The larger teams have given me a bigger “empire” of people, projects, and gross revenue.
But when it comes to profit, I did far better years ago.
You see, the more people you add, the more overhead you have to manage.
And it’s harder and harder to catch low quality team members trying to sneak in— the unemployed brother of one of your employees and the slacker who believes you are rich, so they can just coast off your hard work.
Yet if your company is not growing, you’re not creating upward mobility for your good people, who will leave.
No matter the industry, your #1 challenge as a business owner is recruiting leaders who care about the company almost as much as you do.
I did one thing this afternoon that made this whole week worthwhile.
The performer measures results.
The employee measures number of meetings and hours.
Are you optimizing for the wrong things?
If you’re measuring by time or meetings, you’re rewarding your people for taking longer.
And you’re penalizing your top performers.
Instead of fighting low quality and incompetence, trying to get people to see it your way, partner with those who are eager to achieve your mission.
The most powerful thing you can do is NOT generate sales.
It’s hiring the right people.
Hire people you believe in, not necessarily the most skilled.
Because they will be there for you in the long-run, helping you solve problems that you never would have anticipated.
And the best way to attract the right people is to be impeccable with your word.
Keep your promises, even when it’s costly– since the right people will notice.
If you’re broke right now, but rich in ethics, your time to shine is coming soon.
The cheaters have momentary success, but the good guys are the ones still standing in the end.
Rent is due and you don’t have the money. You’re stressed out since you’ve drained your bank account and maxed out your credit cards, hoping that the big “deal” is coming through.
Any day now, you promise others. But you’re conflicted inside since you can’t publicly say you’re on the brink of implosion.
So you grin and bear it, since nobody would hire you if they knew the truth.
You’re afraid others will expose you for being a fraud. But you make promises on stuff you know you can’t deliver, since you need the money.
In fact, you’d take on even random stuff or screw over others if it meant you could get some money today.
Because once you get past this emergency, it will all be smooth sailing from here on out.
But you know that’s not true— you’ve been here before.
And all those other times, it was someone else’s fault that the big “deal” didn’t come through. This time will be different, I swear!
I’ve been here many times and can tell you that the only way out of this mess is to immediately seek help from mentors— people who have achieved what you are trying to do.
Ignore the “successful” boasting you see on social media. Most are broke and pretending, talking about stuff they have no experience on.
The person who created the problem, you, isn’t the one who can solve it— because problems must be solved on a higher level than they were created.
Talk to a mentor who cares and can guide you out.
But that means you have to stop pretending and start being honest.
Then you will feel massive relief, since you won’t have to misrepresent how things are going.
And you’re not solely relying upon your limited knowledge, experience, and questionable ability to work 24×7.
If you want to go fast, go alone.
But if you want to go far, go together.
That ancient African proverb reminds me of how important it is to have a high quality, ethical team around you.
Are you building your team first or just hustling and hoping this next deal will be “the one”?
It’s the most important factor in your business success.
And that is your team.
So take care of them, do anything for them, and help them achieve their goals.
Because when you do, you have a competitive advantage that nobody can copy.
It’s not your business model, how much cash you have, or how fancy your offices are, or how glamorous your lifestyle is.
What matters most is your ability to attract, develop, and retain talent— no matter what line of business you are in.
A few of us took half a day off to ride jet skis at the lake, then do In-N-Out.
These are the investments that matter most in the long run.
So many people glamorize and seek the “laptop lifestyle”.
But what they don’t tell you is that the secret to pulling it off is solid operations- meaning that you have a team of people who are following a clear process to get the work done as a TEAM.
Failures WILL happen.
What’s your process for handling them?
We lost two people last week who wanted the glamour but weren’t able get stuff done. And because of the process, others came in to take over, so that projects don’t run into disaster.
The #1 thing I spend my time thinking about is how to create “repeatable excellence”.
In other words, look at where we’ve had failures in the past and continuously build training, task assignments, accountability, and automation to enable “graceful failure” when it does happen.
If you play golf, you know it’s not about hitting perfect shots, but minimizing the cost of mistakes.
I want to hit the fairways and greens in regulation. But if I miss, I want to go “up and down” to save par each time.
When you travel, that’s one way to test whether you have a strong process- that your team can operate without you physically there in the office to provide real-time support.
My knowledge and experience in operations is 10X whatever my skill in digital marketing.
The actual making and tuning of ads is mechanically simple and defined.
But the emotions of people, the expectations of clients, and the random things that happen along the way, create an infinite variety of situations to test your process.