Janine: (05:10)

All right. So how do you, when you decide you’re ready to move forward with this, how do you go about making a job description? 

 

Amalie: (05:25)

So I compare it to writing an ad, right? Or like a sales page, because you don’t want to hold sales page, but my point is that you want to write it in a way that allows the person to qualify themselves and disqualify themselves, right? So you want it to say “this position is perfect for you if…” you know, whatever those things are, and then this is not for you if, right. So the person can, I can see it and say, “Oh, that might not be for me.” So that’s one thing, including any specific skills that you require or would prefer any systems you would prefer them to know. So, you know, if you’re looking for a copywriter, you would want them to have experience writing copy and is there a specific system that you want them to use? You know, if it’s a bookkeeper and you want them to use QuickBooks and they should have experience using QuickBooks.

Right. So again, those are the things I would include. You know, I would also include things about personality. So do you want someone that is detail-oriented or is it a customer service type of position where they A: need to enjoy talking to them clients and B: client facing, right. It depends on what the position is, but you want to include all those things in the job description because you want the people to be able to qualify themselves as reading it. 

 

Janine: (06:46)

What would you say you’re looking for? Relatively skills versus personality?

 

Amalie: (06:49)

I think it’s a mix of both. Honestly. One of the things that I like to point out is that everyone needs, a “yes” right? Or needs a win in the beginning. And when I first started out, and I’m sure you felt the same way too, is that we just needed someone to just take that bet on us.

Right? Like just give us that win, get us that opportunity. Even though I might not have all the experience in the world in this particular tasks or something like that, I just needed someone to say “yes” and give me the wind and let me prove that I’m able to do it right. So I think that if the person has the personality for a position, you know, I think of an example like this. Let’s say someone’s worked 10 years in doing design work. And they decide, “I really enjoy the design work, but I think I really would like to work in customer service because I really like talking to people.”  And they have the perfect personality for it, right? What says that you couldn’t just train that person on your process or on your systems, and just because they’ve done design work doesn’t mean they can’t be a customer service in a customer service role, right?

They might be perfect for the role. They might be better at it than someone that has 10 years experience in customer service because maybe those people are jaded and if you have a shitty attitude, right? Maybe they had too many nos or bad attitudes and you know, I’m just saying like, so I think there needs to be a balance of it. And I do think there are certain situations if you’re not willing to take the time to train someone or invest in their training, then maybe you look for someone that has those skills. But I would never completely shut out someone that doesn’t necessarily have the experience; but how’s the personality and the desire to learn and learn quickly? One of the things that I think I capitalize on the most was my ability to problem solve. I could figure it out. And I’m sure you’re the same way. Like I feel like it comes a lot from being in the military and having that, you know, that OJT, that on-the-job training, right? You just have to figure it out sometimes. Like we’d got the training, but a lot of it came from just figuring things out. And all I needed was someone to just say “yes” and let me just figure it out. So I think there’s a balance there.

 

Janine: (09:02)

Yeah, I think it’s safe to say a lot of that training is how to figure things out. But you touched on something, even though we’re talking about a first hire, you touched on something interesting for someone who has a team or a larger organization, the people who may have been in a position and getting jaded or bored. So what is, what are your thoughts on opening up the job within your organization first or at the same time?

 

Amalie: (09:26)

Oh, absolutely. I think that specially if you have someone that’s worked with you for a long time and they know your business and they want more responsibility or they want to take on a new role. Absolutely. I mean if they’ve already been dedicated to you for so long, why not? You know, why not help them move into a new position? A lot of times I think that the project manager or the integrator, that role can be filled by someone in the business that has the personality and the skill to be able to do it. They’ve just never done it before, but you can train them. That’s something that you and I do. Where we train people to be the integrator and the project manager. So, you know, that’s the way we work with clients where we bring people in or they bring us in to help train the person that may not have been in the project manager role, but has the skills to be able to do it. They just need some help and support and some coaching and that’s something we do. So absolutely looking internally, but I mean, if you’re just starting out and you don’t have anyone working with you, but that’d be a that you’ve had for like three years, that knows your business inside and out, they might be the perfect person to fill that next role that you want to hire for them. And then they can train the new person that they bring in to fill their spot. Right. If you move them up into a new position.

 

Janine: (10:47)

Absolutely. Okay, so we’re back to looking for that first person. Where do you post openings? Where do you put it? How do you put it out there?

 

Amalie: (10:55)

So I recommend on Facebook, in groups reaching out to people you know. Do you know anyone that would be interested in this position? Same thing with connecting with people to find clients. It’s the same way, you know, posting in groups, “Living the laptop life” is a great free group and they have a a work form and I’ll include, we can include these links in the show notes. “Hunt wisely” here’s another great one. Oh, I can’t remember the name of her group. Anyway, it’s a website huntwisely.com again, both of these, I’m living the laptop life, so create your laptop life higher form, and Hunt Wisely. They both have databases of remote people that work remote, so freelancers, contractors, all of that. They have databases of those people so you can fill out the form, get connected with the right people.

My friend McKayla Quinn has a database of moms that work remotely. So getting in contact with those people. And again, I’ll share all those links. So finding things like that, looking at it’s remotework.com I think, don’t quote me on that cause I can’t remember exactly, but that’s another one. Facebook groups connecting with people you already know that might know someone or have hired someone that would be a perfect fit. And then those ones “Huntwisely.com”, “Create your laptop life higher form from living the laptop life” and McKayla Quinn, I will get those links in there. But yeah, all of those are great resources to connect you with contractors and freelancers.

 

Janine: (12:15)

Okay, perfect. Now besides the description, where would you describe like an ad and the, this is for you if, and this is not for you, if, do you put anything, anything, any kind of steps that helps filter people out or challenges them to get to between from where they are to you? 

 

Amalie: (12:35)

Yeah, absolutely. So two things. One is an application form. Make it easy on yourself. Just hit up Google forms, make yourself a nice application, you know, and asking for, you know, references asking for their social media sites, their website, asking them questions about, you know, previous work experience. Like you know, working all of that out in an application is a great way to do an initial review before you start to interview people to see if there’s anyone you can take out immediately. So that’s the first one. And the second one is once you start to do the interviews, I recommend once you’ve done the first round. I recommend doing two rounds of interviews and after the first round doing some sort of test project.

And this might not be ideal for every situation. When I did the hiring process for our client, doing the test project was a really effective way to narrow down the people that I had done the first interview with to find out if they were detailed oriented. So that was something that was really, really important for the role that we are hiring for. Having that test project was key to determining who we were going to take for the second interview and then who we eventually hired. So it’s really important, and like I said, not every situation will require that. I think it’s a great way to okay, do the initial interview. That’s the initial, take anyone off the list that doesn’t quite fit, then narrow it down by a test project, then do a second interview, then decide to hire.

 

Janine: (14:09)

Now what happens if you’ve narrowed it down and you find yourself with two, three, a handful of excellent candidates?

 

Amalie: (14:12)

That’s where I think the test project comes in. Also a trial run. So, keeping everyone’s names, deciding one person. I would think, this is where I would kind of go into the long-term goals. So finding out is the person looking for a long-term relationship as far as working with you? Cause again, this is like dating. So as a person looking for a long-term relationship or are they just kind of like, “it fits for the moment, but I’ll probably move on later.” Most people, because they want the position, aren’t gonna openly say that, but I think you can probably gauge it from having a conversation with them during the interview. And there are times when you just come to the place. When I was talking to my friend Mallory on her podcast, she was saying that they were hiring for her business and they had it narrowed down to three people, but they were all perfect.

So ultimately it just comes down to making a decision about one person and then letting the other people know that it was close, and would they mind if you kept their information. So if the other person didn’t work out, you could contact them, maybe you could hire them for another role. That’s something that I did with my, one of my clients and she ended up hiring one of the other people that was in the running, but just for a different position and it actually worked out really, really well. 

 

Janine: (15:28)

That’s awesome. Something came to mind while we were talking. So we’re not giving out legal advice, right? But when you’re hiring for the first time, it’s important to know that there’s a difference between contractors 1099, designated by the IRS to employees. I don’t want to get into the details of that, but we should bring someone on for an episode who is an expert who can speak to that because there is a difference and you want to bring on employees.

Well, this is your specialty and you have new and exciting stuff out there to help people hire their first person. Before that, so let’s talk really quickly. So while we work together, tell what is going to be one of our first hires? One of our first hires when we worked well, that’s, to me, getting the roadwork off my shoulders. I don’t like the boring repeatable. I really like the problem solving and the working with the clients and coming up with the solutions for that. So any of the repeatable stuff, probably more in our marketing, like you’re saying, the social medium kind of thing. We actually have the bookkeeper. So the plan is in motion, but what do you personally want to do?

 

Amalie: (16:51)

I agree. We’re on the same page. What’s great is that we’ve set out a 90 day plan that within 90 days we’ll hire our first contractor to work with us. I think we have broken it down to decide who we’re going to hire. That’s going to happen the first 30 days. The second 30 days we’ll start looking for them. And then the last 30 days we’ll start training them in the position. And what’s really important and one of the things that we’re working on (so this is happening in real time) is we need to figure out what the tasks are and then we need to create the process for it, how to get it done, but also quality check it. That’s one of the things we’re working on in our 30 day.

You know, this 30 day sort of focus is getting those things done. So that way in the second 30 days we can start looking for that person and then start training them the last 30 days. So our goal is to have someone hired within 90 days. So that’s just a kind of inside look, you know, maybe that’ll help someone if they’re looking to hire. I do think it’s really important to have those established. If you bring someone on and you don’t have some sort of process established for the task that they’re doing, it is going to feel a lot more painful to bring that person on. Then what I have found that happens with a lot of people is then they ended up letting them go and they just go back to doing all the things themselves and that doesn’t move them forward in their business at all. Right? Because the goal of hiring a team is to move you out or move the CEO out of the business and allow the team to do those things. 

So I will talk about my package. So I have a package called “Hire Your First Contractor Bundle.” And inside of that bundle, and we’ll put the link, it’s a $27 bundle and it includes checklist for from how to decide who to hire the whole way through the hiring process. It includes SLPs for onboarding new team members. It includes an SOP for primary communication, invoicing, using Toggle for time tracking. So those are all SLPs that are included and they’re Swipe files. So you can change them to be customized for your process. And it includes Trello board, so the “Onboarding process Trello board” for new team members, and the “Interview process Trello board.”

And it includes a couple of other templates that are swipe files that you can make copies of and use in your own business. So that’s called “Hire Your First Contractor Bundle.” I’ll put the link to that, but one of the other things that we have, Janine and I do, is we help people build their teams. So it’s a done-for-you service. So we essentially took the-done-for-you service that I’d been doing prior to starting to work with Janine and put it into it a do-it-yourself version. That’s the higher first contractor bundle. But we also do the done-for-you service where we do the hiring process. Do everything up to the second interview and then after the second interview, once the person has been hired, we then do the onboarding for that as well.

So you can find information and book a call with us if you want the done-for-you hire service at systematicexcellenceconsulting.com and if you’re interested in the “Hire Your First Contractor Bundle”  go to https://amalieshaffer.com/hire-your-first-contractor-bundle/. So I know that’s long, and probably I should have a shortened link, but we’ll put it in the show notes, you can find it there. And thank you so much for being here, Janine. Thank you for interviewing me and we will see you next time on the Systematic Excellence Podcast.

Description

Behind every traveler, there is a story. Traveling around the country — or even around the world — with a stable income is just a dream to many. But Nick and Monica Kicaj made it possible: they have found the perfect combination of systems and teamwork to sustain their online business while they enjoy the freedom of traveling wherever their hearts desire.

Join us for this episode where Monica Kicaj shared how you can start a profitable online business and travel the world at the same time with the help of systems, automation, and other tools that make managing your business 10x easier!

Show Notes

Can you really balance life, love, and a growing business… without a home base? Yes!

If you have the desire to travel, love feeling the excitement of waking up in a different place every week, and crave seeing every corner of the world, but also want to continue growing and scaling your online business, then this episode is 100% for you.

Hear how TravelBoss’ Monica & Nick Kicaj overcome the unique obstacles of business and love while traveling the world.

Topics we covered on this episode:

➡️ What a nomadic lifestyle looks like

➡️ How to level up your business game while on the road

➡️ Finding the balance between automation and authenticity in a business

➡️ What to expect when running a business with your romantic partner

Listen now! https://systematicexcellenceconsulting.com/podcast/

Connect with Monica and Nick Kicaj:

Travel Boss365 Facebook Fanpage

Travel Boss Lifestyle Secrets Facebook Group

Our Website

https://systematicexcellenceconsulting.com/home/

Hire Your First Contractor Bundle

Connect with Amalie:

https://www.instagram.com/amalie.shaffer/

https://www.facebook.com/amalie.shaffer/

https://www.linkedin.com/in/amalieshaffer/

Connect with Janine:

https://www.linkedin.com/in/janine-suvak

https://www.instagram.com/systematicexcellence/

https://www.facebook.com/systematicexcellenceconsulting/

Note: This episode was recorded in July 2019 the information is still relevant but some programs that were mentioned are no longer available. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to us at hello@systematicexcellence.com.

Content Disclaimer: The information contained above is provided for information purposes only. The contents of this article, video or audio are not intended to amount to advice and you should not rely on any of the contents of this article, video, or audio. Professional advice should be obtained before taking or refraining from taking any action as a result of the contents of this article, video, or audio. Systematic Excellence Consulting LLC disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on any of the contents of this article, video, or audio.

Disclaimer: Some of these links are for products and services offered by the podcast creators.

Affiliate Disclaimer: The article, video, or audio may contain affiliate links. We may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post. Although you won’t pay any more for any purchases you make, the commissions will enable us to continue to provide free content to readers and listeners.

Episode Transcript

Intro: (00:02)

Go behind the scenes with Janine and Amalie, seasoned military veterans as they talk about how to overcome the challenges of leadership, running teams, and coordinating all the moving parts of our organization to accomplish the mission, whether it’s boarding pirated vessels, saving lives in combat, helping CEOs lead their companies to victory on the business battlefield every week Janine and Amalie share insights from their experiences, the leaders they work with, and their guests experts as they dive into lessons learned, successful solutions to real world business issues.

 

Janine: (00:38)

Hi, welcome to the podcast. I’m here with Monica Kicaj the Travel Boss and she lives the travel nomad life with her husband Nick. And they’re crushing it in their business, traveling all over the world. And it’s as amazing as it sounds, but with that comes some pretty unique challenges. And Monica, I really appreciate that you’re sharing an inside look at what the travel nomad life can really look like.

 

Monica: (01:05)

Yeah. So I can kind of just tell you a little bit about my business and then kind of some struggles along the way. So I originally got into online coaching, it’s been over a year and a half and that all happened through me traveling a whole lot. I actually had like this inspiring “fuck it moment”, and when I met my now husband then boyfriend he traveled to 47 countries or so at the age of 25 and I’d only been to one country. And I was like, “whoa, what? Okay.” So I felt like I was living in a box and we actually met through a travel club. And funny enough we met in Las Vegas. And that’s where my inspiring fuck-it moment happened where I was like, you know, I gotta do something before, I have babies and stuff, you know, before all that stuff happens that everybody tells me about. I got to do some crazy off the charts cause I’ve always been pretty low key and not very super risk takey. But I ended up having this whole plan to quit my job, quit my job in six months and then save for six months, quit my job and then traveled to Europe for three months backpacking, like by myself. I was like, I’m gonna do this. Didn’t know that my husband would come with me cause we were just dating, the very beginning of the stages of our relationship. He ended up coming out. We had, obviously I had the time of my life and intuition was just kind of firing off all over the place and ended up coming back. And then I ended up going back to my dental hygiene jobs. So I was a dental hygienist at the time and I was like, “dang I’m back at the same thing. I traveled the world, you know accomplished all that. But I’m like, man, just kind of went around in a circle and back.” So anyways, I worked and saved to then fly out to Australia finally to meet his family after like a year and a half. And that was really, really cool. Stayed out there for a month and a half. And when I came back from that trip, kind of got into this little slight depression. I think it was also because I’m from Wisconsin and it was the dead middle of the winter, like negative 40 degrees. So going from summer sunshine and rainbows and unicorns in Australia, to then, gosh, it was the worst. So that’s when I initially thought I’ve got to learn to find a way to monetize online so that I don’t have to come back if I don’t want to and I can still continue to travel and sustain myself while traveling. So I came back and I started scrolling on Facebook and asking the universe like, “please send me someone, something. I need to do this.” Because Nick, my husband, at the time was also working online and I saw him hustling and I’m like, “man, I wish I could do that. But I have to go back to dental hygiene,” which I love dental hygiene, shout out to my dental hygienist. But at the same time, it’s not like my fricking die hard, passionate life. So I finally found an online spiritual coach and not afraid to drop some f bombs.

 

Monica: (04:20)

So that’s what attracted me to her. She was spiritual and also feisty. Ended up doing her program that is designed for you to have no business experience whatsoever and then again, I was a dental hygienist and really never really had done sales. I’ve done network marketing, but that was about it and took her course and got my first client that paid me $2,000. Now that I say, “this can happen, this is awesome.” I’m a very go getter, imperfect action type of a person. But then from that, my husband and I decided to merge like our coaching programs actually together in September of last year. And he’s a transformational mindset coach. A Lot of business and income producing activities. You know, he’s crazy at organic sales and just sales in general and I’m a lot more intuitive. And so we ended up combining our coaching businesses.

Monica: (05:19)

And the whole struggles was between us learning to divide our strengths and owning them and being grateful for each other but then not overstepping each other’s stuff, that took a few months. There was a few, cause we’re two lions in a cage and we’re both go getters, but yeah, joining the Two Comma Club coaching has really helped us understand, “okay, what do we actually need to do to level up?” It’s obviously understanding each other’s strengths and that’s it, don’t play off of the stuff that we think we need to be good at. And so through that, funny story, my husband, back in December, we filed for his green card visa so that he can stay in the U S and not have to cause our whole long-distance relationship.

 

Monica: (06:23)

Sometimes we would, you know, have to be apart for up to three months or so. So we played long distance. So that was a big part of us deciding, “okay, we need to kind of go through with something more permanent” So that he doesn’t have to leave and we have this whole fricking thing. And so our lawyer actually that we went through is an immigration lawyer, ended up telling us, you know, the best ways for him to get or for us to like file for no, get married, then file for the visa and then for him to actually leave out of the U.S. by his date of expiration for his current visa. And we’re like, “that sucks.” I thought the whole point is, you know, he gets to stay in the U.S. and we get the work all that out.

 

Monica: (07:10)

So we ended up actually getting rid of our apartment and subleasing it, getting rid of our super minimalistic and ended up having this master plan to like go to Mexico and like live there for like maybe up to year I don’t freaking know. So a week though, right before our one way flight to Mexico. My intuition was like, “something’s wrong. I dunno.” And we should have probably gotten the second, third and fourth opinion on all this. But we ended up, last minute getting some opinions and they all across the board, all the lawyers said, that’s the worst advice I’ve ever heard, for you to leave. Because he’s has no guarantee that he’ll get let back in. So I’m like, “oh crap, this sucks.” So we had to change everything and restructured the next year or so for us to actually be completely free and be able to road trip the U.S. Instead and kind of play.

 

Monica: (08:08)

I mean, it’s a gigantic country. I’ve never even seen most of the U.S. and so that’s why we’ve been actually full time on the road building our businesses, house to house. Every week or so or probably somewhere different. We’ve been in like eight different states in the last six months. Yeah, it’s been super crazy. Yeah. So we ended up starting from Wisconsin, traveling down to the Florida all the way down to Miami, then shot across all the way to California. Stayed there for about a month, came to Vegas, Arizona, all over the place. And now we’re going to jet off to Dallas and then Denver and then back to Wisconsin. It’s crazy. So that’s probably been the biggest struggle is us just having creating an internal environment but then also the external environment to have focus. But I think it’s also helped us be able to adapt to everything and to, you know, deal with uncertainties a lot easier than a lot of people would be able to, cause we deal with uncertainty all the freaking time.

 

Monica: (09:13)

So, almost by design. Yeah.

 

Janine: (09:17)

So, how has your business gone over this period of time?

 

Monica: (09:22)

Yeah, so the first, I would say first two months we were slightly in a more stable environment for the first two months. We were kind of in one, for at least one month at a time. And we had, I think we’ve realized that at least if it’s over two weeks or so, we can get a lot of work done, focus and smash out a bunch of stuff that might even take us months just because we’re kind of on a time crunch. But then with all the little mini frickin rendezvous, I would say the last month or so, we’ve really been able to gather another plan because originally this whole like obviously plans change but decisions don’t. And we know that we need to do what’s also best for like our business at the same time.

 

Monica: (10:22)

And because our business is actually called Travel Boss, I think we obviously have that thing that we need to be all over the fricking place but what does it actually take to scale your business and all that. And it really does take having a space, waking up, having a routine and not having to transition and pack up all your things. That takes up so much time. So we’ve been able to manage close to a six figure income all while traveling full time.

 

Janine: (10:51)

Nice.

 

Monica: (10:52)

So it’s been pretty crazy, again, from zero experience in business and sales. But it’s all due to, you know, investing in systems.

 

Janine: (11:00)

So what systems have the biggest impact on what you’re doing?

 

Monica: (11:08)

The biggest system…

 

Janine: (11:15)

Well, the reverse of that is what was the biggest problem that you overcame, holding you back or problem around the travel?

 

Monica: (11:28)

Well, actually I would say since we’re kind of heading into the automation of our business and learning ways of how to again, get that residual income coming in or get someone on a subscription, you know, membership or do one thing obviously once to get paid on it over and over and over again. It’s also kind of a double edge sword because, the whole organic nature of our business and like the whole authenticity of our business and being coaches, you know, you can’t answer that fine line of automating everything and then losing that personal touch. But then, you know, those systems are really fricking important. And so right now with using Clickfunnels as a software that has helped us out a lot, but I think we were also running into focusing only on Clickfunnels and automating and then forgetting about the organic stuff, you know, that we’re actually really, really good at. So it’s actually the balance, they’re both fantastic if you know how to do both. You can’t just do one or you know, one or the other. So I think that’s when we started realizing, oh, okay, while I’m building this and getting this on automation, again, forget about this all organic stuff. So I think that’s when we saw our income kind of take a dip when we’re like, oh, the shiny object of like, or this not shiny object, but this whole automation world opened up to us and being able to, you know, create advertisements and then, that whole funnel stuff. And then we realize, oh yeah, we should still probably be reaching out to people.

 

Monica: (13:22)

And, also staying consistently visible on our social media has been hard because we always kind of feel like we’re catching up and we’re also always readapting. So yeah, it’s definitely a work in progress. But, I would say yeah, once the light was switched, just went off and we’re like, “okay, my husband’s actually the income generating machine.” He’s the inviter, the attractive person. We like to say he’s the tagger and I’m the bagger. I’ll actually close the deals most of the time. But he’s very out there, outgoing, very engaging, and then I’m a lot more in depth and detailed and we’ll seal the deal. So. Yeah.

 

Janine: (14:10)

Sounds like you make a great team.

 

Monica: (14:12)

Yeah. Very Yin and Yang. We used to, like I said, butt heads, like everyone does, but now for the most part, we stay in each other’s lanes and realize that we’re a team. Hello. We’re on the same team. So whatever you’re good at and, it’s funny, I’m very creative and he’s again, very income producing. My brain works totally different. And so, yeah, we just learned to separate it. I’m in the design and the creating the content and building programs and I can create a course in an hour, and he can message 100 people a day, which I’m like drained if I talked to three people. So, yeah.

 

Janine: (14:59)

Oh that’s amazing. Well, it’s nice that, how you structure your roles and within your relationship to support what you’re doing with your business.

 

Monica: (15:08)

Yeah. Yeah. It’s come a long way. I’d say it took at least a solid three months for us to really get on the same page with like, “you don’t need to worry about that.” I worry about that and so on and so forth because, you literally don’t need to be doing this at the same time because you have, you know, like I’ve said we both liked to be in control, but we realized, ah, okay, our income actually doubles when we don’t start to play in each other’s sandboxes.

 

Janine: (15:38)

That’s awesome. So where can my audience find you guys?

 

Monica: (15:43)

Yeah, well, we have, obviously our own personal brands, but the one that we’re really building on right now would be our combined social media. So on Instagram you can find this at Travelboss365. So TravelBoss365 stands for just traveling full time for them. And then also Nick and Monica Kicaj, which would be K i c a j. It’s like from Ukraine or Poland or something like that. And on Facebook and where else and then, yeah, Nick and Monica Kicaj on Youtube as well. And those are our combined ones. We’ve people like us individually, but people like us even more together. And actually, man, you want to say hi? He’s crazy.

 

Janine: (16:41)

Thanks so much. Awesome. Well thanks again. I know you’re crazy busy and you’re about to head out to Dallas. I really appreciate you taking the time.

 

Amalie: (17:40)

We hope you enjoyed this episode of the podcast. You can find out more about Janine and Systematic excellence at systematicexcellence.com and you can find out more about me, Amalie, at amalieshaffer.com

 

Janine: (17:50)

If you did enjoy this episode. Please subscribe, leave a review and share with people you think may find it helpful. This goes a long way in helping us reach and serve as many people as possible. Thanks so much for listening. We’ll see you on the next episode

Description

Join us as we interview Aaron Stewart a student and master of business systems. With a Ph.D. from the Thunderbird School of Global Management earned studying entrepreneurs in their natural habitat, his practical experience runs the gamut of starting, growing, and selling all types and sizes of businesses to consulting for Fortune 100 companies. Here Aaron talks about how owning the right systems is the foundation of every prosperous company and how to develop systems on the fly. 

Show Notes

Running a business without systems is like trying to put a piece of furniture together without the instruction manual — it can be done but it will waste a lot of time.

 

We wholeheartedly believe that systems are critical for business owners. It’s thanks to them that businesses run more smoothly, require less micromanagement, and require less time from the business owner overall. So they can focus on the more important parts of their business…growing it!  

 

We had Aaron Stewart with us, an expert in business management and systems, sit down for an enlightening interview where we talked about everything you need to know to have a successful business:

 

➡️ The solution to your business problems

➡️ How entrepreneurs are shaping the future of their countries

➡️ How to stop being a time-waster with ONE simple change 

& much more

 

Listen now! https://systematicexcellenceconsulting.com/podcast/

 

Connect with Aaron Stewart:

https://www.draaronstewart.com

https://www.facebook.com/thelittleblackcouch/

 

Our Website

https://systematicexcellenceconsulting.com/home/

Hire Your First Contractor Bundle

 

Connect with Amalie:

https://www.instagram.com/amalie.shaffer/

https://www.facebook.com/amalie.shaffer/

https://www.linkedin.com/in/amalieshaffer/

 

Connect with Janine:

https://www.linkedin.com/in/janine-suvak

https://www.instagram.com/systematicexcellence/

https://www.facebook.com/systematicexcellenceconsulting/

 

Content Disclaimer: The information contained above is provided for information purposes only. The contents of this article, video or audio are not intended to amount to advice and you should not rely on any of the contents of this article, video, or audio. Professional advice should be obtained before taking or refraining from taking any action as a result of the contents of this article, video, or audio. Systematic Excellence Consulting LLC disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on any of the contents of this article, video, or audio.

 

Disclaimer: Some of these links are for products and services offered by the podcast creators. 

 

Affiliate Disclaimer: The article, video, or audio may contain affiliate links. We may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post. Although you won’t pay any more for any purchases you make, the commissions will enable us to continue to provide free content to readers and listeners.

Episode Transcript

Intro: (00:02)

Go Behind the scenes with Janine and Amalie, seasoned military veterans as they talk about how to overcome the challenges of leadership, running teams, and coordinating all the moving parts of an organization to accomplish the mission, whether it’s boarding pirated vessels, saving lives in combat, helping CEOs lead their companies to victory on the business battlefield every week, Janine and Amalie share insights from their experiences, the leaders they work with, and their guests experts as they dive into lessons learned in successful solutions to real world business issues.

 

Janine: (00:37)

Hello everyone, welcome to the podcast. Hi Amalie.

 

Amalie: (00:40)

Hi.

 

Janine: (00:41)

Hi. Hello. Aaron, welcome to you. Thank you for coming on the podcast today. We really appreciate it.

 

Aaron: (00:48)

It’s great to be here. Thanks for inviting me.

 

Janine: (00:49)

Awesome. Well let’s just roll right into you telling us a little background about yourself.

 

Aaron: (00:56)

Yeah, about me. So I was raised in an entrepreneurial family, so both my grandfather and father are entrepreneurs more in the kind of construction side of things. But they are always working hard and out there doing their own thing. So I myself thought, you know what, “I don’t want to do that”. So I took another route, which they freaked out about. I went to school. So I actually went and got an undergraduate degree at ULE, got a degree in economics, and then I went on to graduate school to a school called Thunderbird down in Arizona as part of the ASU business program now, it’s a degree in international business, essentially finance. And then I went out and got a corporate job. I worked for a subsidiary of Chevron for a while and I was over there, it was an American Gilsonite company was the name of the company and we had distributors in 56 different countries and I was put over the international side of sales. So I began traveling, six weeks on and then four weeks home. And I had to visit half of those distributors every year. So I was on the road. And, what was cool about that is that all these distributors were entrepreneurs. They were just out there busting it and trying to figure out how to sell our products and other products and so I got to see kind of up close and personal these entrepreneurs and what they were doing all around the world with different cultures and languages, and that was just unbelievably fascinating to me. So, I decided to go out on my own as a consultant after doing that for a little while, I moved to a different company and helped them expand internationally to 26 countries. You know what, I could just do this on my own. And so at that time I thought I would go out and just hit it big and be a big consultant and it didn’t totally work out that way. So I went, as I was starting my business, I went back to school and got a doctorate in organizations and management because I wanted to learn how to create systems and be a consultant with that sort of thing with big companies. I thought it’d be fun and, and when you approach companies in Europe, if you’ve got Dr in front of your name, you go up to a different level. So I wouldn’t have to go through middle management, I could talk to the decision makers. So I went and finished that and my dissertation was on entrepreneurial perception and how education affects that. And it had a positive correlation everywhere. But we found that it had the highest positive correlation in underdeveloped countries.

 

Janine: (03:23)

Huh.

 

Aaron: (03:24)

So when we develop an underdeveloped countries, their entrepreneurial perception increases much more than say, developed countries. It’s positive everywhere, but much more so there. So then we got into this whole discussion of, “okay, so now that we’ve increased their perception, you know, what do we do? Is there any way to create a system to help them move towards entrepreneurship and working their way out of this poverty cycle that we find so many countries in? “Anyway so that’s kind of where I’ve been hanging out is researching sort of the way to get people from, you know, realizing that entrepreneurship is an opportunity to getting them up to where they’ve actually created a business and got up and going. And in the meantime, I’ve been assisting Fortune 100 companies and stuff, build systems for their own businesses and in the midst of all that had to build systems for our own business to manage those systems for the other businesses. So that’s kind of where I’ve been hanging out.

 

Janine: (04:19)

So all those places, that’s all, no big deal, right?

 

Aaron: (04:23)

Yeah. Yeah. It’s something. Anyway, that’s something, I don’t know what it is, but it’s something.

 

Janine: (04:29)

Yeah. Well, our audience, what we like to share with them are stories, actual real experiences with the kind of struggles businesses commonly have regardless of their industry with growth and internal structure and systems and how you faced that, how you recognize it was a problem, what you did about it and, and how that all worked out.

 

Aaron: (04:54)

Yeah. Well, one thing that came to mind is, one of the Fortune 100 companies that we took on was BNSF Railway. And it was a process where we developed, I developed a product where we could systematically deliver audio files to different places and have them worked on, processed, which was hard at the time. I know it’s unbelievably, disgustingly easy now, but back in the day and in the early, in the early 2000s, it was difficult. So we created a kind of a system to do that. And so we’d gone out and tried to pitch businesses on, basically take them from analog cassette tapes and making them digital so we could move these things around and more effectively help them process their files. And, so we approached them and said, “hey, you know, you gotta use these digital recorders.” Like, “yeah, we’re not comfortable with digital recorders. We want to keep these in our big cassette machines,” and we’re like, oh, my. Anyway, so they said, “but we love the idea, why don’t you digitize them for us?” So within a couple of weeks, all of a sudden we started receiving cassette tapes, just piles of them and now we had to figure out a way to digitize these things and create a system to keep it organized. So we had eight different stations, went out, got the equipment and then we had to quickly figure out a big whiteboard check when they came in, check when they came out, and then we put that onto an excel sheet and made — again, it was very difficult back then, we’ve made it available to everybody to go through and create this process where within about 10 days we had a pretty nice process of when cassettes came in, because we had to ship them back to them for storage when we got done and digitized them. So we had this real nice process set up eventually with the help of my wife and a couple of friends and some other relatives that came in and kind of helped us set it up. But it was a crazy time and it’s amazing because when you have a new project you sometimes don’t understand fully the scope of that and then it hits and you realize, “okay, we’re not capable of dealing with this unless we build a system and free ourselves up to really do you know what it’s going to take to do it.” And thats…

 

Amalie: (07:10)

What’s your first step when you are working either in your business or another business to start creating a system?

 

Aaron: (07:21)

Yeah. When you find that you’re doing something every single day and it’s taken up so much of your time that you’re not being creative, it’s time to create a system. It’s time to create a routine or something because entrepreneurs, we’re not business owners, we’re really about the vision and the creation and the keeping the thing going, the motivation and if we’re hung out in stuff that’s bogging us down from getting there, it’s that whole Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. If we’re stuck down here, just terrified out of our minds. We can’t be at where the business really needs us to be. And so it’s really about using your creative mind to create a system to deal with the biggest problems and then move your way up until you feel comfortable. Like, okay, the system’s working, I can come in now and it only takes up a minimal amount of time to manage that. Then you’ve created enough systems. If you still feel panicked going into work and you can’t feel comfortable, enjoy what you do, then you don’t have enough systems in place.

 

Amalie: (08:23)

Yeah, so normally what I’ll say is most people already have systems because they do things over and over and over again, it’s just a matter of recording it and then taking a look at it and see if there’s anywhere that can be automated and then making sure that whatever is automated, you still record the whole thing, you know, whether it’s a video on Loom or it’s written down or something like that, you want to whatever that repeatable process is, you want to make sure that it’s in black and white somewhere or on a video that someone can do over and over again. But when you go into a business, what is the first step? So I get, we recognize when we need one, but what’s your first step in setting one up? So what was your first step in setting up, figuring out a system to set up for these cassettes?

 

Aaron: (09:11)

Yeah. Well, I mean the first, it’s usually first things first, right? The nightmare was a pile cassettes that we knew had to go back to the same place, right? So we had to make sure that they are organized when they came in. So that was the first step, making sure that we recorded when they came in, exactly where they came from. So we knew exactly where to put them out, so that kind of framed our system. And they came in from here and they need to go from there. And once we got that organized, then we could start processing, but until we knew where it had to go back, we couldn’t start processing these, because it could get lost in the mix. We’ve got eight different stations going and the cassettes weren’t always organized properly or written on properly. Like some of the cassettes were just blank, no writing on them, nothing, you know. And so I had to be careful we pulled them out that the envelope that they came in, the overnight envelope that they came in, which I mean the amount they were spending on shipping was ugh, it was all overnight back in the day. But so we would have to take the cassette out with and match that up, the address that it came from. Say, okay! This is the cassette, now we have to mark it with something, and we worked out with them that it was okay to mark upon these cassettes just to make sure that we kept them. So we had a little system for which day it came in, which division it was from, which person from that division. Boom. And then we put four letters and numbers on the cassette. So that would tie to that organization and then that could follow all the way through. And then it was gone. Those four letters became our identifiers and till it was gone. And then we can wipe that off the board and the next one would come in. So I think it’s the biggest nightmare. That’s where you start. And, I will say this too, when we create a system, I am always thinking about automation.

 

Amalie: (11:04)

Yeah.

 

Aaron: (11:04)

So if I have to do something over and over again, that’s probably my biggest time waster is I’m always looking to automate because I know if I can automate something, then I don’t have to waste any more time on it. I don’t have to train somebody else to do it. And I trust, I really trust servers now and they’re like the best employees.

 

Amalie: (11:32)

I do think there should be backup. So if for some reason the automation doesn’t work, have the backup plan needs to be somewhere, written down or you know, typed out to have that just in case it doesn’t work. So that way, you know, it’s not..

 

Aaron: (11:48)

Yeah. Absolutely. I mean there’s always a loop in there where there’s an audit loop. So if anywhere along the process it doesn’t happen, then you usually get a text or an email email and says, “hey, this thing didn’t work. It didn’t fire properly.” And that used to happen all the time. I mean, currently you can back up automations with another script.

 

Amalie: (12:10)

Yeah.

 

Aaron: (12:10)

To run it again if you need to. So there’s cool ways to backup automations that didn’t use to be in place. But yeah, always having everything down is, yeah. So we keep all that in Trello. It’s just easiest.

 

Amalie: (12:23)

Nice. I was gonna ask what tool you use, you use Trello. Nice.

 

Aaron: (12:27)

We do. Yeah. We use Trello quite a bit just to keep everything sort of straight and, not a lot moves in Trello right now because a lot of it’s automated. But if anywhere along the line there was a hole or something, then we could go into Trello and see what the process should have been.

 

Amalie: (12:42)

Awesome.

 

Janine: (12:43)

Well, I know, I know you were joking about wasting your time thinking about ways to… But I just want to make the point that it’s really, I think an investment in your time and part of that creative process that you’re referring to.

 

Aaron: (12:57)

Yeah, yeah, for sure. I mean, wasting times, probably, I would say it’s a hobby of mine. So I enjoy trying to figure out different ways to automate stuff. So yeah, I’m always dealing with running different scripts and seeing if different tools can communicate to each other. And if I can, you know, if I can move a graphic and make it published in a variety of different places, then I’ll always be messing with that kind of stuff. And that is the stuff that I usually do at night in bed while an episode of Friends is running and my wife is completely annoyed with me, but yeah, that’s the kind of stuff that I like to geek out about. Yeah.

Amalie: (13:33)

Awesome.

 

Janine: (13:35)

What would your recommendation be to someone who that’s not their hobby to geek out about but they need it?

 

Aaron: (13:42)

Well, I think that all of us as human beings have to look at how is it going to benefit us? And I think that there’s so many people out there that that want time, you know, want their time back and systems are a way to do that. I mean, it’s really about freeing yourself up and systems and routines or whatever you want to call them, they can be used on so many different levels to free your time up. So my morning routine is pretty set up and from the clothes I choose to when I eat breakfast to the whole thing, until I sit down. And I know we were talking earlier and you said, “hey, you know, can you…” and I said, “yeah, anytime after nine” because I know my routine takes till nine o’clock and so I’m not going to do anything before nine o’clock. I take some personal time, I do some stuff, I get my shower in and I get all that stuff done. And then at 9:00 am I know that everything’s complete. I know what my routine is and I know that I start right at 9:00 am but I get up at six so there’s three hours of just a series of routines that go on until I sit down and go to work that make my life completely simple. I’m not stressing about, I know I’m going to be at the desk at 9:00 am. I know that everything that needs to be done before I sit down will be done. I know my to do list and my tasks list, all that stuff will be situated and done. And then when I sit down, I’m free to think and create and do whatever I need to do because all of the stuff that I have to worry about until five, that has to be done today until 5:00pm is done. And that makes life different. And that frees up your day, I could leave right now and go play golf if I wanted or I could go do whatever I wanted because the routine and the system has taken care of everything that absolutely had to be done today.

 

Amalie: (15:26)

Yeah.

 

Aaron: (15:27)

It’s done.

 

Amalie: (15:27)

Right.

 

Aaron: (15:30)

So free up your mind, free up your time, free up your life. That’s the benefit and the beauty of systems and routines.

 

Janine: (15:37)

I bet. And that’s the dream really. That’s what people get started in this for. So you had the piles of cassettes showing up on your doorstep. What are you doing now? What are you working on?

 

Aaron: (15:48)

We still have clients from that initial business back there.

 

Amalie: (15:53)

Oh yeah. No more cassettes though, right? No more cassettes.

 

Aaron: (15:56)

No, no. It’s all digital now and it [inaudible] it. You never really see it or touch it or anything, but it was that, I will say it was putting a system together and helping them along because we helped them design from that point forward, they thought we were systems experts, so we helped them develop a bunch of different systems for a lot of different projects going forward and we helped them. They have union employees and when a union employee makes a mistake, you have to go through a series of events in order to even discipline them.

 

Janine: (16:28)

Right.

 

Aaron: (16:28)

And so we set up a big system and helped them, you know, from the moment an infraction occurs depending on the union, a bunch of different steps have to take place. And so we set up systems then that would help them. They would just put in the employee number and they would bring back what type of employee was, what union, and then we populate a series of steps and dates and timelines that had to be met in order for them to do what they needed to do to discipline this person or fire them or whatever it took. The whole process was then set up and then they were reminded all along the way. And once this, I guess this is like this is a good lesson, persistence. Once our system was in place and they were using it, they saved themselves $16 million the first year in fines and penalties from that year.

 

Amalie: (17:11)

Nice!

 

Janine: (17:12)

Holy Cow!

 

Aaron: (17:13)

That’s where.

 

Amalie: (17:15)

Where where did the system live?

 

Aaron: (17:18)

This system actually lived on our servers and so they would log in but it would communicate with them via email. So I would alert them, we would tie it, we API’d into their systems. So we got their full database of who the employees were and then we built out based on what union they were part of a whole series of steps that had to take place. And we would give them a calendar like this is when it has to be that they can print out and stick on their desks or do whatever. But we’d also remind them with email and also alerts own within our own system. And we would alert their manager of all these deadlines that had to be met. So once you turn it on, they really didn’t miss any sort of deadlines from that point on, and yeah, they saved themselves millions of dollars. At the unions, if you don’t hit these deadlines, the unions have the right to penalize you and find you for not treating your employee fairly.

 

Amalie: (18:13)

So when you set up a system like this, do you draw it out first? Do you visually draw it out and create that plan and then turn it into something? So I generally, I like to draw things out, right? So if I need to write something like, okay, this needs to go here, there need to be arrows pointing to what and then I can take it and create the thing that I need to create. But I like to draw it out first, is that something that you do as well?

 

Aaron: (18:39)

Yeah, I do like to draw it out. I’ve got a, I think it’s a 15-foot long whiteboard that’s in the conference room. So yeah, I like to draw things out. I also like to do it and there’s a lot of different cool software. Like Omnigraffle is a cool piece of software that you can get.

 

Amalie: (18:56)

I use Lucidchart.

 

Aaron: (18:56)

What’s that?

 

Amalie: (18:59)

Lucidchart, have you ever used that?

 

Aaron: (19:01)

I’ve never used Lucidchart.

 

Amalie: (19:03)

Oh yeah, I use that. So what’s the one you use?

 

Aaron: (19:06)

Omnigraffle is what it’s called.

 

Amalie: (19:07)

Ok.

 

Janine: (19:08)

Yeah, I’ve got that. I love it.

 

Amalie: (19:09)

I’ll check it out.

 

Aaron: (19:09)

Yeah. So I use that. I use that a lot. And actually when you draw it out like that- so they’ll tell you their problems and then when you draw it out like that and you give it back to them, they’ll freak out just because they can’t believe that you’ve been able to illustrate their process. And once you illustrate somebody else’s process, the holes are glaring. Like we’re looking at things going, “you guys are Fortunate 100 company doing what?” And so go through and schedule and say, “Hey, if we just took care of these things for you, this would solve so many of your problems.” And they’re like, “just, you know, do it.” And so that’s kind of where it came about. Systems are, systems that are hard for people to kind of put together. If you’re involved in your own business, sometimes you need an outside view to kind of say, “Hey, I’m looking at this and I’m seeing some problems here, why do you do things this way?” “Well, it’s because we’ve always done it that way.” That’s another good place to look. Something you’ve always done, but you don’t know why there could be a better system.

 

Amalie: (20:06)

Yeah.

 

Aaron: (20:06)

Yeah.

 

Amalie: (20:07)

Yeah. Absolutely I agree 110%. Just cause it’s always been done like that for a long time, doesn’t mean it should always be done like that. Yeah.

 

Aaron: (20:16)

Like one of the biggest lessons from the military.

 

Janine: (20:20)

Geez.

 

Amalie: (20:21)

Yeah. It’s like the folklore, but maybe we should look at that and see if that is the way it should be done. Yeah.

 

Aaron: (20:30)

Right. Yeah. It’s been done this way all the time. Don’t question it, just go.

 

Janine: (20:35)

There’s also the corollary to that when someone comes up with that great idea, right? Is this better or just different?

 

Aaron: (20:43)

Yeah.

 

Janine: (20:44)

We get a lot of different.

 

Amalie: (20:46)

Because sometimes you don’t need to break what isn’t broke, or you don’t need to fix what isn’t broke, but if it is broke, you need to fix it. Right? If it is broken definitely fix it.

 

Aaron: (20:55)

Yeah, I think it’s just kind of a good rule of thumb. If you’ve done it for a long time the same exact way and you’re not exactly sure why it’s worth looking at.

 

Amalie: (21:04)

Review it, yeah.

 

Aaron: (21:04)

You may not be able to make it any better, but it’s worth looking at some.

 

Amalie: (21:09)

For sure. Yeah. Yup. Exactly. And just to add onto that, whoever owns the system, should be fully responsible for it. Meaning any updates that need to be done to it, improving it, catching if there are any issues. I think sometimes people, they create this system or this process or the standard operating procedure, they’ll hand it off, and then people will be going through it, but there’s no one person that owns it. And so if there’s an update to whatever software you’re using or the program or whatever, it just never gets updated because someone doesn’t own it. So there should always be an owner of the system and the process that will review it maybe quarterly or, or you know, even just twice a year would be fine. But owns it to the point that if changes need to be made, they will make it and you know that they’re responsible for it.

 

Aaron: (22:03)

I absolutely 100% agree, and any system, if you’re doing it for another company, there should only be one contact person.

 

Amalie: (22:13)

Yes. Yeah.

 

Aaron: (22:14)

For that kind of company. Right? So, you know, and that’s something we figured out. We had so many people like, “hey, we’d prefer it if it did this”, I’d be like, “okay, here you go.” And then another group, they’d be like, “why? We liked it the old way.” And so there should be just one person that makes sure that any system, when you’re changing a system, especially if you’re helping somebody else with their business, make sure that that one person is the one that gives you the approval and they…

 

Amalie: (22:37)

And other people can communicate with them. Yeah.

 

Aaron: (22:41)

Whoever owns the system. Yeah. You don’t want it to be changing the system mid-stream, unless you’ve got the approval from the one person that you’re responsible to.

 

Amalie: (22:50)

Yeah. Yeah. Awesome.

 

Janine: (22:53)

So in all those adventures, have you ever actually come across the infamous ‘they’?

 

Aaron: (22:59)

The infamous “they”?

 

Janine: (22:59)

‘They’ yeah!, We sent it over to ‘them’ and they take care of it.

 

Aaron: (23:05)

Oh Yeah. We were talking about that. Right. That’s always something that you have to be careful of. There’s a lot of, especially in a like a railroad type, a larger organization right. And when they pass the buck, the CYA, all that stuff. Yeah.

 

Amalie: (23:27)

Or the ‘we’, “we should really do this. We should…”

 

Janine: (23:31)

Yes.

 

Aaron: (23:32)

What’s that?

 

Amalie: (23:32)

The ‘we’ should do this. The ‘We’ should definitely do this. The ‘we’, like who exactly?

 

Aaron: (23:41)

I’ll say when I say ‘we’, I mean you and let me know when it’s done.

 

Amalie: (23:45)

Yeah, yeah.

 

Janine: (23:47)

Yeah, absolutely, oh my gosh. This is so much fun. I know we could talk about this all day, but for this episode, we’re going to go ahead and wrap it up, but before we do, Aaron, can you tell our audience where they can find you?

 

Aaron: (24:01)

So anything entrepreneurial that I’m doing is, either find out on my podcast, or just finished up a really cool series on how to raise an entrepreneur on The Little Black Couch podcast, which was way fun. It’s been like a 10 year-long process I’ve been working on and my kids hate me because of it, and then I do the lives as Janine mentioned, and they’re both called The Little Black Couch, which is literally just a little black couch I’ve had in my office since I became an entrepreneur. I bought it from somebody down the hall. It’s always here, it’s sometimes a filing cabinet. Sometimes I take naps on it, pray for my livelihood on it. That’s why I named the podcast The Little Black Couch.

 

Amalie: (24:45)

I like it.

 

Aaron: (24:46)

That’s right.

 

Janine: (24:47)

And the couch is the employee of the month all the time right?

 

Aaron: (24:50)

He does a good job. He’s a little lippy but he does the job.

 

Janine: (24:55)

That’s awesome. All right, well thanks so much, Aaron.

 

Aaron: (24:58)

Thank you, thanks for having me. It’s fun talking. Thanks.

 

Amalie: (25:00)

Yeah, take it easy.

 

Amalie: (25:07)

We hope you enjoyed this episode of the podcast. You can find out more about Janine and Systematic Excellence at systematicexcellence.com and you can find out more about me, Amalie, at amalieshaffer.com.

 

Janine: (25:21)

If you did enjoy this episode. Please subscribe, leave a review and share with people you think may find it helpful. This goes a long way in helping us reach and serve as many people as possible. Thanks so much for listening. We’ll see on the next episode.

Description

Having a clear grasp of who we are makes it easier for us to overcome challenges and take advantage of potential opportunities. Our guest Joey Chandler is an expert at this: Joey helps people find out who they are, what their purpose is, and how to put both to good use.  

His main goal? 

Helping business leaders identify their purpose to establish a company culture where everyone thrives!

Show Notes

Has running your business lost some of its excitement?

Do you wish you still felt that spark you did when you first started your business?

Does it feel like your team isn’t buying into your mission? 

Joey Chandler discovered that once everyone in the company finds their own purpose, the company thrives. Join us in this episode where we talk about how having a great company culture is a key ingredient for growth! 

These are the topics we covered:

➡️ What are the 3 systems you consider and how they affect your work life 

➡️ How to rediscover that spark and harness it for growth

➡️ Why Millennials are changing the way businesses work

➡️ How great leaders deal with mistakes 

& many more things.

 

Listen now! https://systematicexcellenceconsulting.com/podcast/

 

Connect with Joey Chandler:

https://www.joeychandler.net/

https://www.facebook.com/JoeyChandler70/

 

Our Website

https://systematicexcellenceconsulting.com/home/

Hire Your First Contractor Bundle

 

Connect with Amalie:

https://www.instagram.com/amalie.shaffer/

https://www.facebook.com/amalie.shaffer/

https://www.linkedin.com/in/amalieshaffer/

 

Connect with Janine:

https://www.linkedin.com/in/janine-suvak

https://www.instagram.com/systematicexcellence/

https://www.facebook.com/systematicexcellenceconsulting/

 

Content Disclaimer: The information contained above is provided for information purposes only. The contents of this article, video or audio are not intended to amount to advice and you should not rely on any of the contents of this article, video, or audio. Professional advice should be obtained before taking or refraining from taking any action as a result of the contents of this article, video or audio. Systematic Excellence Consulting LLC disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on any of the contents of this article, video, or audio.

 

Disclaimer: Some of these links are for products and services offered by the podcast creators. 

 

Affiliate Disclaimer: The article, video, or audio may contain affiliate links. We may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post. Although you won’t pay any more for any purchases you make, the commissions will enable us to continue to provide free content to readers and listeners.

Episode Transcript

Janine: (00:36)

Well, Hi Joey.

 

Joey: (00:38)

Hello.

 

Janine: (00:39)

Welcome to the podcast. It’s so nice to meet you and have you here.

 

Joey: (00:43)

Thank you very much for having me.

 

Janine: (00:45)

And we were just having a fantastic little chat and I feel like I wish I had recorded that as we got going. So as you know, our audience is, you know, there are entrepreneurs who are going from a team to a larger organization trying to make that transition and then small to mid side businesses where we’re looking at the internal factors that, that produced the external results for their businesses. And what I’d really love for you to share is, with us is a peak on the inside of your experience with, you know, challenges that have been met and overcome along those lines.

 

Joey: (01:24)

Yeah, I well thank you again, thank you so much for having me here. So I am, yeah, I’m a, I’m a purpose guy. So I help people identify their purpose and then put it to use. And where I spend a lot of time talking to people and to businesses about is what are the systems that they have in place that will help either facilitate their, their ability to experience and share their purpose or you know, get in the way of it. And, and, and as I was saying, if the, I look at systems for the, for the individual or the or the small team entrepreneurs, I look at systems and at three levels there’s the personal systems that we have in our lives, that’s how you manage your finances and your fitness and how you plan date nights and vacations with your, with your spouses. Those are all systems that you have. Then you have the systems in your business, which are the emails and the marketing and the CRMs and, and how you onboard new and hires. Those are all systems as well. And then there’s the larger cultural systems that are political, economic, sexisms and racisms, those are all systems that will impact your, your employees and your audience and your clients’ ability to experience and share their purpose. And so understanding each of those and kind of understanding the play, the role that they play it, it does a couple things. One, it gives people a very broad understanding of how they show up in the world. And then sometimes it also shows that that frustration you’re feeling at work, well that’s because you didn’t go running today or, or something of the sort or that fact that you got angry at your kid is because you’re not managing your, your schedule at work. And it starts to see that overlap because I just, I think that overlap happens a lot more than we think. And we’d like to think that everything is isolated and you know, I got my life here and my business life here and this life here and I just, the more I explore, there’s just more and more overlap.

 

Janine: (03:27)

What would you say is the most common difficulty you see in this area at this level?

 

Joey: (03:34)

Well, I think burnout is a, is a big one is, and, and what happens is, is you’re, you’re balancing that, that, that, that push and pull between trying to be the person that you want to be and, and then just getting all the stuff done, you know, getting..

 

Janine: (03:54)

Right.

 

Joey: (03:54)

And you’re like, “I know my business should, I should be doing this, this, and this, but I gotta take this call or I got to do this, or I just want to watch TV.” Something of that story. And its this constant pull. And the other thing that I think is the big one of the big challenges is that business these days is just getting more complex. There’s, there’s more things that we need to be aware of in terms of managing our business and how we appear out in the world. And the social side. I call this now the enough generation where you don’t get to be a little bit sexist or racist or anything like that anymore cause we get called out. And in the execs that I start that I talked to, they’re aware of that and they’re frankly a little concerned like they want, they want to do good, but they also are like, “I don’t know, cause we don’t get a lot of training in that.”

 

Janine: (04:47)

Do you think there’s a fear of being misunderstood that holds them back?

 

Joey: (04:53)

I think it’s a fear of, I don’t know if it’s being misunderstood. It’s a fear of not having practice. It’s a fear of not knowing what to say and not, not having enough experience of recovering from making mistakes. One of the things when you make mistakes, when you make mistakes over and over again and you are able to recover from them, you’re less afraid of making mistakes. It’s one reason successful people are successful. They’ve made more mistakes than the rest of us.

 

Janine: (05:26)

Sure, yeah!

 

Joey: (05:26)

And they’re able to recover faster. The same thing when you’re talking about dealing with the systems, the cultural systems. If you’ve engaged in looking at where you’ve been sexist or racist and you’ve been able to work through that, you’re not as worried about making that mistake again. You’re able to own it and to get through it faster. And that’s all just raising your awareness of the systems that are out there.

 

Janine: (05:54)

And how do these systems that are in the environment of the business, how are they affecting businesses abilities to operate today, do you think?

 

Joey: (06:04)

Yeah, I think it, it’s really hard. If you’re, say a mid size business, right? You’re maybe 20 to 40, you know, less than a hundred employees. You’ve got two things going on, right now, there’s a huge crunch for employees, for quality staff and there’s a big push for culture. Nowadays everybody’s talking about how culture eats everything. It’s the most important thing you can have and you can, and it, cause it allows you to want, attract the best people and retain the best people so that you can better serve your clients or achieve whatever mission that you’re out to achieve. And when you’re focused on that, that’s a difficult thing to do. Cause that’s a very broad thing. There’s a lot of different moving parts to really maintain the culture that are there. And there’s lot of systems that you’ve gotta be able to be aware of and need to understand how your marketing campaign is putting an image of your business out into the world. And you need to understand how your HR is supporting the employees that put that out there and all the sorts of just moving parts. And then there’s also just the then and then, so the exact story in that stage are trying to do that. But then there’s also just all the stuff they have to get done, you know, to run a business there’s that, at some point you just gotta get stuff done.

 

Janine: (07:21)

True. Absolutely!

 

Joey: (07:21)

And then you have all your personal, your person, the personal issues. There’s, you know, there’s rowing loneliness in our country, our country, we’re disconnected from our families and our friends more where we don’t have that, that foundation of people that, to really talk to and commiserate with and work through different issues. And so all of these different things just pull on people more and more and more. And it’s causing a lot of stress and exhaustion and frustration.

 

Janine: (07:51)

Do you think that the desire for the good environment in a business is partly driven from that loss of connection at home with friends and family. Are they looking to connect at work with people because they feel disconnected out in the world?

 

Joey: (08:10)

Yeah, but the reality is, is that we’re not that, I think that the average employee now is down to less than three or four years right at it at a particular company. And so if you’re coming into a company and you’re only going to be there for a few years, that means the people that around you are already on the way out. And so that, that, that sense of time and you know, when you put in time with somebody and you work through stuff, you just, that’s, that’s where friendships show up. But we’re, we’re doing that less and less and there’s more, there’s more, you know, remote workers and more contract workers and everyone’s economies. So we’re spending less and less time. So, I think people are coming in looking at and hoping for friends. One of, one of the big contributors to someone really enjoying the work is if they have a friend at work and not just, not like somebody likes to work with, but a real good friend that you want, you look forward to seeing. And that’s happening less and less. And so, I think the push to have a good company is actually a reflection of the society that we’re living in. No longer can people ignore environmental issues, no longer can people ignore these larger social issues the way we used to be able to do it. Now we have to take it on, otherwise we’re going to get called out for business.

 

Janine: (09:31)

So, yeah, that’s impressive to look at it from all those different layered views and to tie it all together. So if somebody, what would you say to the leadership of a company who was having the desire to be a company people want to work at within this complexity? What would you think is, say the number one thing they could start with?

 

Joey: (09:56)

Yeah, I think so number one is, is, that’s a great question and this is, this is the million dollar question.

 

Janine: (10:04)

Yes i know it’s a trick question right?

 

Joey: (10:04)

We’re going to solve it right now. They will retire. I think there’s a couple of ways to do this. I think first off, the leadership has to identify their own personal purposes. And this is what I’m talking about where you have either a founder team or maybe a founder with a couple of key executives. When they identify their purpose and who they are and what they’re about, the purpose of the company is most likely going to be a combination of those, those three or four or five people. And that will be the reflection of the company. And, and this the part I’m actually really excited about because what has, what normally people do is we then we figure out the purpose of the company and then we say, ‘okay, all employees get behind this purpose, we want you to rally behind it and see what it means to you and understand it’, and we’ll put a new language and new branding and all of that kind of stuff. And it works sort of. But the problem is, and this is something that’s come out of my work is with individuals is that you can’t live someone else’s purpose. And the example of this is, have you ever done this where you’ve gone to a seminar and you take the seminar and it’s super, super awesome and it’s great. And you, you know, you get the binder and you put, you get down to your car and take the binder and you put it behind the back of your seat in the back seat and you never look at it again?

 

Janine: (11:32)

Once or twice.

 

Joey: (11:33)

Once or twice. You may have heard about people doing that.

 

Janine: (11:35)

I may have heard about people who’ve done that. No, I’ve totally done that.

 

Joey: (11:39)

We all have.

 

Janine: (11:40)

Yes.

 

Joey: (11:41)

And and as I’ll, cause I was, people were doing that to my work. I’m like, “what is going on?” And what I’ve come to realize is that that, that, that experience, what happens is the leader of the workshop leader, the seminar leader has developed something. They’ve understood something about their own purpose. They’ve seen something about themselves and what really works for them. And then they’ve created systems and processes and procedures to help them experience more of their purpose. And then they packaged it up and sold it and it works really well. And we, that’s why we get all excited, we go there, this is totally awesome. But it’s based on their purpose. It’s not based on our own. So there’s a disconnect between what they’re teaching and what we’re actually doing. And when we’re young that disconnect, we can kind of fight through that disconnect and we can put it in and we can put in all the moving parts. But as, well I say as I get a little bit older and that we get more resigned as a society and more cynical, that disconnect, is bigger and bigger. So now what’s happening is people are taking workshops and literally by the time you get up to the car, it’s like you’re back to where you normally where.

 

Janine: (12:49)

Its attention span problem is real, right?

 

Joey: (12:53)

Well, it’s attention span. It’s all sorts of things. But it’s also just, that’s not me. I’ve, you know, I’m not going to do it. And so when a company says, ‘Hey, this is our purpose’, and you know, people get behind it, the problem is it’s not the employees purpose. They may, they, they, it reflects in it. It may be a part of their purpose that may inspire them in a certain way, but over time it’s not their own purpose. So what I think a company ought to do is I help leaders identify their own purpose, create the purpose of the company, say this is what we are as a company. And then help each of the employees identify their own individual purpose and how their individual purpose is, can be best for or is fulfilled by helping their company fulfill the bigger purpose. That makes sense?

 

Janine: (13:44)

Absolutely. So, well put.

 

Joey: (13:47)

Yeah. And here’s the really cool part is cause purpose really takes practice. This is one this is for, I was working with all these exec’s and they would identify the purpose and they’d be all excited and like, ‘yes’. And what would happen is they’d go to work and the next day I get these phone calls where they weren’t in tears, but they were just distraught, really frustrated and it was happening over and over again. I’m like, okay, what?, You know as a systems guy, I’m like, you know, when you see something over and over again, you’re like, okay, there’s something going on. And what I started to realize is that people were figuring out their purpose and they were super excited, but then they were going back into their everyday life and their everyday life was not that there was something far less than their vision that they saw for their purpose. And they were getting really distraught and really frustrated. And, because what I realized is that we don’t have a lot of experience being ourselves. I think about…

 

Janine: (14:44)

We’re letting our environment drive our behavior and our thoughts?

 

Joey: (14:47)

Yeah. Just I’ve been thinking about how often, how many times have you been at a job, you know, at work where you really felt like you could be yourself fully?

 

Janine: (14:55)

Well, I was in the military, so that was a very different way of trying to be within yourself within the uniformity that’s required to get the mission done.

 

Joey: (15:06)

Right? Right. You’re, you’re almost not even allowed to be yourself. You’re allowed to be a, you know, a particular version of yourself. And that shows up over and over and over again. So if I just said to you, you know, ‘hey, I just want you to be yourself’, now you’ve done a lot of work. I can tell and you probably have a certain level of ability to do it. But I think a lot of people when we say like when the Brene Brown’s of the world say ‘be vulnerable, be authentic, be yourself’, we’re like, “I don’t even know what that means!” And so it takes practice to be yourself. It takes practice, to live your purpose. And when a company could identify their own, help their employees identify their purpose, that’s really powerful because the employee will go out and live their purpose with their family, with their friends. When they go grocery shopping, they will practice being the purpose. You will build up their purpose muscles so to speak. And then they come into work and they have that conversation with a key client or a key employee or you know, there’s, there’s a kind of some more tension involved. They will have practice being the purpose so much that they will be more grounded in it and they’ll be able to use it and have more facility with it. If the, if the client, if the company says, ‘Hey, we want you to be on, you know, we want you to really get behind our purpose’, there when they go to, you know, when they go, even no matter how much you pay them, when they go talk to their friends and family, they’re not going to be that purpose they’re going to go back to their own. And so they’re not going to get practice, as much practice being that thing. And so you’re going to have that disconnect and people aren’t going to be as quote ‘good’ with it.

 

Janine: (16:42)

Yeah. And I think people can detect.

 

Joey: (16:44)

Yeah

 

Janine: (16:44)

The subtleties of if you’re really, you know, walking the walk and versus what you mean. You know, what you’re asking.

 

Joey: (16:53)

Yeah! Our, BS meters are so, you know they are wound so tight these days that you just, I mean, you’ve been on the phone like, this is funny, I get phone calls now from, you know, I’m sure you get cold calls, you know, telemarketers. So when people call me, I’m like, ‘Hey, what’s your purpose?’. We get into really funny conversations, but you can completely hear the difference when someone’s reading off a script as opposed to saying, ‘no, this is why I believe this is a great service for you. And you know, why I really believe in it’.

 

Janine: (17:24)

Absolutely!

 

Joey: (17:24)

And it’s 100% different and it’s not as, it may not be as effective in the short term, but in the long term, I think it’s totally real. Because the cool part about if you take this approach and you really help employees learn how to be more effective by being themselves, then people come to work and they’re like, “this is a place where not only can I be myself, I’m encouraged to be myself”, and that that just doesn’t happen very much.

 

Janine: (17:51)

And that’ll in turn reflect in a better output for the business overall if everyone’s happy.

 

Joey: (17:57)

Yeah, yeah, yeah.

 

Janine: (18:00)

That’s fantastic.

 

Joey: (18:00)

Absolutely. Absolutely. But it’s a little scary. I have to, because what it requires is if, if I’m, you know, I’m Mr Boss and I’m saying, ‘hey, you know, our purpose is this, this and this’. What do you think people are going to see immediately when I say that?

 

Janine: (18:17)

I’m not sure.

 

Joey: (18:19)

All the places where I’m not that.

 

Janine: (18:22)

Oh, I gotcha.

 

Joey: (18:23)

Right. If I say we’re about, we’re about love and joy and we’re gonna create love and joy through the system and we’re going to have people be incredibly happy. The employees are going to be like, “well that’s awesome, but I am not having love or joy here, here and here.”

 

Janine: (18:36)

Okay.

 

Joey: (18:37)

Right?

 

Janine: (18:38)

Yeah.

 

Joey: (18:38)

And so if I’m going to adopt this process, I’m going to adopt this where I really want you to be your very best. I have to be willing to hear feedback. I have to be willing to be open and to be vulnerable and to say, yeah, I did well here and I, I, you know, I stumbled here and I have to be willing to hear you say, ‘Hey, this really doesn’t work for me, this is getting the way of my ability to experience my purpose’. And that’s not easy.

 

Janine: (19:03)

And this is what you help business leaders with?

 

Joey: (19:06)

Yeah. Yeah. That’s why when they, and cause of the cool part is whether the, going back to the very beginning of why I say the first thing to do is help a leader figure out their own purpose. When you’re clear on your purpose, when you know who you are, you can take feedback and say, oh yeah, that was a mistake. I didn’t deliver on my purpose. I wasn’t, you know I, for whatever reason. And you, cause where I used to go is like, ‘oh I suck, I’m horrible’. You know, I would, I’ve managed 90 people at one point in a large retail sporting goods store and I had a really hard time because I just, I just want people to like me right? And so I was always trying to, and never really just saying, okay, here’s where I did well and here’s where I kind of messed up. I didn’t do a very good job of that. And now, and I’m saying that just as a waste of energy. So now we, especially in the modern day business leader, you have to be able to be listened to feedback. You have to be willing to be authentic and real because like you said, you’re the BS meters are so, so, you know, everyone’s just attuned to it. And so that’s why, but when you know your purpose, you’re able to just listen to that. You’d be a little more grounded in who you are. So that’s why the business leaders have to do it.

 

Janine: (20:20)

Thank you. Thank you so much Joey for sharing that. That’s amazing. Really appreciate that. And I know my audience is really happy to hear this. This is exactly the kind of thing we’re looking for. Thank you.

 

Joey: (20:32)

Oh good.

 

Janine: (20:33)

So, how can my audience find you?

 

Joey: (20:37)

Yeah, so I do, I do a couple of things. I do individual coaching and a group programs. I, I am, I have a, we do a Facebook group once a week. I do a live call with people in a zoom call and we just get on and it’s more, it’s not, it’s just simply talking about whatever’s coming up in the world for them and, and how they can live their purpose and, and that, and in that everything’s at JoeyChandler.net which is my website. And you can, you can find all that. And so I do that with individuals and then for people who really want to, are looking at their, their culture, and I work mostly with companies in that 20 to 40 to you know less than a hundred people sort of range that if they’re looking at, I got all this stuff done and or got all the stuff to get done and I know I need to take on my culture, but I don’t know how, those are the people that I can help with.

 

Janine: (21:31)

I see, perfect. Well we’ll be sure to put the links in the show notes so they can get to you easy.

 

Joey: (21:37)

Thank you.

 

Janine: (21:37)

Again, thanks for coming on this episode.

 

Joey: (21:40)

No, this is wonderful. I really appreciate it and great work.

 

Amalie: (21:46)

We hope you enjoyed this episode of the podcast. You can find out more about Janine and Amalie at systematicexcellence.com.

Description

Inspired by her desire to chill and enjoy life to its fullest, Kim learned early in her entrepreneurial journey how to structure a business that supports her dream lifestyle. Discover how Kim went on offense when she recognized a threat to her business and responded by building another one that is growing bigger and faster than the first – with less risk …and how she helps others do it too.

Show Notes

Fulfillment comes in many different ways. For some, it’s all about perfecting their business. But for Kim, it’s about finding peace of mind and balance. Because what’s the point if you work your life away and don’t get to enjoy time with your family and friends? Is success worth it if you can’t share it with the ones you love? Enjoying life to the fullest is what inspired Kim to build her own business(es!). 

On this episode, we discuss how to start your own eCommerce and other online businesses without having to become a tech wizard. 

These are the topics we covered:

 

➡️ How to run an online company without a tech background

➡️ An important key factor you need to know when talking business

➡️ Different ways to get consistent revenue without investing a ton of money 

 

Listen now! https://systematicexcellenceconsulting.com/podcast/

 

Connect with Kim Dang:

www.kimcdang.com

https://www.chromebossmasterclass.com/

https://www.facebook.com/KimPossibleDang/

https://www.facebook.com/groupconvert/ 

http://bit.ly/GroupConvert5DayChallenge 

www.groupconvert.com

 

Our Website

https://systematicexcellenceconsulting.com/home/

Hire Your First Contractor Bundle

 

Connect with Amalie:

https://www.instagram.com/amalie.shaffer/

https://www.facebook.com/amalie.shaffer/

https://www.linkedin.com/in/amalieshaffer/

 

Connect with Janine:

https://www.linkedin.com/in/janine-suvak

https://www.instagram.com/systematicexcellence/

https://www.facebook.com/systematicexcellenceconsulting/

 

Content Disclaimer: The information contained above is provided for information purposes only. The contents of this article, video or audio are not intended to amount to advice and you should not rely on any of the contents of this article, video, or audio. Professional advice should be obtained before taking or refraining from taking any action as a result of the contents of this article, video or audio. Systematic Excellence Consulting LLC disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on any of the contents of this article, video, or audio.

 

Disclaimer: Some of these links are for products and services offered by the podcast creators. 

 

Affiliate Disclaimer: The article, video, or audio may contain affiliate links. We may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post. Although you won’t pay any more for any purchases you make, the commissions will enable us to continue to provide free content to readers and listeners.

Episode Transcript

Intro:              00:02 Go Behind the scenes with Janine and Amalie, seasoned military veterans as they talk about how to overcome the challenges of leadership, running teams, and coordinating all the moving parts of an organization to accomplish the mission, whether it’s boarding pirated vessels, saving lives in combat, and helping CEOs lead their companies to victory on the business battlefield every week. Janine and Amalie share insights from their experiences, the leaders they work with, and their guests experts as they dive into lessons learned in successful solutions to real world business issues.

Janine:             00:36 Hi Kim, Welcome to the podcast.

Kim:                00:39 Hello Janine. How are you?

Janine:             00:42 Great. It’s so nice to have you here. I know you’re doing a lot of great things with software and chrome extensions and I’d really love to hear more about your background.

Kim:                00:55 Sure. So yeah. I came to America when I was four and then my parents wanted me to go through the traditional route cause they’re super, super traditional Asian parents. They’re like “become a doctor.” Since then it was pretty much a struggle on “do I want to become a doctor?” I don’t know if I want to become a doctor, but I made it all the way through college and I had a pre-med major. And then I had some crisis, not midlife crisis, but like a crisis during college where I’m like, I don’t really want to become a doctor. And then I switched my major to business and then from there I did something that was kind of, I don’t know if a lot of people go through this, but I didn’t know what I wanted to do. So after college ended, I just chilled out with my ex boyfriend at the time for just, I’m not gonna do anything if I don’t know what to do. And he kind of enabled me. He was like, “you know what? You don’t have to do anything. I’m going to take care of you.” And it was one of those young loves, it feels like, ‘oh, he’ll take care of me forever’. And so he kind of enabled me to have a life where I didn’t have to work and I could buy whatever I want and I could just chill. I could just chill. And he just supported me until that relationship didn’t work out. And then I had to get a full time job and I remember the week where I had to get the full time job, I was like, “oh my God, I want to go back to being chilling” and saying “do people do this? Is this how it is in real life?”

And I think going from not working to showing up, having to show up for 40 hours was insane to me and the fact that I had to do it week after week and I only have two weeks of vacation time, I thought that was insane. So after work what I did was I just googled how to make money online, you know, like anyone else would. Right? And, and I found this five page PDF on how to drop ship. So I said, ‘okay, this is five pages. I’ll just follow it’. And I followed it. I started doing drop shipping. Then that led me to e-commerce. Long story kind of more condensed, I started having my own inventory. I saved up all my money for one year, moved to the desert by myself, started it, pick apart things from scratch. And then now fast forward, five years later, I have my own e-commerce company with staff and physical location and everything. But the reason why I got into software was around seven months ago, everyone around me started getting evicted and I was like, “what’s going on?” All these businesses around me. And then I realized, Oh wow, times are changing. So the marijuana, what is it, the whole movement of legalization actually enabled a lot of businesses to start, the marijuana businesses to start coming in and they can pay five times the rent, no problem for a lot of these warehouses, right, to do their own thing. And all the current existing people who are these little mom and pop stores trying to just make it work, no longer can make it work. They can’t pay. And so they started getting evicted. I’m like, ‘oh my God, what about me? What am I, what about me?’ And at that time, six months ago, I was still okay cause I’m like, alright, I’m still okay. I’m still fine. But it shook me to the core. It felt like if I have a business and it’s okay and its profitable, I’m still very vulnerable. So I need to figure something else out. And that’s when I looked into, creating software or having, having something that’s location independent that has low overhead cost that’s, I saw it as that. I’m like, “okay, this way maybe overhead cost is low, maybe I can be anywhere in the world it’s fine, no one’s going to evict me, you know I own it, it sounds great.” So, I flew to San Francisco where all the startups are at and I went and paid to be in a room with a guy who was super successful. He exited five companies, multimillion dollar came from Silicon Valley. And I asked him for advice and he, and I’m like, “what about this idea? What about that idea?” And he told me, ‘Kim, do you even have anyone following you? Do you, do you have anything like an audience?’ And I said, ‘I have a Facebook group of like 98 people’, and then he’s like ‘um’ he’s like ‘I think you need to first start some audience and then within that audience, figure out what is it that they need in terms of software and then build that for them and then sell it to them’. So, that got me into interviewing successful people to grow my little tiny Facebook group. So I grew it from 98 people to over a thousand in the span of like a couple months because I started interviewing people and their audience would get into my group. And then within that journey, everyone was saying, ‘oh, I have chrome extension, I have chrome extension’ the successful people. Like I talked to Spencer Meecham and he’s like, ‘oh yeah, I got a lot of opt-ins from chrome extensions.’ Like Marcus Campbell is like, ‘I sell chrome extensions’ and, and James Hurst, he’s like, ‘I have some chrome extensions of my own’. And I figured like, what’s up with all these chrome extensions? How come people are, they have their own. And then, so I looked into making one and I looked into a frustrated community where they wanted more features and they didn’t have… the owner, he had other things to do, which is fine, you know, that’s his life but he wasn’t serving his community. So there was a lot of frustration there. And I’m like, Oh, I’m frustrated myself with this tool. So I, what I did was I went in and I figured like, can I do this, can I make my own tool with features that I want? And I already have an existing audience that, that might go and get my tool. When I figured that out, I just hired some random person on Upwork and I’m like, ‘Hey, can you build, can you build a tool that does this and this and this?’ And he’s like, ‘yeah, sure’. So it cost me $380 to have that tool made. And I remember my Instagram story when I launched it, it was like I was recording myself. I’m like, I launched it. I emailed 25 people on my list. They’re like, I email 25 people and I got two purchases and it’s like $10, $7 a month. I had two people pay. So two people start paying me $7 a month. And I, that’s when I realized, wow, this is something that could work. I don’t have to buy more things to add more units. I don’t have to pay for a warehouse, I don’t have to pay for like a bunch of staff. And, and that’s when went on my journey with like creating more and more chrome extensions, duplicating it, creating a whole program and system that supports a safe space for people to have their own chrome extensions. Since then, some of my students who are successful have launched their own and have made like one guy within six weeks of launching, he’s making 4,000 monthly re ocurring. And another guy, he’s doing 3000 monthly re ocurring within one month of launching and all these people. And when I looked at those stats, I’m like, ‘oh my God’, this can change a life. Like, you know, this, this is something that I should take more seriously. So recently I’ve invested in a year long mastermind, at quite a high, high price. But I invested in myself to learn how to get my messaging better, to learn how to be able to deliver on a bigger scale. And when I entered that program, I started thinking differently. I started approaching everything differently. So now actually moving forward, I have like a live event, I have workshop days, I added a mindset mentor into my program so that, they have their mind in the right place in order to pursue the things that they want, which is in the end, it’s freedom, right? Everyone wants freedom. And how can I deliver this freedom in the least resistance way possible with something that people find scary, like technology and software, right? So my goal was to create this space where when you enter the program that your fears that have been holding you back, your fears of technology melts away and everything that has been holding you back goes away during the program so you can move forward and kind of like dominate. And there was, there’s a quote that I go by now, it’s like you don’t have to be smart because really, I don’t know how to code or anything. You just have to be ahead. That’s all. And in this world, crazy world we live in, we can hire people for a couple hundred dollars to make software that we own and then we can turn that around and charge people in the world. $10 here, $17 a month there or whatever, and have them pay you every single month and you only need a couple of couple of hundred users in the whole world to completely replace your mortgage or your car payment or whatever it is. That’s the crazy world we live in. So knowing that, I’m like I need to get my messaging correctly so I can actually communicate this to the world or to my, you know, my environment in a way where people who’ve been struggling so hard, they try so many things, it doesn’t work out to finally have something work out for them because more often than not, when I meet someone, they’re not already wealthy searching for other streams of income, which I have a program for that too. It’s called ChromeBoss Angel Investor program. But if they are suffering and they want to escape their boss, they want to get out of their nine to five, then this way is so little resistance and very high rewards if they actually do the work and you know, take my program. So that’s long story short. Not long story short. That is long story lon.

Janine:             12:05 It’s a great story. No, it’s a great story and that’s such an important point. I actually spent a little time in the mobile app development space, doing development which is actually as you, everything you described explains how I was doing it wrong, right? And most, I liked that kind of thing. But most people, you know, it’s scary and they don’t want to get into it, and so that’s wonderful what you’re doing to help them be able to do softwares. Absolutely. You don’t have to learn how to code, that’s such a huge message. So have you launched all of these programs, or was there one that you’re still putting into place you mentioned?

Kim:                12:46 Yeah, no, I’ve launched all these programs.

Janine:             12:48 Okay.

Kim:                12:49 What I mentioned to you, I have a guy that is part of the ChromeBoss Angel Investor program. He just like literally he showed me his projects that he’s working on. He just, he’s in the middle of closing a $850,000 purchase on a building. He has, he has all these random, he has a country club, not country club, like a restaurant that is country themed. He has a pest control business. He has two e-commerce stores that are free plus shipping. He has all these things. So he’s like, ‘Kim, I’ve been doing this for 25 years. I don’t want to go through your 997 course’, he’s like, ‘that’s not the level I’m at I want to invest in reliable, reoccurring stream of income’. And I said, ‘this is a reliable recurring stream of income’. You know, I met him actually at a conference, so it was face to face. We spent a couple of days together and he was like, this is something I want to invest in because the returns are really high for the amount that you put in. And he’s like, you know, I just paid $450,000 for a restaurant and it’s gonna pay up. It makes 450,000 a year in profit. But he paid, he paid a $450,000 chunk and he’s gonna wait two years until it actually breaks even and on his investment and then you know, and then after that, it’s pure profit for him. But he’s like, think of, think of how much capital I put into those businesses. So if I can put in less capital, but larger amount of cashflow coming back from that low overhead, because with a restaurant you need to pay for permits and you know, lease and employees, labor taxes, every, you know, all those things that revolve around that. Like a little tiny chrome extension that has like a few hundred users but making a month a good amount every single month and it grows all the time. You can easily, he’s like, I can flip this. I can go in, buy the property, have this, flip it. And he actually, he bought a e-commerce store a year ago for $20,000 and now he’s selling it less than a year later for 164,000. So think about that online digital property, there, they’re purchasing that steady flow of income. They’re purchasing that cashflow that comes in every month. That’s what they’re purchasing.

Janine:             15:29 Yeah. That, that’s a big space that I think has been under the radar for most people along you know, still actually

Kim:                15:36 Still.

Janine:             15:37 Still. Yeah yeah, I bet he’s happy that it doesn’t take two years to get those kinds of returns too, Huh?

Kim:                15:44 Oh yeah, yeah. So, yeah, I have these programs. I have Chromebox master class out already. It’s been around for not that long, five months, almost six months. And at the beginning I had nothing. I was like, this is a private Facebook group. If you want to get in pay $7. That’s how it started. I’m like, I’m going to document my journey. I’m going to put all this stuff that I’m doing in here. I’m going to record myself doing like random, you know, whatever stuff I’m doing, launching this, building that. And then $7 became 47 became a hundred, became 497 now it’s 997. And then now I have programs that are, 5,000, 10,000 and 20,000 that are more like ChromeBoss Elites and you know, the higher packages from where the successful students who are already doing really well every month, but what they’re, what, you know, every single time you grow you get new problems. Right. And before I thought it was like, ‘Oh, you know, here’s this course, they buy it and that’s it, all fine and dandy’, you know, like they have, they have something in the end, but then what happens is they’re like, ‘oh shit, how do I scale now?’ Like, Oh, what happens now? And so I am, you know, I have the programs that take them beyond what happens now. So yeah. That’s what I have.

Janine:             17:10 How long did, how long has this been going on for you?

Kim:                17:14 Not long, six, six months now.

Janine:             17:18 Six months, holy cow, that is on fire.

Kim:                17:21 Very little time, but.

Janine:             17:24 Now do you still have your e-commerce business?

Kim:                17:27 Oh yes, for sure. I’m not going to let that go. That issue automate it. I was technically free from my job for the past three years of my life. So what I did was I became a total desert rat. Like I, I was in the desert rock climbing all the time, every single day. Actually, every single day I would go rock climbing. I had a boyfriend, that he was an early investor in stocks and he started trading when he was seven years old cause that’s the environment he’s in. And so by the time that he was in his twenties, he’s like, I really don’t have to work. So he just goes and he rock climbs and I just joined him cause I’m like, well I don’t really have to work either. And so we had this four year relationship of like just, just chilling. And then in May it became boring and it became like empty because I felt like, oh wow, what’s my purpose and what am I doing? And then when, six months ago, that thing happened where people get, started getting evicted. I’m like, Oh, maybe, you know, this is a sign that I should get into something that won’t have me be so vulnerable, you know? And the relationship ended with him too. So it was kinda like, you know, I can go and go off in my path and see what happens.

Janine:             18:47 Okay. That’s, yeah. I’m sorry that was part of the motivator. But it’s funny how those things can come together to motivate you to take another direction, isn’t it?

Kim:                18:57 Yeah. No, I’m totally happy. I have a new boyfriend now.

Janine:             19:03 Yay.

Kim:                19:05 Very loving, kind. Nice. Yeah, an amazing person and things are going good so far. You know so…

Janine:             19:14 Let me ask this, so the e-commerce you you made that, that step, I run into a lot of people who get hung up on that getting caught up in their operations and they don’t, and they struggle with getting themselves out of it. So their business is running itself in the end like you have where you’re at that level where I don’t have to work it’s doing fantastic. How is it going with what you’re doing now and your, the time you have to do the other things in your life?

Kim:                19:42 I devote one hour to the other work and I think you can see the same trend in people who have different businesses. You’re like, how can they even do that? It’s because they spent the time and the energy creating the systems for it to run automatically. And a lot of times it is a fight with yourself to let go and not be perfect. I do have friends who are still very much involved in their business because they’re like perfectionists, and they really need to be there, and some of them are very successful, they own multimillion dollar companies, but they’re like complete workaholics, they barely hang out with friends, they don’t go on adventures and you know, whatever makes them happy, they’re happy. In my head I’m like, ‘oh, are you happy? Okay. If you’re happy, that’s fine’. But, but for me, the life I want to live is one that is more balanced, even if I make a little bit less I really don’t care if I make a little bit less, as long as I have more peace of mind and balance. So yeah, the, the trend I see is they focus on the systems, build the systems work hard to build it, then they let go and then they, they do other things, where they’re building systems for their next project and, and after a while it’s kind of like second nature. Like, okay, I got to hire this type of person, then I got to hire that type and through that process, the hiring process, it’s, you know, it’s, it’s a big deal. And then they find someone who does their own hiring and then that makes it a lot easier if you find someone to do the hiring for you to continue the hiring process and to HR for you. So I don’t know what trends, I know you specialize in systems, but I don’t know what trends you see, but that’s the trend that I see from people who can free themselves. They have to like not be so addicted to what they’re doing and to be okay with 80% perfection than not 100%.

Janine:             21:55 Yeah, that’s, that’s the message. That’s the common theme with people who have successfully done that. Really.

Kim:                22:02 Yeah.

Janine:             22:04 Did you find it hard to let go, was it scary or was it strategic that you just knew because you started out chilling and that’s where you wanted to be next?

Kim:                22:13 Well the first business that I let go of, it was a struggle because it took my boyfriend yelling at me cause he was just chilling a lot. And I was a workaholic when we first met and he was like, ‘Kim, I’m going to take you away for a week, you’re not going to be able to have any kind of work done during that week and I’m going to force you to do it’. And in my head I’m like ‘Ugh, I don’t want to know what if things burned down when I’m gone’, and then he just forced me to do it and when he forced me, nothing happened. It was fine, all fine. And then, and then I took two weeks off and then I took a month off and then I took two months off. I took three months off and then I started taking more and more off, and then when I checked back the systems were like, the people were taking care of themselves, they were doings things, I go back to the, my physical, I go back to the warehouse and I’m like, wow, everything has changed. And they’re like, yeah, cause you haven’t been here for months. And I’m like, oh I see but that’s fine.

Janine:             23:17 That’s fine.

Kim:                23:17 We’re like we’re ok Kim we’re ok.

Janine:             23:17 Keep doing it, keep doing it right?

Kim:                23:23 It was funny! Yeah!

Janine:             23:28 Oh that’s [inaudible]

Kim:                23:28 You find that it’s hard, but you either need someone to push you out of it or you mentally do it yourself. But what I’ve found out is if you have someone to push you out of it, that makes it way easier. Yeah!

Janine:             23:42 Great. Yeah, that is awesome. That’s, that’s pretty common too. That, or the other thing I see is that family, right, they push themselves to that point of stress and overwhelm where it’s like they, they have to or they’re just not gonna survive it much longer.

Kim:                24:00 Oh yeah!

Janine:             24:01 Yeah, they’re kind of, anyway, that your story and your journey has, I’m glad that wasn’t yours because it’s nice that you’re so happy about it yay! And I really appreciate you sharing your story and your journey like that. It’s very special. Thank you.

Kim:                24:21 No problem. Yeah, I love, I love sharing it because I don’t know, I’m just, I’m very happy. Because every time I wake up, I see testimonials from not only my, the users and you know, the end user of the software I’ve created saying, ‘Kim, this, this is amazing’ to the students who go through my program and succeed and they’re making monthly recurring income. Every single month they message me, it’s not like one time they message me every single time their subscribers renew, they message me. They, they get reminded that they started off with my program, and if it wasn’t for me, it wouldn’t even be possible. They even say that like ‘if it wasn’t for you, this would not have happened’. And to me I’m like, oh my God, like that, you know, that hits me. I’m like all these messages on my phone. Like ‘thank you, thank you’. And I’m like, Oh my God, I am filled with so much love, you know, like on a daily basis. So, I want that for everyone that I meet. Every single person I meet, I’m like, when you create some kind of software, even if it’s small and you’re helping them, little group of people, they will thank you for it and you will attract so much appreciation into your life. You know, it’s hard to find a bad day, you know, versus like, Ugh, I have to work, I have to do this. I have to be that. It’s like you can live your life doing more things that you’re inspired by. Like instead of have to, you’re inspired by, [inaudible], I want to do this today. Or like I’m, how about that thing? Like you’re, you’re more inspired and you let that inspiration pull you in different places freely because your bills are being taken care of. You know, all these things are taken care of. So your mind is like free to wonder. And I think, I think a lot of the, a lot of my, not a lot of my friends, a lot of my friends who aren’t like already business owners or already killing it, my friends who are working every day yeah, they’re, it’s more like ‘have to’ a more ‘have to’ pathways. Like, I have to go to work, I have to pay this, I have to do this. And, and living your life with all, all these have to’s, it really like bogs you down mentally and physically. And so if I can create a space where they can live their life with that inspired by pathway, then, you know, that’s, that’s something that’s really fulfilling for me and I think everyone should get it.

Janine:             27:08 That is wonderful. Yes so I am sure there are people listening to this episode who would love to know how they can connect with you. Where can they find you?

Kim:                27:18 They can just go on www.kimcdang.com and Dang is like, Dang it, you know, that’s my last name. And yeah, and they can read all about all the things. I have a Facebook group of 2,800 people. Again, I haven’t been doing this for that long. So 2800 a hundred digital marketers in my free Facebook group. I have, programs like ChromeBoss Masterclass where it’s what I’ve talked about. I take you through this journey and under 90 days you have a software that’s making you monthly reocurring income to, you know, at the very least pay your bills. But like, the sky’s the limit for software because as you know, giving an extra unit or giving someone access to what you already have isn’t so much more resources for you to give up or like you don’t have to buy all this inventory to get more, and give more with what you have. So it’s, it’s an interesting concept, especially with software. So I have that and I have all these other little ancillary things like masterclass days, which is $97 for like an hour and like all these other things, partnerships. But you can find everything on kimcdang.com and I do still give a 15 minute complimentary discovery calls. I call them because now I feel, I let that be an option because I’m meeting all these interesting people in my life. I actually, let me tell you a funny story. Yesterday I got hung up on by a discovery call guy and it’s because I don’t know, this is why I invested in my year long mastermind that I’m involved in because I need to get my messaging right. But he called me and I treat it as like a one of those my probing discovery calls. So I was kind of like probing him. I’m like, where do you see yourself in one year? Like asking those questions and then he’s like, yeah, I make like 10, I make $10 million a year, blah, blah, blah. And I love my family. I have a great life and I just want to see how we can work together. And then I made the mistake of just following the script. I felt like I should’ve just like been like, okay, let’s see, how we could work together? If can even work together. Instead I continued following a script and, and then he hung up on me and I was like, hmm, lesson learned.

Janine:             30:03 That is the learning curve. That’s, I’m so sorry you got hung up on that that’s terrible.

Kim:                30:12 I felt like, wait, did I hang up on him? And then I saw that, you know, I didn’t, I’m still in the zoom call and I’m like, okay, and then I messaged him, I’m like, ‘Hey, I’m still here’. And then no message back and I’m like, yeah, you probably got like this, you know, bad impression of me off the get go. He had no idea who I was even he’s not a follower so…

Janine:             30:38 Yeah. Well I’m sure there’ll be many more wonderful relationships from the people who will reach out to you in the future, right?

Kim:                30:48 Yeah, no, I have developed an ability to communicate better going into this mastermind. So I’m like, Oh wow, this is kind of working, you know? And so if I know that I’m going to stumble along the way, but I feel like it’s an adventurous, its something exciting that, that I can step into..

Janine:             31:09 I’m finding the same thing with the podcasting right? It’s just a great reason to get to meet people and hear about what they’re doing and things like that where it’s like I wouldn’t, I’m not sure I would know how to just say walk [inaudible] oh, hey Kim what’s up? Right?

Kim:                31:26 Right! What do you want to talk about? I just want to talk to you. That makes it creepier. Like if you have no platform whatsoever, like I just want to spend time picking your brain and…

Janine:             31:37 Oh, I hate that phrase. Yeah.

Kim:                31:39 It’s like, hey, my time is kinda worth something right? Like you can’t just randomly pick my brain for no reason whatsoever right? But yeah, no, it’s, if you have a podcast that it makes you, that opens so many doors for you to just speak to random strangers and then have them be like, yes, yes, I am part of this.

Janine:             32:06 All right. Well, I think, yeah, that, that’s about the time that we had for that. Thank you so much. Thanks again for coming on this episode and sharing your story. Really appreciate it.

Kim:                32:19 Yeah, no, thanks for, I don’t know, giving me the opportunity to slowly get better at communicating my message. I think it’s just going to be a lot of practice over time and, I’m glad to get to share my story on your platform, but yeah, I would like to get to know you sometime. But we don’t have that time right now, so..

Janine:             32:48 We’ll totally stay in touch, right?

Kim:                32:49 Yes, yes. All right, cool.

Amalie:             32:57 We hope you enjoyed this episode of the podcast. You can find out more about Systematic Excellence at systematicexcellenceconsulting.com..

Janine:             33:12 If you did enjoy this episode. Please subscribe, leave a review and share with people you think may find it helpful. This goes a long way in helping us reach and serve as many people as possible. Thanks so much for listening. We’ll see on the next episode.

Description

Employee churn is an expensive problem – businesses often spend huge amounts of money to find, hire and train new employees only to find they just aren’t the right fit. Join Amalie and Janine as they discuss screening tools and how to improve hiring practices…it’s simpler than you may think.

Show Notes

We can’t count the amount of times we have heard a business owner say, “it’s so hard to find good people to work with”.

We believe the problem isn’t always the people…it’s your hiring process.

The good news is that you can easily step up your hiring process with some simple changes to your hiring process to improve the chances of finding great employees and contractors. Hiring someone with perfect skills, education and work experience doesn’t mean they will be a good fit for your company, because being a great employee or contractor is much more than that.

On this episode we discuss ways to improve and streamline your hiring process for better results and less headaches.

These are the topics we covered:

➡️ Why psychological tests aren’t completely reliable

➡️ How one bad employee can create a bottleneck in your process

➡️ Why past experience isn’t the be all end all reason to hire someone

➡️ What to really look for when hiring

Listen now!

Our Website

https://systematicexcellenceconsulting.com/home/

Hire Your First Contractor Bundle

Connect with Amalie:

https://www.instagram.com/amalie.shaffer/

https://www.facebook.com/amalie.shaffer/

https://www.linkedin.com/in/amalieshaffer/

Connect with Janine:

https://www.linkedin.com/in/janine-suvak

https://www.instagram.com/systematicexcellence/

https://www.facebook.com/systematicexcellenceconsulting/

Content Disclaimer: The information contained above is provided for information purposes only. The contents of this article, video or audio are not intended to amount to advice and you should not rely on any of the contents of this article, video, or audio. Professional advice should be obtained before taking or refraining from taking any action as a result of the contents of this article, video or audio. Systematic Excellence Consulting LLC disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on any of the contents of this article, video, or audio.

Disclaimer: Some of these links are for products and services offered by the podcast creators.

Affiliate Disclaimer: The article, video, or audio may contain affiliate links. We may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post. Although you won’t pay any more for any purchases you make, the commissions will enable us to continue to provide free content to readers and listeners.

Episode Transcript

Intro: 00:01 Go behind the scenes with Janine and Amalie, seasoned military veterans as they talk about how to overcome the challenges of leadership, running teams, and coordinating all the moving parts of our organization to accomplish the mission, whether it’s boarding pirated vessels, saving lives in combat, helping CEOs lead their companies to victory on the business battlefield every week Janine and Amalie share insights from their experiences, the leaders they work with, and their guests experts as they dive into lessons learned, successful solutions to real world business issues.

Janine: 00:37 Hey Amalie how’s it going?

Amalie: 00:39 Hi Janine.

Janine: 00:41 So here we are back again for a new episode and today I’m going to talk about, well not, we’re going to talk about something that’s near and dear to your heart Amalie. I know you really like to make sure that the right people are doing the right job in the right place. And so there was something in the news recently about United Airlines and they have part of their screening process for pilots involved, the Hogan test, which is a psychological profile, right? So anyway, there’s all kinds of psychological profiles. But you go in there, you know, do you hate your mother? You know, all those kind of crazy questions. But in the end, it was very challenging for pilots because most of the major airlines pretty much have, they have this very similar requirements of flying hours and qualifications and stuff. And then the interview process is the thing everybody sweats over, and there’s an entire industry around helping people prep for the interview and a subset of that, so a whole sub industry arose around helping people prep for the Hogan exam, which defeats the purpose of a psychological profile. But, but it was screening out a lot of people that were turning around and getting scooped up at other major airlines just fine. And what’s interesting about this is that, that Hogan test has been used for quite a few years now, but just recently it was in the news that United Airlines has started letting go of some pilots, that because of attitude problems basically, personality problems and they were the ones that had the big psychological screening in place. So, anyway, what I thought was interesting about that, that we could talk about was, you know, you can have a screening profile, but is it doing what you want? Is it looking for the things you need? And of course that’s a great big company, but for smaller business owners, what kind of things do you think they should be looking for in their people as they’re hiring or just dealing with things within their company?

Amalie: 02:50 Yeah, I definitely think that you know, the personality tests, the psychological tests, I think that they can play a part but I don’t think that it should be the only thing that you base where you place, the person or what job or how you decide on who on who to hire and who not to hire. I think that, you know, I think they’re, they’re good, but I also think that, you know, depending on the person’s mood that day or, you know, I don’t know so I don’t think it should be a 100% deciding factor but I mean I think you can use it to help make the decision, it could be one factor in deciding where you place the person or if you hire them or not hire them.

Janine: 03:50 Yeah. I’m curious as to what kind of avatar personality type they were going for that they thought made for this ideal pilot, when in fact it didn’t. And I know that’s interesting, you know, especially in that area when you’re looking for people. I mean, these people who go into that career field are very independent and leadership minded and things like that. And yet, from the point of aviation safety and when things go wrong, it’s so important that everyone both in the cockpit and the crew, be people who can work together, it can’t just be one person who that has the God complex problem where they’re never wrong and everyone else should just do what they say right? You can’t have that going on in a crisis, but I wonder what they were going for? I’ve seen this in the tech industry with startups where they’d go like ‘Oh, we need this rock star developer’ right? And so you have this super genius at whatever it is, the thing that they needed, but very often that super genius didn’t play well with others. And so as they were building a team, their teams have functioned very poorly because of the rockstar and the company would become dependent upon the one individual for actual production and outcomes, and then that would become the bottleneck.

Amalie: 05:15 Yeah, I mean I think it’s important to be clear on who, as far as their personality, what kinds of things they like doing and that they’re good at because, just because they don’t necessarily have a long history of doing something, a specific job or task or you know something like that doesn’t mean that they wouldn’t be a good fit for something else right? So, I think that a lot of times we get stuck in ‘okay, well you’ll have to have at least two years of experience’, but you know, for this particular position, but someone that doesn’t, any experience could be ideal for it. Or if you already have a team of people and let’s say you have a graphic designer right, that that’s really great, but you’re lacking someone in the customer service, so you need someone that, that that’s customer facing, customer service, getting contact with them, dealing with any customer issues. But this graphic designer’s really amazing at customer service, and if they are okay with it then moving them to that customer service position just because they don’t have that experience doesn’t mean they won’t excel at it, right? And recognizing within your own team if there’s things that need, you know, people that need to be moved into other positions because they’re better suited for it you know. And you know, when you’re hiring, and going through that process bringing new people on the team is asking them questions to figure out what they’re really great at. So I actually just went through a hiring process for one of my clients and she wants, she wanted someone that’s detail-oriented right! And she did say that she would like someone to have experience but it wasn’t necessary, it’s more important for them to have, be detail-oriented and have, you know, be able to manage a bunch of moving parts. So it’s, it’s a event management and so in the interview I asked specifically, you know, have you, what do you do? One of the questions was, sorry, I have them written down here so I’m just checking. I actually wrote them down cause I was going through the interviews just last week. How do you ensure quality when there is a tight deadline? And I said you know, have you ever had to sacrifice quality to meet a deadline? And then you know, were there any mistakes made? So I was having a conversation with them getting them to say and basically I wanted them, what I wanted to hear was that one, I mean whether it happened or didn’t happen let’s just say you know if they did but they communicated that, listen in this tight deadline, this is what I’m going to be able to deliver. If you want something different than this then you know we’re gonna have to manage the time or extended or whatever. You know, that’s what I was looking for. One of the other questions was I asked them to tell me about a time that they made a mistake, how they caught it you know and what they did to fix it. And one of the biggest things that you know, that I heard that I was like you know I gave it, you know, an up check where was ‘I took ownership of it’. And so going through this whole process and placing these people, not all of them have extensive event management experience, but from their responses from the initial interview of being detail oriented helps me to evaluate them on whether they would be a good fit for the position or not you know?

Janine: 09:17 Yeah were there any answers that stood out as immediate no-goes, this is not gonna work?

Amalie: 09:23 Yeah one, one kind of tried to blame it on the other person and immediately I was like that’s not going to work.

Janine: 09:33 Yeah that’s not taking ownership of it at all.

Amalie: 09:35 Yeah. So I know this sorta got away from what you were asking about, but my point is, is that even though some of those people didn’t have extensive experience in event management, the personality that just in the time you know they’re going to go through another interview but just the personality things that I noticed going through that initial interview have led me to be able to evaluate whether they’ll move on to the second interview or not. And I think that that’s important. So getting creative with your interview questions will help to you know, get the kind of answers that you want. Also having them do a test project, right, or a test task or something where you can test out how they work is also a really great way to see them in action right? And see how they do and I think that’s also really another way to see it. You know to see how they how they would do in that position.

Janine: 10:39 Yeah, that’s a great way to be able to do that. I know I was having a conversation at an event a couple of weeks ago with someone who was talking about how much they just hated firing people right, and they liked hiring people and that was great because all of a sudden things were getting done and it’s sort of alludes back to our last episode of, they would wait until they were swamped, hire some people, throw a whole bunch of stuff at them and just, and think they could walk away right, and then things wouldn’t get done and then it all went horribly wrong and then he’d fire people, and it was coming from that not looking at these things and making sure that they could do it.

Amalie: 11:25 Yeah.

Janine: 11:25 Yeah.

Amalie: 11:26 Yeah. So I think the moral of this story is that when you are placing people in positions to consider more than just you know the personality test or you know, what other, I know there’s a bunch of the different kinds of tests that people put out there but I mean you can use it as a deciding you know, one factor in the, you know the final decision. But think about how you can creatively ask questions in the interview process or have them do test projects in order to really see how they work and think about people on your team now and are they better fit for different position? You know, cause not everyone, just because they have experienced in this doesn’t mean that they wouldn’t be good at something else.

Janine: 12:15 Yeah. And when they’re working that test program or project not just look at the outcome, but also the behavior around how they’re, they’re getting it done. Cause I think really, I mean to me in hiring people, really what you’re looking for is their character and their capabilities more than a specific item list skillset.

Amalie: 12:36 Yeah. I mean ultimately if someone’s going to take ownership of a task if they’re willing to take ownership of what they have to learn in order to do it, if they take ownership of any mistakes that they make made or make, if they take ownership of, you know the process and updating the process and noting the process right? If they take ownership of any of those things or all of those things, I would take a person that has no experience doing it and they have those qualities over someone that has 10 years experience doing it.

Janine: 13:10 Yeah.

Amalie: 13:10 I think if someone will take ownership of it and say, ‘I will learn this task, I will do this, I will own this’ I would take someone like that any day, because regardless if they have done it for 10 years or two years or never, they still have to learn your process. They still have to learn how you do things which is still a learning curve, which is still going to take time regardless of how long they’ve done it. But if someone takes ownership of ‘listen you bring me on I will learn how to do this, I will learn your process and I will learn how to do it’, you know, whatever those specific skills are that maybe they don’t have experience in, I’d take that person any day.

Janine: 13:45 Yeah absolutely, Absolutely. Well that’s super cool, you know we’re going to have to talk about how you let how and when you let people go now that we’ve been talking about how you keep people on.

Amalie: 13:58 Next time.

Janine: 13:59 Yeah, right on. All right well thanks on Amalie and thanks everyone for being here.

Amalie: 14:04 Bye.

Janine: 14:04 Bye.

Amalie: 14:11 We hope you enjoyed this episode of the podcast. You can find out more about us at systematicexcellence.com.

Janine: 14:25 If you did enjoy this episode. Please subscribe, leave a review and share with people you think may find it helpful. This goes a long way in helping us reach and serve as many people as possible. Thanks so much for listening. We’ll see you on the next episode.

Description

Tom faced his toughest negotiation when he realized his fiancée was not onboard with his dream of entrepreneurship and goal to retire at the age of 35. With his deadline approaching, find out how implementing the right systems took him from there to running three businesses with his wife… and how he was all wrong about what ‘retiring’ really means.

Show Notes

If your business is just getting started, you better be ready for a wild ride. 

People tend to believe starting a business means making $1 million in a couple of months, but that’s just not how it is for most people (unless you’re a…unicorn!)

Tom Sylvester figured out that things don’t always work out perfectly right away — it’s like a scientific process that requires testing and testing until you find the formula that works for you. After convincing his wife and aligning what they wanted their future to look like, they made their dreams happen.

Now that he has found success as a business owner, writer, coach, and public speaker, all while enjoying fatherhood, he realized this journey is far from over.

These are the topics we covered in this episode of Systematic Excellence Podcast:

➡️ How to work together with your spouse to achieve goals

➡️ Systems he implemented to help his businesses thrive

➡️ Solutions to challenges most entrepreneurs face 

➡️ What ‘retiring’ really looks like to him

Listen and leave a review!

Connect with Tom Sylvester:

https://tom-sylvester.com/

https://tomandariana.com/

https://www.facebook.com/tomandariana

https://www.linkedin.com/in/sylvestertom/

Systematic Excellence Consulting Website

https://systematicexcellenceconsulting.com/home/

Hire Your First Contractor Bundle

Connect with Amalie:

https://www.instagram.com/amalie.shaffer/

https://www.facebook.com/amalie.shaffer/

https://www.linkedin.com/in/amalieshaffer/

Connect with Janine:

https://www.linkedin.com/in/janine-suvak

https://www.instagram.com/systematicexcellence/

https://www.facebook.com/systematicexcellenceconsulting/

Resources:

https://www.amazon.com/Lifestyle-Builders-Build-Business-Ideal-ebook/dp/B07RKSXRPB

Note: This episode was recorded in July 2019 so some programs that were mentioned are no longer available. The information is still relevant. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to us at hello@systematicexcellence.com.

Content Disclaimer: The information contained above is provided for information purposes only. The contents of this article, video or audio are not intended to amount to advice and you should not rely on any of the contents of this article, video, or audio. Professional advice should be obtained before taking or refraining from taking any action as a result of the contents of this article, video or audio. Systematic Excellence Consulting LLC disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on any of the contents of this article, video, or audio.

Disclaimer: Some of these links are for products and services offered by the podcast creators. 

Affiliate Disclaimer: The article, video, or audio may contain affiliate links. We may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post. Although you won’t pay any more for any purchases you make, the commissions will enable us to continue to provide free content to readers and listeners.

Episode Transcript

Janine: 00:36 Hi Tom, welcome to the podcast.

Tom: 00:39 Oh, thank you so much for having me. I’m excited to be here.

Janine: 00:41 Oh, I’m so happy to have you here. You have just an amazing background and experience and I’m just so excited to share it with the audience. How about let’s start with telling a little bit about yourself?

Tom: 00:53 Absolutely. So, I guess we’ll start with where we’re at today. So my wife and I have built three businesses, very different businesses. So, real estate investing. We have a wine and liquor store and we also have a coaching and consulting business for entrepreneurs. And through building those three businesses, we actually both were able to leave our jobs. So my wife was able to leave her job when our daughter was born in her late twenties. And then I was able to leave my job a little bit after our son was born in my early thirties. And so, you know, really there’s a lot of hard work and years to get to this point. But it’s amazing now because we get to really design our schedules. We’ve been able to build our businesses with teams and systems so that we’re not having to be tied into them, you know, day to day and,  you know, it’s really, you know, an amazing place to be. But I would be remiss if I didn’t tell people that this started, you know, 12 or 13 years ago. And, it was a big challenge at the beginning. You know, my wife really didn’t want to become an entrepreneur. Our first business was real estate investing and she was really worried about that, like 3:00 AM call of the toilet not working. And so there was a lot of work to one, not only get her on board with this idea, but then two, as we built each business, go from where we’re doing 100% of the work to getting stuff off of our plate so that eventually we’re spending very little time actually running the businesses or actually being involved in them and spending more time on the strategy and the overall leadership of the business.

Janine: 02:28 Yeah, those are, there’s so many great points in there, especially the one about the time frame because there’s so much hype out there about this, some kind of instant gratification, right, that you’re going to launch this thing and make $1 million in a really short period of time and then it’s not really like that for most people.

Tom: 02:45 Yeah. I mean, you know, when people hear those stories, what they don’t hear is that the 12 years that person put in to be able to do that. So if you’re just getting started, realize that things aren’t going to work. But it’s all a scientific process. It’s like, “all right, here’s my hypothesis. I’m going to go test it. It’s probably not going to work or maybe pieces of it will.” And then I learned from that and I retest it. And the biggest benefit for people is the faster you can do those experiments, the faster you’re going to achieve success.

Janine: 03:14 Yeah, absolutely. Now let me, I have to ask. So how did you get your wife on board with it?

Tom: 03:20 Yeah, I’m going to tell you the answer and then I recommend nobody follow my advice!

Janine: 03:28 OK, alright.

Tom: 03:28 So, basically I kept trying to start businesses. She kept saying no, and I was so depressed one day that I heard this ad on the radio for a real estate investing course. And a couple of weeks later I had spent about $8,000 on two high interest credit cards, after we were already about $200,000 in debt about nine months before we got married. All of this without telling her. And so one, don’t do that!

Janine: 03:59 Yeah, do not do that.

Tom: 03:59 But two, when I told her we had to have, you know, a lot of really tough conversations. And what came out of that was that we got aligned on what we wanted the future to look like. And once we had that alignment, we could then work backwards to then say, all right, how do we make that happen?

Janine: 04:19 How, how long did the negotiations take?

Tom: 04:23 Yeah, that was probably a couple of months. But really the key was getting to that point where we said we both want the same outcome. And then once we were aligned on that, it was much easier to talk about how we get there and what path we’ll take.

Janine: 04:38 Yeah, I just, I had to ask that.

Tom: 04:40 Yeah. You know, it’s, I was gonna say it’s something that a lot of people don’t talk about because we as entrepreneurs or business owners, we usually get some insight or some inspiration and then we just want to go. And so often we forget to get our family, our friends, our spouse on board with that. And not only does it cause struggles in our personal life, but it also causes friction, and makes it more difficult to build our business when we’ve got this drag around us. So the better we can work on getting them on board and aligned, the easier it’s going to be to build that business.

Janine: 05:14 Absolutely. There’s, and then there’s the additional factor of even when everyone’s aligned, there’s that time factor during that heavy push that can still put a strain on it.

Tom: 05:24 Absolutely.

Janine: 05:25 So what have you, what would you say, given that you’ve done this several times and you’ve got the pattern down, what is the most common obstacle that you see people facing?

Tom: 05:38 You know, lack of clarity and I’d say lack of clarity in what they want their life to look like. You know, because a lot of people will build a business and then ultimately have a successful business, but it doesn’t make them happy or doesn’t support the life they want. Lack of clarity in their customer. So, most people don’t truly understand their customer deep enough and therefore can’t build a really good business to solve their problems. And a lot of struggles come out of not really understanding your customer. And, the third one I would say is lack of clarity around what the next problem is that they need to solve in their business. So, for example, when most people start a business, they go out and they’re like, “well, I need to come up with a name. I need to get business cards, I need a logo, I need a website.” None of those things are the first thing you should be doing in your business. The first thing you should be doing in your business is figuring out who am I going to serve with this business and what problems are they facing? So you really want to be clear on what is the next problem in front of me and then focus just on that and cut everything else out.

Janine: 06:47 That’s great because yeah, I know so many people start with all those basics that you said. And I have one very dear friend with a wonderful business now who they started with, oh, we want to start a business. We need a desk.

Tom: 07:03 Yup.

Janine: 07:03 So tell me a little more, let’s see in, in your journey, how did, this is a common problem that my audience hears and I really like to hear how different people have addressed this, as you’re digging in and you’re wearing all the hats and your business is starting to take off, how do you then back out of that and keep your business growing at the same time? Because it’s really the dream, the free time and the thriving business.

Tom: 07:33 Absolutely. So the challenge that a lot of people make is that they go to the extremes. So they’re either doing everything or they feel like they have to carve out all this time to put systems in place to build a standard operating procedure. And all of this. So they end up either neglecting their business while they try to do all that, or they just keep putting all of that off because they’re like, “I’m so busy building my business, I don’t have time for that.” So what we found to be the most effective way for people to do this is to do it small and consistently. And the process that we always recommend people do is you should have a weekly meeting and that weekly meeting serves a couple of purposes. It’s to reflect on the last week and you want to ask two questions, what went well? We want to celebrate the wins and acknowledge and understand what’s working because we want to do more of what’s working. And then we also want to ask, you know, what challenges did we face? And this is to one, acknowledge the challenges, but two, when we pick that top challenge, then as we go to plan the upcoming week, what we want to do is work on solving that top challenge. And so this is going to do a couple of things for you. One, whatever your biggest headache was, it’s gonna make it less of a headache in the next week. Or it might just eliminate the headache. Two, it’s going to allow you to consistently improve your business in small steps so that over time, every week it’s getting bigger and bigger, you got more momentum. And three, it’s going to allow you to consistently eliminate, automate or delegate things that you want to get off your plate. And that’s the best way to do it. Small incremental steps and you’re, you know, putting a process in place or delegating something that you don’t want to do. That is the biggest challenge you face. It’s the thing that you probably enjoy doing the least. And it’s the thing that is usually the least valuable because we all have a couple of things where we add the most value and only we can do and we want to be super clear on what those things are and consistently work on anything that’s taking us away from doing that and getting all the other stuff off our plate so that we can sit in our zone of genius.

Janine: 09:47 And it sounds like I was going to ask the question of what would you say to someone who’s already well down the path of putting it off, but it sounds like that’s just as an effective way to start implementing it.

Tom: 10:01 Absolutely start. Yeah, absolutely. Start now. And another thing for someone that’s put it off, something that worked really well for my wife. And we’re complete opposites by the way. So usually what works really well for me doesn’t work for her. So she was completely overwhelmed one day and we have giant white boards all over our office. And so I said, you know, just brain dump, take everything that’s in your mind, all the tasks you gotta do and put them on the board. And so she spent a half hour doing that and then we started grouping them and she started rating them, the things she enjoyed doing, the things that she didn’t enjoy doing. And we made a list of all the things that we needed to start getting off of her plate. And then just one by one we started doing that. And yeah, I mentioned it earlier, there’s three things you really want to focus on. The first is eliminating. So the easiest and quickest way to get our time and our money back is to eliminate things we don’t need. So there’s activities that you’re probably doing that if you got rid of one it will degrade from, you know what you’re doing in your business or your life, but will ultimately give you time back. So you want to get rid of those activities, then there’s things that you need to be doing, but they’re just being done inefficiently. And so those are the things that you want to automate. There’s tools, there’s Zapier, there’s all these things out there that will help you automate a process or a task that you’re doing. That’s the next step. And then finally, once you’ve eliminated everything you can, once you’ve automated everything you can now that’s where you want to delegate and you want to take the stuff that can’t be easily eliminated or automated and have somebody else do it, get it off of your plate.

Janine: 11:36 That’s awesome. Yeah. What do you think as far as delegating for someone who hasn’t done that yet? Maybe they have some systems, but they’re still by themselves and they need to take that seemingly big step. It’s a big step when it’s the first time you do it right? To bring on that person and delegate things. What would your recommendations be for that?

Tom: 12:02 Yeah, so a couple of things, you know, start small. So when we’re talking about delegating, it can be delegating a single project or a single task even. So, you know, the first time you go to do it, if it seems like a really big step, just take one thing. It might be, you know, the creation of a graphic or it might be something that you have to do already. Take that one thing and work on delegating that out to somebody. You’re going to learn a lot in that process. And then, what you’ll also be able to do is figure out if that’s a good person for you to work with. And if they do that first task really well, now you delegate something else to them and you keep adding responsibility, if they didn’t do that first task well, you learn from it, hey, why didn’t it work? What can I do better next time? And then either continue working with them because you’re working on improving them or you use that learning experience to go find somebody that would be a better person to delegate to. And just realize it does take some time. And when you’re delegating, one of the most important things is you want to find a person that you’re going to be able to work with. You know, a lot of people will initially focus on skill sets and trying to find the best person. In a lot of cases, you’re better off to find somebody that you can work in, that you can work with and really likes the vision you have for your business and what you’re doing. And they enjoy working with you and the business and they can always learn the skills. Especially like you said, if you already have some of those processes or procedures written out.

Janine: 13:32 Oh, that’s fantastic. That’s something that’s actually a point that’s near and dear to my heart, that skills can be taught, but you know, you have to be able to get along with them and they really have to believe in what you’re doing.

Tom: 13:43 Yeah. You know, and in a lot of cases if you’re going out to trying to find a skilled person, you might have to actually have them unlearn things to relearn how you want it done. So, we’ve had the most success with hiring when we found somebody that first really loved our business and really loved the customers we were serving. And then two we were able to work with and was willing to learn. So oftentimes the characteristics of that person are so much more important than the skill sets that they have.

Janine: 14:14 Yup. Okay. Now, as you’re helping, because you’re helping entrepreneurs with this process when they’ve gotten rid of the more rote things and the things they don’t like, when they start getting to those last couple things that they’re hanging onto and they feel like they’re the only one who can do it, how do you help get them past that?

Tom: 14:35 Yeah, so a lot of it is really just, you know, people, often will tell me that I don’t sugar coat things and I just tell them how it is. And a lot of times when somebody is playing that role, I’ll just jump right in and agree with them, you know? Because when you step into that role…

Janine: 14:52 That’s awesome.

Tom: 14:53 Yeah when you step into that role and I’m like, “Hey, you know what? You’re absolutely right. There is nobody else in the world that can and do that as good as you do. You are the best. You should just keep it.” And then they’re usually either going to agree, which they never do, or they’re like, “oh, that’s not the case. So, what can we do about that?” Right. And you know, and a lot of times too, it’s, it’s less about out pushing them to, to get it off their plate and more about just asking questions and letting them see what the couple paths are, you know? Okay. So let’s assume that you kept that on your plate. What does that look like going forward? What does that allow you to do and what does that potentially prevent you from doing? But you told me before that one of the things you want to do is take your family on a two week vacation. If you keep this, can you still go on the two week vacation or not? Right. So we, we walked down that path that they keep it and then we walked down another path. Okay, so now let’s assume that we were able to find that mystical person that you know, does do this better than you. What would change with that? Right? So what would help you, would that help you go on that two week vacation and what wouldn’t help you? What would this add on to your plate? Or what concerns would you have about doing that? And let’s get those on the table. And once we walked through those scenarios, now we just present them and say, which one works best for you?

Janine: 16:15 And then when you do that, okay, so now you’re having the conversation, but now they have to turn around and go do it. What is, what struggle do they have with that?

Tom: 16:27 Yeah. You know, different people have different struggles. Some people truly believe they’re the only one that can do it. Some people believe that if they give up control, they’re not gonna be able to run their business and a key customer might not get serviced the right way. So there’s a whole bunch of reasons why people may not want to give it up. First thing we had to do is figure it out. What is the true concern? Because once we understand the problem and not just the problem they tell you, but you want to, there’s a really cool activity called five why’s and you’re basically just going to keep asking why to make sure that the problem they raise up isn’t the symptom or, yeah, but actually the root cause because once we understand the root cause, now we can work to solve that. So one of the most common that I’ve seen business owners face is that they’re worried they’re going to lose control and things aren’t going to get done. So a lot of what we’ll do is walk through the process and say at what points do we need to check in to make sure that things are still on the right path? And what do you need to see to give you confidence? And so oftentimes we can set somebody up with a scorecard and with some performance indicators who then help them see that their business is still running. Or let’s say there’s a process and there’s a quality control piece that somebody has to do. There might be eight steps in the process and they need to just double check on step seven and step ten, but once we know the points where they feel they still need to be involved, we just work on getting all the rest of the pieces out. And once we do that, eventually over time we also can give them quality control pieces out as well once they have that scorecard and they’re confident that they have the right people doing things and they can see when things are off.

Janine: 18:09 That’s fantastic. So now with your first business to put this in, you know, real world context, how, how did that work for you the first time around?

Tom: 18:21 Yup. So our first business was real estate investing and specifically we were buying rundown properties, renovating them. And then renting them out to people to live in. And so at night I was doing research to find the properties. When we bought the first one, I was then spending my weekends out, tearing out drywall and painting and doing all of that stuff. So at first literally wore all the hats and then what I started doing was every time we would buy a property, I would say, what is the thing that I complained about the most? And let’s see if I can have somebody else do that. So for example, one of my least favorite activities was finishing drywall. So putting the mud on the wall and then sanding it and all of that stuff. So on the second property we said, you know what? We’re not going to do any of the drywall stuff we’re going to hire somebody else to do that. So we did the process of buying the property and putting the plan together the same way, except when we got to that point, instead of assuming I was going to do it, I started looking around for somebody else to do it and hire them in. And so we just kept repeating that process, a list of everything that needed to be done and then kept continuously taking the things that were either lower cost to delegate out and, or the things that I hated to do so that eventually we get to the point where we were buying properties and I never had to step foot in there because we had the right team and the right systems in place to do that. And I haven’t swung a hammer in years because we’ve now got people in place to do that for us. Right. So that’s the point we want to get to, but it’s all about doing one thing at a time. Every time you do it.

Janine: 20:05 And because you’re an entrepreneur, as soon as you got that all, pardon the pun, nailed down, start over and do it again.

Tom: 20:15 Uh huh.

Janine: 20:16 So tell me when, how did, yeah, tell me about how that happened.

Tom: 20:21 Yeah, so, you know, if you look from the outside, our businesses look very random. But for, on the inside, and at least the logic that works in my head was there was a clear goal I set to retire by 35 and then I worked backwards to figure out how I would make that happen. And I was always looking for opportunities that would help celebrate that. And so we actually bought real estate in 2007, 2008 when the market crashed. So I was very aware that, you know, I didn’t want to put all our eggs in one basket with real estate. And so there was a wine and liquor store that was for sale, and so we went and looked at it. My father had actually had a wine and liquor store several years earlier, so I kind of knew the inner workings of the business. That store ended up not being a good investment, but I said, you know what, we’ve got a real estate business. Let’s go buy a building and we’ll just open our own store. And so, it was a ton of work, but, we did that about eight years ago. And then same type of thing. At first, my wife was during in the day, I was at my day job. At night we would swap, I would go and work the register and then we hired our first employee and then kept building it from there. So now we’ve got a team, we’re only physically there once every 90 days to do strategic planning with our team. And otherwise everything’s running and we’re, you know, not at the store.

Janine: 21:41 And then you decided to…

Tom: 21:47 And then

Janine: 21:48 Really this is the dream and I’m so enjoying hearing this whole journey.

Tom: 21:53 Yeah. And then the third one, you know, so I never had planned on working with entrepreneurs or having a consulting business, on my corporate career, I thought I was just going to work that job as a software developer and a project manager until I made enough money to retire. I ended up really getting, kind of jaded with the corporate politics. And so I shifted from working in a company into being a consultant. So this was really cool because I got to work with all these Fortune 500 companies. I got to travel all around the country. I got to work with so many great leaders, I got to see what worked and what didn’t work in all these businesses. But as we were having kids, I was like, “you know, I can’t be away from my family, four or five days a week. I’m literally in other cities more than I am at home.” And so my wife and I, we just had a conversation. We said, is this the life we’re trying to build? And the answer was no. And so we knew we had to make a change. And so I left the corporate consulting job, even though it was, you know, very well paying job. And around the same time we had people reaching out, really asking us questions, you know, hey, you know, how, how were you guys able to start, you know, not one business but two? And, how were you guys able to do it while you had a job? Tom, I now see that you’ve left your job, Ariana, you do the same thing. How are you guys able to do that and can you help us? And so that was when we realized that all these systems that we had put in place, not just for building our businesses, but also for planning our life and how we brand our life, were actually valuable to other people like us. And so it was at that point that we started working with entrepreneurs. We eventually started a podcast because we wanted to get the information out to more people. And then actually this year we have our first book coming out because the same type of thing we’re like how do we take what we’ve done and get it out to as many people as possible? And so that’s been kind of the progression that got us, you know, really to this point.

Janine: 23:50 That’s amazing. Now is your book out or is it yet to be released?

Tom: 23:54 It’s yet to be released. It’ll be out October 29th of this year. And actually something really cool with the book is my wife and I wrote it together. And you’re already probably getting a feeling that we’re very different people.

Janine: 24:07 Yes.

Tom: 24:07 So while we wrote the book, it’s a step by step guide of how to get clear on what you want out of your life. Get your finances in order, start your business, test it out, make those first sales, put systems in place so you can scale it. And then how to actually leave your job and make that transition from an employee to entrepreneur because there’s a lot of shifts, a lot of mental shifts that go on there. But what was really cool was we actually at the start of each section, we talked about a key part of our journey. And I would first tell it from my perspective and then she would tell it from her perspective.

Janine: 24:42 Oh that’s wonderful, yeah!

Tom: 24:42 And so from, yeah. So from a lot of the early people that read it, they’re like, “you know, this is really cool because I either now understand what my spouse was thinking more or I’ve got to go give this to them so they can understand my thought process and why I’m so passionate about building this business.”

Janine: 25:00 So what did that do for your relationship? Writing this book and seeing those things?

Tom: 25:03 You know, it was very interesting. One of the things we actually did last year, right before we started writing the book was we actually went to go see a marriage counselor. And, initially when we tell people this, they’re like, “oh my gosh, I didn’t realize things were so bad with you guys, blah, blah, blah.” And you know, one of the coolest things we get to tell people today is, “look, we didn’t go see a marriage counselor because our marriage was bad. We went and saw a marriage counselor because we realized our marriage could be better.” And it’s the same thing we tell business owners: “listen, if you want to be the best athlete, you go and invest in a coach and you put time and money in, right? If you want to build a business, you go and you buy books or you, you invest in a course or a coach. What about your marriage?” Right? That’s one of the most important things. So we actually started seeing a, a marriage counselor, you know, while we were writing the book, which was really good because it helped us improve a lot of our communication. It helped us see a lot of where we could actually improve individually. And then as we were writing the book together, which was just a crazy feat, it helped us do a better job of collaborating on something that was so personal and passionate for us, while being very different in our approaches to it.

Janine: 26:14 Oh that that’s amazing. And that’s going to be so, what a unique way of doing it. And definitely a missing piece. That’s the part that I always wonder when I meet couples, you know, depending on the reaction of the partner or the supporting spouse or you know, you can tell if they’re with it or not with it.

Tom: 26:34 Absolutely.

Janine: 26:35  Cause I love to see everybody be happy. Now given that, what I’d like to hear, what I’m wondering, so you had this really open discussion before you got married about your goals and that was to retire by the time you’re age 35. So what did retirement look like to you then? And what does it look like now?

Tom: 27:00 That is a phenomenal question. So when I set that goal, I didn’t really know what it looked like. I had no idea how I was going to get there. And, partway through my journey, I actually had a mentor and you know, he said, Tom, quit saying you’re going to retire. And I’m like, “Why? That’s the goal.” And he goes, listen, man, I know you, you’re not going to retire. You’re never going to stop starting businesses. You’re never going to stop helping people. He goes, ‘what you’re really looking for is options and you want to have the options to do what you want when you want and not have somebody else tell you what to do’. And I’m like, ‘exactly’. And he goes, ‘yeah, but that’s different than what most people think retirement is’. And you know, he was so spot on because even now, our quote on quote retirement isn’t us sitting on the beach or any of this stuff. Sure. We take vacations, but retirement to us is really about having options and being able to do the things you want to make you happy. And, when I first started, my entire focus was I, it was really selfish. It was like, “I want to build this life for our family.” And then we went through this thing and, and from working with entrepreneurs, we’ve seen this happen a lot. We’re first in this survival mode where we’re just trying to make enough money to take care of ourselves, right? Pay the rent, you know, put food on the table, have the stuff that we want, etcetera. And then when we, and we grind, right? We put in all this hard work to make it work. And when we finally achieve success, where we’ve taken care of ourselves, we almost get depressed or lost because that was such a strong driving factor for a long time. And now that that’s been taken care of, we almost kind of lose our purpose. And what we found for most people, and it’s so true for us as well, is you first focus on things and experiences. And then when you shift from survive to thrive, you focus on relationships and impact. And that’s really what it means to us now. And writing the book and everything we do now is about impact. We want to have relationships with all these amazing entrepreneurs and all these amazing people that we get to meet through our travels, through speaking through the people we get to work with and the lives we get to see change and impact is being able to help as many people as we can achieve their goals. And so that was a really big shift that I didn’t anticipate at the beginning. Like I said, I’d never planned on becoming a coach, but as we went through our journey and now, you know, being able to see, how much we can help other people change their lives and achieve success, that’s really been the focus now it’s just like, how can we do more of this? And you know, to be honest, it’s still selfish because every time we help a person and we see them succeed, there’s very few things that make me feel better than that.

Janine: 29:52 Ah, that’s not selfish at all. That’s just sharing the love, right?

Tom: 29:56 Absolutely!

Janine: 29:57 It is. So, I mean, and you’re just saying, now that you do coaching, but you’re coaching and you wrote a book. So you’re an author and oh, by the way, a podcast. What is the name of your podcast?

Tom: 30:10 It’s called Lifestyle Builders.

Janine: 30:12 Lifestyle Builders just like the book. Okay. And the next thing is?

Tom: 30:17 I think probably writing more books, you know? I have six in my head. And especially seeing, you know, what’s been so cool about the book is, the podcast is great because people can listen to us and they get to listen to us every week, but sometimes it’s disorganized. One week we might be talking about a relationship topic. The next week we’re talking about how to understand your financial reports, right? So it’s all over the place. But with the book, we get to take all of that and put it into a logical sequence and it’s pretty low cost, right? So instead of having someone having to pay $8,000 to get started in something, for 20 bucks, go and have all the same acknowledged experience.

Janine: 30:59 That’s great. That is clearly you practice what you preach and you have the strategy for getting your impact as broad out there as possible. That’s super impressive. So would you say you’ve achieved your goal of options?

Tom: 31:17 Absolutely. It’s funny. So I actually, I turned 35 this month.

Janine: 31:21 Oh happy birthday!

Tom: 31:21 And the book actually, thank you. And, the book actually comes out, we didn’t even plan this. It comes out the day after my wife turns 35 in October. And so that’s been a big discussion for people. Some people were like, “oh, you guys didn’t achieve it because you’re still working” and other people realize and recognize, they’re like, “oh my gosh, you guys have achieved it.”

Janine: 31:42 Yeah.

Tom: 31:43 And know for example our kids are home from school and so we do this cool thing called Friday family field trips where every Friday we just take the day off and we go and do something with our kids. So we run an amusement park or a museum or a zoo and that’s been one of the coolest things ever. So just be able to decide we want to do that and then go and do it.

Janine: 32:05 Yes. That is really, really precious. I can tell you I’m a combat veteran, so I spent a year away from my kids and I wouldn’t recommend anybody do anything that takes them away from their kids unless they absolutely have to. I mean, you really are living the dream.

Tom: 32:21 Absolutely. Well, you know, and, and thank you for your service. I mean, I was away from my kids, you know, while working and you know, we have a lot of friends that were vets as well and I just know the challenges with that, so thank you so much for that.

Janine: 32:32 Oh yeah. I just know that, you know, the time away from family is important to everybody and it’s a huge stressor, so what would your biggest piece of advice, wrapping this all up would be to someone listening going, ‘I want to be like you?’

Tom: 32:50 Well, first thing is I would say, don’t try to be like me. Try to be like yourself. Actually the tagline for our podcast is ‘your life, your business, your way’. And it’s very intentional that way because a lot of people will try and see what somebody else is doing and they’ll try to build that life and they’ll try to build that business. And what we found people are most successful with, is when they figure out what they want and then they use the principles that other people use to apply to their life and get there. But with that, the biggest thing that I would tell people is when you can get clear on what you want the future to look like and then you work backwards to figure out what are the intentional decisions on where you spend your resources, where are you spending your time, you spend your money, what you spend your energy and where are you spend your attention. Those intentional focuses and doing that every day is what gets you to success. A lot of people think it comes overnight or it’s a one time event. It really is every day making the right decisions to get you to where you want to be.

Janine: 33:55 That’s beautiful. So where can our audience find you? We’ve got the podcast Lifestyle Builders, we’ve got the book that’s coming out in October. How else can they find you?

Tom: 34:09 Yeah, so, everything we have going on is, on our website: tomandariana.com. But if people are looking specifically for the book, they can go to that website which is LifestyleBuildersbook.com.

Janine: 34:21 Okay. Can they preorder?

Tom: 34:23 Yes, they can. Yup. So up right now.

Janine: 34:26 I’ll be doing that next.

Tom: 34:29 There we go. Thank you.

Janine: 34:31 Thank you Tom. That was amazing thing so much for sharing all that.

Tom: 34:36 Absolutely. Thank you for having me on.

Description

Dashin recognized from an early age how hard his mother worked to provide for their family… and the trap she was caught in. Determined to escape the vicious cycle and inspired by Robert Kiyosaki’s “Rich Dad, Poor Dad”, Dashin shares his journey from Employee to Self-Employed to Business Owner. Still in his early 20’s and turning his focus to becoming an Investor, Dashin shares the personal development and transformation necessary to step up from one level to the next.

Show Notes

Success doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a long process that involves falling down seven times and standing up eight. Get out of your comfort zone. Try out new things. As Dashin Simmons says, “you have to break down before you break through.” 

Dashin Simmons is a business owner looking to take the next step as an investor, so he can enjoy more freedom of time. In other words: he doesn’t want to work for money if he can have money work for him.

These are the topics we covered in this episode of Systematic Excellence Podcast:

➡️ Differences between “self-employed” and “business owner”.

➡️ How systems can give you money and freedom of time.

➡️ Why it’s SO important to get out of your comfort zone if you want to grow.

 And so many more things!

 

Connect with Dashin Simmons:

https://www.linkedin.com/in/dashinsimmons/

https://www.facebook.com/dashinsimmons

https://www.facebook.com/SimmonsDigitalMarketing/

https://www.foodtruckmarketingsecrets.com/

Our Website

https://systematicexcellenceconsulting.com/home/

Hire Your First Contractor Bundle

Connect with Amalie:

https://www.instagram.com/amalie.shaffer/

https://www.facebook.com/amalie.shaffer/

https://www.linkedin.com/in/amalieshaffer/

Connect with Janine:

https://www.linkedin.com/in/janine-suvak

https://www.instagram.com/systematicexcellence/

https://www.facebook.com/systematicexcellenceconsulting/

Note: This episode was recorded in July 2019 so some programs that were mentioned are no longer available. The information is still relevant. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to us at hello@systematicexcellence.com.

Content Disclaimer: The information contained above is provided for information purposes only. The contents of this article, video or audio are not intended to amount to advice and you should not rely on any of the contents of this article, video, or audio. Professional advice should be obtained before taking or refraining from taking any action as a result of the contents of this article, video or audio. Systematic Excellence Consulting LLC disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on any of the contents of this article, video, or audio.

Disclaimer: Some of these links are for products and services offered by the podcast creators. 

Affiliate Disclaimer: The article, video, or audio may contain affiliate links. We may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post. Although you won’t pay any more for any purchases you make, the commissions will enable us to continue to provide free content to readers and listeners.

Episode Transcript

Intro:              00:02 Go behind the scenes with Janine and Amalie seasoned military veterans, as they talk about how to overcome the challenges of leadership, running teams, and coordinating all the moving parts of an organization to accomplish the mission, whether it’s 40 pirated vessels, saving lives in combat, helping CEOs lead their companies to victory on the business battlefield, every week Janine and Amalie share insights from their experiences, the leaders they work with, and their guests experts as they dive into lessons learned and successful solutions to real-world business issues.

Janine:             00:37 Hi Dashin welcome to the podcast, is great having you here.

Dashin:             00:42 Thank you. I appreciate you having me.

Janine:             00:44 Let’s start with, I know you’ve done some really phenomenal things in a very short period of time actually, and I’d love it if you could just share some of your background with the audience.

Dashin:             00:56 Yes. So, my name is Dashin Simmons. I’m originally from a small city called Sumter in South Carolina. Grew up a single child, you know, my mom worked a lot and that’s really where I got my work ethic from. The one thing that my mom had that I did not want was, she basically worked all the time and she never had any free time. She owns a business as well, but I kind of learned from her mistakes because she was putting in you know, 60, 70 hours a week. So, you know, I’ve always been interested in pursuing entrepreneurship. Yeah. I’ve done different things. I’ve thrown events and I’ve sold tee shirts. You know, I was the kid in school who sold CDs, so I was always doing something. And then recently over the past year and a half, approaching two years, I’ve been, I’ve built an agency that primarily focuses on chatbot solutions for our clients. So we use chatbots to automate tasks and to help businesses get more customers.

Janine:             02:11 Oh, that’s great.

Dashin:             02:12 Yeah that’s where I am now.

Janine:             02:16 Well, can you tell so yeah, what you describe with your mom, with your mother is something I hear about a lot. You know, it’s like that joke about entrepreneurs, right? Giving up the 40-hour job, 40-hour week job to get the 110 hour a week job. And yet there are people who make it to the other side and push past that to where they’re getting out of their own way and getting out of their operations and seeing both the money and the freedom of time.

Dashin:             02:45 Yeah. And I really learned that from, I’m sure you know who Robert Kiyosaki is.

Janine:             02:50 Yes.

Dashin:             02:51 Yeah, so that was first I read his book Rich Dad Poor Dad when I was eight years old.

Janine:             02:56 Oh nice.

Dashin:             02:57 That was the thing for me that really made me want to pursue this stuff even further. And then I read his other book, Cashflow Quadrant and it made me realize that, you know, there’s four quads, quadrants. There’s an employee, there’s someone who’s self employed who basically owns a job. There’s someone who owns a business where they actually own systems and then there’s investors. And I noticed that my mom was in the self employed category and she was not happy and she, you know, she would be burned out all the time. So, I really just tried my best to avoid that and that came through systems from me not exchanging my time directly to accomplish something, but having other people exchange their time and, and having things like chatbots and other technology to automate tasks for me.

Janine:             03:49 Okay. So that is wow. Starting at eight years old. That’s phenomenal. You’re super genius, right then. That is so cool. But so you were looking forward and being very intentional about getting systems integrated to your business growth. What was, cause I’ve run into, you know, a lot of people who they finally figure it out when they’re totally burned out and their life is falling apart. Right. So can you tell me about for yourself with your business, you know, that transition that you had from launch, you know, from, from your concept and getting it launched to when you were able to integrate that for yourself and not just own the job?

Dashin:             04:34 Yes. So, I had been doing this for about six months and things are really starting to pick off. I mean, pick up and take off. We were doing a lot of business, but it was just me and it was one other person and we were getting burned out and we were spending so much time on it that the money that we were making, it didn’t really make sense because if you’re spending, you know, a hundred hours a week on something and you know, you’re making, I don’t know, a thousand, 2000 per person and you’re spending all your time on that, then it really, it doesn’t make sense. It honestly makes more sense going to a job than having a business because I basically, became a slave to it and I completely had a breakdown where I just wanted to quit and I wanted to go back to a job and I couldn’t do it anymore. And then, I met a guy who was basically in the same business as me and he was doing what I was doing, but he was doing maybe 20 times as much as, as we were doing in revenue. And he helped me really start to implement those systems that I needed. The biggest thing for me was that I was doing a lot of tasks and I was doing tasks that weren’t always necessary. They weren’t actually pushing the needle forward. So through him, I really got that, that focus and that clarity of these are the one, two, three things that I should be focusing on and I need to now step away and find other people who are good at these things and have them do those things for me.

Janine:             06:07 Exactly. And so how did that feel? So again, so you get the advice and yet there’s often that feeling of trepidation of “can I really let go and hand this fully over to this other person?” How did that go for you?

Dashin:             06:26 Oh, it was tough in the beginning because I’m somewhat of a perfectionist, so I always felt like someone else couldn’t do the thing that I was good at. But then I really had to put my ego to the side and understand that I’m not, you know, there’s a lot of people that could do what I could do. And do it as well as I could do it. So of course whenever you’re trying to change and whenever you’re trying to grow, your, your biggest enemy is yourself or your own brain. So for a while it really, it was hard for me to I guess let go in the beginning because I had so much control when I, and I had so much fear that something was just going to go wrong. So in the beginning, I just forced myself to do it and I, and I noticed that throughout my life now there’s always some thing that I’m met with that I have some fear about or that I know that I need to do. I just can’t get myself to do it. So through that experience it really showed me that when you’re trying to get to the next level, you always meet, you always kind of have a, I guess a breakdown before you break through.

Janine:             07:37 Yes.

Dashin:             07:39 And that just going through that really showed me that whenever I was met with something like that was the thing that I needed to do because every time I do it, it took me to the next level. It was just getting out of my comfort zone. So it wasn’t just about freeing up my time and things like that. It really gave me, perspective, on what I was doing and really showed me, hey, when you feel uncomfortable with something, that’s the thing that you should probably be doing.

Janine:             08:10 Yeah. So that’s so well put “the breakdown before you break through.” I love that.

Dashin:             08:16 Yeah.

Janine:             08:17 So what are, so what are you doing that, what is, what are you pushing towards now?

Dashin:             08:25 So my, the thing that I’m trying to overcome right now?

Janine:             08:29 Yeah, let’s go with that and then we’ll move on. Yeah.

Dashin:             08:34 Yeah. So right now, most of my, 90% of my business comes from referrals and just comes organically. So I know that thing that I’m trying to overcome right now is it’s starting to use paid traffic for my offers.

Janine:             08:49 Okay.

Dashin:             08:50 So thats that thing for me that’s kind of uncomfortable and it’s funny because I do it for other people. It’s just, you know, sometimes it’s hard to take our own advice.

Janine:             08:58 Oh yeah, absolutely. Absolutely.

Dashin:             09:01 And that’s the thing that I’m struggling with right now that I’m, that I’m overcoming

Janine:             09:06 Now do you have a coach or a mentor or does your business partner help you with that? How do you grit your teeth and get through that?

Dashin:             09:17 How do I do what?

Janine:             09:19 How do you grit your teeth and push through that?

Dashin:             09:23 Cause I just, I just understand that it’s the thing that I had to do to get to the next level, I always, I reached kind of a plateau. So what I know it’s time for a change, when I look at our numbers and for three or four months our numbers are, are kind of the same, and then instantly I always just kind of know what that next thing is. I don’t know how, I guess this from, yeah. From, from different mentors and things like that that I have. I learned a lot from people like Jeff Bezos and Dan Pena and it’s really just, I guess just continuing to develop myself personally every day.

Janine:             10:08 Yeah,

Dashin:             10:09 That’s the thing that really, yeah, that’s the thing that really helps me push through, I guess.

Janine:             10:16 Yeah, that’s actually a lot that, I’m sorry to interrupt. I was just trying piling on with, you know, when, when I’m helping people with their operations and systems, it very often involves a lot of personal development on the leadership side in order for those things to work. Right?

Dashin:             10:33 Yeah, 100%. It’s funny cause I always, I call those things the unsexy cliches because when people… let’s say I’m, I’m trying to coach someone and we’re on the phone one-on-one, it’s never usually the tactics of, you have to do this thing or this is how you install a Facebook pixel, or this is how you do an ad. It’s usually those things, like 

here’s how you overcome procrastination. Here’s how you manage your time better. It’s those things that make all the difference. It’s not it has very little to do with, you know, that thing that you’re trying to overcome. It’s usually something that you have to overcome on a personal level. A big issue for a lot of people is charging enough money and that’s because they don’t really value themselves and value their work. And that’s not really, problem that’s on the outside. That’s something that’s in the inside that people have to overcome.

Janine:             11:25 It’s a common problem I think. And that’s why I’m really glad that you touched on that because I think people need to hear it, that they’re not alone in that and that you can do it.

Dashin:             11:38 Yeah 100%.

Janine:             11:40 So tell me, okay, so, and then as far as your business goes, what is your, your next step or your next goal?

Dashin:             11:50 My next goal is just increasing revenue and, and decreasing the amount of time that I spend in it.

Janine:             11:58 Okay. So…

Dashin:             11:59 Just trying to reach, some of them are my long term goals because I enjoyed doing this, but it’s not something that really aligns with what I want to do 30, 40 or 50 years ago. So I’m starting to transition into the things that, that I actually want to do. And I consider this just a stepping stone to get to the next thing.

Janine:             12:19 Yes. So you’re going, so you’re following that grid then, right? You’re going to own your systems and then move on over to investor.

Dashin:             12:28 Yeah, 100%

Janine:             12:29 That’s fantastic.

Dashin:             12:31 Because at first, I was an employee, then I became self-employed, then I became a business owner. So the most logical thing to do now is to leverage, time and leverage money so that I don’t have to work for money. I can have my money work for me.

Janine:             12:45 Yeah, we’re going to have to, you are gonna have to come back around and talk again when you’re there. Right. Cause I would love to see, hear the difference between what that looks to you, it looks like to you now versus when you there when you’re there and what it really looks like at that point. That would be super fun.

Dashin:             13:04 Yeah, for sure.

Janine:             13:05 Cool. Well, all right, well I really appreciate you sharing your story. Can you tell me, well tell me, tell my audience where they can find you.

Dashin:             13:16 They can just connect with me on Facebook so they can go to facebook.com/dashinsimmons and if you need to connect with me, you can just shoot me a message.

Janine:             13:30 Okay, perfect. And we’ll be sure. I’ll be sure and have the link to you in the show notes so they can make it really easy. Thanks so much. Thanks for being here on the episode. I really appreciate you.

Dashin:             13:41 Yeah, for sure.

Amalie:             13:46 We hope you enjoyed this episode of the podcast. You can find out more about Janine and Amalie at systematicexcellenceconsulting.com.

Janine:             14:01 If you enjoyed this episode please subscribe, leave a review, and share with people you think may find it helpful. This goes a long way in helping us reach and serve as many people as possible. Thanks so much for listening. We’ll see on the next episode.

Description

Successfully managing a business is challenging enough, working with nonprofits, trade groups, and associations requires a whole different level of expertise to be successful. It is important to set the right tone to motivate your team members to work towards the end goal, and that’s exactly Joy Duling’s biggest strength. Joy, founder and CEO of The Joy of Membership, has extensive experience in strategic planning, team facilitation, change management and association operations. On this episode she will tell you all about managing and leading teams.

Show Notes

Managing associations and nonprofit organizations doesn’t have to be a headache every time. 

In this episode, we explore, with expert Joy Duling, everything related to dealing with unmotivated teams, missed deadlines, and even tasks that no one wants to be responsible for.

Joy is the founder and CEO of the Joy of Membership. Since 2005 Joy has served as a trusted advisor for hundreds of associations, trade groups, and membership based nonprofits, twice winning the unsung hero award from the National Association of Women Business Awards, Central Illinois Chapter. She is a national speaker on topics related to member engagement and organizational growth and was Executive Director of a membership-based nonprofit for nearly a decade which achieved annual revenue of $1M exclusively from membership contributions.  

We’ll talk about how to master managing small or large groups, the most efficient way to approach and organize people and actually accomplish goals by deadlines. 

You will learn:

  • How to effectively delegate your tasks to get them done in time
  • Planning your systems to get the most out of your team
  • How to operate and communicate better with small and large teams
  • Reporting progress to leaders, finding project management tools that work for everyone, and more!

Listen now!

Connect with Joy Duling:

https://joyofmembership.com

https://www.linkedin.com/in/joyduling/

https://www.facebook.com/joyofmembership/

To Find Out More About Systematic Excellence:

https://systematicexcellenceconsulting.com/home/

Hire Your First Contractor Bundle

Connect with Amalie:

https://www.instagram.com/amalie.shaffer/

https://www.facebook.com/amalie.shaffer/

https://www.linkedin.com/in/amalieshaffer/

Connect with Janine:

https://www.linkedin.com/in/janine-suvak

https://www.instagram.com/systematicexcellence/

https://www.facebook.com/systematicexcellenceconsulting/

Content Disclaimer: The information contained above is provided for information purposes only. The contents of this article, video or audio are not intended to amount to advice and you should not rely on any of the contents of this article, video, or audio. Professional advice should be obtained before taking or refraining from taking any action as a result of the contents of this article, video or audio. Systematic Excellence Consulting LLC disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on any of the contents of this article, video, or audio.

Disclaimer: Some of these links are for products and services offered by the podcast creators. 

Affiliate Disclaimer: The article, video, or audio may contain affiliate links. We may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post. Although you won’t pay any more for any purchases you make, the commissions will enable us to continue to provide free content to readers and listeners.

Episode Transcript

Intro:              00:02 Go behind the scenes with Janine and Amalie seasoned military veterans, as they talk about how to overcome the challenges of leadership, running teams, and coordinating all the moving parts of an organization to accomplish the mission, whether it’s 40 pirated vessels, saving lives in combat, helping CEOs lead their companies to victory on the business battlefield, every week Janine and Amalie share insights from their experiences, the leaders they work with, and their guests experts as they dive into lessons learned and successful solutions to real-world business issues.

 

Amalie:             00:37 All right. Welcome back to our podcast. Today we have a special guest, Joy Duling who is founder and CEO of the Joy of Membership. Since 2005 Joy has served as a trusted advisor for hundreds of associations, trade groups and membership based on profits twice winning the unsung hero award from the National Association of Women Business Awards, Central Illinois Chapter. She was Executive Director of a membership-based nonprofit for nearly a decade and is a national speaker on topics related to member engagement and organizational growth. Joy, we’re so glad that you’re here with us today. Thank you.

 

Joy:                01:16 Well thank you for the invitation. It’s a pleasure to be here.

 

Amalie:             01:20 Awesome. So today we’re going to talk about how to lead and get buy in from groups or people that aren’t your direct reports, but you need to lead them, get buy in from them and really get them to get things done. Right. So do you want to kind of tell us how you work with associations and then that’ll give some context around what we’re going to talk about?

 

Joy:                01:47 Oh, sure. So my clients tend to run associations, trade groups, kind of industry coalitions. And a lot of times they have a, a small staff, but they have big work that has to get done. So they’ll set up committees and boards and things like that to help them tackle, you know, organizational priorities and those people don’t report to them. So one of the things that I do in my role supporting the association is help them figure out how to, how to approach the work, how to organize the people, how to make sure that the committees are actually moving forward and getting work done. Because we’ve all been part of groups where, you know, the conversations just go in circles and you know, just feels like you’re working on the same stuff forever and ever and ever and not actually accomplishing anything. And that’s not what we want.

 

Amalie:             02:46 Right. So one of the things that we had talked about before was working laterally in an organization or as a CEO, being a member on a board and how to lead that group. You know, if you’re all sort of, you know, there’s, might not be an organizational chart or you know, some sort of leadership, but they do need someone to lead them, in order for the board to accomplish something. So what are the, you know, what are the skills required? What are some of the tactics or strategies you use when you’re in a situation like that?

 

Joy:                03:30 Well, I think that to some extent the skills are the same when you are dealing with people who report to you and people who don’t, I think that, there are leadership skills that translate to both of those situations. You have to be able to motivate people, you have to be able to communicate effectively. You have to understand, you know, what’s the totality of work that needs to be done and, you know, how can you break it up to, you know, help people make progress. So those skills are exactly the same, but there’s a big difference between you leading people who, you know, report to you because you’re their boss or you oversee their contract versus people who, you know, report to someone else in the organization or you know, they’re volunteers to be part of a community project or something like that. So, I think if you’re in a situation where you’re managing people like that, you don’t, you don’t have the same leverage. You can’t terminate these people or end their contract. So I feel like the skills that you bring to that situation have to be more deliberately executed. I think you have to recognize that it’s a unique situation and it’s almost an amplified version of what you need to be if you were working with someone who has to do what you say because you’re the boss. Does that make sense?

 

Amalie:             05:05 Yeah, for sure. And I think that you need a… I mean, I, I believe that you need buy in always, right. You know, from the bottom to the top. But I feel like, I think that it’s almost imperative to have the buy-in when you’re in a situation like that. Right. Because there, they don’t report to you directly, but nothing’s, but things won’t get done if you don’t have their complete buy in to whatever the committee is trying to, to accomplish. Janine, what do you think about, I mean we’ve probably in military situations worked with, I know I’ve worked with other people that, you know, other branches of military that weren’t direct reports to my, to who I reported to, but we still had to work together and lead the pack. Sort of. Do you have thoughts?

 

Janine:             05:58 Yeah, absolutely. That, you know, when you have two units working together or you have a team from one unit with a certain specialty assigned to another, that happens because they report to a different chain of command. We had, within my clinic, we had the nurses reported to one, had one chain of command and the doctors’ to another and that made for a very strange working environment. Sometimes it was less effective than it could be, but, yeah, Joy that the things you do exactly when people don’t necessarily have the accountability, you’re really relying on their, their integrity and their motivation and everything else. So yes, when you’re…

 

Amalie:             06:37 Self-motivated, right?

 

Janine:             06:39 Yes, I imagine. Yes, very self-motivated, very.

 

Joy:                06:44 This is also where I think that kind of creating a rallying cry for the group’s work is really powerful. So if you can find that, that common interest that all of the group members have, that’s super powerful. When we initially launch the nonprofit that I’d led for about 10 years at our very first planning retreat, we had about 75 stakeholders in the room and they represented, organizations from across, across 20 counties and you know, different types of organizations. And these people were all there kind of representing their employers. And one of the things that we did when everybody introduced themselves, instead of, you know, them saying their, you know, their name and their job and who they’re with, we actually had each person tell a personal story about the problem that we were trying to solve. We wanted them to, just bring something personal to the table. And we spent probably almost an hour of that meeting with everybody just telling their story. But it was such a powerful exercise. I mean, years later, people who were involved in that nonprofit pointed back to that experience at that very first planning meeting as being a thing that like solidified their involvement.

 

Amalie:             08:17 Yeah.

 

Joy:                08:18 So yeah, that rallying cry, that thing that everybody can relate to I think is essential. And even if you don’t have something like that, you know, maybe you think you have kind of a, you know, just a very ordinary feeling project and it’s not, you know, something super inspirational. You can still make it inspirational.You know, maybe you have to put together some sort of report that requires committee work. I like to create, you know, the cover for that report upfront, even before the work is done, just because that visual gives the group something to kind of latch onto. And then they can imagine filling that report with all of the information that they’re going to bring together and just gives them something to rally around. So if you can create that with the group, it makes big difference.

 

Amalie:             09:09 Yeah. And I definitely think the personal story, I think that that makes a difference. I mean, just in sales, you know, people connect with that. And so if they can hear and relate to someone else’s story, they’re gonna buy in and, and want to be motivated to accomplish whatever you know, is meant to be accomplished by the nonprofit or you know, the organization. So that’s great. Okay. So let’s say you were just starting out today with a brand new committee and you had to get them to some result, whatever that might be. What’s the first thing you would do with them?

 

Joy:                09:41 Okay, well first thing that I like to point out is that committee work is like water. It’s going to expand to fill whatever sort of container you have for it. So as much time as you’re willing to give a project, that’s how much time a group is going to take. So you have to create a smaller container and sometimes that means dividing the workup to create that…

 

Amalie:             10:08 Boundaries!

 

Joy:                10:09 Yes. So that’s the first thing you want to know when you’re starting a a new group. So, the second thing we’ve already talked about is that rallying cry and you know, creating that purpose for the group. I would want to pay attention to that as well. And then, you know, the third piece is understanding what the work is that that group actually has to get done. Now when I’m doing committee work, I like to have a result that is achievable within no more than three months. Cause let’s say a lot of these committees and with my clients, they’re working or you know, they’re coming together every couple of weeks, maybe once a month. I like to give them something that’s achievable within a, you know, limited block of time and three months feels about right to me. When people are coming together, you know, monthly or a couple of times a month. So, you know, we, we, we set what that end state is and figure out, okay, what are all of the tasks that need to happen in there? That’s what most groups do. And they stop there and, okay, this is the work we have to done this, our plan, this is what’s going to happen. Week one, week two, I like to take it another layer deeper and actually estimate the exact amount of time each task should take. So this isn’t just, okay, we’re going to make focus group calls in week three to set up the appointments. I like to say, okay, making those focus group calls, setting up those appointments, that’s a task, it’s going to take two hours because you know, we’ve all been in that situation where, you know, we have things on our to do list and it sits there because it feels like it’s much bigger than it is. And that sort of thing happens with committees too. You know, they have this little thing that ought to take no more than two hours, but they come back month after month to the check in meetings and they haven’t gotten to it yet and haven’t gotten to it yet. It’s like, “well, if you just sit down and do two hours or you know, 30 minutes or whatever the task would be done.” So….

 

Amalie:             12:18 I would even go far as far to say that that sort of breakdown needs to happen when you’re planning any kind of project because, and then I would even say that you need to apply what needs to happen on those calls, right? Those specifics so that way they know exactly what needs to happen, plan the call, know exactly what needs to be discussed, take note of it. Right. And yeah, for committees, that’s what we’re discussing now. But those, that kind of detail needs to be done for any project because just because you have a plan, right, listing out some tasks doesn’t mean there’s action going to be taken on it. Right. You need to take it to that next step and those minute details need to be added for sure. Sorry keep going.

 

Joy:                12:57 No, no, I completely agree. The other thing that doing that will help you see is whether in a particular week you, you know, realistically have too many tasks packed in there because you know, we’re talking about people who don’t report to you. They have other jobs, they have other responsibilities and you have to make sure that the totality of tasks that, you know, you’re imagining to happen in week three can actually happen in week three and you may have to spread it out. All of a sudden you look at it and go, oh, we have 10 hours worth of work, but your committee’s not going to give you 10 hours worth of work in a single week. So yeah, by taking it to that level, it really allows you to start, you know, putting the pieces together, how this work is going to get done within, you know, the 12 week period or you know, whatever you’ve set for the, you know, total project.

 

Amalie:             13:54 Yeah.

 

Joy:                13:55 But then, you know, you can see every week if you’re making progress and, it’ll give the committee some momentum. So, I mean those are the things I think are really important. You know, when you have a brand new group, and really are important for any group. But especially a brand new one when you’re walking in and trying to figure out, okay, how are we going to approach this?

 

Amalie:             14:15 Yeah. And I think it’s really important about how you said that you put a timeframe on it. Because again, for any project that you’re planning, I think you need to have an end goal. You know, a date in mind, right. It needs to be on the calendar. It might move and that’s fine. That’s what I tell, you know, my clients too, when they’re planning something, put a date on it. And if it has to move, it has to move, but you have to put it there so that your, you can work backwards to figure out everything else in between that needs to happen. But if you don’t put a date, then those things on the to do list just get pushed back and pushed back and pushed back because there’s no end date to say, well this is when it’s happening. You know? And then you need, like you said, it’s like water right. You have to give it a boundary so it can fill that space. But if it doesn’t have anywhere to stop it, it’s just going to keep going. And then, you know, you’re just on this never-ending…

 

Janine:             15:05 Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. That, that concept is actually called Parkinson’s law. I mean, we’ve all heard it, right. The work expands to fit the available time, but the real genius in what you’re doing, Joy is not just doing that for the whole project. Right. But for all the discreet parts and so it can only fill that time for each task, which is awesome. I did have a question. Yeah, yeah. They need that. They need that. But, also what you were speaking to, to new groups, I was wondering, how much you think just the unfamiliarity or just fear of how to proceed, proceed. Just the unknown keeps them in that state of hesitation and coming back with not getting things done.

 

Joy:                15:48 Well, I definitely think that, you know, the more specific you can be around know, this is the work that needs to be done and you know, what the scope of that work is. I do think it makes it easier for people to, jump in and feel a sense of accomplishment around it. I think where it gets murky and where, you know, committees and groups start losing momentum is when, nobody really feels a direction to the work. You know, group members are just unclear how to move it forward or when they start feeling the work that they’re being asked to do is really coming together to the meetings to talk about things and I actually hear this, you know, a lot from my clients because you know, they’re executive directors or you know, managers in these associations. And a lot of times when they’re running committees, they feel they’re the ones who walk away with all of the to-do lists. The committee doesn’t actually do much work outside of coming together, you know, to talk about, doing

 

Amalie:             16:54 That is so frustrating. But that can happen in teams too, in a business, you know, I mean it’s the same thing, but probably more so in a committee sense because it’s, everyone just comes and talks about it and you know, I love the statement, this is something when someone says, okay, we need to do this. That is one of my biggest pet peeves. Who needs to do it? Don’t ‘we’, me. Okay.

 

Janine:             17:20 Right, I’m walking around saying,

 

Amalie:             17:22 I need them to say, Amalie, you need to do this. You know, Joy, you need to do this, Janine, you need to do this. If we say ‘we’, everyone’s walking away and not one person is saying, I’m doing this. That is the biggest problem, and I feel that does happen with teams so much, and committees too, you know, situations like that. Oh yeah, we need to do this. We need everyone talks in this. We, we, we, okay, fine. Say we the first time, but then it needs to be delegated to a specific person and they have to own it. Otherwise no one’s going to own it.

 

Janine:             17:51 Right?

 

Amalie:             17:52 So, okay,

 

Janine:             17:53 With ‘they’ or ‘we’.

 

Amalie:             17:56 I can’t, I don’t live in that sort of place. I need to know exactly what’s going on. Okay. So flipping that question around a bit, what if you had a group that had gone stagnant and seem stuck, they’ve been working together for a while, they’ve been stuck on the same conversation without making much progress. What would you do in that situation?

 

Joy:                18:19 So ultimately you want to get to the same place. You want to be able to get them to a place where they’re all working toward, you know, an outcome that, you know, they jointly, are engaged in and committed to. So ultimately you want to get to that same place where everybody knows what they need to do and it’s all containerized and that sort of thing. But when you are working with an existing group, you know, you really have to, and this is especially important if you are the new person coming into lead an existing group, but you have to get a sense of, to the group members feel like there’s a problem. Do the group members feel like there’s lack of progress? Do they, you know, share your sense of that? If they do, your job is going to be a little easier because you can, you know, you can be more comfortable doing a bit more of a shakeup as a leader. So, in that situation, you know, if people are acknowledging that there’s a problem here, you can do, I call it kind of a state of the project. Meeting where everybody comes together. You talk about, you know, what’s been done, what’s currently being done, what needs to be done. You put it all on the table and you have kind of their buy in to create that, you know, that container and you know the actions that are going to need to happen. So, you know,

 

Amalie:             19:50 But if they don’t have that then there might be, might be a tough swim up river.

 

Joy:                19:57 Right? So if you kind of putting out your feelers and you’re sensing this company thinks everything is a okay, but you know, you need to get results and you’re not going to get it unless these people start moving forward, then what I would do is break off a piece of it and use the same process that we’ve been talking about on that piece and then show results with that piece and then expand it as people start seeing that that approach is moving that piece forward quickly.

 

Amalie:             20:33 What do you use to measure, or to show progress? What would you use or, and how do you kind of report that?

 

Joy:                20:45 So I prefer to keep very simple because, my clients don’t have a lot of time for fluffy stuff. So you know, we create, you know, a very simple report that shows the result that we want the work that’s supposed to happen each week. And it’s like checking off the boxes is it, is it happening? And, if you find that it’s not happening for not able, check those boxes off week after week, then you know, that you need to revisit. But there are all sorts of, you know, project management tools, you know, you can use. But I really find, keep it as simple as you can, especially when you’re working with groups that don’t report to you because these are people who, even if you have tools for your business, your organization, they may be completely unfamiliar with those tools and you add a whole other layer of complexity when you try to get external people to use your tools. I tend to say just get them to do the work and track it in whatever way you need but get them to do the work

 

Amalie:             21:57 If it’s too hard they are less likely to do it right? If it’s too hard or if it’s going to take up too much of their time because it’s already the committee’s already taking some of their time. They probably have you know, other jobs, other things that they, other commitments. So if you make it too hard, they probably won’t do it. What do you do about people or someone that isn’t getting something done or is resistant, you know, maybe the rest of the group’s buying in, but you have a couple of individuals that are resistant to the change as you come in or, resistant to just the overall project. You know, maybe you just couldn’t get their buy in.

 

Joy:                22:34 Well, first of all, I think that is going to become a very obvious, when you have the actions that need to be done in place and people can see other people in the group can see that progress is not happening. And it’s very quickly going to become clear that those individuals are outliers. And I would leverage the pressure of the group to get things done. So it’s not you forcing the people to get done but use the group, okay, it’s clear that this, this task has been sitting here for the last three weeks and it’s not getting done. Who else from this group can we pair you up with to help move this forward? So I think that’s, that’s the approach I would take in that situation Amalie.

 

Amalie:             23:26 Okay. Yeah. And how do you recognize people that are going above and beyond?

 

Joy:                23:33 Well, I think that, you know, there are group, leadership opportunities. You can celebrate people both informally and formally. So, not that I want to say that a great work begets more work, but it’s in the case of committees, a lot of times that’s what, that’s what happens. You know you can put them in charge of more stuff. You can give them some sort of perk, like a gift card. You can, acknowledge them at an organizational banquet, you can give them a higher level of title in the committee. So there are definitely some, you know, things that you can do, to make it clear that they’ve gone above and beyond.

 

Amalie:             24:25 Okay. And I just want to kind of change the subject really quick. So you are working in some committees, and you work with nonprofits. Do you find that they have, systems and processes set up, in their business? Do you think that there’s improvement there? And could you maybe discuss that a little bit?

 

Joy:                24:46 I think it kind of depends on the size of the organization, which is probably what, you and, you both find when you’re working with your clients. Sometimes the larger organizations have more, structure and processes in place because when you have more people, you just naturally have to have those sorts of things. You know, definitely for those organizations that are a little more mature, you know, they have, more structure

 

Amalie:             25:20 Maybe they felt the pain, the growing pains!

 

Joy:                25:23 Right! But if you’re talking about, you know, small associations, small trade groups, small nonprofits, you know, they may be run by, you know, a solo executive director and a couple of team members and they just, you know, haven’t had the need to get fancy schmancy tools in place. So you got to work with, you have to work with what you have.

 

Amalie:             25:49 Do you think that they could benefit from some if they, if they had them, you know, benefit from them?

 

Joy:                25:54 Oh sure.

 

Amalie:             25:54 yeah.

 

Joy:                25:56 Oh yeah, absolutely. I think anytime that you can document what you, document the processes that your organization needs and you can, create processes that are repeatable, that’s going to be to your advantage. It’s gonna, it’s gonna save you time. It’s going to make it clearer what people need to do to, you know, achieve outcomes. So…

 

Amalie:             26:19 Yeah.

 

Joy:                26:20 Absolutely.

 

Amalie:             26:20 They grow and bring people on. It’ll be easier to delegate those things because they’ll have it all documented.

 

Joy:                26:28 Absolutely.

 

Amalie:             26:29 Janine, did you have, any other questions or anything?

 

Janine:             26:32 Oh, no, I just think it’s fascinating that you’re able to do that in those kinds of circumstances. It’s incredible.

 

Joy:                26:40 I think it’s fun work. I think, you know, organizing groups in the community is one of my favorite things to do and I’ve been blessed in my career that I’ve always worked in roles where I had to accomplish. I had to accomplish major projects, but I rarely had organizational authority over people to make those projects happen. So, I think that it’s just been something that, it feels very natural to me and, you know, it’s, it’s, it’s inspiring. It’s, it’s fun work to do.

 

Janine:             27:15 I actually, I do have a question. How did you get into doing this?

 

Joy:                27:22 Well, I have been running my own consulting practice since 2005. I had been, doing projects in state government.  Fresh out of school I became assistant to the chief of staff for a state agency. So I ended up working on a lot of the priority projects for that agency. And then in a period where state government was reorganizing, there was a new administration that came into place. They offered a pension buyout and I decided that that was the time to leave state government and figure out if I could make it on my own. So I just took all of those skills that I had in a state agency and transferred them over to the private sector. And the very first client who hired me when I hadn’t even identified my, my niche yet happened to be a gentleman who was starting an association. And so I worked with him on that startup and as sometimes goes in business, one referral leads to another. And one day I looked around and my entire client base was pretty much associations and trade groups. So I kind of owe my entire business model to that very first client who hired me, who continues to be a client today, which is fascinating.

 

Janine:             28:43 That’s super cool cause that’s a big leap. Sorry, I was just going to say that is a big leap to take. Yeah.

 

Amalie:             28:51 Awesome. So tell us what you have going on today. What’s, what’s the business like today? What kinds of things you’re doing? I don’t want to put you on the spot, but I know you’ve got some things going on. So do you want to tell us a little bit about what you have going on in your business right now?

 

Joy:                29:09 I do so, I, I kind of break down what I do in my business into, I’m a couple of different buckets. On the one hand I do a lot of operational support for associations and trade groups. So I have, I have a team that is experienced in running associations, not executive leadership, but doing out all the operational stuff, you know, how to set up membership platforms, how to do communication out to members, member invoicing, all, you know, everything it takes behind the scenes to run a group like that. So we have that whole arm. And then I personally spend most of my time doing consulting around, member experience design, how to grow organizations, how to problem solve pieces of the organization that aren’t working. So I do that through one-on-one consulting, through running workshops and, doing online education programs.

 

Amalie:             30:16 All right. Well, I don’t have any other questions. Do you Janine?

 

Janine:             30:21 I have one with all that amazing work that you do. How can our audience find you?

 

Amalie:             30:27 Oh, thank you. Thank you. I know I was forgetting something.

 

Joy:                30:31 You can find me at ajoyofmembership.c

  1. So my business is A Joy of Membership and I would love to connect with you there. If you are someone who is running an association or nonprofit or perhaps you know, you yourself are engaged with that sort of organization, I do have a free help hub, so I have all sorts of tools and trainings and things like that. So if you go to my website: joyofmembership.com, they can access all of those free tools.

 

Amalie:             31:03 And we’ll put it in the show notes. So we’ll put the link in the show notes of your websites.

 

Joy:                31:07 Great, thanks for sharing.

 

Amalie:             31:09 Thank you so much for being here with us today. We really appreciate it and, yeah, it’s been great. Thanks so much.

 

Janine:             31:16 Yeah thank you, Joy.

 

Amalie:             31:22 We hope you enjoyed this episode of the podcast. You can find out more about Janine and Systematic Excellence at systematicexcellence.com and you can find out more about me, Amalie, at amalieshaffer.com.

 

Janine:             31:37 If you did enjoy this episode. Please subscribe, leave a review and share with people you think may find it helpful. This goes a long way in helping us reach and serve as many people as possible. Thanks so much for listening. We’ll see on the next episode.

Description

Over the past 27 years, Bill has built a following & impacted the lives of over a million people. He helps people implement the right systems to take their businesses from seven figures to eight, improve the quality of their personal lives so they can have a greater positive impact on the world and achieve financial freedom.  Bill has written books, created lead generation and sales conversion systems and founded the Real Estate Insider Movement to Change The Way people buy, sell & leverage Real Estate.

Show Notes

Making a million dollars is cool, but receiving an award for impacting the world, in front of thousands of people, is even cooler — that’s a life philosophy Bill Crane endorses.

Bill seeks to help people embrace their own mastery because a lot of the time they take their skills for granted and undersell it (or even just give it away) when it could be worth thousands of dollars.

Bill is part of the Two Comma Club, has written books, created profitable sales systems and founded the Real Estate Insider Movement to change the way people buy, sell & leverage Real Estate. He joined us in this episode to show us how you too can expand your business and improve your quality of life.

You will learn:

  • How to transition from traditional marketing into digital marketing
  • What are high ticket sales and how to implement them in your business
  • Why you need to sell more than one product
  • Useful software to automate and systemize your process

Resources:

Activecampaign

Connect with Bill Crane:

https://www.twocommacoach.com

https://twitter.com/BillCraneNow

https://www.instagram.com/billcranenow/

https://www.youtube.com/billcranenow

https://www.linkedin.com/in/billcranenow

https://www.facebook.com/billcranenow

 

Find Out More About Systematic Excellence 

https://systematicexcellenceconsulting.com/home/

Hire Your First Contractor Bundle

 

Connect with Amalie:

https://www.instagram.com/amalie.shaffer/

https://www.facebook.com/amalie.shaffer/

https://www.linkedin.com/in/amalieshaffer/

 

Connect with Janine:

https://www.linkedin.com/in/janine-suvak

https://www.instagram.com/systematicexcellence/

https://www.facebook.com/systematicexcellenceconsulting/

Note: This podcast episode was recorded in July 2019. The information is still relevant but some of the programs mentioned are no longer available. If you would like additional information on solutions for your business please contact us for a free consultation.

Content Disclaimer: The information contained above is provided for information purposes only. The contents of this article, video or audio are not intended to amount to advice and you should not rely on any of the contents of this article, video, or audio. Professional advice should be obtained before taking or refraining from taking any action as a result of the contents of this article, video or audio. Systematic Excellence Consulting LLC disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on any of the contents of this article, video, or audio.

Disclaimer: Some of these links are for products and services offered by the podcast creators. 

Affiliate Disclaimer: The article, video, or audio may contain affiliate links. We may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post. Although you won’t pay any more for any purchases made you make, the commissions will enable us to continue to provide free content to readers and listeners. 

Episode Transcript

Janine:             00:37 Hi, Bill. Thanks for coming on the podcast.

Bill:               00:40 My pleasure, Janine. This is going to be a total blast. I can’t wait to, I can’t wait to burn through this. I’ve been looking forward to it since I met you. When did I meet you in person the first time? Was it Phoenix? It’s a couple of months ago.

Janine:             00:52 Yeah, it was Phoenix and I, yeah, I can’t believe how the time has flown by it’s awesome to see you again.

Bill:               00:57 Awesome.

Janine:             00:58 Yeah. All right, super fun. All right, here we go. So well, I know why don’t you go ahead and let’s tell the audience about your background and how you came to be here.

Bill:               01:10 Okay. I will, you know, my name is Bill Crane and you can see, they call me the two comma coach because now I’ve been on a mission for about 15 years to create a thousand new millionaires. And initially it started out as I wanted to create a $1 billion network, right? So a thousand millionaires will be $1 billion because the things that we could do as a network that way, all kinds of things would go by huge buildings. You know, I don’t know if you’re like Donald Trump or not, but maybe we can buy one of his buildings. We could take the name off, put something else on it, buy a sports team, change the name to the Funnel Hackers. You know, whatever you want to do this is a lot of things you could do if you have a network of a thousand millionaires but, basically it grew into something more, which is, you know, obviously if, you know, someone has money, they, they have their, they become empowered.

Bill:               02:04 The first thing that happened to me when I, you know, I guess had the money was, I experienced what true freedom really is. Right? Because if you’re broke, if you’re living paycheck to paycheck, then you, you don’t know what freedom is. You just don’t. You think you do. They tell you that you do, that’s the American way that we’re all free but, you know, the reality is if you’ve got a mortgage and credit card bills and car payment, you’re not exactly free. You know? And so when, when you take all that stuff off the table, all of a sudden you’re empowered to make decisions. The decisions that are gonna be best for you and your family, then ultimately to impact the world in a bigger way. So, so that’s what the movement kind of grew into because as soon as I got to the point where I had money myself, I realized, okay, well now I have money.

Bill:               02:53 Well, okay, that’s kind of cool. But you know, making an impact is cooler and so I think that’s what really resonated me so much when I got into the digital marketing world, which was only a few years ago, and I found out about this dude Russell. Yeah. Then he had this two comma club thing and, ‘Whoa, that’s so cool. I didn’t, I think of that’, you know, but then, you know, I typed in twocommacoach.com and it was available. So, so, it just kind of resonated with me. And then when I finally got my award, when was it? Just in January.

Janine:             03:36 Oh Wow. I thought you had for a while actually that’s so cool.

Bill:               03:41 Well, I mean, that’s when I got it on stage.

Janine:             03:43 Okay.

Bill:               03:43 I had already built seven-figure businesses before I ever knew who Russell was. But there’s a massive difference between me telling you that, I built a seven-figure business and getting an award, which, you know, I’m looking at the gold record right now on my wall, which is totally, I always wanted to be a rock star when I was a kid right?

Janine:             04:07 Yup!

Bill:               04:07 And now I’ve got a gold record on my wall.

Bill:               04:09 It’s freaking amazing. And then you go up there on stage and you’ve got 5,000 screaming fans, you know, and they’re all, they’re cheering for you. You know, cause you’re getting that award and they just, I can’t even explain it. Having 1 million bucks is cool, but being on stage in front of those 5,000 people getting that award is actually even cooler than making the money. So from there, I just really felt, you know, our messages were congruent in at least a low-level way. And then when I started to learn more about him, you know, he’s really trying to make an impact too. So that’s what I wanna do is, you know, make my own impact on the world. And that’s really by helping people, not only to embrace their own mastery, but sometimes people struggle with, they’re really good at something, but because they’re really good at something, they take it for granted.

Bill:               05:02 So they either give it away or they almost kind of give it away. They might sell their thing for a couple hundred dollars, whereas it might be worth, you know, $2,500 or it might be worth 5,000 or 25,000 or maybe it’s worth a hundred thousand or a million dollars, to the right company. It’s funny how when you go through that sort of, it’s not really an essential area, but it kind of is because the same thing has different value to different people. And then when you start talking about getting into the corporate world. I can build a presentation for a corporate client for 300 grand that, you know, normal little real estate agent won’t even want to pay three grand. You know,

Janine:             05:56 It’s crazy, the different perception isn’t it?

Bill:               06:00 Yeah, absolutely. So, I, that’s when I started focusing more on helping corporate clients and, in, you know, I only really work with small businesses that they can appreciate it. But one thing I did discover as I, tried to scale, you can do certain things, if you can make $1 million, for example, by selling, you know, 25 people or 40 people at $25,000 program, right?

Janine:             06:33 Right.

Bill:               06:36 But, to get to 10 million is actually harder, right? Because when you’re on that level of a program, it’s a lot of one on one time. So my next objective is over the last six months or so I’ve been working and kind of compressing all of that by high ticket sales training and the marketing, the branding, the sales and the scripts, how to handle different objections into one program so that someone can consume it online, go through the training and then I’ll do, you know, Q and A calls and stuff. But everything that can be consumed without me being one on one with you, on a zoom because then that way I can make a larger impact because more people I could probably sell 10,000 units that way versus doing it one on one it, it’s impossible.

Bill:               07:31 Right now I spend most of every day on zoom because I’ve sold a lot of one on one consultations.

Janine:             07:42 Right?

Bill:               07:43 But then it limits my time, right?

Janine:             07:46 Absolutely.

Bill:               07:46 So I can help 50, 60 people a year doing it one on one at the level I’m doing it, but I’ll never help a thousand or 10,000 or a hundred thousand. So it’s funny how going high ticket first is totally awesome for almost any business because first of all, it helps you to capture all your systems and it helps you generate a lot of income. But then at a certain point, It’s funny how these things keep repeating themselves because you know I can’t make it to the next level unless I automate and systemize.

Janine:             08:24 Right.

Bill:               08:24 That ties right into what you do, which is so awesome. I first connected with you a few months ago because you were helping me with some system stuff.

Bill:               08:32 So it’s one on one. I can make $1 million one on one, no problem. You know selling one thing at a time. But I’ll never make 10 million, a hundred million. I’m never going to become, no one ever became a billionaire by selling one thing at a time. It requires a person you who can help with the systems. So, you know, that’s why I’m so happy that we have a two way relationship because…

 

Janine:             08:58 Yeah!

Bill:               08:58 Yeah I can help you with the sales stuff but please Janine, help me with the systems. I know all these people tuning in want your help with systems too.

Janine:             09:07 Oh thanks. Yeah, and for sure, your help with sales is just amazing and I know you’ve had a tremendous impact on so many people even as you’re getting ready to take it all to that next level. It’s so impressive and really a special thing that you do. Because you’re really touching their lives, you know, and, and the impact that they’re going to make, it’s just going to keep that going. So as, so you clearly are, I hear different, a few different categories of stories on this path and there are those who get to that, that super stressor point where they’re almost their health and their families and everything are falling apart before they start realizing they need to do, either back down or do something different that’s going to help them keep going and moving up. It sounds like you’ve taken a much more strategic forward thinking view for that. How did that come into play?

Bill:               10:05 Oh, it really came into play. At least at this stage of my life is, you know, when I first got into the digital space, because I’ve been an offline guy, you know, most of my life. And when I first got into digital, I realized, well no I didn’t realize, I convinced myself that I had to start over. Right. Online sales and marketing is different than offline sales and marketing. And it took me about six months of studying and just really working hard, trying to figure it out from every level, not only studying courses that I invested in and, and being coached by mentors that I invested in, but then just watching, who’s doing it, who’s having a ton of success, helping a lot of people and what are they doing and over and over, I kept saying, ‘well, this kind of thing that I bought, I already know’, I don’t understand. This guy’s just teaching me the same stuff. And then after I invested in, I don’t know, three or four or five or six of those people, it finally hit me, “wait a minute, maybe there’s no difference?!”

Bill:               11:21 Sales is sales…

Janine:             11:23 Right.

Bill:               11:23 And marketing is marketing and problems are problems and solutions are solutions. What people want is what people want. Okay. So the only real difference is the tools. And so, and then you know the tools, you know, the first step obviously is, you know, creating your funnels, creating your basic auto-responder or your delivery mechanism for whatever you sold them. Or maybe if it’s a free lead magnet, whatever the case may be, it’s one thing when someone opts in, I want this free report but and then send it to them. Okay. Big Deal. But that’s actually hard when you first get into it. But then when you start thinking about, okay, well what happens if they put in an email but they abandon the cart, you know, what happens if they actually buy the first thing but not the second thing. What happens if they buy the first thing and the second thing but not the third thing.

Bill:               12:16 You know, so it becomes this crazy mind map and then, “okay, well what program do I use? Do I use Actionetics or do I use an ActiveCampaign or Infusionsoft or any of these different platforms?” At a certain point, if you’re a person like myself who’s, I’m kind of a straight line thinker, right? You know, and it works really, really well for sales, but for automating a process, it doesn’t really work because for automating a process, as you know, you have to be able to have that 40,000 foot view and see all the different directions that everything can run. And then sometimes they reconnect. Then sometimes they disconnect again and then you have to re engage. Argh!

Janine:             13:05 Yeah. And trying to picture that in the invisible behind the scenes back end software stuff can get really difficult for people.

Bill:               13:13 Yeah. Especially when they’re, you know, the biggest problem I think most people have if they’re anything like me is, well, you don’t even know what software you need. And then you start developing the thing, then you find out what software can do that, but then you realize, well then what I wanted to do is actually bigger than that. And then this software that I got, can’t do that. Then you need different software. So it’s so awesome to just have someone who understands all that stuff. That also understands capabilities of different software, you know, to be able to hook you up with, what you actually need so that you just don’t pull your hair out.

Janine:             13:52 Yeah, absolutely. So what are your favorite software tools that you’re working with now?

Bill:               13:57 I like, what is it? ActiveCampaign,

Janine:             14:00 Okay.

Bill:               14:01 I like Actionetics as well, which is, as you know, ClickFunnels’ sort of in-house, I don’t know what to call it because to me it’s not a CRM.

Janine:             14:14 Right.

Bill:               14:14 It’s something between having nothing and a CRM. Right?

Janine:             14:18 Right.

Bill:               14:19 It’s awesome for the instant delivery, the instant gratification. It’s even awesome for just constantly, you know, pushing your message out. But at least I haven’t found a way to make it do what a CRM because a CRM is, you can have all these notes, you know, in there and you can really create a relationship with someone. Whereas I feel like Actionetics is, you know, maybe it’s sort of building a very low level relationship, but there’s no this, you know, where ActiveCampaign, can take it to a higher level. Now, that’s not for everybody. If someone’s only doing a product delivery, then Actionetics, is probably all they ever need. But someone who’s kind of getting into a service or maybe, maybe service is part of their ascension, I feel that ActiveCampaign takes it to that level. But Hey, maybe, maybe I’m about to learn something. You know, could, can ActiveCampaign do that, can Actionetics do that?

Janine:             15:24 The Actionetics has been changing a lot recently and they keep adding on new things. But I think you alluded to really the most important point about it is that they’re, you know, there are different tools that are right for what level your business is at, at each time. And then there’s a time, they don’t all grow with you and some of them you have to grow into.

Bill:               15:46 Yeah.

Janine:             15:46 So it depends. When I’m helping people with it, usually they have something in place. And what I’m trying to do is, you know, not roll in with what is my favorite or what do I think is best, but what do they have, will it do the job for where they’re at and then are they using it to the most effect? Just cause there’s more than one right answer to that. And I think we all have some favorites, but, so tell me, so right now with all these people that you are helping with your movement to have this huge impact, how can, how can my audience reach you?

Bill:               16:25 There’s a few ways they can reach me. First of all, obviously twocommacoach.com, that’s a basic, application funnel. And so there’s a bunch of my testimonials there for actually a new program that I’m releasing, it’s called,  Testimonial Secrets. You, I think you kind of experienced some of that in Phoenix.

Janine:             16:45 Uh Huh.

Bill:               16:46 So, a lot of people have urged me to, really take that to another level, which I, I’ve never, I never wanted to do, even for anyone other than a high level, you know, 25k plus. But I’m realizing a lot of people need help with that. Yeah. Because there’s nothing more powerful than, you know, social proof and, but, but there’s different levels, right? So I see people with this with really crappy testimonials.

Janine:             17:14 Yeah. Yeah.

Bill:               17:16 If you have an emotionally compelling testimonial that’s, at the same time it’s kind of pitching you, you know, then it just helps your sales funnel or your website or your email, whatever it’s going to be, whatever delivery mechanism you’re using, convert at a much higher level than if your testimonials are bad. it really says, you know, so it’s similar to teaching people how to deliver those emotionally compelling testimonials is that the next program, I’m actually working on it. And I hate calling a Beta group because to me, Beta means it’s not proven. It’s not tested. And this is absolutely proven. So, I’ve got about two dozen people.

Janine:             17:58 Okay

Bill:               17:58 Right, I’m trying to get it, I want to get it up to a hundred people, but I really haven’t promoted it, but it’d be cool to get a hundred people in there. So I can really jump out of the box quickly, so anyways, they can go to twocommacoach.com and if anything, I’ve kind of shared here sounds sort of interesting, they just fill out the application. And because they are, you know, connected to you, they could put in a two comma, not a two comma, a coupon code, right. Normally I charge 997 for a consultation. Okay. And then I refund it if they’re not happy, but they’re always happy.

Janine:             18:38 Yeah, I imagine cause I, yeah.

Bill:               18:41 We have to think of a coupon code.

Janine:             18:44 Speaking of the testimonials, I hear about all the greatness you’re handing out and I can’t, yeah, it’s totally worth 997. It’s actually worth way more than that. I know they see that back so quickly after working with you.

Janine:             18:57 So if anybody puts in the coupon code box, Janine, because you’re the only Janine I’m working with anyways. And then I’ll know that you heard about this from Janine’s podcast and then I will totally waive that 997 for a consultation. So here’s a special thank you to Janine for having me on today, you know, basically you’re getting 1000 bucks and then I’ll even give you a free copy of my book and that kind of stuff.

Janine:             19:26 Oh Wow. That’s amazing. Thank you for sharing that.

Bill:               19:30 Clients for life. And there’s a lot of good stuff in that book.

Janine:             19:34 Okay. Thank you so much Bill. Gosh, I didn’t even expect that. That’s impressive. I appreciate that. I’m just going to say, mention a couple things, right? That my name is very odd. It’s spelled J A N I N E and I’ll put all this information in the show notes along with how everyone can find you and get the goodies that you offered. and I just wanted to ask, just to clarify, so when is your launch?

Bill:               20:00 My schedule for my launch is by the end of this month.

Janine:             20:05 Okay. So it’s coming up.

Bill:               20:06 I don’t have an etched in date, but I’m really, I really want it by the end of the month. Because I think we’re both going to be at that event in, in Denver.

Janine:             20:16 Oh, absolutely. I’ll see you there. Yup.

Bill:               20:18 The Unlock the Secrets Event,

Janine:             20:20 Yes.

Bill:               20:20 So I want to be able to be at that event and share, you know, whatever happened, you know, in the launch.

Janine:             20:28 Okay, cool. Well as soon as we have that, that date finalized, then I’ll add that to the show notes too so we can get that, have that all available for everyone.

Bill:               20:37 Awesome.

Janine:             20:38 Awesome. Thank you so much, Bill. It’s so great to have you here and get to talk to you again.

Bill:               20:43 Thanks Janine. And I look forward to consuming your podcast. I know you’re going to have a lot of other amazing guests on there. Well that almost sounded like I assumed I was amazing. Hopefully I was.

Janine:             20:54 You are amazing. You are amazing. No, it’s been super fun. I hope you get a chance to listen to it. I think you’ll enjoy it.

Bill:               21:01 I will for sure. Okay. Bye.

Janine:             21:04 Bye. Bye.

Bill:               21:05 Bye.

Amalie:             21:11 We hope you enjoyed this episode of the podcast. You can find out more about us at Systematic Excellence at systematicexcellence.com.

Janine:             21:25 If you did enjoy this episode. Please subscribe, leave a review and share with people you think may find it helpful. This goes a long way in helping us reach and serve as many people as possible. Thanks so much for listening. We’ll see on the next episode.

Description

Many businesses sink in the first couple of years because of poor management — usually because the head of the company wants to do everything themself and that’s not only impractical but also impossible. Delegating is the only way to progress. In this episode, you’ll learn how to delegate tasks in order to take things off your plate and finally reach that success level you’ve been working toward.

Show Notes

The process of delegation is similar to the process of prioritization: letting go of tasks so that you can focus on other tasks… tasks that only you can handle. This is exactly the topic we discussed today: how to effectively delegate, the differences between tasking vs delegating, what to expect from delegating and generally, how to take stuff off your plate.

 

These are the topics we discussed:

  • Tips on how to delegate your tasks
  • How to get your team on the same track
  • Dealing with mistakes in a positive way
  • Helping your team members solve problems on their own
  • & much more.

 

Our Websites

https://systematicexcellenceconsulting.com/home/

Hire Your First Contractor Bundle

 

Connect with Amalie:

https://www.instagram.com/amalie.shaffer/

https://www.facebook.com/amalie.shaffer/

https://www.linkedin.com/in/amalieshaffer/

 

Connect with Janine:

https://www.linkedin.com/in/janine-suvak

https://www.instagram.com/systematicexcellence/

https://www.facebook.com/systematicexcellenceconsulting/

Episode Transcript

Amalie: 00:37 Welcome to the podcast today. We’re going to discuss tasking vs. delegating and what the differences are. We’re going to talk about how to effectively delegate and then we’re going to talk about if things don’t go well when you delegate tasks. I’m here with Janine and I’m going to start out just kind of discussing the difference between the two. When you are tasking, you are giving someone something to do, but the expectation is that they’re coming back to you with any questions or any permissions. Those kinds of things. And when you delegate, you are giving them an outcome that you want them to achieve, right? You’re saying, I want this outcome, please, do it. And generally speaking, you’ll have a process in place that they need to follow in order to get that particular thing done, I want to call it a “task.” So I don’t want to get confused here with tasking and task, but a task, right? So someone is given a to-do item. 

And then tasking. What’s important to understand between the two is that delegation is releasing the responsibility and putting it onto the person that you’ve just now given the task or the to-do item to. The real important difference of tasking is that person’s going to keep coming back and saying, “Oh, okay, I did this, here’s this. What’s the next step? I did this. Okay, what’s the next step?” Whereas delegating is “I want this done.” And then they will go through all the steps that they need to go through in order to get this To-do item or this task done to get to the outcome that you’ve requested. So do you have anything to add to that, Janine? I mean that’s how I would differentiate between the two.

 

Janine: 02:48 Yeah. I just to expand, well, not expand, but in another way. I mean, tasking is more somebody who’s helping you with something that’s within your realm of things that you need to do. They’re just an extension, and that’s why there’s more of that interaction. Whereas with the delegating, you’re literally handing something off within in a certain…

Amalie: 03:12 Ownership.

Janine: 03:13 Right? No, your hand. The thing that needs to be done, you are placing in someone else’s hands and they are going to go do it. And you get the result of the task.

Amalie: 03:25 So when you’re delegating, I think that you need a few things. You need to provide a few things to the person that you’re delegating to. Those are resources, details, and information, things about the item, they need the resources to be able to complete it. The permission of making decisions about it — the ownership of it. So when you delegate something, you are telling the person that they have the permission to make decisions and then making sure that you clarify that with them so that they understand that they have that. And then giving them the result, the result or the outcome that you want from that. The ultimate delegation is you tell them the outcome and then they get it done, or you give them the result that I want, and then they take the action to get that. What do you think?

Janine: 04:39 Yeah. What do you think is the biggest hangup people have with delegating?

Amalie: 04:47 I would say the permission. 

Janine: 04:50 I agree.

Amalie: 04:51 Yeah. That they struggle with giving someone permission to make decisions about a particular task or project or you know, anything like that. So you tell them to write something, they write something and then it comes back to you. But you still have to read over it and you still have to check it. But if you have a process in place where there’s someone else that can proofread or check it and then it gets done, then it takes it off your plate. But if you’re just tasking everything still comes back on you for approval. Everything still comes back. I think it’s that ultimate approval that business owners are struggling or struggle with releasing that ultimate version before they send it out. They have to see it. And I think that that’s where the bottleneck comes from.

Janine: 05:43 That’s what I see too. Generally what I see is, it’s coming from the business owner where they’re setting up that situation and not allowing that person to go do their thing.

Amalie: 05:58 And it also sets a standard, right? So once you have your team members in a routine or in a way of doing things like that, they can always come back to you for permission to move to the next step. Like, “okay, I wrote this piece. What do I do now? Okay, I wrote this piece. What do I do now? I wrote this piece. Here it is. What do I do now?” It’s really hard to break them out of that, right? Because you’ve set them up to be in that situation in that they’re constantly coming back to you. And that’s why the business owner’s plate is always full: because they’re not delegating their tasking, they’re tasking out and then getting everything back on their plate to review it, to approve it, all of those things.

Janine: 06:44 And setting the stage for that occurs when they’re onboarding these people, the new people, that’s where a great deal of this should be starting with. So say, that the information and the resources that they need, they need to know what they have to do, the job they need to do and where to find it. That’s a big problem because a lot of them are just files everywhere. People with personal spreadsheets, just being unorganized, is a huge problem and just make that worse when you bring new people in and they feel lost and they’re frustrated because they want to do a good job. They can’t find anything. I mean, most people don’t want, if they’re competent, they don’t want to be that person that is constantly not knowing where to find things, not knowing who to ask, not sure what “right” is supposed to look like. And finding out the hard way. They don’t want that. They want to do well. They want to do it right. They want to be fast and get better at what they’re doing

Amalie: 07:49 I also think that business owners need to have checks and balances in place that don’t include them. They need to have team members that can look at each other’s stuff or have sort an org chart where the business owner’s at the top, and then you have levels of people that they have someone in the middle that can review things or see things like if they need, you know, I mean every piece of anything should have more than one set of eyes on it before it goes out. Absolutely. And I think that those checks and balances need to be in place and it shouldn’t include, well, let me say the less it can include the business owner, the better. Because that will allow, then the business owner will no longer be the bottleneck. They will become the CEO versus what I would call the business owner.

Janine: 08:43 An analogy for this, it’s not necessarily business, it’s in medicine, but when I was training as a surgery intern and we’d go around in the evening at the end of the day on the status of all of the patients that are staying overnight in the hospital that night and all, you know, whatever things still needed to be done. The goal is pretty clear to everyone. The patients should be better the next morning than they were when the attending leaves for the night. That’s pretty obvious. But the attending is there and we go through everything, the team, and there’s like five levels of residents from the intern to the fifth year. So you have all these different levels of experience going on. And the attending would end with, if you need any help with anything, just give me a call, calling me as a sign of weakness and then they’d walk off. And then the chief resident would just say, “okay guys, you know, we got this”, emphasize a few of the more important points with the, you know, the more critical patients. And they’d say, “okay, well I’m going to be in the chief resident room if you need anything. You know, just let me know. Asking for help is a sign of weakness.” And they turn around and walk off it just kind of roll down hill until there’s the intern standing there going, “oh, now what?” But that’s probably not the best way to do it cause that’s like shutting the door to add to people asking for help. But the purpose behind that was for them to think through absolutely everything they knew and could possibly do. So they weren’t asking questions all the time just because they were unsure and didn’t know when to let go. It’s like, seriously, it’s okay to, you know, refill that person’s Tylenol prescription without waking up the resident in the middle of the night for that. Then at each level they, the more competence they had.

Amalie: 10:43 I think having an organized backend of your business helps with that. Like having the resources organized, having standard operating procedures that they can follow, having references, you know, loom videos, things like that that they can refer to first. But telling them and giving them the direction of, “okay, here’s the project, or here’s the outcome I want, here’s the resources you’re going to need to get it done. You have the permission to figure it out. Go and do it.” But having a solid, robust place where you have all of your documents and your standard operating procedures and things like that will help to give them, the things that they need to try to figure it out before they come with questions. One of the thing that I’d like to talk about next is what to do when there’s mistakes made. So I think one of the biggest fears of business owners when they’re delegating is that it won’t be done right. Because it’s not going to be done. And that’s absolutely true. But the business owner, the responsibility of the business owner or the person that’s delegating to the person that will complete the task or the project, they need to give them the resources that they need in order to do it as closely to what the business owner would do themselves. But mistakes will be made. It’s going to happen. I mean, it’s inevitable that it will happen. I think how the business owner deals with that is really, really crucial.

Janine: 12:33 I would actually say, take the focus off how close to the way the business owner does it that they do it and turn that onto the outcome. Because there is more than one right way to do anything. So if this person does something completely different than the way you would do it and they get the result you want to, the level of quality you want in the time you want, does it matter that it’s completely different from the way you did it? It might, it might be.

Amalie: 13:06 If you want it done in that specific way, then you need to have a standard operating procedure for it. If that’s how you want it done the nature of when, right. I’m just saying like if if you want it done in a specific way, then that’s how, that’s where a standard operating procedure comes into play because you then tell them exactly how they need to do it and there’s a reference for them to follow to make sure that they are getting it done exactly how you want it done. I think that the best way to deal with something when either a mistake was made or it wasn’t done exactly how you want it is to instead of just come out and say, well one, embarrass the person or you know, obviously you need to explain to them that it was done wrong, but by doing it in a negative way, people will be less likely to come to you when they’ve made a mistake, which can create internal stress inside your team and that they’re afraid to come talk to you, which you never want to have happen. You want them to openly come and talk to you and tell you that they made a mistake, but they fixed it and if someone makes mistake, I think one of the most important things to do other than kind of addressing in a positive way, is asking them questions to get them to come up with how they should have done it or what should’ve been done differently instead of just telling them the answer. Ask the questions so that way next time when they’re in that situation, they can figure it out for themselves and you know, and avoid being in a situation that, you know, in this situation that they got in.

Janine: 14:50 Especially when you’re correcting someone after a mistake been made, part of that, setting the environment for success moving forward is leading with something they did right. Because it’s rare that someone did every single step all the way along, completely wrong before it came to your attention. So you can lead with, “hey, you know, I liked how you did this, this was good, this one.” Teach them as you’re explaining it. There were a couple other ways you could have done it like this, that, or the other thing. And then let’s take a look at this and, and how this thing happened. And so by then they’re not on guard anymore. They know you paid attention. They know that you’re not just seeing the one thing that went wrong and not the 99 things they did well.

Amalie: 15:46 And then asking them, you know, how they could have done differently, what could have been done or what should have been done right. To help them process that so that way next time maybe it can be avoided.

Janine: 15:57 Yeah. And depending on the extent of whatever the thing is that they’re working on, having those checkpoints along the way so nothing gets too far off track and you can give little nudges of guidance to keep them on the track that you want them on, instead of waiting for something to completely derail before you come in and swoop in and rescue them. It’s better to just keep them on track.

Amalie: 16:24 Right. And then they can have, like I said, the checks and balances in place to have some of the other team members, or having someone that manages them, that’s between the CEO and the person that’s doing the task. You know, having that person in a sort of middle management or something to help to make sure that they are on track, which again allows the business owner to be a little more removed from the day to day operations, which is most of the time what I hear business owners say that really brings them down or is weighing them down or taking up most of their time, is the day to day operations, is managing those.

Janine: 17:08 Yeah. And they have a hard time letting go of that. I think I had a situation with a very, very young, NCO who is running my clinic. He’s in charge of the operations. I had to be very clear with him, like, “it is your job to run the operations. It is my job to make sure that you have what you need in order to do that. So when you run up against something such that you can’t get the outcome that we’re looking for, that’s when you come to me, it’s not a failure on your part.” And if I’m really doing my job, I’m seeing what you’re doing and I’m anticipating these things, so I’m getting what you need as or before you need them.

Amalie: 17:55 Well I just want to recap what we talked about. So we discussed the difference between task and delegating and ultimately where we want to, where we focused our time is that delegating gives the person who is completing the task, to-do item or project, the permission to make decisions about that project, that to-do item, or that task. That is one of the biggest differences, that you have asked them for a specific result or outcome and they are off and running and getting to that. Then we’ve talked about the things that they need in order to delegate effectively, which is giving them or having a place for them to find the resources or information they need to complete the item; permission to make the decisions about it. And then giving them the result that you want. That’s ultimately how delegating is done. You delegate by giving them an outcome. “Okay, I want this completed, you know, I want this result.” And then they go and do that. Then we just talked about how it’s important to, if mistakes are made, (because they will be made) that you addressed it in a positive way, starting with what they did right. And then letting them, by asking them questions, help them to get to the point of realizing themselves what they did. What could have been done differently in order to achieve the correct result or helping them figure out what they could have done differently in order to be able to problem solve on their own without having to come to the business owner every single time a mistake is made. They’ll be able to recognize it, catch it before there is a mistake. They’ll be able to improve their own process when they’re going through and doing it. Anything else that I missed that we went over today?

Janine: 20:22 No, no, this is great. This one thing is probably the single biggest bottleneck for so many business owners. It sounds simple, but it’s something that you have to apply over and over to each of the people on your team and each of the things that you’re delegating as you’re doing it, until everyone, including yourself, is proficient at it. And it will just set you free and set them free to go on and do great things.

Amalie: 20:59 We hope you enjoyed this episode of the podcast. You can find out more about Janine and Systematic Excellence at systematicexcellence.com and you can find out more about, me, Amalie at amalieshaffer.com.

Janine: 21:13 If you did enjoy this episode, please subscribe, leave a review, and share them with people you think may find it helpful. This goes a long way in helping us reach and serve as many people as possible. Thanks so much for listening. We’ll see on the next episode.

Description

Many businesses sink in the first couple of years because of poor management — usually because the head of the company wants to do everything themself and that’s not only impractical but also impossible. Delegating is the only way to progress. In this episode, you’ll learn how to delegate tasks in order to take things off your plate and finally reach that success level you’ve been working toward.

Show Notes

The process of delegation is similar to the process of prioritization: letting go of tasks so that you can focus on other tasks… tasks that only you can handle. This is exactly the topic we discussed today: how to effectively delegate, the differences between tasking vs delegating, what to expect from delegating and generally, how to take stuff off your plate.

 

These are the topics we discussed:

  • Tips on how to delegate your tasks
  • How to get your team on the same track
  • Dealing with mistakes in a positive way
  • Helping your team members solve problems on their own
  • & much more.

 

Our Websites

https://systematicexcellenceconsulting.com/home/

Hire Your First Contractor Bundle

 

Connect with Amalie:

https://www.instagram.com/amalie.shaffer/

https://www.facebook.com/amalie.shaffer/

https://www.linkedin.com/in/amalieshaffer/

 

Connect with Janine:

https://www.linkedin.com/in/janine-suvak

https://www.instagram.com/systematicexcellence/

https://www.facebook.com/systematicexcellenceconsulting/

Episode Transcript

Amalie: 00:37 Welcome to the podcast today. We’re going to discuss tasking vs. delegating and what the differences are. We’re going to talk about how to effectively delegate and then we’re going to talk about if things don’t go well when you delegate tasks. I’m here with Janine and I’m going to start out just kind of discussing the difference between the two. When you are tasking, you are giving someone something to do, but the expectation is that they’re coming back to you with any questions or any permissions. Those kinds of things. And when you delegate, you are giving them an outcome that you want them to achieve, right? You’re saying, I want this outcome, please, do it. And generally speaking, you’ll have a process in place that they need to follow in order to get that particular thing done, I want to call it a “task.” So I don’t want to get confused here with tasking and task, but a task, right? So someone is given a to-do item. 

And then tasking. What’s important to understand between the two is that delegation is releasing the responsibility and putting it onto the person that you’ve just now given the task or the to-do item to. The real important difference of tasking is that person’s going to keep coming back and saying, “Oh, okay, I did this, here’s this. What’s the next step? I did this. Okay, what’s the next step?” Whereas delegating is “I want this done.” And then they will go through all the steps that they need to go through in order to get this To-do item or this task done to get to the outcome that you’ve requested. So do you have anything to add to that, Janine? I mean that’s how I would differentiate between the two.

 

Janine: 02:48 Yeah. I just to expand, well, not expand, but in another way. I mean, tasking is more somebody who’s helping you with something that’s within your realm of things that you need to do. They’re just an extension, and that’s why there’s more of that interaction. Whereas with the delegating, you’re literally handing something off within in a certain…

Amalie: 03:12 Ownership.

Janine: 03:13 Right? No, your hand. The thing that needs to be done, you are placing in someone else’s hands and they are going to go do it. And you get the result of the task.

Amalie: 03:25 So when you’re delegating, I think that you need a few things. You need to provide a few things to the person that you’re delegating to. Those are resources, details, and information, things about the item, they need the resources to be able to complete it. The permission of making decisions about it — the ownership of it. So when you delegate something, you are telling the person that they have the permission to make decisions and then making sure that you clarify that with them so that they understand that they have that. And then giving them the result, the result or the outcome that you want from that. The ultimate delegation is you tell them the outcome and then they get it done, or you give them the result that I want, and then they take the action to get that. What do you think?

Janine: 04:39 Yeah. What do you think is the biggest hangup people have with delegating?

Amalie: 04:47 I would say the permission. 

Janine: 04:50 I agree.

Amalie: 04:51 Yeah. That they struggle with giving someone permission to make decisions about a particular task or project or you know, anything like that. So you tell them to write something, they write something and then it comes back to you. But you still have to read over it and you still have to check it. But if you have a process in place where there’s someone else that can proofread or check it and then it gets done, then it takes it off your plate. But if you’re just tasking everything still comes back on you for approval. Everything still comes back. I think it’s that ultimate approval that business owners are struggling or struggle with releasing that ultimate version before they send it out. They have to see it. And I think that that’s where the bottleneck comes from.

Janine: 05:43 That’s what I see too. Generally what I see is, it’s coming from the business owner where they’re setting up that situation and not allowing that person to go do their thing.

Amalie: 05:58 And it also sets a standard, right? So once you have your team members in a routine or in a way of doing things like that, they can always come back to you for permission to move to the next step. Like, “okay, I wrote this piece. What do I do now? Okay, I wrote this piece. What do I do now? I wrote this piece. Here it is. What do I do now?” It’s really hard to break them out of that, right? Because you’ve set them up to be in that situation in that they’re constantly coming back to you. And that’s why the business owner’s plate is always full: because they’re not delegating their tasking, they’re tasking out and then getting everything back on their plate to review it, to approve it, all of those things.

Janine: 06:44 And setting the stage for that occurs when they’re onboarding these people, the new people, that’s where a great deal of this should be starting with. So say, that the information and the resources that they need, they need to know what they have to do, the job they need to do and where to find it. That’s a big problem because a lot of them are just files everywhere. People with personal spreadsheets, just being unorganized, is a huge problem and just make that worse when you bring new people in and they feel lost and they’re frustrated because they want to do a good job. They can’t find anything. I mean, most people don’t want, if they’re competent, they don’t want to be that person that is constantly not knowing where to find things, not knowing who to ask, not sure what “right” is supposed to look like. And finding out the hard way. They don’t want that. They want to do well. They want to do it right. They want to be fast and get better at what they’re doing

Amalie: 07:49 I also think that business owners need to have checks and balances in place that don’t include them. They need to have team members that can look at each other’s stuff or have sort an org chart where the business owner’s at the top, and then you have levels of people that they have someone in the middle that can review things or see things like if they need, you know, I mean every piece of anything should have more than one set of eyes on it before it goes out. Absolutely. And I think that those checks and balances need to be in place and it shouldn’t include, well, let me say the less it can include the business owner, the better. Because that will allow, then the business owner will no longer be the bottleneck. They will become the CEO versus what I would call the business owner.

Janine: 08:43 An analogy for this, it’s not necessarily business, it’s in medicine, but when I was training as a surgery intern and we’d go around in the evening at the end of the day on the status of all of the patients that are staying overnight in the hospital that night and all, you know, whatever things still needed to be done. The goal is pretty clear to everyone. The patients should be better the next morning than they were when the attending leaves for the night. That’s pretty obvious. But the attending is there and we go through everything, the team, and there’s like five levels of residents from the intern to the fifth year. So you have all these different levels of experience going on. And the attending would end with, if you need any help with anything, just give me a call, calling me as a sign of weakness and then they’d walk off. And then the chief resident would just say, “okay guys, you know, we got this”, emphasize a few of the more important points with the, you know, the more critical patients. And they’d say, “okay, well I’m going to be in the chief resident room if you need anything. You know, just let me know. Asking for help is a sign of weakness.” And they turn around and walk off it just kind of roll down hill until there’s the intern standing there going, “oh, now what?” But that’s probably not the best way to do it cause that’s like shutting the door to add to people asking for help. But the purpose behind that was for them to think through absolutely everything they knew and could possibly do. So they weren’t asking questions all the time just because they were unsure and didn’t know when to let go. It’s like, seriously, it’s okay to, you know, refill that person’s Tylenol prescription without waking up the resident in the middle of the night for that. Then at each level they, the more competence they had.

Amalie: 10:43 I think having an organized backend of your business helps with that. Like having the resources organized, having standard operating procedures that they can follow, having references, you know, loom videos, things like that that they can refer to first. But telling them and giving them the direction of, “okay, here’s the project, or here’s the outcome I want, here’s the resources you’re going to need to get it done. You have the permission to figure it out. Go and do it.” But having a solid, robust place where you have all of your documents and your standard operating procedures and things like that will help to give them, the things that they need to try to figure it out before they come with questions. One of the thing that I’d like to talk about next is what to do when there’s mistakes made. So I think one of the biggest fears of business owners when they’re delegating is that it won’t be done right. Because it’s not going to be done. And that’s absolutely true. But the business owner, the responsibility of the business owner or the person that’s delegating to the person that will complete the task or the project, they need to give them the resources that they need in order to do it as closely to what the business owner would do themselves. But mistakes will be made. It’s going to happen. I mean, it’s inevitable that it will happen. I think how the business owner deals with that is really, really crucial.

Janine: 12:33 I would actually say, take the focus off how close to the way the business owner does it that they do it and turn that onto the outcome. Because there is more than one right way to do anything. So if this person does something completely different than the way you would do it and they get the result you want to, the level of quality you want in the time you want, does it matter that it’s completely different from the way you did it? It might, it might be.

Amalie: 13:06 If you want it done in that specific way, then you need to have a standard operating procedure for it. If that’s how you want it done the nature of when, right. I’m just saying like if if you want it done in a specific way, then that’s how, that’s where a standard operating procedure comes into play because you then tell them exactly how they need to do it and there’s a reference for them to follow to make sure that they are getting it done exactly how you want it done. I think that the best way to deal with something when either a mistake was made or it wasn’t done exactly how you want it is to instead of just come out and say, well one, embarrass the person or you know, obviously you need to explain to them that it was done wrong, but by doing it in a negative way, people will be less likely to come to you when they’ve made a mistake, which can create internal stress inside your team and that they’re afraid to come talk to you, which you never want to have happen. You want them to openly come and talk to you and tell you that they made a mistake, but they fixed it and if someone makes mistake, I think one of the most important things to do other than kind of addressing in a positive way, is asking them questions to get them to come up with how they should have done it or what should’ve been done differently instead of just telling them the answer. Ask the questions so that way next time when they’re in that situation, they can figure it out for themselves and you know, and avoid being in a situation that, you know, in this situation that they got in.

Janine: 14:50 Especially when you’re correcting someone after a mistake been made, part of that, setting the environment for success moving forward is leading with something they did right. Because it’s rare that someone did every single step all the way along, completely wrong before it came to your attention. So you can lead with, “hey, you know, I liked how you did this, this was good, this one.” Teach them as you’re explaining it. There were a couple other ways you could have done it like this, that, or the other thing. And then let’s take a look at this and, and how this thing happened. And so by then they’re not on guard anymore. They know you paid attention. They know that you’re not just seeing the one thing that went wrong and not the 99 things they did well.

Amalie: 15:46 And then asking them, you know, how they could have done differently, what could have been done or what should have been done right. To help them process that so that way next time maybe it can be avoided.

Janine: 15:57 Yeah. And depending on the extent of whatever the thing is that they’re working on, having those checkpoints along the way so nothing gets too far off track and you can give little nudges of guidance to keep them on the track that you want them on, instead of waiting for something to completely derail before you come in and swoop in and rescue them. It’s better to just keep them on track.

Amalie: 16:24 Right. And then they can have, like I said, the checks and balances in place to have some of the other team members, or having someone that manages them, that’s between the CEO and the person that’s doing the task. You know, having that person in a sort of middle management or something to help to make sure that they are on track, which again allows the business owner to be a little more removed from the day to day operations, which is most of the time what I hear business owners say that really brings them down or is weighing them down or taking up most of their time, is the day to day operations, is managing those.

Janine: 17:08 Yeah. And they have a hard time letting go of that. I think I had a situation with a very, very young, NCO who is running my clinic. He’s in charge of the operations. I had to be very clear with him, like, “it is your job to run the operations. It is my job to make sure that you have what you need in order to do that. So when you run up against something such that you can’t get the outcome that we’re looking for, that’s when you come to me, it’s not a failure on your part.” And if I’m really doing my job, I’m seeing what you’re doing and I’m anticipating these things, so I’m getting what you need as or before you need them.

Amalie: 17:55 Well I just want to recap what we talked about. So we discussed the difference between task and delegating and ultimately where we want to, where we focused our time is that delegating gives the person who is completing the task, to-do item or project, the permission to make decisions about that project, that to-do item, or that task. That is one of the biggest differences, that you have asked them for a specific result or outcome and they are off and running and getting to that. Then we’ve talked about the things that they need in order to delegate effectively, which is giving them or having a place for them to find the resources or information they need to complete the item; permission to make the decisions about it. And then giving them the result that you want. That’s ultimately how delegating is done. You delegate by giving them an outcome. “Okay, I want this completed, you know, I want this result.” And then they go and do that. Then we just talked about how it’s important to, if mistakes are made, (because they will be made) that you addressed it in a positive way, starting with what they did right. And then letting them, by asking them questions, help them to get to the point of realizing themselves what they did. What could have been done differently in order to achieve the correct result or helping them figure out what they could have done differently in order to be able to problem solve on their own without having to come to the business owner every single time a mistake is made. They’ll be able to recognize it, catch it before there is a mistake. They’ll be able to improve their own process when they’re going through and doing it. Anything else that I missed that we went over today?

Janine: 20:22 No, no, this is great. This one thing is probably the single biggest bottleneck for so many business owners. It sounds simple, but it’s something that you have to apply over and over to each of the people on your team and each of the things that you’re delegating as you’re doing it, until everyone, including yourself, is proficient at it. And it will just set you free and set them free to go on and do great things.

Amalie: 20:59 We hope you enjoyed this episode of the podcast. You can find out more about Janine and Systematic Excellence at systematicexcellence.com and you can find out more about, me, Amalie at amalieshaffer.com.

Janine: 21:13 If you did enjoy this episode, please subscribe, leave a review, and share them with people you think may find it helpful. This goes a long way in helping us reach and serve as many people as possible. Thanks so much for listening. We’ll see on the next episode.

Fix This Next book cover

Take the Fix This Next Evaluation

Zero in on exactly what you need to do for your business – right now!