We’ve all been caught being too trusting of ourselves that we forget to have faith in business. Sometimes, we avoid letting go of control for fear that they might not work out with us. But we can only do so much and be the best at a couple of them. You need to have faith in your employees and staff. You’re not going to make it by yourself. It’s inevitable. Kickstart the inevitable by hiring the best people for the job and just focus on what you’re best at instead.
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Kickstart The Inevitable
This is the podcast where I live life, and if I see a twinkle in somebody’s eye when I’m saying something, I realize, “That’s important.” I’d write it down and remember to podcast about it. Here’s one that goes back a couple of years and I forgot about this lesson, but we were doing some self-business and team analysis. I remember talking to a small group of our guys. We flew them into Chicago. We met at the Waldorf Hotel in the lobby for a few days and we got some business done. Here’s something that came up. I’m going to take everybody back to 2001. First of all, the title of this podcast is Kickstart the Inevitable. Instead of delaying the inevitable, let’s just kick-start the inevitable. It’s inevitable. It’s going to happen. Let’s get it over with.
It’s 2001, Kerri and I had been in business for several years. We always had a substantial business. We were doing seven figures. I knew I had challenges. I was controlling. I wasn’t very trustworthy. I kept a very core group of maybe six to eight people close to me, and we were definitely doing okay. We had launched and then ended up selling off at the last minute a chain of video stores. At that point, we had 50 plus employees or maybe 60. I knew there was something inside me where I was a little bit blocked. I was blocking growth. I knew it. I was a growth consultant, but I knew I had internal barriers. I remember flying somewhere in the West Coast, Seattle, Portland, I don’t remember, but it was a big auditorium.
It was speaker after speaker. It was a three-day conference. I cannot remember how many pages of notes I took, but it was a spiral notebook. I was writing in a red pen. I was on the top row in the corner by myself because I was definitely in a period of self-realization. I knew something was wrong. Anyway, I was there. I was seeking counsel. I was absorbing. I loved some of the speakers, some of the other speakers were making me gag. All of a sudden, a pastor came on stage and it was a business conference. This is a hardcore, hard-hitting business conference. Every speaker was running to the back of the room trying to sell their books and I bought a ton of books. We had some incredible speakers. Dr. John Maxwell was there. It was awesome.If I take the greatest coaching in the world and I paid for the greatest experts in the world, the best I can be is a four. Click To Tweet
This one speaker came up and I cannot recall his name. He was an ex-Green Beret or somebody high up in the military. His talk was on faith and it wasn’t a religious faith. It was a business faith. How much faith do you, the business owner have in your product? How much faith do you have in your business plan? How much faith do you have in your employees? It was a killer talk. It was awesome. He runs off stage. I do my typical thing when somebody moves me, I have to shake their hand. I caught him off stage, shook his hand and I said, “I’ve got to ask you some question. I was here to hear your talk. I heard every talk. They were great, but I think I came for your message.” He was like, “Tell me a little bit.”
I told him we had eight key people for a few years. Our numbers were close to the same, very profitable, but I wasn’t growing. He asked me about five to maybe eight questions. He goes, “I know your problem.” I was like, “What is it?” He goes, “You have absolutely no faith.” I go, “No, I’m a Christian guy.” He goes, “You didn’t hear what I said. You have no faith. You have no faith in business.” I was like, “What are you talking about? We do this, we did this and this.” He goes, “You didn’t listen to any of my talks.” I was like, “Please slow down. I am missing something.” He goes, “I’m going to give it to you in one sentence. You have overarching faith in yourself. You have no doubt you can accomplish anything you set your mind to. Would you agree?” He hung me by my tongue and I was like, “I do believe I can accomplish anything anybody else has accomplished if I have enough time to figure it out.”
He was like, “No question, but you have absolutely no faith in your team or your employees.” It was maybe the most startling thing I’d ever heard. At first, I denied it. I was like, “No, our people are super smart,” but I was haunted. I began about a two-month journey reading everything I could get my hands on, business faith, leadership, personal self-confidence, confidence in other people and I kept stumbling on Dr. John Maxwell’s books. This is when I found out that Dr. John Maxwell has more shelf space in Barnes & Noble than any other author in history outside of the Bible in any category.
I was like, “This dude’s a stud.” Twelve of his fourteen books at the time were international bestsellers. Eleven of the twelve had the word leadership in the title. I became a John Maxwell junkie. Halfway through one of Dr. John Maxwell’s books, he stumbles on what is known as the Law of Two Points. This changed my life and it absolutely blew up our business. We went from eight employees to now 100 plus. Our revenues are up 1500% after years of exactly the same amount of money in gross revenue. Here’s the key, this whole thing came from one page of a book. I’m going to steal a page from Dr. John Maxwell’s bible. I’m not going to say it the way he says it. I’m going to condense it. He basically says, “Kickstart the inevitable. Evaluate yourself. What are you incredibly good at?”
He gives the analogy that he’s good at this, this and this, but he is absolutely awful at singing. He goes, “On a scale of zero to ten, I don’t know if I could be fair in giving myself a two. I’m terrible. Nobody likes hearing me sing. I whisper in church.” He was a pastor for 25 years first, but he’s been a leadership coach for 35 years. He goes, “Even when I was a pastor, I had to be careful to have the guy in the back turn my mic down if I had to sing. I knew early on, I’m a two. If I take the greatest coaching in the world and I paid for the greatest experts in the world, the best I can be is a four. I can only improve two points.”
Dr. John Maxwell takes us to business. His goal is to truly impact one million leaders and he says, “You leaders out there, when it comes to the pure skill set of leading, what are you? Are you a three? Are you a seven? Are you a ten? The most you’re going to improve is two points. I can see half the people in this audience aren’t really catching this. Let me make it easier.” This is a different John Maxwell talk. He goes, “Raise your hand if you think you’re a five when it comes to a salesperson. Half the room raised their hand maybe more. Here’s the deal. You’re right. The best you’re going to be is a seven.”Grow your faith. Hire the right people in the right positions. Click To Tweet
He goes, “How come I believe right now? If you’re the entrepreneur, you know you’re a five and yet you’re still the number one sales rep in your company. Guys, you’re probably not going to make it. It’s inevitable. You’ve got to understand where you’re at and have faith in other people that are an eight, a nine or a ten, and hire them to be salespeople. Do a self-assessment. Find out what’s your eight, nine or ten in and that’s the division of your company that you run. Even if you’re the owner of the company, you don’t run the whole thing. You run what you’re eight or above that and you delegate the rest.” I remember going back to a year or two before when I heard that pastor talking about, I don’t have faith in other people. I read John Maxwell say, “Find out what you’re an eight-plus in and then delegate everything else to people that are an eight-plus because that’s their gift. That’s what they were born to do. That’s what they’re good at. If you’re a great leader and you hire a bunch of eights, you can make them a nine or a ten by getting them the right coaching and the right help.”
Here’s my question to our audience. What do you stink at? What do you suck at? Do you suck at sales? Do you stink at engineering? Do you stink at leadership? Do you stink at business planning? Do you stink at HR? Do you stink at accounting? For crying out loud, delegate those to virtual assistants, interns or whoever or hire somebody, but goodness gracious, kick-start the inevitable. If you are running a division, let alone your whole company and you’re self-assessing at a five or lower or seven or lower, get out of your own way because I believe what John Maxwell believes, what that pastor told me. If you are a five or below and you’re running that division, that division is destined to fail because you have a lack of faith in other people. Grow your faith. Hire the right people in the right positions. Many people will work commission only or part-time. I’ve hired virtual CFO’s two hours a month, then two hours a week and then eight hours. There’s a way to do it. You would rather have the right person at an eight plus two hours a week, than the wrong person at a five full-time. I hope this helps. Take care.