Don’t Let Economic Pessimism Keep You From A Successful Future

Don’t be held back by economic pessimism. Jonathan explains why he thinks your outlook can cost you your future.

Something I’ve been thinking about a bit is, if you want to be really successful, I think you want to be an optimist. Maybe this seems like a little bit of a weird topic, but I think it’s worth hearing. Historically, I don’t think I’ve been an optimist, but recently, or something I’ve noticed over the last year or so, I feel like multiple people have sort of thrown back at me when I’m debating something with them that I’m an optimist. They’re sort of discounting what I am saying because they’re saying, “Well, you’re optimistic,” whether I’m debating something about politics or business or finance or where the world’s going or technology or whatever.

Maybe they’re talking really bad about somebody or some group or some organization and I’m looking at it from a different angle. And so they’ll throw back at me, “Well, you take that position because you’re an optimist,” as in they’re saying, “You’re wrong. You’re probably not right. You’re just ignoring the facts because you’re optimistic.”

However, I have a comment now to one or more people that, if you have not historically been an optimist, you’ve been on the wrong side of history for the last hundred years. Like, I would rather be an optimist because, if you look at the charts on financials, you look at the charts on real estate, you look at the charts on business, you look at the charts on technology improvement, you look at the charts just on societal things such as how many people are starving in the world, how many people have diseases, how many people are illiterate, it is massively, massively, massively getting better like everyday, and it’s speeding up.

So, if you are a pessimist, and you’re betting against everything and you’re betting against the world, then you’re going to make bad investments or no investment or you’ll be afraid to grow your company. Yes, crappy stuff’s going to happen. Yes, we’re going to have another economic downturn. Yes, some really crummy things will happen, and maybe they’ll last for a 10 year period, but, if you are not an optimist, I believe without question you will fall on the wrong side of history and you will not grow a very successful company.

Now, that doesn’t mean you’re not prudent or conservative, but, I look back at my younger years of life, I think I was maybe a little optimistic, but I was a worrier. I worried about stuff. I was sort of fearful on a lot of different things. The only way I’ve gotten out from under that kind of thinking, and I still see some of it in my life with just making investments or being a little too conservative. Yeah, it served me well, and it gives me peace of mind knowing what my comfort level is in terms of risk, and so not overdoing it lets me live in a pretty comfortable, happy life, but it’s also held me back. It’s also cost me a lot of money.

And so I feel like I’ve become more optimistic over life, and I’m becoming more optimistic even in light of all the crummy things that are going on in the world of business and politics and everything else because of a couple things: because I’m constantly reading, because I’m studying smart people, because I’m involved with other smart people that are doing really big things, because I read historical things, because I’m paying attention to what’s happening, because I look at financials, I look at historical charts on businesses, and I can go down the line.

Doing all of that is making me optimistic and more positive. And, I believe that there is a link to the more confident, optimistic and the reduction of worry in my life and getting to a place where it’s like, “You know what? If crap falls apart, I know how to fix it. I’ll deal with it again. The ride’s been sort of fun. Stressful, but fun. I can do it all again.” As I’ve arrived at that, I believe I’ve become more successful, and I believe that I am picking up speed.

The reason I share this with you is, if you find that you’re constantly beat down, frustrated, you’re listening to the politics, you’re listening to financial news, I just don’t know how you build a successful company or one of size. How do you ever get the confidence to go higher when you’re bombarded with news that the world’s getting worse, it’s all going to end, it’s all falling apart, there’s going to be a catastrophe, Yellowstone’s going to blow up, an asteroid’s going to hit, I mean you hear all this insanity that’s just stupid. And, if something horrible happens and we’re all wiped out, well, we didn’t even know we were wiped out. It just happened.

Like what are you going to do about it? There’s nothing you can do about it. If the economy crashes, what are you going to do about it? You can’t really fix it, so the best thing you can possibly do is really know how to be the guy that survives in the downturn and builds the next thing and takes care of his family. When you get to that place, you’re optimistic because you’re confident.

Hopefully, this is of a little bit of value, but it’s something I’m sort of aware of that I’ve become better at, and I think I’ve become happier in the process and more successful in the process. And, I’m just sort of fed up with people throwing it back and saying, “Well, you’re optimistic,” to basically make the argument that my point isn’t valid because I see the good in people or the good in the future or the good in the improvements of technology.

I think, if you want to be successful, don’t fall down on the wrong side of history. Be optimistic. Look for the opportunity. Look for the good. Think tomorrow’s going to be a bigger and better tomorrow, and you’ll be one of the winners. I really believe that. That’s the path I have chosen to follow.

Do You Constantly Get Distracted When Trying To Focus?

If you find that you constantly get distracted, try out this program recommendation!

I’ve got a little productivity tip for you. I hope it’s of value. It’s been a big value to me. I am fairly easily distractible. I always have another idea, a new idea, and I want to work on the next thing. Another way that I noticed some of my bad habits manifest is I’ll be in the middle of working on something that really needs a lot of thought. I’m thinking through a project, I’m working on it, I’m writing something, and the next thing I know I’m looking at a website. I’m on Forbes.com or I’ve gone to Gmail and I’m looking at email. I didn’t even realize I did that.

It’s almost as though when I’m in the middle of working on something really hard, my brain’s looking for an easier solution and it keeps going back to another idea or going to email or something like that. In the morning, I’ve noticed a bad habit. I’ll wake up and I should get right out of bed. I should get to it or go work out, but instead for 5 minutes or so, or maybe 10, I’ll lay there waking up and I’ll reach over and grab my phone and I’ll be reading the news or I’ll check my email. Not the best way to start the day.

This program right here, Freedom, it works on a PC and a Mac. It works on your IOS device. You install it and so it’s real simple. This is just the screen you’re looking at that. Through your web browser you can set it up and you can add all these little block lists right here. I’m not tempted by that many things, so I really only block 6 things. I block Forbes, and a couple financial sites, and a couple news sites, and my Gmail account. I tend to find there’s really 6 things that distract me, but I will go to them all the time without realizing it.

I set up a block list. You can have as many as you want. Then during the day at work, all I do is I just go up here to the top on my Mac where it has this little butterfly looking thing. I’ll start another session. For example, I just roll my mouse over start session. I usually do about 3 hours at a time. I’m just going to go start session. I’ll hit 1 hour and then it’s started. For the next hour, if I try to go anywhere that’s of temptation, I won’t be able to get there. It’s really that simple and it works on my iPhone as well. My iPhone is now blocked as well. You don’t have to set it up on every device, but it’s great. Again, I usually work at about 3 hour stretches. It really trains behavior and it keeps me from accidentally checking email and accidentally getting distracted by something else.

See if it works for you. If you find yourself constantly battling distraction, give this program a try.

If Your Company Has You Burned Out, This Is The First Step

Here is what you need to do if running your company has you burned out and ready to walk away…

Are you feeling burned out? Are you tired? Worn out? Stressed? Wouldn’t mind walking away from it all and doing something completely different?

The reason you’re burned out is because you’ve been doing the same thing for way too long, or you’re working on things that you shouldn’t be working on. What I mean by that is, way too many guys and gals that are building companies, get stuck doing the same thing over and over and over again, and they don’t bring in anybody behind them to take stuff off their plate.

They get stuck doing the same thing, and then they grind down. They wear out. They get bored. They get worn out because, after you do something for long enough, and you keep telling yourself year after year the story that, “This year will be better. This year we’ll grow. This year we’ll have more money. This year we’ll get out of debt. This year we’ll get more clients. This year … whatever.” It doesn’t happen, and you have to go execute the exact same set of daily activities that you’ve been doing for the last five years. You wear down and you burn out. Ultimately, you’ll give away your company for virtually nothing.

The only solution is to hire people to start filling in and taking things off your plate. In the last couple videos I’ve talked about this. This has sort of been a theme. You’ve got to get stuff off your plate, and you can start with the activities that are not that expensive to hire out. Just get some stuff off your plate. You’ll find a little bit of freedom to have a little bit more success to find a little bit of peace of mind. It will give you confidence and courage to hire more people. Or, the individual maybe that you did hire, let’s say they were only part-time, to give them full-time work.

The only solution is to grow. I’ve seen multiple people post on YouTube, saying, “I don’t want a big business. Employees suck. It’s not a good industry. You can’t grow it.” I can go down the list. There will be people that make negative comments about some of the stuff I say, having to do with growing or getting bigger. But, I’m telling you if you don’t do it you will be miserable in ten years. You will be working harder than a lot of people that just went and got a job. You might be making a little bit more money, but I guarantee you won’t be happy in life.

The way to not burn out, the way to be happier, the way to feel more successful, the way to have more confidence, the way to be proud of what you’ve built and accomplished is to build something a little bit bigger. You don’t have to go to five million. You don’t have to go to three million. You don’t have to go to ten million, but it needs to be a little bigger. It absolutely needs to be you not doing all the work in the field.

If you decide that, “Hey, I want to work in the field, somewhat, I don’t want that big business.” Fine. But, it can’t be one crew. It’s really got to be multiple crews where you’re sort of out there in the fields, overseeing things. But, you cannot be the person doing the work. If you’re in your 20’s and 30’s, and even 40’s and you’re totally cool with doing the work and you are loving it…great! But, there will come a day that you don’t love that anymore. You’re kind of grinding down, wearing down, you’re tired, and if you have waited that long to figure out how to build a bigger business, you’ve only got a couple options.

You continue to grind down and, ultimately, have no retirement, or you go get a job somewhere, or you reinvent yourself at 40, and that’s not very exciting. The way I ended up in the lawn care business was I bought my business, it was like $50,000 worth of revenue, from a guy that was about 60-years-old that had been mowing lawns his entire life. He was done. He really had nothing, but he could not mow any further. He was sick. He was a smoker, and it was starting to get to him, and he just physically could no longer do it.

This was a guy that never got out of the field, and now, he had nothing. He sold his business for $7,000 to me, including his truck and his mower and his trailer. He walked away from it all with nothing after 30 years of being in the business. That’s mind boggling. Avoid the burnout. If you’re feeling it, know that there is a solution. That solution is to start getting some stuff off your plate and moving up the ranks in your business to doing new and different tasks … but not being the guy doing the work in the field.

How To Get Traction In Your Business

In this video, Jonathan recommends a book that could really help you get traction in your business.

If you watch many of my videos, you know that I’m a pretty big believer in continuing education, reading, knowledge, getting involved in business groups and such. In light of that, I’ve got a book recommendation for you, and I think this one applies a little more to companies that are bigger…a million or greater. However, I would not suggest that you don’t read this book if you’re small. In fact, the author wouldn’t suggest that.

I’m just saying, based on some of the books that I’ve recommended to others before, also based on some of the videos I do on YouTube that really would mean something to a little bit larger companies or resonate a little bit more with larger companies don’t tend to do very well on the YouTube channel or on Lawn Care Millionaire. For example, I did one on an org chart recently. Those things just don’t tend to be as popular. But, a larger company would understand that, and that’s just how it is in business.

You’ll hear all kinds of things and they fly by you. They don’t mean anything yet. But, some day you’ll encounter a problem, you’ll encounter a bottleneck, you’ll need to solve something, and then some of that knowledge will either come back to you or if you read that thing or hear that thing again, it’s like, ah, now I get it. It never made sense before. That’s simply because you hadn’t dealt with the challenge yet. You don’t know what you don’t know.

The book I’d like to recommend is this book right here. It’s called “Traction,” and it’s by a guy by the name of Gino Wickman. Again, if you’re less than a million, it’s worth a read, but there’s also a lot of other things you’re probably focusing on right now in reading. But, if you’re larger, I’d really recommend going through this book. There’s a number of books similar to this. This is just one that I happen to like. There are several again like it. I’ve read all of them, but I’d read it. I’d think about it. If you wanted to implement what’s in it, I already … I mean, looking at our businesses, interestingly we already do a lot of what’s in here, but there’s also a lot we’re not doing that we’ve been thinking about and actually working on implementing some of those ideas.

This is one of those books where I didn’t just read it. This is a book that I found very actionable that you could almost go through like a workbook. You could go through Chapter 1 and you could think about applying what they talk about in Chapter 1, and then you could go through Chapter 2. By all means, do it if you’ve got the time as you’re smaller or maybe this upcoming winter start thinking through this stuff. Right now if it’s spring and you’re smaller, keep your head down and sell work. Grow this thing. Don’t get distracted. If you’re bigger, I think this will really resonate with you. It’s a book totally worth reading. You may not follow everything in it, but I’ll bet you’ll swipe three, four, five big ideas out of it that you can apply to your business.

Go get it on Audible. Get it in book form. The last little thing, when I find a book like this that I really like that’s powerful, I both buy it on Audible and I buy the hard copy of it. I buy both, and I go through both. I hope you find value in it.

Are You Ignoring Your Financials Because You Hate Accounting?

Ignoring your financials can be costly. Read this book to get a grasp of all things money related in your business.

If you hate accounting and bookkeeping and keeping up with money, the way it will generally manifest itself in your business is, you will accumulate all your receipts and give them all to your accountant once a quarter or at the end of the year. Or, you’ll potentially have your accountant do everything for you, and you’ll hardly ever look at your books, never looking at your PNL. You’ll pretty much ignore all things money. You know you should look at them. You’ll look here and there, but you really don’t keep an eye on things. You’ll check the bank account to make sure you have enough money. If you do, yeah, you can pay that bill. You will just expect your accountant/bookkeeper to straighten everything out for you later.

I totally understand. That’s how many, many business owners are. It’s not the most fun side of the business, and for many, it’s a confusing side of the business, which is another reason why so many of us dislike it. It’s confusing. There’s a lot of stuff to know and learn and be good at, and it’s just easier to delegate it off to somebody else. I do think it’s wise, when that’s not your area of strength, to delegate it. But, you as the owner, as the individual that wants to grow a big, highly profitable company, there’s quite a bit you do need to understand, even if you delegate it. There’s a lot you really have to understand. No matter how much you hate it, you can’t completely ignore it. It’s pretty close to the most important part of the business.

I want to make a recommendation, and I might have recommended it before. It’s called, “Simple Number: Straight Talk, Big Profits”. I’ve recommended it to so many people, that I could have recommended it to you, and you might have heard of it. If you haven’t already bought it, if you haven’t already read it, I really recommend you do. I feel like this is that accounting book that isn’t accounting speak. It doesn’t feel like you’re going to a college accounting class. It doesn’t feel like you’re reading a dry, boring accounting book. This is the book that most people can read and understand, and many that I’ve recommended to, said it’s fantastic. Many that I’ve recommended it to, that would never read another financial book, found it to be highly valuable, and got a lot from it.

Check out this book. I’m thinking you’ll find that it makes you a better business owner or smarter business owner, a better employer, and you’ll make more money, because you do it. If you haven’t read it, read it. If you hate reading, get it on Audible. If you love the book and you want to go through it slow, buy it on Audible, buy the hard copy, go through it and make notes, and do both. The more you listen to something, the more you’ll absorb it, and so going through this one three, four times over the course of a year, would be totally worth your time invested. You’ll be happy you did. Hope that helps.

Why You’ll Grow Your Company Faster If You Stop Doing What You Hate

Stop doing the things you hate! You will grow your company faster if you follow this advice…

The other day I recorded a video and it was about how you know you’ve made it or when you will feel like you’ve made it. Something I mentioned in there was the progression of hiring. First an office manager, then an operational assistant, and then either a sales person or an operations manager. I wanted to expand on that thought a little bit.

When you get advice from other people, people say you need to scale your company this way, or you need to hire these people, or you need to get a sales person, and then you need to do this, or you need to get an operations person, or you need to do that. They’ll tell you how they think you should do it based on what they’ve read or maybe what worked for them. But, at the end of the day, you really have to figure out who you are, what you want, what you’re good at, and what you’re weak at. The idea here is that you are looking for someone to fill your areas of weakness.

If you want to grow really fast and you want to become really successful, it’s not your job to figure out all of your weaknesses and spend all of your time focusing on making yourself better. I’m not saying you don’t work on becoming better at things. What you do is you figure out what you’re really good at, and you work on becoming really good at the things you’re already fairly decent at. You hire people to take care of the things that you’re weak at. What you’ll probably find most of the time is, a lot of the areas that you’re weak are the things that you’re not attracted to, the things that feel painful to do, the things that suck the energy out of your life when you’re doing them. It’s a struggle to get good in those areas. It’s a struggle to read about those areas. It’s a struggle to work on those areas because they maybe go against who you are.

What I believe the ideal is, is that you figure out what you’re good at and what gives you energy and what you enjoy doing and what you do even if you weren’t making a lot of money doing it. Then you focus on that skill and you become a master of that skill, you become excellent. If you’re a sales person and you love it, become a fantastic salesperson. If you’re an operational person and you suck at it, you’re not good at making processes, you never followed the process, and you find all kinds of pain in building the process, find somebody to do that for you. Go focus on selling and growing the company and you hire somebody that loves being an operations manager or operations assistant to fill in where you’re weak. Together you’ll make a great team.

Now, long-term if you want to scale, you’ve still got to get yourself out of that sales role. You won’t move yourself to the next level but you can grow quite big if you’re working in the area that you are naturally good at, and you develop the skills and you hire people around you to take care of the things you hate. You hate doing a lot of the office stuff, hire somebody. You’re not great at bookkeeping, don’t do it, hire somebody. Granted you’ve got to go sell enough to be able to hire these people but if you want to go fast, you work on what you’re best at. You hire people to do the stuff you’re not great at and you don’t love and it doesn’t give you energy.

Asset Allocation And Opportunity Cost

In this video, Jonathan explains asset allocation and opportunity cost to help you make the best decisions for your business.

I’ve got so many questions outstanding that I’ve not gotten to. If you’ve asked me a question in the past and I still haven’t responded, I’m sorry. I think I have hundreds. I’m slowly working through this list. I want to read to you a question that I have. I’m going to answer this one.

The question is to please expand on asset utilization, safety risk, and opportunity cost. I’m going to give you an example and try to keep this video short and if I need to expand further I can. Here’s the basic concept. Apparently, I’ve mentioned asset utilization several times. Let me give you an example. Let me pick a simple service to demonstrate this point and you can apply it to your business. I’m going to use an example just to illustrate my point.

Lets imagine that you mow lawns. Optimally, it’s probably true that if you’re doing residential you should be mowing with two man crews, whereas you could be mowing with one, or three, or four. In your consideration about what is most optimal, you have to figure out should I run a two man crew, a three man crew, or again a four man crew and you’ve got to balance that. Your number one expense in your company is labor. You need to be as efficient as possible to drive down that labor cost, but at the same time you’ve got this other nagging problem and that’s called assets. Every time you need to start a new crew you’ve got to buy a new truck, you got to maybe buy a trailer, or a custom bed, and you’ve got to buy mowers, line trimmers, stick edgers, blowers, whatever. If you’re running on bigger properties then you’ve got bigger equipment, you’ve got more expense.

Asset utilization is basically the concept of how you can keep that equipment running as much as possible. For example, lets say that, I’m going to throw out a couple examples here, you have 30% of your properties that require a 61 inch walker or something of the sort and that means that it sits on the trailer 70% of the day unused. That’s not good asset utilization. You’ve got this really expensive piece of equipment, lets just call it 10 grand. I don’t know what the exact cost would be, but this $10,000 piece of equipment that’s only getting used X number of days a week, 30% of the day. That’s not great asset utilization. This really expensive asset you’d really like to have it in production 8 hours a day every day of the week and really be getting your full value out of this thing that you’re paying for. That’s an example of asset utilization.

Back to my example, lets say that you could either use two or three man crews and you’ve determined that two man crews are slightly more efficient than three man crews and I believe that they are. What happens as you are growing the company or scaling the company quickly, you run into a new problem and that is okay. Two man crews are really efficient, but I’ve got one problem. I can’t find enough drivers. I got a second problem, wow the amount of money I’m going to need to add a truck, a trailer, the riding equipment, the mowers, and all the small equipment that’s a lot of expense. If I were to run three man crews I’d need significantly less equipment. Probably not by a third, but I’d need less equipment, less trucks, less everything if I was running three man crews versus two man crews.

Hopefully that makes sense. The concept of asset utilization also gets into, as you’re scaling the company and growing fast, what you can afford. This also plays into the concept which was asked about, opportunity cost. Opportunity cost is simply if you are going to buy something or do something you’re giving up something else. For example, if I choose to focus on fertilization and weed control exclusively, I might be missing out on opportunities in landscape and design build. Or if I spend all my money on hiring a $80,000 a year expert in whatever, there’s an opportunity cost to spending the money on that person that I can’t now invest that money in marketing.

For every action you take, for every dollar you spend, there’s an opportunity cost. It’s the thing you can’t take advantage of. The thing you can’t now do because you spent the money on the employer, spent the money on the marketing. You want to always make sure that you’re spending your money on the right thing. Opportunity cost feeds into asset utilization in the sense that if I decide to run two man crews that means I have to buy more trucks, more equipment, more whatever than if I was running three man crews. I’m going to need more equipment and trucks faster and therefore the money I’m spending on those things there’s an opportunity cost. I have to spend the money on the trucks and the equipment because I choose two man crews instead of three. I can’t now spend it on marketing. I can’t spend it or invest it in some other area of my business.

The third one was safety risk. The more trucks, the more people that you have running around on the road, the more potential risk you have. It’s simple mathematics. The probability of an accident, the probability of something really bad happening increases as you increase the size of your company. The number of people, the number of trucks you’re basically putting out into the roads. When I throw out terms like asset utilization, safety risk, opportunity cost, those are the things I’m thinking about and talking about.

I can’t tell you what the right answer for your business is. I can only tell you that these are things to think about. It’s not just black and white, two man crews versus three man crews. Which one can get the job done three minutes faster? There’s a whole other element to building and scaling the company is if I go with two man crews because yes I can be 5 minutes more efficient per job per day. That means I’m going to need additional assets and additional equipment, which is going to cost me money that presents to me an opportunity cost that I can’t now spend that money on marketing. I’ve got to spend it on assets and if I only run two man crews versus three, I have more trucks in the marketplace, I have more safety risk, more accident potential, more whatever.

I’m not saying don’t run two man crews, I’m just illustrating the example of what those three terms mean to when I throw those out in videos. You’ve got to decide for yourself what’s appropriate for your company. Thank you.

When Will I Feel Like My Business Is Successful?

In this video, Jonathan answers the question, “When will I feel like my business is successful?”

A question I hear and I’ve heard it quite often is, “When will I finally feel like I’ve made it? When will I know that my business is successful?” I think this answer is different for every one of us. Some of us need to make a certain amount of money or we need to be out of debt or we need to have accomplished some goal. But, I think for the majority, you won’t feel like you have made it until you’ve at least accomplished a few key hires in your business. For example, in my opinion, you must have an office person, an office manager, somebody helping you answer the phone, somebody taking the little things off your plate…the $10, $12, $16 an hour work, doing some scheduling, answering the phone, getting out your invoices, following up with clients, things of that sort.

You also need an operations manager. This is a person that is out in the field with you, can work with your techs, your crews, your teams, and can take again the $12, $14, $16, $20 an hour work off your plate of running equipment to teams, picking up parts, picking up supplies, doing all those little things that you get caught up doing during the day.

Your next step is you have to figure out what your personality type is. Are you better at sales or are you better at operations? If you are better at sales, your next most important hire will be an operations manager. If you are better at operations, if that’s your natural tendency to build processes and create process in the company then you’ll need to hire a sales person. I believe once you arrive at that place, you have some people in the office, you have an operational assistant, you have an operations manager or sales, you’re still participating everyday inside the company. At that point combined with you now making enough money to be comfortable, you’re not getting rich but you have enough money to take care of your personal bills and you don’t have overwhelming debt, you could still have debt, you just don’t have overwhelming debt on your shoulders, that’s the first time I feel like you’ll feel like you’ve made it.

I remember when I was a senior year in high school, I had my lawn mowing business and I remember I was at Sam’s, and my mom bought me this book in a binder and it was about building a Texas company. I remember that book said that it takes about 5 years to really get your business to a place where it’s stable and sustainable, and it always stuck in my head. I’ve now been part of building multiple companies and I have to say 5 years is about spot on. Now for us, in 5 years, we have always been able to achieve millions of dollars in revenue but it really takes about 5 years. At about 5 years that’s when I tend to start feeling comfortable. I’m not saying you have to achieve millions of dollars within 5 years, but in 5 years then you’ve learned quite a bit about the business, you’ve hired some important people, you’ve figured out how the industry works, you’ve figured out how to get clients, you’ve learned a lot, and it just takes some time to really learn the business.

Now, if you’ve been out in the field mowing lawns or doing irrigation work or spraying properties for 5 years, and you’ve been the guy in the truck, your 5 years hasn’t happened yet. You’ve got to be building the company I believe for a 5 year period actively working on adding crews, adding techs, building the office, building the team. When you get past that then you’ve really started to accomplish something and I think that’s when you can start to breathe your first sigh of relief that we’ve sort of made it. But until then, if you’re still on the truck, that’s not a real business and it’s hard to ever feel a level of comfort. You’re still grinding it out everyday, everything’s still on your shoulders, everything’s dependent on you. If you get hurt, if something bad happens, the business is screwed because there’s too much on you. Get to that point where you’re really working on those things and you’ll feel your first level of relief, and the only way you get there is to start working on it today.

Is It Possible To Balance Business and Family?

In this video, Jonathan shares a testimonial from a business owner that has shown it is possible to balance business and family.

Hey, good evening! It’s 1:00 in the morning for me and I’m getting ready to go on vacation for about 10 days and I haven’t recorded videos in quite a long time. I’ve been at trade shows and hosting the Service Autopilot Conference and have had a lot going on.

I wanted to share with you though a big idea, a challenging one. It comes from our Service Autopilot Conference a couple weeks ago. We had hundreds of people there, attendees. We awarded the Biggest Bad-Ass winner to a guy by the name of Jordan Webb. I want to tell you a little bit about this because it’s a challenge for me and I think it will be a challenge for you.

I spoke a couple times at the conference and I shared once or twice that if it hadn’t been for my wife, and you should know that I got married late 21, early 22. We’ve been married a while. Obviously I’m not in my twenties anymore. We’ve been married a while and have a couple kids, a couple boys. I shared the fact that if it hadn’t been for her, I was so focused on work, that I probably would’ve just literally worked all the time. I have worked a ridiculous amount of time; sometimes 80 and 90 hours a week. But she really enforced a routine of, which I was totally on board with and wanted in my life, but she helped make sure it happened, and that was that we had dinner as a family every night … all these years.

There’s been exceptions, of course. On Friday nights and Saturday nights, that’s time for us to go do something. On Sundays, as much as absolutely possible, I don’t work. It’s not uncommon that over a ten year period, I would go back to work at the house on Sunday night after everybody went to bed and start getting ready for the week. Those little-bitty things had a huge impact on our relationship and our family in a way that I’m extremely thankful for. Clearly, there’s many, many things I wish I had done. There’s a lot of things that I’ve made mistakes on. There’s time that I’ve sacrificed with my family and things I’ve sacrificed that I fully realize now that were probably unnecessary, but I just didn’t get it.

The point is that, the winner of the Biggest Bad-Ass competition this year, Jordan Webb, I’d like you to watch his video. I’ve posted it down below in the comments. The reason I’m posting the video is that I think that Jordan will encourage you. He is a first class guy. He’s in his twenties. He’s got several kids. He’s married. He’s building his business. He’s figuring it out as he goes. The point here is that he’s real. From what I know of him, he is totally a guy that lives what he talks. He’s legit. He has struggles like every one of us and he has struggles building his business and trying to have a family and take care of his children and be a good husband.

Regardless of where you’re at, maybe you’re married, maybe you’re not, maybe you’re dating and some day you’ll be married. Maybe you have kids, maybe some day you’ll want kids. The dilemma for all of us is we’re the individuals that can create things. We can make things happen. We will put our heads down. We will fight it out, we will grind it out, we will not give up, we will ignore the criticism, we’ll ignore the “you can’t do this”, we’ll ignore the “why are you still doing this?” We’ll ignore all that crap. We’ll fight it out. We’ll set a goal and we’re going to go get that goal.

That’s what makes us who we are and that’s how we build companies and how we hopefully get to where we want to be long-term. The dilemma is, the flip side of that massively positive trait, is that in the single focus of achieving our goal, we put our heads down, and we go after that one thing to the detriment of so many other things. Many of us set our goals and we say, “You know what, if in ten years, I can have this and this, and this could be paid for, we could be financially set, blah, blah, blah, everything will be great.” So for that ten year period with our head down, we harm our families, we harm our children, we harm our wife or our husband in some way. Maybe nothing massively significant, but in some way we do them somewhat of an injustice.
My basic argument with Academy, Service Autopilot Academy, which is a business coaching group, which is the group that we awarded Jordan Webb the $10,000 trip to Italy through, our basic argument is look, it’s not all about just building this massive company and generating lots of profit. Yeah, we go for that. At the same time, why not try to have it all? Why not try to build that thing and have a decent life? That means a family, a marriage, if that’s for you, and some adventure.

Why is it you can’t do some of your hobbies? Why is it you can’t do some of the fun things you want to do? Why can’t you go on some vacations? Maybe you don’t have the money to go on fancy vacations right now, but why can’t you just go on a weekend with your spouse? Why can’t you just go somewhere with the kids? Super inexpensive, need be, but just do that for the family.
I’ve been guilty of putting all of those types of things on hold. My hope is that Jordan’s video will do a really good job of communicating that it’s possible. That when you actually work on those things, you can still work on the business and build a better business at the exact same time.

I want you to see his video to be encouraged, motivated, and challenged. I got to say, I was even challenged watching his video. I’m the one kind of spouting off this stuff and saying, “Hey, here’s what I’ve learned, here’s where I’ve screwed it up. Here’s where I want to be better moving forward. Here’s some ideas for you,” and I’m talking to the members of the Academy. “Here’s some ideas for you. Maybe you could do it different than I did it. Maybe you could go bigger than I went early on. Maybe you could have it all instead of just focusing on the business.” That’s the thing that I’ve been kind of preaching. The awarding of the competition was half about how much did you improve your business and half about how much did you improve your personal world and life.

You watch this video and I watch this video and he even challenges me, because, okay yeah, I go home at 6:30 at night. I have dinner with my family, but am I completely, mentally there? Am I truly, mentally present all the time? No, I’m not all the time. My wife isn’t mentally present all the time either and she’s not working in the business, but she’s running the family. She’s running the house. She’s running all these other things that are happening in our world to make our marriage and our partnership work together. So I can go build these companies, she makes everything else run, and then are the two of us really fully present all the time? No, we’re not.

Jordan’s video even challenged me on that. I’m sure he still struggles with that. Like he hasn’t fully dialed it in, but he’s made huge progress. So kudos to him. He is a first class guy. I hope that what he communicates in his video will help you and slightly, maybe change the course, your direction, what you’re thinking about, what you’re focusing on, so that you’re singular focus and my singular focus just isn’t on the business.

That’s the message that I wanted to pass on to you. That there’s something more important than just growing these giant businesses or really profitable businesses. Yeah, we got to take care of the team. Yeah, we got to do them justice, but we can’t do it to the detriment of our families. Let’s not just go for one thing at a time, let’s try to go for all of it.

Why just the business? Why can’t we have the business, the relationships, the relationships with our spouse, our kids, and some other things? Why can’t we do it all? Very difficult and we can’t do it all all the time. Why can’t we have some level of balance? Perfect balance isn’t impossible. That’s a myth. There’s seasons of craziness in everybody’s life. Then as soon as you get through that craziness, you re-balance and you get refocused on the things that are important. That’s just part of life. But, why can’t we go for more than just the business and more than just creating wealth, more than just making the business work?

Watch Jordan’s video and see if it challenges you. If it does, try to apply some of his ideas to your world. Good luck.

Why Building An Organizational Chart Is Important To Your Company

In this video, Jonathan explains why creating an organizational chart is important to the growth of your business.

This is an idea for larger companies. This will resonate more if you are running a bigger operation…probably in the multi-million dollar range. It doesn’t only have to be an exercise for someone that’s running a multi-million dollar company, you could absolutely find value in this at seven hundred and fifty thousand and above. I’ve historically been fairly negative on things like mission statements and organization charts and employee handbooks and all of that. I won’t even go into why. However, I am coming around to some of these items, not all of it, but some of them in a different version and something that I’ve been working on more recently is a functional organizational chart.

This is a scenario where you basically go through and you think about all of the roles in the company that you have now and what you’ll need in the next couple years imagining where you’re going, so it’s based on your plan. If you’re at a million and you’re going to two, okay what roles will that create inside your company. You lay all of these out, for sales and marketing, for finance, for the leader of the company, sort of the CEO role for the operation side of the company, for the COO, for HR, things of that sort, ans you lay it out. Then you have your field, of course, and you lay that out as well.

What you do is you think through, let’s just use sales and marketing, you think through all of the functions within sales and marketing. You’ve got to have your marketing people to create your blog posts. You’ve got to have your marketing people to run your online marketing. You’ve got to have design people for your website. You’ve got to have your people to do print marketing.

Now, some of these people will be internal people, some of these people will be vendors that you outsource things to. If you go through each of your major areas, as I described, you think about the big functional areas under CEO, under COO, under sales and marketing. You make that list and then you start to put names to that list of the people that work in the organization and currently fill that role. What you’ll find is some of those people do way too many things. You’re going to have to get a lot of stuff off their plate if you want to scale the company.

You’ll also find that you have a lot of gaps, especially if you’re going from one million to two and you’ve got all of these things you’ve got to do to get there and you’ve got nobody’s name next to that thing. That starts to show you where you have gaps in your organization where you’re going to have to hire somebody to come in and fill those gaps so they can handle that functional area of the business. Or, you’re going to have to hire a contractor or a vendor to fill that spot versus an in-house employee.

I have a different view of the organizational chart now. I spent a lot of time in the very beginning of CitiTurf creating an operational chart and writing out the roles and responsibilities of each function only to find I wasted a lot of work on that not to really use it. I think that what I’ve just described is way more usable. What it does is it highlights in your mind where you have people doing too many things and it highlights in your mind where you have holes and gaps that you have to fill in. Then, based on your plan that you’ve made of where you want to go in the next year, two, three years, you can figure out who you’re going to have to hire to fill these slots and you can back into your plan and figure out when you’re going to need them.

If you know that to go from one to two million, you’ve got to start doing pay per click advertising, I’m going to stick with my sales and marketing idea here for a moment, you know that you need somebody to go strike strategic relationships with companies in your marketplace. You have nobody’s name in that area and you know that, for example, striking strategic relationships, if you feel you’re guessing that’s worth three hundred thousand to you over the course of a year, and you need that three hundred thousand to hit that goal, then you better start that right now. You can’t wait until August to start doing that because they won’t be able to bring in the three hundred thousand.

Hope that made sense, in terms of what I just said. My point is when you find these gaps and you compare them to your goal, your revenue goal, or growth goal or whatever it is, you can then back in to your plan and figure out when you need to hire people. It also can show you where you’re unrealistic. If you make a plan to go from one million to two million and you back into that plan and say you’ve got to hire nine people right now and that’s going to cost you five hundred and fourteen thousand in labor and expense and burden and all of that. If you don’t have that kind of money and you can’t do it, well then, your plan isn’t realistic to double this year, you don’t have enough cash, you don’t have enough money in the bank to do it. Then, you can revise that plan or you can get creative to figure out how to pull it off.

It’s quite telling. It’s a telling exercise. It’s one worth considering and it’s an alternative approach to the traditional building of an organization chart for your business.