10 Powerful Black Belt Business Essentials for Firing yourself
1. Mind your Ending Now. Terminate yourself from being a business operator, pick a date when you’re firing yourself, and begin being an owner. To make it official, write yourself a letter of termination as of X date and sign it as President. Make a new position description for you as owner. Describe your goals and daily activities, as well as the standards by which you’ll conduct your work. Wanting to be an owner and choosing to be one are very different animals. Say “yes” and the how will be furnished through reflection in action. Reflection in action is learning through doing, experimentation, and capacity building. Write down every barrier, fear, or obstacle to positioning yourself as owner that you can think of and consider “work around” strategies to address them. Relook at your org chart and see whose strengths warrant picking up activities you’ll no longer be doing as solely an owner. It may require considering an office manager to step up from the lower ranks or bringing someone else in to free you up. It also may involve some tactful discussions with lower performers to step up.
2. Mind your Thinking. You need to shift your thinking from someone who works time to someone who works results. Business operators get paid for time, while owners do not. Write down your top three money making activities that increase your earning power independent of the time for money aspect. Calculate how much income you need for the next 12 months and consider what sales activity is needed to furnish you an owner’s draw to pay your lifestyle. Relook at your company’s mission, vision, and values and what you’re doing to anchor these guiding ideas into the activities and process that the business conducts. As owner, your job is helping all aspects of the business filter through mission/ vision/values as a lens.
3. Mind your Support System. You need to delegate everything except what you enjoy doing most and where you get your best results. Doing less will increase your earnings. The more you do, the less you earn. This would sound counterintuitive but only the significant few activities you enjoy link you to bigger results. If you look at your flow of work, there’s only a handful of rock-solid things you do with your skills that cause clients to seek a relationship with you. Everything else is just stuff and hazardous to your enthusiasm long term and earning power. Take a cross section inventory of everything you’re doing for a typical week. Look at 168 hours of where your time goes with microscopic vision. Capture what you’re doing every 15 minutes. Then list out all the activities and grade yourself in each 1-4. If you’re a “1”, you’re incompetent, “2” is par, “3” is excellent and “4” is unique. Fours are the activities that energize you most and drive profits and value creation for clients. 1-3 will need to be channeled into a delegation action plan to free you up. When you trust your instruments (your unique abilities), you begin to hold yourself with a new confidence, one in which the world sees the best opportunity of you. As your team takes over these areas and activities, assign certain processes to key positions for documentation. Get your team involved in the manualization process of their positions and processes. Over-relying on human beings instead of the systems that compose your business, can interrupt your life as a business owner, causing you to suddenly become a worker bee when you’re shorthanded. This warrants that you’re always hiring; that you have a super reserve of human capital on-tap to put a stop to this disruption.
4. Mind your Environment. Consider getting rid of your office, you don’t need one. Offices are not the catalyst for creating any value in the marketplace; they are holding spaces for dangerous detail work and stuff wanting to trap you in an office traffic jam. Offices slow down entrepreneurs with too many reactions. Just get rid of your office, you only have an office because it confirms you have a business and a place to go instead of feeling lost. If you got lost, who knows what you might do—you’d go land your next biggest client? When you’re vulnerable without an office you’re forced into a marketing corner—all you need is a conference table, laptop, and phone, and there you go—you’re a mobile results machine on steroids. Don’t give your cellphone out to anyone. Answer email twice per day. Return phone calls within 24 hours. Have your staff person call back any time bandits and let them know that anything that goes to you will just come right back to that staff person anyway because they’re the expert. It makes it ok for your staff person to lean in and help the client.
5. Mind your Communication. Develop a flash report system to get good intel from your key leaders daily, weekly, monthly. Your business health is determined by five critical success factors that tell you daily, weekly, monthly whether you’re on the right path or falling off. The key to such a dashboard is early detection and corrective action. You want to prevent the engine block from cracking before it’s too late. Consider what matters daily, such as cash on hand and money deposited. Weekly, look at the number of new customers, average ticket or transaction size, and compare these to last week or month to date. Monthly take the same numbers and compare them to the same month last year, and tally these up year to date. The key factors that drive business growth are how much you’re increasing your customer base, your average transaction sizes, and how many times a customer buys over time. As owner, you want to be increasing the lifetime value of your customers, while improving your profits and quality of clients.
6. Mind your Cascade. Take each of these numbers and assign them to the best member of your team who carries out activities having the most impact on that number. What is measured always gets done. Identify with your team-member their significant few activities that pertain to these numbers. Make any upgrades to their position descriptions, such as performance objectives as well as other activities and responsibilities that affect the numbers you want to reach through their efforts. You deploy the strategy, they are the tacticians. Give them the luxury of making mistakes, and help them think on behalf of the company, you don’t have all the answers.
7. Mind your Free Time. Schedule 12 days per month of days to be completely free and schedule this in advance for the entire year. Build a business that serves your life, not consume it. When you schedule all your free time it has a psychological impact on you. Suddenly you find that time outside your free time needs to be used wiser. You have to prioritize what you do with it because now it’s in limited supply. When time has no limits, the demand levels will rush to fill the supply. This is called “Parkinson’s Law.” Setup a daily “got a minute” meeting for your team to get total access to you. This way they think for themselves, you lower the complexity on you, and you’re ready with full attentiveness to help them. This “diet” of time will strengthen your leaders and help them realize the potential of autonomy in your organization, instead of control. Buy good surveillance equipment to watch while you’re not there, and provide the staff a place for personal activities like checking cell phones, cruising the internet and game playing. This area should be off the floor, like a “rec” room for recreation, tv, and normal life. That way they do it less on your dime while you’re not there.
8. Mind your Schedule. Schedule 8 days to work on sales, and 6 days to work details, preparation, delegation, and upgrading your organization per month. You’re working results, not time. Because this is your economy of means, it’s important to have climactic and non-climactic moments separate from each other in your work flow structure. Build your schedule like an athlete with down time and prepare and rehearse, follow up, and handle in-between items. Then give yourself periods where you’re doing your best money making or results-based activities, as well as those that make you unique and energize you. Don’t operate like a machine with a 40 hour week, you get paid for your energy levels and creativity, not your time. You get paid for the value you create, not time. And most of all, money buys time. That’s what you do; buy time with your money.
9. Mind your Mobility. Buy the technology needed to remotely get work done. Get an Ipad or handy laptop and equip yourself with email and voice over IP communication such as Skype. You can do business from anywhere and be on the move using Wi-Fi today. Starbucks is #1 on people’s workplace. This is important because today in the world of flux, opportunities strike suddenly and you need to be where the action is. Some of your best high performance periods are simply driving around and “dropping in” on clients and prospects in your pipeline. Get your trunk setup like a mobile office setup. Consider all the potential scenarios where a flaming opportunity lights up and what you’ll need to be ready for it.
10. Mind your Money. Separate your draw from the retained earnings the business needs to continue breathing and growing. Pay profit as the first item of expense (pay your business first a fixed percentage out of each deposit). Build up the retained earnings this way to increase the equity position of the firm. Live below your means, and depend on your business less for revenue. Setup tax shelters intelligently and save 20% of what you personally earn to increase your passive income to match your active income. Move from the obligation to work to the choice to do whatever you want. If you want to see how wealthy you are, just count the amount of time off you can take without working and you’ll find out.
At HLP Group, our client in the VIP coach program take delivery of all ten of these areas like black belt mastery. No one becomes a black belt overnight, but with the consistency and commitment of a coach as wingman, operator to owner transitions sure become easy. www.highlevelperformance.com. 714-375-6624. Try an entire free month on us today!