The problem is not the problem, the way you think about the problem, that's the problem.
In a world that's speeding up, where the relentless pace is taking its toll, and people are struggling to align today's urgent actions with a bigger future, there has to be a guiding light. That guiding light is having a bigger future view. When you're clear about what you want, 25 years from now, then one question sets you free. Will this or won't this get me to where I want to go?
The secret to sustained performance is to amplify what works. To do that you have to build an environment where better thinking survives and thrives. The challenge for many is they are flying too close to the financial borderline between scarcity and abundance.
From our work with the most progressive agents, they have one trait in common. That trait is to pay themselves and their future plans first. They do that by taking their monthly costs to operate as a successful human, then they times that by three and have that on hand for the rest of their career.
Let's say your monthly costs are $10,000 a month that means at $30,000 in your savings account you feel good and out in front, at $29,999 the panic sets in. Watch what happens when we times it by 10, and now you have $100,000 in your savings account. All of a sudden, you become bulletproof because each decision is easy to make when you have cash. Cash gives you choices. I take people from below the safety line to the entrepreneurial line as quickly as possible by establishing some basic financial prudence.
Simple things like taking 10% of every $1 you earn and placing it in a lifetime savings account, it's peace of mind money. I then get them to set up:
- Tax savings account and ensure there is a weekly deduction into that account, so there are no surprises when tax falls due.
- Holiday savings account with weekly deductions so you can get enough time out and away from the game.
When you're moving from you to a team, its a scary jump, but it doesn't have to be. If you want to serve more customers, it's either a system or a person, and the easiest way to get systems is to put that person on. Quickly you refine what you do, and you gain instant leverage. You start moving everything that's on a computer to your assistant and everything that; 's client-facing and prospecting to you. The best way to start is to retain $15,000 in an assistant savings account. That way, you've got the first 12 weeks of income set aside, allowing you to focus on building a formidable team.
When you scale, the question, is it a system or a person forces you to look at technology to scale the effort to serve more customers. For us, six essential apps change the game in building a winning team.
Slack - think to reduce internal email by 90%. It allows you to communicate across your team, on mobile or desktop, based on context. It makes searching easy, allows automation from your existing systems and provides an executive overview on everything that's happened in your business during the day. My team places direct messages to me in slack; anything life-threatening is a text message. We have a channel set up called JP Decisions and anything they need me to make a decision on goes in that channel. By the start of every business day, a decision is made. This prevents wastage, speeds up decision making and empowers your team members.
Asana - There's plenty available, including Trello and Monday.com. Asana allows us to specify the tasks in key projects we need to get done. It keeps everyone aligned and allows us to repeat projects and activities with consistent results.
Evernote - A simple note-taking tool. The one feature we love is being able to start a stack of notebooks. You create a stack of journals, set aside for specific people or client work. It allows you to find your notes as you go about your work quickly.
Miro - This is my favourite brainstorming and ideas platform. It's an electronic whiteboard and is awesome to draw relationships between ideas before they get to the project stage. Excellent for working through workflow improvement.
Amazon Notes - I read a lot and love Amazon Notes. It allows you to export your highlights from your Kindle, so then you can use those notes. Awesome to provide summaries of what you've taken from each book you read.
Typeform - This has been a game-changer for us as we take our manual forms and make them electronic. We then take that data and push it into the various systems we use, so there's no double handling. It allows us to collect information from customers at scale.
The best way to build a better system is to do it manually first before you add the technology. For me, manual forms allow you to work out what works before you produce the electronic ones on apps like Typeform.
We live in an era where everything is a subscription, so before you know it, you can have app bloat, with little usage. Check for engagement and that each app is serving its purpose to allow your team to serve more customers more often successfully. We hold a broken systems session each week for 10 minutes where the team puts forward systems that are broken, need work or have low usage. Then we go about putting in solutions once we've identified the problem we're solving.
And that's the problem. What problem are you solving? Make it a good one.