You should do LESS, then hire better team
Scale will destroy you if you don’t do this
In a conversation with a client last week, we opened up the can of worms.
He’s making great money (plenty of money, multiple millions). He has a clear runway ahead of him for a multi-8 figure exit a few years from now.
He’s slowly dying.
“I don’t like getting pulled into the weeds”
“Expenses are too high”
“Every month it’s a new thing”
“I’m not getting time to read, study, or create anything new”
“Family time is suffering”
“Can I just give it away”
I applied a model that I’ve developed to assess his team…
And we started going through it.
The outcome for him will be difficult, but worthwhile. How do I know?
Because the outcome is always the same: if you’re paying a team to run a business with you (or for you), and you’re still stressed about having to run the business — you are double paying the team.
First you’re paying them in compensation.
Second you’re paying in time, labor, and ultimately transferring “competency” to them while paying them to learn it from you. I will always pay more compensation for better competency than the other way around.
People often hit this scenario and think, “I’m paying my team too much.” But this is a false lesson. They’re not paying too much, they’re just paying the wrong team.
Don’t pay your team less. Find a better team.
Years ago I woke up one day and said, “I’m done.” My team was expansive (each month I was paying several 6-figures just for people & payroll). Yet, I was still getting dragged into little decisions that shouldn’t have required me.
I realized this lesson:
I am overstaffed on the P&L, but understaffed on talent.
It took me ~60 days to fix it.
It was painful. It required actual work and difficult conversations.
But it was worth it.
If you look at any of my companies today, you’ll find rockstars. A+ players who are as dedicated to the mission as I am. In many cases, they’re all just as smart as I am, sometimes smarter.
Because of this, I am able to largely stay out of the weeds. Most of the decisions are approved by me but not made by me — in a few of the organizations I don’t even approve the decisions, partners do. My job is to write, think, service clients, acquire partnerships & help scale the cumulative brand. I don’t deal with hiring until the very last step in the process.
I know how to read the balance sheet & profit/loss — but I rarely do.
If you are a founder, it’s likely that your job is not tracking the money but producing the money. You do this by staying in your lane.
There are three things that drive this:
Culture sets the “compass” and ensure the organism of your business is self-regulating. If a virus enters the body, the body tries to kill it or get rid of it. Your culture is like this.
A good culture isn’t nice, friendly and “fam fam fam” all the time. If you’re not a culture fit, a good culture is terrifying. A great culture will prevent you from ever getting in if you don’t have the stuff. When you make it into a good culture, and you are a culture-fit, your performance improves just from being linked to other high-caliber players.
Compensation is how you pay people. People must be rewarded for honesty, integrity, and doing the right things for the right reasons. If you ever compensate someone for doing the wrong thing, they’ll do the wrong thing. It’s human nature. Compensation issues are usually full of “unintended consequences,” so get help if you’re wanting to nail it.
Coaching is always required. At an event one time someone asked, “How do I find A players?”
My response: build them.
You can find them. But even if you find an A player you’re going to need to invest into them. Empower them. Equip them. And then, trust them.
Here’s a thread on hiring (and retaining) great talent - worth the read.
Hope you’re healthy & happy.
Good to be back,