Archive for April 2014

Creating Less Dependent Employees

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Making changes can be difficult, but entrepreneurs such as yourself have to get comfortable with it. If you can’t grow then you can’t change. Another challenge that faces businesses is to create an environment where your employees are not dependent on you.

You have to create an environment where people will thrive and love to work in.

Give your team the ability to perform their art. Allow them to engage in the work you hired them for. If you can’t put that faith in them then eventually all the work will be pushed onto you and that can substantially decrease the productivity of your business.

Conduct interviews. Look for people who are passionate about the tasks you want performed in your business. For example, I hate accounting related work. It is tedious, boring and not to mention quite repetitive. However, there are people who would love to do what I hate and that is why they can be more productive than I can be for that task.

So here are your tasks:

When hiring – Consider the passion your prospective employees have for the role. You may have to pay them more than you’re used to, but you’ll also be getting better results.

If you already have a team – Give them the opportunity to look for their passion and assign them tasks accordingly. If they can’t do so then it’s time to cut them loose.

[ Full Transcript Follows ]

Hey folks, Thom Rigsby here from thomrigsby.com. This week, we’re talking about how to make changes, and how to do that with as little pain as possible. Today, how to make less dependent employees. And that may resonate with you, if it does, stay tuned, this is 7 Minutes in the Morning.

Well, good morning folks, and welcome. This is 7 Minutes in the Morning. It’s your daily dose from me, your business coach, my name is Thom Rigsby. Well, this week, we’ve been talking about how to make changes. It’s something that’s difficult, but as entrepreneurs, business owners, it’s something that we have to get comfortable with. That discomfort, that challenge that comes from changing, because there’s no way to grow if you can’t change. I mean, think about that for a minute. If you can’t change, then you’re always staying the same, and growth requires some kind of improvement. So today, one of the — we’re into now the second day of the three most common challenges that face business owners, and the changes that they need to engage in to solve those problems.

Today’s topic is how to create an environment where your employees are not dependent on you. You know, I’ve said before one of the key contributing factors that owns a lot of business owners back is their reluctance or unwillingness to hire employees. For whatever the reason is, I mean, there’s a lot of rules and regulations around that, there’s the added expense, certainly. There’s this sense that, “Well, now I’m kind of responsible for somebody else’s livelihood team.”
But I think, more often than not, the problem is, “Well, you know what, they’re just not going to do it as well as I could.” And you hear that expressed lots of different ways, I do anyway. Most commonly, that comes across as, “You know, it’s just so hard to find good help.” Well, the problem is that we’re not creating an environment that’s conducive to attracting, and retaining that good help. See, you want to create an environment where people want to work. If they want to work there, you’re going to attract the people who feel like they can thrive there. And they will do magnificent things for you. You will not, however, attract the kind of people that you need if you are constantly looming over them, looking over your shoulder, second guessing of just, “Let me do that part.” You got to let go, you got to give them the ability to perform their art. You know, I shared this with somebody not too long ago, and it was this great light bulb that went off, and I can just see the expression on his face when I talked about this.
When you’re holding on to things in your business so tightly that your team doesn’t have a chance to engage and do their work you hire them for, not only are you engaging in work that takes up your time, prevents you from working on the business, you’re probably doing work that’s not the best work for you. And you’re certainly doing work that your team could be doing, and when they do that work, they are expressing their art. And then they fulfilled, and they do a better job. But that only happens in an environment where you let them do that. And look, when you call somebody in for an interview, generally, there’s two kinds of interviews, right? There’s the, “Will I thaw the mirror?” interview, which means you’ll pretty much hire anybody, or, “Will they do what I tell them?” that, across the board, 90% of business owners conduct those two types of interviews.
What you need to do is look for people who are passionate about the task you want performed. I use myself as an example. I hate — I hate with a passion — doing accounting things. It’s just I don’t enjoy it, it’s not fun, and so when I do have to engage in that activity, I don’t do a good job. I want to do as little as possible, get done, and get it out. But there are people, who will love doing that kind of work. They love to take a shoebox full of receipts, and turn them into a set of business financials that you — or I, in this case, is the business owner — can use to make informed decisions about the business, and thank goodness, there are those people. You know, to me, if somebody brought me a shoebox full of receipts and said, “Here, figure this stuff out.” My whole accounting is withdrawn, my body parts really change, God, this is going to be a beating. I can take that shoebox full of receipts to my professional, and they just live out, and they just tear into it. Why is that? It’s because that’s the work that they will love. That’s where they feel fulfilled, and that’s the art they like to perform.
Here are your tasks. When you are hiring somebody for a position, for a task, for a role, interview them for their passion for that role. Not for the lowest cost, not who would do it the cheapest, not, “If they thaw the mirror, they’re good enough for me.” Because when you hire those kinds of people, you get those kind of results. Now, you have to pay more for these people? Yeah, maybe, but you get better results. That adds value to the business, and more important than anything else, it gives you time back to work on the business. If you can trust that they’re doing a great job, you can work on the business. Work to create that environment — that’s the way you interview for new people. Now, if you already have a team, and you’ve got — I call them laggards. Sorry, I mean, that’s kind of maybe a ..term for them, but they just don’t have a passion for it, they’re there to get a paycheck, and head to the house on Friday.
You need to help them explore other opportunities where they can find their art. And you don’t have to just turn them out in the street, just saying, “Look, you don’t seem to be passionate about this, what is it that we can do to help increase passion for this task?” Or maybe, “We don’t have that task here, let me try and help you find something where you can be fulfilled.” They’re not open to that, then maybe it is time to cut the worst. Now, the other thing, second thing that you can do for your team in-house is just have this conversation with them. “Look, I’m willing to let go of some of the things that I’ve been hoarding for myself, and let you do it. I’ll let you do the job that I hired you to do, but look, you’ve got to do a great job for me so I have the confidence to let it go.
I’m trusting you, I’m empowering you to make these decisions.” If you will have that conversation with them, the people whose face lights up, those are the people you put in charge. Those are the people who are going to really engage in this. Other people, “Okay, whatever.” Those are your laggards, you probably need to consider letting them go. So that’s our topic for today, how to create less dependent employees. You do that by letting them go, letting them perform their art, letting them do great things to help you grow your business. So
I’d like to ask you to come visit my website, thomrigsby.com, or you can come to the website for the podcasts, 7minutesinthemorning.com. Both of those sites have a place where you can sign up to get regular updates from me, so you don’t miss anything, new material that’s coming out, as we get into the summer, and especially late summer, early fall months, there will be a lot of activity going on around here, and I want to make sure that you don’t miss any of it.
If you have any questions, you can send them to me by e-mail, my e-mail is thom@thomrigsby.com. So join me again tomorrow, we’re going to take on that third most common topic that business owners run into and need to change, and then Friday we’ll be wrapping up the week. You don’t want to miss either one of those shows, be sure to tune in. Until then, my name is Thom Rigsby, and I’m your business coach.

 

How To Spend More Time Working ON Your Business

time Agenda for business

If you are feeling overwhelmed to find the success you are looking for in your workplace. There are processes of implementing change. We will look through that process.

Ask yourself if your business is going as good as it can get. If not then then it’s time to implement change; if yes then it’s time for you to change yourself. In order to achieve the vision you have for your future, we need to eliminate the fear of change.

Know your desired outcome.

Lay out steps to get to your goal. The steps are usually unknown and the fear of the unknown can be a challenging obstacle. Identify those steps and eliminate that fear.

What are the behaviors we have to change?

You need to reduce your workload while keeping your pay intact. You need to change a few behaviors for that so make a list of those desired changes. Finally, tackle each behavior at a time and move on.

Announce your intentions especially to your stakeholders.

Stakeholders can include your friends, family and colleagues. You need to depend on your fellow colleagues to reduce your workload. Working alone with no help would mean that nobody will there to be accountable. By announcing intentions to your stakeholders, you have back up available to help you with achieving desired outcomes.

[ Full Transcript Follows ]

Hey there folks, my name is Thom Rigsby, from thomrigsby.com. You know, last week on the show, we talked about your vision, and how to achieve that vision, and sometimes change would be required in order to get there. This week, we’re taking a deep dive in the change. How you can achieve it, how you can execute on it, and today, we’re going to talk about processes for implementing change. You don’t want to miss that, stay tuned, this is 7 Minutes in the Morning.

Hey folks, good morning and welcome. This is 7 Minutes in the Morning. It’s your daily dose from the business coach, that’s me, my name is Thom Rigsby. My goal is to help you, the business owner, who might be struggling, or feeling overwhelmed to get back on your feet, to get business rolling, and find that success that you’ve been looking for. Last week, we talked a little bit about your vision for the future. “Is this as good as it gets?” “Is the way business is going right now when I have to look forward to?” You know, I know for a lot of you that if this is as good as it gets, this might not be enough to keep you motivated, to keep the business open. And that’s so hard for me to hear. I know it’s a reality, I’ve been there myself. Completely understand, but it doesn’t have to be that way. That’s why I wanted to talk to you last week about your vision for the way things are supposed to be, and this week, I want to talk to you about change. You know, change is hard, so let’s talk for a minute about why change is hard. And I don’t want to talk to you about the process for change. Change is hard because it’s the unknown. We’ve got this fear of the unknown. And oftentimes, we will accept the pain of the present to avoid the fear of the unknown, and that’s difficult. Now, for a lot of entrepreneurs, that’s a little bit easier, because we’re not as — well, let’s say — we’re more comfortable with risk than most people are. But it’s that risk that generates fear for a lot of people. But we’re not free from fear. I mean, certainly, we’ve got things that we are afraid of. Some people are afraid of failure, like we talked about last week. 

Some people are even afraid of success, because that will bring a change to their life also, and all change is bad. At least, that’s the way it’s perceived. So what we have to do is be able to face that fear, and walk headlong into it. Now, how do we do that? Well, there’s two ways. First, we acknowledge that it’s there. We don’t act like it’s not there and ignore it. We just say, “Yes, you know what, I’m about to enter into a time of change, that change is going to be scary, and I just have to deal with it.” Just naming it and claiming it will go a long way toward understanding, or being able to mitigate the effects of fear. The second way we can do that is to try and reduce the things that cause us to be afraid. 

Now, in the case that we’re going to talk about this week, making changes to our life — our daily personal life, and our daily business life — in order to achieve the vision that we have for ourselves and our future. That’s a good motivator, but what is it that makes us afraid to enter into that change? I mean, think about it for a minute. If you’ve got this grand vision for how things are going to be, and presumably you’ve put some thought into that, “This is the life that I want to achieve, and I’m here, and it’s there, all we should have to do is lay out a set of steps to get there.” But it’s those steps that are the unknown, and it’s that fear of the unknown that’s holding us back. So, let’s identify those steps, and remove the unknown from the equation. Now, there still will be some unknown, and ultimately, we have to acknowledge that we don’t know that we can reach that goal. I can look over the tops of the trees here, and see some mountains in the background. I can say, I can stand here today and say, “I want to walk to top of that mountain.” In between, here and there, there are obviously obstacles that are going to come up and present themselves. Some of them, most of them, “I would hope I could overcome some of them, maybe I can’t. And if that’s the case, then I either have to change my direction, or change my objective.” Where we stand today is where we have to start from today. And where we want to go is our goal and our objective. So let’s lay out a set of steps to get there, and just move forward with that. 

First of all, I want you to — and that’s the first step — know that desired outcome. By knowing where we’re trying to go, then we just lay out that set of steps. If we don’t have any specific goal in mind, then any road will get to it. I mean, if I went out to the driveway, hopped in the trunk, and said, “Alright, let’s go on a road trip.” Very first question that’s going to come out of anybody’s mouth is sitting in the truck with me, “Okay, where are we going?” “I don’t know.” “Oh, which way do we need to go to get there?” “I don’t know.” See, if you approach your life and your business that way, you’re going to end up with the same results. You just drive around, and maybe you’ll wind up somewhere cool, and maybe you’ll wind up a mile short of somewhere really, really cool. I mean, think about east of the Mississippi. So if I’m driving west, and — I just drive until I get tired, and then say, “Okay, I’m going to turn around and go home.” And one more mile down the road is the Grand Canyon. Think about all that effort that went in to get in there — the time, the money — everything that was spent to get there, and I pull up one mile short, all because I didn’t have a specific destination in mind. So that’s number one, know your desired outcome. Number two, to get those steps between here and there, what are the desired — what are the behaviors that we have to change? Let’s take a concrete example here. Let’s say you’re working. Now, you’re working 60 hours a week, you want to get back down to a 40 hour week. What are the specific behaviors that you have to modify — have to work fewer hours? How are you going to do that? I might start off by saying, let’s set a goal that you’ll only go to work 10 hours a day. Or we’ll go 9 hours a day, 6 days a week. That’s 54 hours, that’s a manageable decrease. And then we’ll come up to 8 hours, 6 days a week, and then, 8 or 9 hours, 5 days a week, until we get to that desired outcome. But, understand the behaviors that have to change. Might as just make a list of those, put it — tack it up by the mirror, every morning when you get up, you look yourself in the face, you look that list in the face, and say, “This is the behavior that I have to change today.” Maybe there are 2 or 3 or 4 behaviors that you have to change, and we’ll talk about that in more detail this week, if that’s the case, tackle one behavior at a time. Get that one nailed down, and then move on to the next one. Now, the third step is — seems pretty simple, but it can be more difficult than you would think. 

This is to announce your intentions, especially to your stakeholders. You know, we’ve talked before about who your stakeholders are. They’re not just the shareholders in your company. They’re your friends, your family, your customers, your employees. All those people have an interest in your business, and then your success. So announce your intentions to them, and then ask them to help hold you accountable — help you achieve that goal. You know, your employees are a great resource, and if you don’t depend on them, especially if your desired outcome is to work fewer hours every week, you’re going to have to depend on them to take some of that work load. But, the other thing that happens, when you go out — if I just say to myself, “This is what I’m going to achieve this week.” And then I said, “Don’t let anybody know that, I don’t share that with anybody.” There’s nobody there to hold me accountable. And then I can rationalize in my mind, “Well, I’ll work 50 hours next week, because this week, I’ve got this deadline coming up.” Or, “This week, I’ve got a special request by this customer.” Or, “This week…” Fill in the blank. This week will never be a great week to do it, ever. I promise. But by announcing those intentions to your stakeholders, and then asking them to help hold you accountable, now you’ve got some backup and some help to help you along with that. You know, another great resource — I’ll mention it again — masterminds, accountability partners, and coaches. We can help with just this sort of thing. Now, that’s one of the things that I do, I work with clients and help them achieve desired outcomes. If it’s something I can help you with, let me know. Send me an e-mail, thom@thomrigsby.com, we’ll talk about your goals, your desired outcomes, and what it might take to help you achieve those. So the rest of this week, we’re going to a lot more about change, some of the specific changes that you might need to engage in to achieve your goals. Now, over time, in doing this work with my clients, I’ve come to know some of the more common ones are, I’m going to address those with you here on the show this week, and maybe those experiences can help you get past your roadblock, your hurdle in your life, in your business. So as always, if you have questions or comments, please feel free to send them to me, thom@thomrigsby.com. I’d love it if you go to our Facebook page and like us there, 7minutesinthemorning.com/facebook, or connect with me on Twitter, you can find me @thomrigsby on Twitter. So until tomorrow, just leave you with this thought. I want you to start thinking now about who that accountability team can be, that you can share your goals with, and make them help hold you accountable. We’ll come back to that again tomorrow, until then, my name is Thom Rigsby, and I’m your business coach.

Change Is Hard, Here’s a Framework

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Today, we will be talking about one of the most common problem that faces business owners. Whether it comes in these words or slightly different characterization, the real problem is; they are spending too much time working in their business leaving them no time to work on their business.

As business owners, we get into the idea that we have to do everything on our own mostly because we created the business idea. This is however not the case. Remember you are not alone. The second thing you need to realize is that the way you approached work when you started your business is only going to get you so far. You have got to pave it to go higher. A concrete example is; when you started you pretty much had to do everything. However, as your business grows, there are a finite number of hours in a day that you can work and if you cannot get that done in that amount of time you have to push them off to the following day.

How do you pave this problem? Find somebody else to carry out all these tasks for you. This will give you time to get back to the work of building the business; the exciting part of understanding your customers, finding problems and solving them for them. A good friend of mine says that you should spend 80% of the time in your business doing the work you love, 15% learning to do something new and only 5% doing something that you do not like.

In order to do that, you have to hand off some of your day to day tasks. Most business owners are terrified of hiring a team and handing over duties to them. If you have a team, you have overcome the number one obstacle that holds business owners back. If you don’t, this is the first handle you have to get over. After getting a team, the next thing you have to get over is letting go of the work and this is the big change. They obviously won’t do it as you would and surprisingly they might do it better than you would. You only have to get a person who loves to do a particular task and you let them do their art while you do your art. If you are holding on to some task that you do not like to do, you do not hold back yourself and your business back but also denying somebody else the opportunity to deliver their art. Get over that fear and bring somebody else to do the work.

[ Full Transcript Follows ]

Hi folks, Thom Rigsby here from ThomRigsby.com. This week, we’re talking about change and today we’re going to tackle of the first of three primary changes that need to occur in a business owner’s life, in order for them to achieve the vision and the goals that they set out to achieve when they created their business. Today, we’re talking about more time working on your business, less time working in your business. That resonates with you, stick around. This is 7Minutes in the Morning.

Hi there folks, good morning and welcome. This is 7Minutes in the Morning. It’s your daily dose from the business coach, that’s me. My name is Thom Rigsby. This week, we’re talking about change. Yesterday we talked a lot about change being something that’s very difficult for a lot of people. 

Some of the reasons why I would encourage you, if you haven’t had a chance to listen to that episode yet, go back and listen to it. It’s got some really great tips and tactics for you, that can help move you along through this change process, with as little trouble as necessary. There’s going to be some [01:25 ] that’ll certainly help ease the process.

Today, I want to start talking about one of the most common problems that I hear from business owners. Whether they come in these words or slightly different characterization, this is the real problem. They’re spending much time working in their business and doesn’t leave them enough time to work on their business. 

Sometimes I get the comment that “I’m working 60 or 70 hours a week, I just don’t feel like there’s any improvement.” Well, there’s probably not any improvement if you’re not working on improving the business. If you’re spending that 50, 60, 70 hours a week, and all you’re doing is churning through a daily to-do list, and not looking at the big picture of the business. 

Not looking strategically at how to grow it, then that business is not going to grow. You’ve plateaued and this is something that’s very, very common. That’s the first thing I want to assure you with. If you’re feeling that; you’re not alone, you’re not weird, unusual, you don’t have a unique problem, you’re not doing anything that can’t be fixed.

So often, as business owners, we get into this idea that “I created business, I’ve got to do this on my own.” Let me assure you that that’s not the case. The first thing to realize … and I guess second thing, since the first one is you’re not alone. 

So the second thing to realize is; the way that you approached work, when you’re building your business, is only going to get you so far. You’ve got to pivot like this; 90 degrees to go higher. Now, let me give you some concrete examples. 

When you’re getting the business started, you’ve to wear all the hats. You’re marketing, your account receivable, accounts payable, sales, everything is up to you. As that business grows, there’re a finer number of hours in a day that you can work. 

If you can’t get all those tasks done, in that amount of time, then you’ve to push them off to the next day and the next day and the next day. Or maybe you’re being able to get them done but that’s why you’re working 70 hours a week is to get them done. 

Now it’s time to pivot, find somebody else who can take some of those tasks and that will give you time to get back to the work of building the business. This preposition of understanding your customer, finding problems and solving problems for them, that’s the exciting part of being an entrepreneur, not doing the books. 

A good friend of mine, Dan Miller, says that you should spend 80 percent of your time in your business doing the work you love, 15 percent of your time learning to do something new, and only 5 percent of your time doing something that you don’t like. So, if you work a 40 hour week, that five percent is not very much. 

Doing math on the fly is not my thing either. But If you look at work that way, if you approach work from that perspective, then that five percent is going to be gone, doing an afternoon, a couple of hours. Two hours this is what it works out to be. 

Two hours out of 40 hour week; well, I can do that, I can do that before lunch time on Monday, have that out of the way and spend the rest of the week doing what I love. Eighty percent of your time is four days out of a five day work week. That’s a much better preposition for you, I imagine, than what you’re going through. 

In order to do that, here’s the big change that has to occur. You’ve to hand off some of those day to day tasks. If you’ve already got a team, you’ve already started hiring employees then you’ve already overcome the number one obstacle that hold business owners back and prevents them from growing, and that’s hiring a team. 

So many business owners are terrified of hiring a team that they don’t, and they try to do it all themselves. If you do have that team in place, congratulations, if you don’t, this is the first hurdle that you have to get over. You’re not going to spend any more time working on your business until somebody else is available to work in your business. 

When you’ve decided to bring somebody on to your team, the next thing you’ve got to get over, this is the big change, this is the one; letting go of the work. Just let me go ahead and get a couple of things out of the way. 

Number one, they’re not going to do it as well as you would. Why would they? Number two, they actually might do it better than you would. Think about this for a minute. If you got into business to make custom [06:36], are you really going to be that interested, that motivated, that engaged when you’re doing the books? 

Maybe you’re not really that sure on how you’re supposed to do the books. You’re just learning QuickBooks or fresh books or whatever kind of guides you through the process. Why not find someone who loves to do that kind of work and let them do their art while you do your art. 

I bet you haven’t thought about it that way, have you? As I shared this with somebody last week, it’s like a light bulb went off on his head. It was like “Wow, I never thought about that” but if you’re holding on to some task that you’re not good at, that you’re not motivated to do other than “It just has to get done.” 

Not only are you holding yourself and your business back, you’re also denying somebody else the opportunity to deliver their art. That’s the same thing that you’re trying to do, is deliver your art to someone else but you can’t. Why? Because you’re busy doing something else. 

Get over that fear, and bring somebody else in to do the work. Certainly you want to check and make sure things are going right, especially if they are doing things like the books but maybe they’re not, maybe they’re building a website. Now for me, that was a hard thing to get over because, I know how to do that, I’ve been doing that for 15 years. 

But at the end of the day, there’re other people who’re better at it and frankly, I pay them a lot less to take care of the website than my time is worth, if I were to bill for that time. Its orders of magnitude, greater value for me to let somebody else do it. 

I tell them what I want. Show them what I want, and in some cases, give them examples. Let them do it, review it and then publish it. It’s not just a hand it off and never to look at it again. Certainly you’ve to keep some control going on there, but you can take advantage of their skills, take advantage of their motivation, let them perform their art and give that time back to you. 

The number one change, though, is being able to let that go. Understand that it’s going to be done differently than if you’d done it, but different doesn’t mean bad. That’s the first change that we’re talking about this week. All week we’re going to talk about changes you’ll have to make in order to grow your business and achieve that vision. 

Tomorrow we’ll be back with a brand new change. If you’ve questions before then, I’d love to hear from you. Please send me an email Thom@ThomRibsby.com, I’ll get those questions answered for you. Be sure to join me again tomorrow when we take on another topic. Until then, my name is Thom Rigsby and I’m your business coach.