Download: MP3 (78.9 MB)
Being able to delegate work is wonderful, but getting there is hard.
Ego, perfectionism, and lack of confidence or trust in the right people can make it difficult to delegate.
We know how we want things done in our business, so we want to be the ones in control. But you can’t scale if you’re the one doing everything. You have to identify the tasks that only you can do. Is this task mission-critical and does it have to be done by you?
We talk about how to figure out which tasks are critical to you and when you should delegate. We also break down the delegation process, picking the right people, whether they should ask questions or make mistakes, and the importance of clearly defining the desired outcome.
There are a lot of great stories in this episode. Matt also shares more of the details of his many businesses than he ever has before, so it’s an interesting insight into his world of running 18 businesses.
Highlights, Takeaways, Quick Wins
- Give people responsibility so they can own their mistakes and get recognition for their successes.
- Be objective about what your business needs
- Think of training the person you’re delegating to in terms of the next two to three years.
- Delegation is a time investment, but eventually you free up time.
- Get time-saving tools in place but always see if you can make them better.
- Make sure the person you’re delegating to knows what the ultimate goal is.
- Empower your employees to decide what tasks should be delegated to them.
- Don’t give someone responsibility over something where they have no authority.
- When your employee messes up, the responsibility for that mistake ultimately falls on you.
- Don’t delegate your voice or vision.
- Be accountability to someone with an outside perspective. They can often recognize areas where you should be delegating.
- If you want to see unprecedented results, you have to make unprecedented sacrifices.
Enjoyed this free episode?
This is 1 of 10 sample episodes of this show made available for FREE. Get access to hundreds more like it when you sign up for a seanwes membership.
Access mini courses with audio, video, and written lessons that will take you from zero to sustainable business.
Tune in to live broadcasts every week day, and connect with other like-minded people across the world who will give you the feedback and accountability you've been craving in the Community.
We can't wait to welcome you!
- 09:29 Sean: A lot of people don’t delegate for a lot of reasons. They don’t want to invest the upfront work, because it does take work. They are probably perfectionists, speaking from experience. They might have a lack of trust in the people they’re delegating to. It could be an ego thing. You’re doing it all yourself and it feels good to say that. It could just be a lack of confidence in the right people. Maybe you don’t have the right people, and you don’t have confidence in them to give this up. You need to figure out the balance between that and perfectionism. You might trick yourself into thinking that you’re not confident that they can do it as well as you can, but you’re really dealing with perfectionism.
- 10:21 Matt: Especially in the beginning, when you’re starting your business and you’re doing everything, you start getting better and better at whatever it is that you’re doing. You start setting that bar higher and higher because your quality, hopefully, is getting better over time. When you get to the point where you have no more time and you really need help, you tell yourself, “I guess I’ll keep doing it and somehow squeeze everything else in.” In reality, you know in the back of your mind that you need help and that you could pass that simple, routine stuff off.
- 11:02 Growing up, my parents always used to tell us to do everything in house so the quality would stay up. That’s partially true. The problem with that is that you can’t ever grow. Your operation stays small, because you can only get so much done in a day. You have to sleep. Once you get to that point, you have to accept that it’s time to pass those things off.
- 11:41 Sean: I would struggle with people making mistakes before I even gave anyone any responsibility. I would think, “Well, if they do it wrong and they mess it up, that’s going to mess it up.”
- 11:54 Matt: Especially because you’re going to be the one that looks bad, not them. You’re the face of the business.
- 12:00 Sean: It’s going to reflect on you.
Let Them Make Mistakes
- 12:03 I had to realize that we need to empower people to make mistakes and focus on having them make new mistakes every time. There’s nothing wrong with new mistakes. New mistakes mean that we’re progressing. You try something and you mess it up, and we figure out what went wrong, we improve on it, and we never make that mistake again. If you’re making the same mistake again, we have other problems. Mistakes in general are not bad. They mean that we’re learning new things, trying things out, and finding ways that don’t work. That’s okay.
Give people responsibility so they can own their mistakes and get recognition for their successes.
- 12:51 You can’t have one without the other. It’s just not fair. You can’t say, “You did a great job and you made this successful, but if you mess up, it’s not your fault.” Give them the responsibility of that. Say, “Hey, you need to own this mistake. It’s not like you own all the mistakes and don’t get any of the credit. It’s both. You get responsibility for the mistake and rewards for the success.”
- 13:18 Matt: I also think it’s hard for people to be patient, first off, in the training process. In your mind, you think of the task and think, “I know it backwards and forwards. How could you make that mistake?” It’s easy to flare up and go for their throat. You have to be patient with them in the beginning because they’re learning. They’re going to make mistakes you may not have made. Explain to them what they did wrong. Make them take responsibility for it, but when they do it right, praise them. We’ll do bonuses or incentives to keep them going and encouraged.
- 14:11 Sean: I didn’t realize when I first started delegating that someone else could take on a task and do it better than me. I think, “I know how everything needs to be done. I’ve got this under control. Other people don’t, so most likely they’re going to do it worse than I can. Best case, in a long time, maybe they can do it as good as me.” You don’t think about the fact that they could do it better than you, which is silly. If that’s their entire job, of course they can! You have a hundred other things.
- 14:43 Of course they’ll do it better than you. Eventually, you have 50 people doing all these individual things that you used to do in a few minutes of your day, and they all do it better than you. How great is that?
- 14:56 Matt: In the beginning, their quality might not quite be there, but if it’s their sole job, they should get past you. If they don’t, something’s wrong.
When to Delegate
- 15:20 Sean: Is this a task that is critical to you specifically? That’s a question you need to ask. Is this something I should be doing? In most cases, the answer is going to be no. You need to know that in most cases the answer is no. There are very few things that only you can do. I categorize those with voice and vision. You are the voice. Your message is coming from you as the business owner. You’re the CEO of your business, and you can give other people voices within your organization, but that original message needs to come from you.
- 16:10 Other people can share that message in their own style, but the original message comes from you. It wouldn’t be right for you to send out an email blast to everyone and say, “Hey, it’s me, the founder!” And it’s written by someone else. You want to still have your voice in there, even if you get input from other people. Your voice, your vision. You have the vision for where things are going. Everyone else can only see what it looks like from the outside. What has manifested right now? Then they make conjectures based on what they see. You see where you’re going, what hasn’t happened yet. You are skating to where the puck is going, not where it is right now. That’s why you have to have ownership of that vision.
Voice and vision are the two things that you shouldn’t delegate.
- 17:05 Most likely, everything you’re thinking about delegating falls outside of those two categories, if you’re honest with yourself. A lot of times, I would try and convince myself that things were part of my voice or my vision, but I know that I’m BS-ing it. That’s not really true. When deciding to delegate, figure out whether the task is critical to you. Chances are that it’s not. The next thing is, is there someone else you can give the necessary information to so they can perform this task? Do they possess the capability of doing that if they have the right information?
- 17:44 Matt and I talked about this in a previous episode. Matt had a limit—if the guys bought equipment that was more than $1,000, they had to run it by him. We talked about how to break that down so that he could teach someone else how to come up with that decision, even though it’s subjective sometimes.
- 18:12 Matt: The way my business is set up, we work with clients and then we have investors that work on in-house deals. I was working both businesses. I was helping decide whether one of the businesses could spend over $1,000. To me, that was an important priority. I thought that was part of my voice and vision. I classified that as something I had to be the one to make the choice about. In the beginning, sure. At this point, I have 20 other guys asking me if they can buy a something, and that’s not something I should be doing.
- 19:03 Sean brought it up, which was good, because it made me think about it. Somebody else can make that decision, someone who’s already looking at the spreadsheet on the budget for that business or that project.
- 19:17 Sean: If you can explain how to come up with whatever answer you would have given and that is information you can pass on to someone else, it’s complete, whole, and enough for them to make an autonomous decision, then it’s something you can delegate. With vision, you can’t articulate that. It’s intuition. It’s seeing where you’re going, and you can’t explain how it all makes sense. You just see things, and it’s harder to explain that kind of thing. You can share your message with someone so they know that sentence, but they can’t come up with more of the message.
- 20:01 That’s why voice and vision can’t be delegated. We talked about how you decide whether or not someone can spend a certain amount on a thing—there’s criteria for answering that question that you can impart to another person, and they can take over that for you.
Have Systems in Place
- 20:27 Matt: Whenever I say yes or no, I’m thinking about a spreadsheet that has all the numbers. Someone else could look at that and see how much money is available for those kind of things. The new me looks at the old me and says, “Shame on you! How did you overlook something this simple?” Now, we have systems in place. We have a key person right under the project manager that can be asked all these different questions about the finances. It took a little bit of time to train her and to get her to understand.
If something is slowing you down, you’re not making the business money.
- 21:26 I don’t care if it’s going to cost us extra. Do we have it in the budget? Most of the time, we leave an extra 15% cushion in there for stuff like this. Now, there’s someone that looks at that cushion number and says, “That piece of equipment is wearing you down? No problem.” During the training process, there have been times when the assistant would call me and say, “I tried, and I really wanted to do this on my own, but what would you do in this situation?” That’s fine. During the training process, whether it’s two weeks, two months, or a year, it’s important that you let them make mistakes and don’t put up a wall when they have questions.
- 22:18 That’s the worst thing you can do. I’ve seen that time and time again, and that hinders the growth of your assistants. They’re trying to do what you’ve given to them, and they’re helping you, ultimately. Give them a little bit of your time. There have been cases when something happens and they ask what I would do, and I ask them, “Is it hindering the project from going forward?” Figure out those kinds of questions, a way to put a system in place. If you die tomorrow, how would everybody know how you’re making that decision?
For everything that isn’t your voice or vision, have a system in place in case something happens or you want to get it off your plate.
- 23:31 Sean: Matt mentioned time, and that’s a very important factor that I want to talk about. I have a story along the same lines about purchasing things, and I like what Matt said about hindering. It’s not about whether the saw is covered with 60% rust or 70%, it’s about whether it’s hindering you and slowing things down, because then you’re not making me money. We shoot seanwestv, my daily video show, seven days a week. Each one is a brand new video about creativity and business. It’s fiery stuff. Cory helps me shoot that, and we batch produce those.
- 24:15 We often do seven at a time on a Friday. Once we get ahead and we have a buffer, as long as we do seven in a day, we’re good for the week. I like to do a little bit more sometimes, and right now we’re trying to build up a buffer. We have about 10 in the buffer, but I want to get to 30. We would do seven on Friday, and then Monday is a busy day. I wake up, there’s all kinds of things to deal with, I have projects, I have to write, we have a team call, Cory’s got things in the evening that he has to go to, and we’ve got this two to three hour window in the afternoon that’s pretty crunched.
- 25:07 We said, “Well, we could try to shoot about three in there and get a little bit ahead,” but it’s really hard. We have to set up for it, prepare for it, cue up all the things, set up the lights, set up the audio, and all that stuff. It’s really hard to do for a little shoot, not just set up wise, but mentally. I have to get ready, in all senses of the word. I have to be in the right mind space, and it takes a lot of focus. I would rather prepare hardcore and do 10 or 12 on Friday. Here’s the problem.
- 25:49 Cory does a third camera with a rig that’s a shoulder rig. It’s like a free cam, and it looks great, but it’s very tiring. A seven episode shoot can take three or four hours, so he’s getting really tired after three or four hours. I said, “Let’s figure something out here,” so we decided to get a slider. It’s a really nice slider, and that way we can get that third camera that’s panning without him doing it manually with the free cam. It’s gliding right along, and we can switch to it when we need to.
- 26:40 Cory has a slider, but objectively, it’s not great. It’s really basic. It doesn’t have pulleys or weights. You’re pushing it along, and if you stop, it just stops. The professional sliders glide. You let go, and it’s like a kid you’re proud of riding a bike for the first time. It’s good. We have quality standards here, so if we’re going to do a slider, we’re going to do a slider well. We bought it, obviously. The tiredness was hindering our production. If I could shoot more videos, it’s not just seanwes tv, which I give away for free. We’re going to be cranking out some courses here soon.
- 27:35 If I can go for six hours, let’s go for six hours. Don’t slow me down. That’s where we said, “Alright, we’re going to spend $1,000 on this equipment because the time is worth it.”
Give Your Employees the Right Tools
- 27:52 Matt: It is important, because you think, “Okay, I’m going to delegate this work to the person,” but there’s also what I call “the tool belt.” For you guys, it would be your computers and cameras. For us, if the saw starts slowing down or doesn’t have the bells and whistles that would allow that person to perform to their best ability for longer periods, like the slider would do for Sean, that’s important. Don’t only think, “I need to delegate this task,” but think, “Does the person I’m delegating this task/project to have the right tools to do it to the best of their ability?”
- 28:55 This is their sole job. This is Cory’s job, to do the video stuff. If he’s given the right tools, the sky is the limit on what his quality and his results are going to be for Sean and for everybody. We go over budgets weekly, and you don’t want to go over budget.
- 29:22 Sean: If he said, “I want a cool decal for my laptop,” we don’t have the money for that.
- 29:31 Matt: You have to be objective. You can’t just say, “We have the money, so if you want this cool decal that’s $50…”
- 29:37 Sean: We don’t have the $1,000, but do I have the time to waste three or four hours on Monday when I can add 45 minutes on Friday?
- 29:48 Matt: That’s the way you have to think about it. You’re almost buying time. That’s the only way to validate the purchase. You might not have the money, or money might be a little bit tighter, or it’s taking away from your runway. Everything we spend takes away from the runway. This applies to everybody, and I don’t care how much money you’re making in your business.
- 30:16 Sean: It’s a balance. We’ve got our runway, and every purchase takes away from the runway, but it buys me time. That time allows me to crank out more things which I can then sell to make that money. If that doesn’t happen within the runway, then you’re screwed. If it does, it works out in the long run.
- 30:41 Matt: This is why you became an entrepreneur, to have these challenges and hopefully make the right decisions. I’ve seen plenty of small businesses where they’ll see the runway and say, “We’ve got $50,000 or $30,000 in the bank. We’re okay. Sure, payroll is $30,000, but we’ll figure it out.” No. Don’t have that kind of attitude. If you need a $1,000 slider, think about the time it’s going to give you back and the money you will make, but don’t go buy sliders for the whole room.
Be objective about what your business needs and get the right tools.
Delegating Takes Time
- 31:23 Sean: Speaking of time, Matt mentioned time earlier, and that is something you have to delegate, especially for the first time. Delegating requires time investment in training. They’re going to have questions, you’re going to need check ins, and you need to do reviews of their work and proof things, so you have to have time if you’re going to delegate.
- 31:46 Matt: I think that’s the hardest part. Try telling an entrepreneur, “You’re going to have to take a day off and make a step by step thing for this assistant. You’re going to have to go over it with them, and they’re going to have questions after that. They’re going to mess this whole thing up however many times, and you’re going to have to be there and be positive and be nice to them.” It gets worse and worse.
- 32:28 I always joke with my mom, “Why the heck did I want to be an entrepreneur? It’s the hardest thing in life.” It does take a lot of time. Don’t kid yourself and think, “Okay, I’ll have this person design all my graphic stuff.”
- 32:45 Sean: Don’t think of it as, “How can I get this person and get us up and running in the next two to three months?” Maybe you can do that, but think of training the person you’re delegating to in terms of the next two to three years. After you spend time in the beginning onboarding them, teaching them, and training them, you can eventually bring on another person and have the first person train them. This is exactly what I’ve done. First, I wrote the show notes. Then, I delegated the show notes, which meant that I had to train someone how to do them.
- 33:18 I had to audit them. I had to check in on them. I had to proof their work. It was almost the same amount of work for me. Now, it’s two people doing the same work that I used to do in the same amount of time. That seemed really dumb, but eventually, they learned how to do it on their own. They don’t need me as much, and I can glance at it and it can go out the door. Further down the line beyond that, and this is why you need to think two to three years, you can have another person come on. They start taking over that work, and the first person is proofing them.
- 33:48 That’s where we’ve gotten with all of the newsletters now. I don’t want to see them. Don’t show me, show someone else. Have them proof your work. Figure out all of these systems.
In the beginning, delegation is a time investment, but eventually you free up time.
- 34:08 Matt: It’s an initial cost, but you’re going to get time back and get the work done. Did you ever play Roller Coaster Tycoon? The objective is to build the best park as quickly as possible. Time goes quickly in the game. In the beginning, you just have a few carnival rides in the park, nothing big. You hire your first little handyman, and he goes around fixing things. You have your help. You don’t start out with a whole team. You start out with one, two, and three to manage everything. Then, you get your first roller coaster, and you start getting a crowd of people wanting to go in.
- 37:21 I was telling Shera, “So many people have asked me, ‘Why and how do you start so many businesses?'” I think back to playing Roller Coaster Tycoon. Why would I build multiple roller coasters? It’s easy to have options and to get more people in the park. What happens when more people come into the park?
- 37:45 Sean: You make more money. You have little shops for up-sells. More people, more sales.
- 37:57 Matt: As you have your shops, your various sizes of roller coasters, and you start bringing in more people, you’re going to need to delegate those things. If you were in the game, you can’t run all those things. In the beginning, it’s small enough to where you can be the mechanic, the janitor, running the shop, and taking the tickets. As the park gets bigger, the more handimen, mechanics, janitors, and help running the shops you’re going to need.
- 38:30 Sean: And the more people will know what they need to do on their own.
- 38:35 Matt: Hopefully, you still have the same original people that you started with in the park, so they keep passing that training that you put into them, the time you gave up in the very beginning when you really couldn’t afford to put that time into them. You needed to run the park and get those sales, because your runway was really short. As you get more time and you put time into your helpers, hopefully, they’ll pass it on. Or maybe you’ve built a system like Patt Flynn. He writes it all down, his instructions, and then he does a screencast.
- 39:19 Matt: In my business, I can’t exactly do screen recording, but we can use GoPros. We’ve got GoPros on people’s heads and chests to watch how they’re doing certain things, and then you have the written down process. For raking leaves, we have a process.
- 39:52 Sean: Tell me the process for raking leaves. Why isn’t it so simple? Rake the yard. No big deal.
- 40:05 Matt: I think there’s a process for everything. Every time you put a process in place, you have to have the right talent working on whatever it is you’re going to delegate to them, because they hopefully will refine that process. Because this is their sole job, they’re going to be the best leaf picker uper ever. Sure enough, this is how it has happened. I put on a GoPro, and my dad taught me a way to pick up leaves. I wore the GoPro and showed, on the video, how to get it done.
- 40:41 Then we got that video, because I can’t be everywhere showing people how to pick up leaves, and put it on our video thing. People go on there and they can watch it on their phones. Step one: blow all the leaves into a corner.
- 41:19 Sean: It starts with a blower. You don’t rake the whole acre with a rake. People don’t know.
- 41:42 Matt: We’re actually going to be putting together a course on how to make $70,000 in two months with picking up leaves. We start with the blower and push it to the fence. That’s step one. Step two: use the rake to put it into a nice pile so it’s like a cone. Step three: get the bag, open it up, and put it next to the leaves. Put your feet inside the bag to open it up, and with your left hand, you pull up the top of the bag. With your right hand, with a glove on, you sweep in the leaves. Eventually, all the leaves in front of you will be in the bag.
- 42:59 You will also have a rake right next to you. Grab the rake with your right hand and push the leaves closer to you, and repeat until the bag is full. We have this stand that holds up the bags and this big metal shovel you use to shovel the leaves into the bag, and then you tie it up and go to the next one. That’s it.
- 44:05 Sean: Matt has this leaf-raking process, and that’s a part of a bigger landscaping company. Within landscaping, you’ve got picking up leaves. Within picking up leaves, you have these processes and steps. From one step to another involves putting a bag on a stand. Someone’s entire business is making the stands that are a part of going from step four to step five of the leaf gathering business. I wanted to highlight this for people. Say you have a podcast and you want there to be show notes. You’ve been writing them yourself, but you want to hire someone else.
- 44:49 You’re having to do certain things to send over the information you want the show note writer to do. Right now, the system you’re using is kind of clunky, and you always have to manually explain one thing, this or that. What if you built a tool, guide, or template that automated your process or made it a little bit easier? That not only helps your process, but there are so many little niches where you could build an entire business. Now, you reach out to all the podcasters or show note writers, and you say, “If you had this $59 guide, it’s going to save you hours every week.”
The right tool can create a whole business between the steps in someone’s process.
- 45:32 Matt: Sean thought I was joking about the course, but we’re actually going to do that. I don’t know if we’ll offer it to the public. These tools that we have to do might sound stupid, but think about it. This process has been refined by multiple employees. Once you fill up the bag, in theory, without the tool that held the bag, you would have to hold it yourself with one hand, and with the next you’re trying to pick up more leaves and throw them in the bag. Sure, you’re picking up leaves and filling the bag, so you’re still getting work done.
- 46:23 Imagine if you had the right tool to hold the bag for you independently, not something flimsy that’s going to fall over with more weight. Think about it for your business, as you’re going through your processes. Is there some tool—software, an app, a physical tool, maybe a slider for your camera—to help refine the process? We as owners have to constantly be looking at this. Is there something as simple as a stand? Yes, it’s going to take some time and thought to build this stand to hold this bag, but how much more efficient is my employee going to be by having this tool?
- 47:16 Sean: You laugh at the leaves thing until you realize that, “Oh, I could make $70,000 in two months picking up people’s leaves?” Then it’s not so funny anymore. With Matt’s example, let’s say it’s residential, with a frontyard and backyard. Three bags in the front, three bags in the back. What if this process saved you five minutes per bag? Yeah, you’re getting work done, but if you’re able to do it more quickly, that’s 15 minutes in the front and 15 minutes in the back. Let’s say you do 10 jobs a day, normally. That’s half an hour saved at each job, five hours total. What if you only take an hour per job? You just increased your business by 50%.
- 48:09 Matt: Something that has been really helpful for me in my businesses is having my accountability partner audit my task list. Going back to the leaf thing and the stand, that would never have come up if my employees or my dad hadn’t said, “Why are you holding the bag? It accidentally fell and all the leaves that you just picked up have to be picked up again.” That’s time. “Couldn’t you build something, or doesn’t Lowe’s or Amazon have something, that could hold the bag up for you?”
- 48:44 Sean: I’m going through all the processes now. I’m going to audit all the processes.
- 48:48 Matt: It cost a little bit of my time and a little bit of my money to put together a tool. The tool we built to hold up the bag has gone through four or five different revisions. We’ve built four or five different types of stands. In the beginning, it was just to hold the bag. Now, it needs to be strong enough to where we can throw concrete and stuff in there and not have it fall.
Get time-saving tools in place, but always be looking at them to see if you can make them better.
How to Delegate
- 49:33 Sean: First of all, pick the right person. You have to get past whether you’re delegating or not and the next step is to pick the right person. Who are you going to delegate this to? Clearly define and describe the desired outcome. This is very important, because if you’re thinking, “I’m going to delegate. What do they need to do? They need to do this and that, so I’ll tell them to do all of these tasks. Hey you, do all of these things,” that’s not as powerful as telling someone what the desired outcome is.
- 50:12 Yes, you should give them a guide, but they also need to know where they need to end up. You don’t want them to get to step nine of ten and say, “I don’t remember how to do this. I guess I can’t do it.” You want them to say, “I know where we’re going, so I can figure this last part out.” Make sure the person you’re delegating to knows what the ultimate goal is. Make sure they understand that goal. Then, get their commitment. Are you going to do this? Establish roles and responsibilities. Should they ask questions when they encounter something they don’t know, or should they make mistakes?
- 51:03 It’s not just, “Figure it out yourself,” because they might figure it out and do it wrong. The point is, you need to have this communication. Have the conversation and say, “If you don’t know, come ask me,” or, “If you don’t know, I can’t be the one figuring this out, so I need you to do it. If you make a mistake, figure out why, fix it, and don’t ever make that mistake again and keep going.” Tell them, “It’s okay if you make mistakes, as long as they’re new mistakes.”
Have a conversation with the person you’re delegating to about how to move forward when they don’t know what to do.
- 51:30 When do they need to report back to you, at what point in the process? Make sure it’s very clear that it is their responsibility. “The next thing that’s going to happen is that you’re going to do this, and when you’re done, you tell me. I’m not going to come say, ‘Hey, are you done?’ I don’t have time to do that.”
- 51:58 Matt: We give our teams deadlines. When you’re giving your team or someone you’re delegating work to a task or a project, Sean, do you think it’s a good idea to give them a deadline? These are adults. They should be able to get it done in a timely manner and report back. By setting the deadline, do you think that gives them a little bit of a motivation? What are your thoughts on that?
- 52:32 Sean: I think deadlines are important to have to make sure things keep moving. It also helps to have good people on your team. If they’re driven and dedicated, it takes care of itself. In our business, there tend to be a lot of naturally imposed deadlines. Cory has shows that he needs to shoot and edit, but he also knows when they go out. They have to go out by a certain time, so as we get more buffer, that’s less of a concern. A lot of times, though, we have to say, “Well, we have a course. We told everyone the launch date, so you know we have to do it.”
- 53:09 Then there are cases like with Justin, who is working on the navigation for seanwes.com. That’s a very important thing, because the current navigation for the site is horrible. It doesn’t reflect where we are now as a network and what our goals are now. Everything is really hard to find, so that’s a really important project. I haven’t put a deadline on it, because we also want it to be done really well. I want him to take his time to refine it, so I haven’t said, “It has to be done by this date.” I’ll check in with him each week.
- 53:45 I’ll say, “Hey, where are we at? How are things going? What are things looking like?” I would balance that by pointing out that people right now can’t find our courses. They don’t know about Supercharge Your Writing unless on the podcast they’ve heard me say, “Go to SupercargeYourWriting.com.” They type in that big long thing and it redirects, and that’s the only way to get to it. You couldn’t find that course on site. It’s not in the navigation. It’s terrible! We’re not making money because people don’t even know this thing exists.
- 54:19 Obviously, there are ramifications of not having good navigation. Having a great navigation is going to increase revenue. People can’t even find the Community without clicking three times from certain pages. It should just be up in the navigation. Anyone should be able to go to any page on seanwes.com and see Community, because that’s one of the biggest things we’re about. If these things are more obvious, we’re going to make more money, and that’s good. Justin knows that, and that puts a little bit of urgency on it even though I’m not giving him a deadline.
- 54:54 He knows that his work is important, and the sooner he gets it up, the sooner we make money. Even when I don’t give explicit deadlines, I try to convey a sense of importance or urgency.
- 55:14 Matt: We have to put deadlines on certain things, because money literally runs out on the project. If Sean told everyone, “Okay, on March 25th, we’re going to be releasing this course. Everybody that’s helping on that course has to work overtime to get the course done.” They know that you committed to have the course out at that time, so it’s going to require them to pick it up a little bit and put in some more work. You’ve got good people working for you, so you don’t need to be on them saying, “Hey, we need this done by next week because we’re launching the course!”
People should have some sense of a deadline, however you communicate that.
- 56:27 Sean: Reporting back has to be clear. They need to know that they need to report back to you. The worst thing in the world is people sitting around saying, “You never asked me. You didn’t check on me.” Always make it clear, “Come let me know or let the other person who needs to know know.” It’s such a waste of time for people to say, “Hey, do you have any updates?” Be proactive. Empower your employees to decide what tasks should be delegated to them. Don’t just empower them in the tasks that you give them, but give them the choice of what tasks get delegated to them.
- 57:10 That’s worth doing. It depends on the employee—not everyone gets the choice, but sometimes it’s good to say, “If you don’t feel like this is a good fit, say so. We’ll find someone else to do it. If you think your strengths are better employed somewhere else, tell me.” That can be useful with the right people.
Match responsibility with authority—don’t give someone responsibility over something where they have no authority.
- 57:45 This happened to Laci when she worked at a hotel. She was a manager, but she couldn’t fire anyone. Some person was in jail overnight and didn’t show up, so she had to go in and fill in for them. They don’t call in. These were terrible employees, and she couldn’t do anything. She had all the responsibility of, “Make sure they come to work and do their thing,” but she couldn’t fire people for not coming in because they were in jail. That’s terrible. If you’re going to give someone responsibility, they need to have authority over that domain.
- 58:28 Matt: If you’re going to give them a manager’s position or another position where they should have authority, give them the authority they need to do their job right.
Focus On Results
- 58:50 Sean: This is important. You’re going to be tempted to focus on the process. You’re going to be tempted to focus on the steps and the task. Earlier, when we were talking about the leaves stand being a business, Kyle said, “I heard there’s a guy that makes all of the featured images on seanwes now. So niche.” That’s his job now. I’m delegating the designs to him, and he’s coming up with a lot of things I wouldn’t have come up with. Even if I wouldn’t have come up with them, I don’t know that that means that it isn’t the best solution. In most cases, I would say it is.
- 59:33 Find the right people and empower them. His time is dedicated to coming up with the best concepts while I’m super busy. In the five minutes out of the day that I’m thinking about his work, I can’t go, “Your concepts aren’t good. I would have come up with something else.” Maybe I would have in the five minutes that I’m thinking about it. Meanwhile, he’s spending his whole day thinking about these concepts and making sure they’re good. It’s just important to focus on results.
- 1:00:01 Ask yourself, “Is this serving the goal?” What is the goal? It doesn’t matter how he got there. It doesn’t matter if Cory decided to switch to this camera instead of that camera. What is the end result? We want quality production, we want to communicate the message, and we want to do it well. Focus on whether you accomplished the goal, and don’t worry about how you got there. Discuss timelines and deadlines—Matt mentioned that.
- 1:00:28 Take time to review the work. It does take time. Eventually, once you get more advanced, you can have other people that you trust review that work for you. Even then, you still have to process with them and you have to review them.
You’re Still Responsible.
- 1:00:50 You are responsible for the mess-ups of the people you delegate to. You give them responsibility, so if they have people under them or they make mistakes, they know they’re responsible. In the back of your mind, you know that you’re responsible.
When your employee messes up, the responsibility for that mistake ultimately falls on you.
- 1:01:07 Matt: That’s something that I learned later on. I thought, “This person didn’t do that right, which makes me look bad.” Ultimately, you were the one that trained them, so you didn’t train them correctly. Ultimately, it’s you’re fault. If you’re the CEO, not only do you get the perks of all the money and the glory, but you also get all of the cons. When an employee makes a mistake in your company and you look bad, the mistake might as well have been done by you.
- 1:01:47 Everyone’s going to point the finger at you when something happens. The employee is just a hand, the help. If you didn’t plan it or teach it correctly, it all comes back to you. It sucks, because you weren’t the one that did it. In the shownotes, if they misspell something or the subject line was wrong, guess who people will go to? They’ll go to Sean and say, “Sean, what the heck? You don’t know how to spell? You missed a whole word?”
- 1:02:19 Sean: The shownotes, the emails, the images, the videos… it all reflects. It’s the same with people who have shows on the network. I’m not on every show. There are other shows. There are other people involved in those shows, and the people who help out are doing work that reflects on the owner of the show. That’s just how it works.
- 1:02:52 Matt was saying that it helps to have someone with an outside perspective give their thoughts and recognize areas where you should be delegating, areas you may not be recognizing.
- 1:03:13 Matt: You should have an accountability partner. Hopefully you do. This is someone who’s successful at your level or beyond. I think that this is one of those important things. Sean does this to me all the time. He picks me apart, and it’s a good thing. Don’t complain about your partner picking on you—they’re trying to make you better, so you have to be open. You have to be willing to take the criticism. Sean took a trip that I keep thinking about.
- 1:04:22 Sean: I went on a retreat. We spent the first day or two getting to know each other, and some of us already knew each other. On the last night, we had this Unsolicited Advice session (Related: e209 Unsolicited Advice – Recap of A Mastermind Retreat). It’s where the person who’s in the hot seat doesn’t get to say anything, and everyone else talks about them as if they’re not in the room. All they can do is listen and take notes. Afterward, we get a chance to talk to people about stuff, but it’s very powerful.
- 1:04:59 Matt: You get to hear things that you would have never seen. In your business, you can get in this box. You start thinking of things as black and white within the lines, but then you sit down with other people. I like having a meeting with more than one person. I’ve had meeting with five people who are picking my business apart, exposing flaws in my systems or my employees.
In delegating, show your accountability partner everything that you’re doing and have them pick it apart to get outside perspective.
- 1:05:42 They’ll say, “Okay, this is part of the vision. You need to be doing this stuff. This is all stuff that can be delegated, whether it be internal or to outside companies to get the work done.” That’s huge. A month ago, Sean and I went through everything that I do in a day. I know that I have two businesses, and all the others are subs under these two big businesses. It had it all in this blob all together, and I said, “This is what I’m about. I have all these businesses.”
- 1:06:24 In reality, if you break it down, it’s really just two businesses. Sean broke it down in a way that made it so much simpler and easier to build systems for it. It was so much easier for me to figure out who I needed to delegate things to, because I was able to define the two separate businesses. I have my contracting services for my clients, who are other investors, and then I have my in-house investing for my homes.
- 1:07:03 Sean: There are people who own houses. Maybe they’re fixing them up, maybe they want to sell them, maybe they want to do something else with them. It honestly doesn’t matter. Matt has contracting services.
- 1:07:20 Matt: As an example, a lady called me before the podcast who owns multiple rental homes here in the city. There’s a whole family of people who own these rental homes, and they don’t want to go fix a toilet, ceiling fan, or broken wall.
- 1:07:38 Sean: The examples I meant were your services. Do you do plumbing? Carpets? Drywall? The point is, Matt has these contracting services, so people are building, fixing, and selling houses, all those things, and Matt provides services to them. I was saying that Matt has client services comprised of a bunch of different services that he offers to these people, and those people who own those homes aren’t necessarily living in those homes. They’re building them up to sell or rent.
- 1:08:19 They’re investing in that themselves, but Matt’s calling them investors. That sounds like they’re investors in his other businesses, which he does have. It’s just complicated.
- 1:08:34 Matt: On paper, they’re investors and I’m an investor. We’re all investors. The way Sean explained it, I realized, “That’s like saying that bananas are oranges and apples are oranges. You can’t do that.” Ever since we split it down the middle, we said, “These people are investors because they are investing in these properties—for themselves.” It sounds like they’re investors for me, which they aren’t, so let’s call them clients instead. That’s what they are.
- 1:09:09 Sean: Column one is client services. Column two is where Matt takes on investors and uses their money to buy and sell real estate or hold rent.
- 1:09:25 Matt: What we just talked about right there isn’t that complex, but I had it all meshed together. It wasn’t really defined, and that’s sad. This is my business. It took Sean, an unbiased person who has no stake in my business, to figure out a way to explain it to where I could define it better. It helped me delegate and look at tasks that I was doing on a daily basis. I really enjoy what I do, but I shouldn’t be doing certain things. One of those things is the design and decorating of the interiors of the homes.
- 1:10:14 Sean: This is within the houses where Matt brings on investors who are giving him money to buy and fix up houses. He’s talking about the designing of those houses.
- 1:10:28 Matt: I have to figure out what appliances we want, and if we’re going to stage the home to sell or rent, we have to pick out couches and the color of the walls, cabinets, and toilets. Stuff like that. I’ll go with the project managers or the employers and I’ll say, “I know I said that one, but I like this one.” This stuff is refined, and we have a designer who picks everything out. She knows all the products and colors way better than me. I’ll go get the list and I’ll say, “But I like the black dishwasher…” That’s not what I’m supposed to be doing.
- 1:11:21 I’m supposed to be out there talking to more clients and more investors to get more money. That’s my part. Sean said, “What the heck are you doing picking out refrigerators?” I said, “But it’s fun!”
- 1:11:40 Sean: I said, “You need project managers.”
- 1:11:43 Matt: We do that now. Before, I would tag along and pick it apart. This was something I was doing that I didn’t need to do. Even when I had delegated, I was still tagging along, and I shouldn’t have been doing that. Now, I don’t. I’ll have them text me a picture of it so I can double-check it.
- 1:12:16 Sean: Matt’s column A contractors are businesses that help him out when he’s buying and fixing up homes. That’s why it’s crazy and so easy to mix up.
- 1:12:35 Matt: I can’t neglect either side. Right now, one is paying the bills and the other is building wealth for Lambo Goal. We have to be honest with ourselves as entrepreneurs. We have to have things on the shelf to sell, because we have to pay our bills. We have to pay our runway, and that’s what the contracting business does for me. It pays for my employees, the operating costs, for me and my family and where we live. It keeps those things going, but it also gives us extra to put in for the future.
- 1:13:11 Sean: Isn’t it silly? Think of all these people that give teachers a bad rep. They say, “You’re selling courses because that’s the only way you can make money. It’s just a big scam.” You should be more grateful that I’m taking time out of my crazy day where I’m making all of this money to come up with a course to help other people! It would be super nice to have all kinds of different courses for Matt on how to do what he does.
What Are You Willing to Sacrifice?
- 1:13:55 Matt: I started this journey when I was 12 years old. It all started in a snow cone shack while playing Roller Coaster Tycoon and Monopoly. I’m 26 years old now.
- 1:14:12 Sean: That’s 14 years. Everyone says, “Look at what Matt has!” Look what you can do in 14 years, and the first half were in school.
- 1:14:29 Matt: I was talking to a military guy yesterday, and he said, “It’s so crazy, all your success.” I was going to look at a house for one of my clients, and he asked me if I was selling it. I said, “No, it’s for one of my clients. We’re getting it ready to be rented out again.” I started giving him my life story, and I don’t usually do that. It freaks people out. I asked the guy, “Would you give up ten years of your life to have what’s going on here, what I like to call M Corp?” He said, “In a heartbeat.”
- 1:16:00 I said, “Think about it for a second. You’ve got a wife over there who you’re talking about having a kid with soon. That can’t happen, because if you want to focus, you can’t focus on anything else but the business.” I have a kid, a wife, a home, and dogs. Those things have taken away time from me focusing, but this is ten years later. I can afford to give a little bit of time to my wife, my son, my home, my friends, and my family. Back when I first started, or even in the middle, runway was tight. I couldn’t. I had to give up my life. I had to sacrifice in the beginning.
- 1:17:05 I still have to do that now, but it was more so back then. I told them, “After all the nice things that I’ve told you about the Lamborghini, think about this for a second. Anybody can do this. A friend of mine is working on a Lambo Goal as well, and he has nothing to do with my company. He does something completely different.” Hopefully, he starts listening to the show, because I was telling him about online and offline businesses and how we’re both trying to get to the Lambo.
If you’re willing to give up ten years of your life and do it right, including delegating, you can achieve a Lambo Goal.
- 1:18:05 I told him, “Don’t say yes, because what you’re doing is hard. You’re jumping off a cliff and hoping your parachute opens, and sometimes it doesn’t. Think about it before you say that you’re willing to give up that time with your family and your friends. You’ll give up a lot of things that normal people don’t give up. You’ll be called a lot of names and you’ll be picked on by your friends and family, the people close to you.” Yes, entrepreneurship is more accepted now. Gary Vaynerchuck, who we watch a lot, spends crazy hours working. He’s past his ten years, and he’s still giving up his time.
- 1:19:22 Sean: That’s not a super popular message. A lot of people want to know how they can get the same results in less time with giving up fewer things. Like my rant in the last episode, my answer is that you don’t. We aren’t here to tell you what the perfect balance is for yourself. You have to decide what you want, and it’s okay if you want something different.
If you want to see unprecedented results, you have to make unprecedented sacrifices.
- 1:20:02 Matt: Don’t think of us as perfect.
- 1:20:07 Sean: We started out this podcast with me talking about how I failed on my commitment to run that I made in the last episode. I’m not proud of that. I need to wake up earlier. Every way you slice it, you have to give something up. I didn’t give up my work at 6am to run, so I didn’t run. Now, I’m saying that I want to run by the time we have another episode, so what am I going to do? I’m going to give up work. I don’t want to give up work, so I have to give up something else. I’m going to give up sleep. It has to come from somewhere.
- 1:20:44 Matt: The same thing applies with delegation. You have to give up your time to do a task. You can’t just say, “Go record and do this. Go build this.” You have to give them instructions and give them the time. When we were kids, my dad used to say, “Be careful with your time, because you have plenty of it, but as you get older, it starts slipping away a lot quicker.” I was a kid, so it was hard. Think logically and with a vision for where you want to get to. With running, it’s better to do the maintenance now than later on when my spine or my neck is permanently damaged.