28. This Just May Save Your Life

Saturday, September 09, 2023

Smooth Operator/Podcast/28. This Just May Save Your Life

28. This Just May Save Your Life


If you’re feeling the pressure and strain from running your business, you owe it to yourself and your team to find solutions. To ease the stress and micro-management that often accompanies rapid growth.

In this episode, I’ll be discussing my own journey and how I came to create this system.

Learn more at https://www.adamliette.com

Discover the 5 secrets to run your business like a Special Operator: https://www.adamliette.com/sof

The Greatest Opportunity Of A Lifetime...

20 Business Owners Lives Will Change In 2024...
​...And I’m Personally Inviting You To Be One Of Them!


Hello, welcome to smooth operations, I'm Adam Liette. So at the time this episode is being released, I'm going to be in an airplane flying south from Ohio to beautiful Orlando, Florida for Funnel Hacking live, I can't wait for it. We will have episodes all week though. So I've batched recording ahead of time just to keep up with the day by day that I intended when I started. But really looking forward to this event, if you're going to be there, find me on Facebook, it's Adam Liette Send me a message love to link up with you and you know, have a coffee or just chat I love to hear about your business and, and anything I can help with, it's gonna be a great event. And you'll see me on stage there, because I'll be accepting the two comma Club Award from Russell for the, for what my, the business I was working for did last year. So really looking forward to that long time coming. But that really led me to thinking about the journey, and what brought me to start this business. And really what we went through to get to that level to get to that scale, where we were able to get a two comma grow our business to the level that we got it to, or that it is at, I should say, because if you're listening to this, and I mean, some of these tips just might save your life. I don't mean that. I don't mean to over exaggerate that. But I know for myself, in many ways it did, because the road here was not smooth. We were you know, running an online business. You know, it's it's all fun and games until it's not. So I was hired straight out of the army, I was Army Special Operator, as I mentioned. And I was hired as the first Operations Manager for this company.

When I joined the company, we are right around that I thought was the fourth hire. And the company was doing like right around that 300 to $400,000 a year in revenue, which is fine. It's it sustains a team of that size. And we didn't we got it to like the half million mark had six team members. And we started to adopt the integrator model, which you may have heard about, I'm sure if you're running a business, Red Rocket Fuel implemented that. And that's how I was running the company for a good deal of time. And it did work to to that books credit. And that models credit it worked for us at that stage of growth. But if you think about a six person team, one of them being the owner, and one of them being me, that meant I was directly managing for people on the team plus a couple of contractors that we had, I think we had five contractors at that time. So four full time team members plus five contractors is who I was managing, which really, it's already past the limit of what you read about what what most recommendations are for management and how many people you can actually manage before it just becomes too much. The fact of the matter is no matter what skill level of manager you are, at some point it falls apart and you can't manage more people than you can manage. I think the recommendations that I was reading was five to seven people is the most that anyone can be realistically expected to manage. So but it did get us to that point. And it got us to March of 2020. And we all remember March of 2020 when the whole world decided to be crazy for a couple of years. But all politics aside, a lot of business owners, if you remember back to that time, I was kind of looking around the landscape and in our niche we are we're in the music education niche.

And it felt like a lot of people were going into hiding, like, Okay, I'm just gonna wait this out and see what happens. First of what we did, which is lean in as hard as we possibly could. I distinctly remember the day the world shut down that Monday, we had spent maybe three to four hours talking on Zoom and slack the day before on Sunday, just me and the CEO figuring out what we're going to do what our engagement strategy was going to be. And Monday was just a day of execution where we were constantly pinging each other just we each had our piece of the pie. And as things would progress, we'd take on more pieces of the pie. It was one of those days where it felt like it would never end because we just kept going. We came up with a strategy on the fly. We're implementing it on the fly, too. trying multiple things at the same time just to see what worked and what didn't. And then based on that, we would know our next steps. And then something interesting happened where Facebook ads, if you remember, the cause, the CPM went through the, through the floor, like everyone stopped advertising, all the local businesses naturally stopped advertising. So suddenly, you could get click through your cost of acquisition was half of what it was prior to COVID. And so suddenly, our ad strategy started working in the in a very big way, we were able to scale our ads quickly profitably. And we were growing by leaps and bounds, we increased our intake of new students into our membership site by like four or 500%. And that's where everything fell apart. It was scaling. It was suddenly having this momentum, and being able to push forward grow our business in a very rapid way. But where was the management of all that still, it was still entirely on my back. It was my job to manage all of it. And the team, to their credit, had been used to the intake had been used to the OP tempo of the company prior to that. And suddenly, everything was amplified, everything was growing in leaps and bounds.

And what did that lead to lead to stress? It led to micromanaging, it led to things falling through the cracks, missing assignments. And it was no one's fault. Really, it was our business model hadn't caught up with or not our business model, but it should say our management model, and our operational model wasn't capable of sustaining that. So what did that lead to me? I mean, I was so stressed out. I worked constantly, while everyone else was watching Tiger King, I never watched an episode of Tiger King. Because I was working, I was working nonstop. I got COVID and never stopped working. I kept going, I was drinking more. I wasn't sleeping. I all I picked up bad habits, again. Everything that you're not supposed to do that, you know, hey, you're adulting you're not supposed to do these bad habits, because it's bad for your health. I was doing. And had I continued that. And that's why I say this just may save your life. We all know, the keys to an early grave. You know, it's, it's the stress, it's no sleeping, it's too much alcohol, it's drugs. It's all these other bad habits that we pick up. I didn't pick up drugs. So if you're in my military, and I'm still in the Army Reserve, I did not pick up drugs. So just for the record. But what was I doing I was I was managing everything through transactions. I didn't have a system to manage this. Instead, I was trying to just keep my arms around it. And I had to hold on to that business tight, had to hold on to everyone in the business tight and constantly be looking over what they were doing to make sure that they were doing what they needed to do. But to their credit wasn't their fault if they didn't know because I hadn't given them them that directions.

So I started searching for answers. I started searching for why doesn't this work? Why? What's wrong with me? Why can't I do this? The problem wasn't me. The problem was the model that we were working from. So I started working with coaches, I started working, really going on a search for information, what am I doing wrong? Why doesn't this work. And stepping back from it now a couple years removed. It was really, it came down to just a couple of different solutions that I was recommended to it was managing my own time assessing where my time was going. Establishing frameworks for my team to work from processes for my team to derive their work from and a very deliberate structure to the company and how my team was working. Really just four things implemented over and over again repeatedly. So we did start to take a I took a step back and I looked at the company and how we were doing things. And I was able to implement new processes, new frameworks structure into the company just bit by bit. Like nothing, you can't just do a huge pivot with a company right? You have to introduce new things one thing at a time, because your people are busy. And what I would look for is continuous process improvement. So it became a personal goal of mine. To enter into the work week on Monday, find one problem and by the end of the week, fix it, fix that problem and just do them one thing at a time. I just fixed one problem at a time.

And what I got back from my team was continuous. This is this is better, Adam, this works. Okay, can we try this now. And so I was, I was actually using my team for that real time feedback on the front end and on the back end. So I'd come, I'd get into meetings with them just find out where their blockers were. And it was their blockers, the things that were holding them up, that would be what I would fix. So I was getting buy in from the team, because I was fixing their problems. Like I was getting that real time feedback from the team. You know, letting them be my sensor to tell me in real time, great, but this doesn't work. And here's, I don't know why it doesn't work. It just doesn't work. Okay, I go back to the drawing board, figure it out, implementing things one thing at a time.

What does it say? It makes such a difference week over week over week, making improvements, completely rebuilding the structural integrity of the company, as we were growing as we were working. So doing it on the fly building an airplane in flight, you know, as we say, in the military. And what this enabled us to do over that time period, we completely removed the CEO from day by day management of the company. And eventually, week by week management of the company were able to keep him in that near term to long term planning. I took the near term to short term planning. And even from my own seat, I was able to chunk my own time into focus bursa planning and operational development, able to have deliberate days where, okay, Monday is a process improvement day where I find that process, I find the I create the fix, I implement the fix. Great, it's done, I can set that aside, I'm going to see how it's doing in a couple of days. And that freed me to start pursuing revenue generating activities, working on different projects that the company needed, able to really develop those projects from start to finish and do those things. Over time, I was able to then look at my own structure and what I was able to do, and where my own time was going through very rigorous time studies. This allowed me to see where my time was going, where my efforts were going. And what was actually delegate double, like what am I doing that I shouldn't be doing, or I could offload to someone else.

I was able to do that quickly able to delegate my own task to new team members or existing team members have them do that task the way that I want it done. Because we had a framework and a process for them to do it took all the guesswork out of their seat and was able to give them roadmap. This also enabled us to hire an onboard new team members with ease. You know, if someone came onto the team, they had a deliberate plan to bring them onto the team to get them on boarded into their role fully trained up within a very short period of time. And not only their work, but get them quickly into the company culture, our ways of doing things are ways of communicating things, everyone was on the same page. We communicated consistently, different channels were used consistently, everyone understood how to ask for help, how to ask for guidance, everyone was working from the same operational picture. Eventually, this enabled me to almost completely remove myself out of the day to day operations of the company, it was all being done for me exactly the way that I wanted it done. But being done by someone else, and it just show up done. What a good feeling that is to be able to provide guidance, direction structure, and just have things done. Instead of that constant pressure, that constant stress, that big ol weight on your back all the time. Instead, the company runs itself. Because me as the operator, I was able to give my team that we're really talking about delegating, not only task, but you can take it a step further delegate decision making. Like if decision making has to happen. You provide the guidance and the framework for how to make a decision, how to decide what to do. All these things just work. And it came down to those four simple things, time studies, frameworks, process and structure.

This is the power of the smooth operation system that I've developed. What it's enabled me to do in business, even to this point, this last iteration, this last evolution was completely removed myself from the director of operations role, offload that to someone else, have them come into the seat and not miss a beat because they were working from a common common operational framework. And they were able to quickly turn Write up and start working from that framework. And now that I'm venturing out on my own, I have this startup that I just established a couple of weeks ago, what was the first thing I did? In my startup, I started implementing these frameworks into my own business. On a small scale, it's able to hire a VA on day one, and have her quickly moving into work, doing things like she'd been doing them for years, we didn't miss a beat, she did things exactly as I intended. Why, because I gave her the framework to do it from she came in and immediately found, Oh, these are already a system of organization. There's already a system that we're using. So I'm not even transactional, doing any transactional management, at the startup level with one employee, what a freeing process that is, because it's not on me, it's on me once to create the process. And my only responsibility from that point is to manage the process and follow up as someone who is measuring accountability, she is responsible for her roles, my responsibility is to make sure she's accountable for her roles, versus the responsibility being on my desk, it's, it's a small thing. But imagine, we take that one bit of transactional management that you have to do at that level. And as the company grows, you're doing it over and over again, all these things add up, it's a death by 1000 paper cuts. One thing may not do it for you.

But when you are at scale. That's where you run into the stress. The no sleep, the micromanaging, if you can avoid that, even at the startup level, you're setting yourself up for massive success. Because you are going to be able to focus yourself on the creative outlets that you need to be doing to growing the company. While the tactical how tos that need to be done to keep the company moving forward, are done for you. It's all about the process. From day one, I if you haven't implemented a system like this, yet, it's an opportunity that I have for you, I'm actually I'm launching a beta of my program, it's called the smooth operation system, this beta will only be available for a short period of time, I'm going to work, get people into it until I reach 10. So only 10 People are going to be brought into the beta program. And if you're interested, if that's something that sounds like right up your alley, if you're looking to get out of the day to day management and have the company run itself, I promise you, this framework will do it, it will remove you from feeling like you are a boss, a manager, instead, you're going to be a leader and able to see your company move forward, implement these things, these structures into your company from day one, if you're just starting, or from a team of 10. The systems work, there have been battle proven, and not just in my own business. But a lot of the stuff that I did. I took a lot of lessons from military leadership, especially special operations leadership, where authority, leadership, decision making is most certainly delegated. There's a structure for doing that. That is what I'm going to be teaching in this beta program.

So if you are interested, do please reach out, it's www dot Adam liette.com/beta. There'll be an application on that. Just give me your details, we'll get on a call, and just see if this is the right system for you and how we can best work together. So I don't pitch often on the show. But I felt the need because like I said, this just may save your life. If you're feeling that stress of running a business. And you know, one of my coaches, one of my mentors, says that, you know, if you have a system and you have a product that can improve people's lives, you have a moral obligation to make sure you get this into as many people's hands as possible. So I see this as my moral obligation. If you're struggling running your business, you know, you owe it to yourself to try to implement something to help you. You're going to see the difference from day one with this system and not only you but your team is going to see it as well. Well, thanks so much for listening. Like I said that website is www dot Adam liette.com/beta It only be up until we get 10 people into the program and then it will be removed and look forward to the full launch here. Once we see Are into the beta program. And anyway, if you have any questions, please do reach out. Otherwise, I will see you at Funnel Hacking live.

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