We coach small business owners to uncover the things they cannot see, and implement systems and processes that help them live their business on purpose
440: Does Your Business Rely On You... Or Your System?
Does your business rely on you... or your system?
Employee-dependent businesses, lack of trust for employees, and never taking the time to systematize... so many things to get to this morning. Happy Friday friends I hope it’s been a great week. Thomas Joyner here with Business on Purpose.
We do a business owner lunch about once a quarter or so with businesses we have zero connection to. It’s so much fun as there’s really no expectation other than to invest back into some new businesses and make some new connections.
Yesterday I sat down with about 8 business owners and we began to talk all about Delegation... the goods, the bads, and the uglies associated with it. It was powerful and they left with some practical ways to own delegation in their businesses and left with multiple tasks to systematize and train on after they choose to delegate.
We were moving until we hit a roadblock. One of the business owners brought up the frustration of feeling like there were several things that he couldn’t delegate. “What do you mean by that?” I kind of asked him to go a little further in-depth.
“Well, estimating is probably 80% of my job. There are so many variables. So many things you have to know and things I can’t really train on to get this off my plate.”
I agreed with him for a minute but then asked this question.
“So what happens if something happens to you?”
You see, that’s what we have to think about. When we are the business, we’re severely limiting the ceiling we can achieve. Severely holding our business back from reaching its potential. But, what happens if something happens to us and we can’t estimate for two weeks, a month, 6 most? Does this business just stop estimating? Especially in times of COVID... we have to think these things through.
“The challenge,” I said, “is to get people to buy into your system, not buy into you.” Salespeople want to sell themselves first and foremost. Because oftentimes they view sales as someone’s not buying what I’m selling, they’re buying me.
While that sells a ton at first... you’re basically selling your time at that and becoming incredibly vulnerable as a business. But... when you can create a system that people are buying into, a customer experience that is a competitive advantage, then people aren’t coming to you for you, they’re coming to you for your system. Which, in turn, sets others up to help carry the load of estimating, bidding, coaching, and whatever complicated operations you may have.
It’s no different from when I started here at BOP. Scott was the face of this business for 7 years. When you called for business coaching you wanted Scott. And he is AMAZING at it. But think about this…
Think there aren’t a ton of different variables in our business? We coach businesses all across the country and world, in every different industry (in a time of pandemic I might add) and there’s problem-solving that goes into every coaching session. It’s a training nightmare getting me up to speed.
But here’s the thing Scott saw a while back. He doesn’t have to train me on 5,000 different variables, he just has to train me on our system. He put the time in to create a system that works industry-wide and then pushed me to focus on learning and implementing our system.
And the verbiage changes right. No longer is it…” Hey, come to me for coaching and we’ll get you straightened out.” It’s, “Hey, we have to get you in our roadmap to get you moving the right direction.”
You see the beauty and the power and the secret sauce, if you will, should be your system. That’s what unlocks almost unlimited growth. So now, it almost doesn’t matter who the coach is, the system is intact and the coach walks you through our system.
So, here’s the challenge for you. How do you build that system where you currently are?
Interview with Cameron Herold
Cameron Herold Interview
Founder | Head Coach
Business On Purpose
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439: Is Your Success in Spite of You?
Is your success in spite of you?
So often there are so many variables linked to success, so how do we know which ones were the real reason behind it all? Well, that’s what we’re going to talk about this morning. Happy Monday y’all, Thomas Joyner with business on Purpose here.
I love meeting with new businesses and asking them what they attribute their success to. A couple of weeks ago I was meeting with a friend who ran a mortgage office and he said something that struck me.
We were talking about the Mortgage business and how on fire it has been recently. Clearly, he had a great year and originated a record number of loans for his branch. I started asking him what was behind that. He said a few things I expected like, “Well the rates were so low, people’s buying power jumped this year,” or, “so many people moved south due to the pandemic and needed a lender”, or even, “everyone and their brother decided to refinance their homes this year to lower their rate.”
All that stuff was predictable. But, what I appreciated was what he said next. He said, “Thomas, if you didn’t succeed in the mortgage industry this year, you probably can’t make it. It was almost too easy. This year we succeeded IN SPITE of ourselves, but the true measure is going to be next year where we have to succeed BECAUSE of ourselves.”
Now that’s a heck of an observation. You see, he realized that this year’s performance had very little to do with the effectiveness of his business. It didn’t have to do with the processes or workflow or even the customer service. Sure, that stuff helped, but the waterfall of business was flowing so strongly, that they didn’t have to be great at what they did in order to succeed.
But next year, when the pipeline is a little less strong, when the refinance market slows down and everyone has the rate they are after, the competition really kicks in. The playing field is narrowed so to succeed, it has to be ON PURPOSE!
I thought about that in the context of this pandemic. Are you ready for the year after the pandemic? Have you been living in chaos mode so long that you’ve lost your advantage? So when the pipeline starts to slow down a bit, your processes aren’t ready to keep the sales moving forward?
You see this is why we’re so passionate about systems and processes. They are tested in the midst of the fire, but they are perfected in the calm. Their worth is truly realized when there is nothing else to fall back on.
So, before it’s too late, where are the holes in your processes? Where do you need to take some time to work ON your business, so that your business is ready to handle what this year will inevitably throw at you?
You have to have a plan!
I loved what my friend said. They weren’t just expecting this year to go off without at hitch but were going back to customers and asking how they can improve by sending surveys. They were poking holes in the customer experience to make sure that, this year, they succeeded because of their systems and processes.
One thing we say around here all the time is, “There’s no competition for a well-run business.” And we truly believe that. The day you commit to that is the day you stop succeeding in spite of yourself and truly build a competitive advantage that keeps you in front for the long haul.
If that doesn’t make sense, reach out... let’s have a conversation. We want you to succeed because of yourself. To build a business free of the chaos! One that you can be proud of and not have to worry as much about the external factors blowing your business around.
Hope you guys have a great week! Make sure to follow my business on purpose on YouTube and subscribe to our podcast. Man, there’s so much good stuff on there.
Take Care guys.
438: Four Tools To Help Resolve Conflict At Work
Four Tools To Help Resolve Conflict At Work
It was silly; grown adults yelling and screaming at an umpire for a bad call... at a tee-ball game.
Why? Why do we lose our minds and create conflict?
Conflict is literally to strike together.
Think about metal grinding together... conflict... parks... explosion.
We are people with emotions. We are people with opinions. We are people with varying perspectives, worldviews, tendencies, and biases.
It is only logical then if you put two people together in an emotional situation where opinions can be expressed, or biases can surface; explosion may not be far behind.
My first manager at Pfizer Skip Clarkson used to say, “speak to people the way they wish to be spoken to.”
That mindset is our foundational rally cry when discussing the importance and power of the DISC profile. Understanding where a person is on the DISC graph gives you incredible empathy and intelligence when having the right conversations with the right people.
It is not our nature to think about another person when responding or reacting to a situation. We are bent to be me-first thinkers. What is in it for me? What does this mean for me?
It is not surprising that when two, me-first people connect, an explosion is imminent.
But what happens when explosion is the outcome? What happens when the tension of conflict gets red hot. How do we cool that tension, and repair any fractures or brokenness that comes?
We always say, life and business necessarily intersect. You can’t have something happen at work and then successfully “leave it at work” in the same way that home-things follow you straight to work.
John Ussery, who oversees business development at Shoreline Construction in South Carolina, said this recently in one of our coaching meetings, “You can’t change someone’s mind. But you can build rapport, offer empathy, and give them new information so they can change their own mind.”
In other words, the goal is not to try harder, yell louder, talk faster, cry harder, withdraw sooner, or demand more for less.
Instead, your goal is to be a stage-builder.
Stage-builders set a stage for which others have the opportunity to perform.
Stage-builders get very specific instructions from the performers quietly and behind the scenes so they can create the right atmosphere for the show to wow the crowd.
It is impossible for the stage-builder to win if the performer does not win. But if the performer wins, the stage-builder automatically wins every time.
The entire goal of a stage-builder is to, again as Ussery put it, “de-escalate a combustible scenario.” In other words, set the stage so the performer is in position to wow the crowd... then we all win.
In conflict resolution, being right is not the goal, instead, setting the right stage is the aim.
There are four tools to discover that we will equip you with to stock your emotional and relational toolbelt that will allow you to minimize the pain and discomfort of conflict, and instead build relationships that bring mutual joy and value.
The first of these four tools is listening.
Chris Voss in his book Never Split The Difference says, “it all starts with the universally applicable premise that people want to be understood and accepted. Listening is the cheapest, yet most effective concession we can make to get there.”
Listening is discovering, finding out new bits of insight, information, and perspective.
Listening is not thinking while the other person is talking and missing everything they are saying or having your arms crossed and eyes down like a six-year-old. Listening is not, showing apathy, having an attitude of “it’s fine”, or being selective in what you hear.
Active listening requires you to use your EARS...
Eye contact & Nonverbal Responses Ask GENUINE questions Repeat & Drill
437: Do You Let Yourself Dream About Your Business?
Do you let yourself dream about your business?
The same old thing... day after day. Nothing exciting on the horizon. Nothing new to speak of. Sound familiar? Great, let’s talk about how to change that. Happy Friday friends, Thomas Joyner with Business on Purpose here.
I had a mentor in Young Life that told me something 5-6 years ago that changed my life. Now I like change, by nature. I go looking for it. I like something new and different every day, so systems and routine and schedules taste bitter in my mouth, even though I know how beneficial they are to me and my productivity.
I went to a meeting for all of our regional Area Directors and the guy speaking to us was asking us if we dream. And not just practical dreams, but big, elaborate dreams. Dreams that kind of take your breath away and make you go… ”Man, if that really happened, it would change everything! For the better.”
You see, I think we get so stuck dealing with the fires going on around us, that we forget to dream of a different way of doing things. Or, we get so stuck with one part of our business, that it robs us of the ability to dream about what else we could offer as a product or service. We lose our ability to just wonder...what if?
As I sat there in the meeting I realized that I was in that boat. I hadn’t dreamed anything really BIG in a while. The speaker went on to talk about a meeting he sets with himself at 2 pm every single Friday. He calls it his “New/Next/Nap” meeting.
It’s exactly what it sounds like. He blocks out an hour at the end of every week on Friday afternoon at 2 pm. If someone tries to meet with him, hey I’m booked at 2 that day. It’s non-negotiable. And he does one of three things. He dreams about something “New”, something that could come “Next,” or some days he’s so beat, he just takes a quick power nap to recover from a crazy week.
This was a man who was responsible for 100’s of people, that made a meeting every single week to dream or take a nap. There was very little on the agenda. Some days he would dream about starting Young Life in a new town, so he would get in his car and drive over there to pray at a local high school. He might walk in the principal’s office just to meet them and see what happened.
Other days he would just make a phone call or two to see if anyone had any connections or just start writing down thoughts on what’s next. But here’s the cool thing. The growth and things that were brought about from one hour every Friday was game-changing. New ministries were started, new teams built, new plans were hatched to reach new communities. And some days he just realized his limitations and took a nap. Because he realized to be his best he couldn’t burn out.
You think... well that works in a ministry setting, but we have stuff to get done. I can’t just daydream and actually run a profitable business.
Google has recently started something called the 20% Project. They allow (and in some cases mandate) their employees to use up to 20% of their paid hours at work, working on personal projects. Working on things that may go nowhere. On innovating, developing...and DREAMING.
So, if it works for Google... one of the largest companies in the world, why can’t it work for you?
Don’t get so locked into the day to day that you can’t dream about a new product or service or a new business idea. It’s why we build it into our Vision story. We want you always innovating and always poking holes in your workflow so you can continue to get better at what you do.
So get into your Weekly Schedule. Start making time for it. I’d be surprised if it wasn’t life giving to you. You see, we don’t start a business so we can do the same thing day after day until we die. No, we get into business because we see that we can do things a better way from the get go.
436: What To Know Before Entering A Business Partnership
What To Know Before Entering A Business Partnership... And Why Many Don’t Work
I’ve heard it said many times that “the only ship that doesn’t sail is a partnership”.
We’re emotional creatures. We have shifting thoughts, ideals, perspectives, and interests.
What excites us today may not excite us tomorrow. For those business owners who are married, you already realize that marriage is a lifetime process to work at and build. Partnerships are not much different from the perspective of setting expectations.
The emotions of a partnership can range from relief to appreciation to frustration and even so far as paranoia.
Partnerships are mysterious. If a partnership is 50/50 then what happens when there is no consensus on an issue?
Typically, partners will push the can down the road until... BOOM, explosion.
Partnerships can work when great care is taken to make them work.
Here are a few things that need to take place before a partnership is ever entered into.
First, both partners must share a vision. If two partners have two visions, then they are likely to compete for resource and energy pushing the vision they most align with. A partnership with two visions has no vision at all.
Second, both partners must preemptively have hard discussions. How will ownership be divided? What day to day role will each partner play in the business and what is the fair market compensation for that role? Do you agree on the debt tolerance of the business? What about time commitments, non-competes, intellectual property, and entity endgame (sale, cash flow)?
These conversations are better discussed prior to the launch of the partnership instead of post-startup, or even worse, not at all.
Third, partnerships need to be mutually aligned and very aware of each personality within the partnership. Is one partner passive and the other active? Is one partner a driver and the other more compliant? Is one partner more loose to laws and regulations where the other partner is a stickler for compliance?
A partnership must function at the same speed... together.
Fourth, partnerships must discuss and agree on the financial details like reinvestment, debt, compensation, and draw percentages.
Running pro formas and budgets beforehand can save a lot of time, headache, and frustration on the back end.
Finally, partnerships must have a set weekly time they meet to discuss the business part of the business. Even better if these meetings have a set list of questions that the partners ask each other.
Questions like, what blind spots do you see? What opportunities are we missing? What support do we need to be extending to our team and customers?
These are hard things. Partnerships should only exist where the skill of one partner fills the gap for the lack of that skill in the other partner. If not, it is likely best that you stay away.
Ships are meant to sail. Partnerships often sink, but it doesn’t mean they all do.
A business coach is well placed to help mediate the regular communication of partners. Every partnership needs a dedicated, long term coach.