Unknown Speaker 0:03
This is the smooth operator Podcast. I'm Adam Liette, director of operations for a seven figure online business and eight year veteran of Army Special Operations. On this show, begin with the tactical, nitty gritty of what it really takes to run a thriving online business. Because at the end of the day, operators, lead the way.
Unknown Speaker 0:25
Welcome to this show, smooth operators, so glad to have you back. As you know, this is our Friday interview. And I always bring the goods don't I, we've had some amazing interviews these last couple of months, and we are not stopping. So today, we're gonna go into leadership and automation and all these amazing things that we know help us run our teams. Because, as I've said before, I mean, we have people that we're trying to lead, I mean, this is not about pointing finger and make stuff happen, and it just magically get gets done. Leadership is much more than just authoritarianism. It's about inspiring people, motivating people, bringing people along the journey. And when we can learn to really harness our inner leadership, brother, I'm telling you what, it makes such a difference when you have people genuinely following you because they believe in the vision, your casting just makes the whole job so much easier. Stress goes away. And we can lead with the inspired vision that I know you all have inside of you. So with that I have an international bestseller author with me Michelle nettle ik Michelle is an expert in entrepreneurialism and the founder of awareness strategies. She's run her own series of companies now for over 22 years. Holy cow, 22 years guys, and for over 15 years has been helping managers and executives to continually double their profits and revenues. I know I got your all's attention there when I started talking about that. So let's bring Michelle on. Michelle, thank you so much for joining smooth operator, how are you doing today?
Unknown Speaker 2:07
I'm doing awesome. Thanks for having me. I'm super excited to be here.
Unknown Speaker 2:11
Absolutely. Well, the feeling is definitely mutual. So tell us a little bit about your journey and how you came to this place of leadership in the in the industry?
Unknown Speaker 2:20
Absolutely. So I founded this company awareness strategies with my partner in business and pleasure, as we like to say, but it didn't start recently, it went way back. So in about 2003, we started a personal development company, and I started teaching and training programs and courses. And the concept at that time was to stay local so that people could access us more easily in the local area. And to me at that time, it was really important that people had access to me, so that it wasn't just hey, buy the course. See? Yeah. Yes, yeah, it was very predominant at that time, and kind of again, is but I wanted people to be able to access us. So that's when we started doing it, I was speaking all over the world and bringing people in to the, to our concept, which seems kind of bizarre to go internationally and then show up locally. But in about 2015, people wanted to be able to access the information from where they were. So they wanted us to go digitally. And we realized really quickly that the way we marketed online and face to face wasn't translating, well, online. So we needed to pivot to some extent to say, you know, this is how to speak from stage or how to run a business or like, what's the end result that people are gonna get from doing the training with us? So I was taking a bunch of mastermind courses, things like that to figure this whole online thing out because it had not been established. Certainly not executives right now. And I noticed that a lot of the other speakers that were in those programs with us were having a real hard time with the tech side of things. And Brian came up to me, he said, You know, I'm gonna say the corporate thing. He was doing big contracts for the likes of Halbert and IBM, big IT projects that would last three years, multimillion dollar programs, and he would oversee those. So I said, Well, clearly people are having a problem with their tech. So why don't we go into tech done for you because he had taken over my tech. I had created what I lovingly call my Franken wire system. And Frank and I had a love hate relationship and they just want to get on the list. Can you take them over so Brad took them over and when I'm not loving Frank, so Frank's gotta go. He found that that time was Infusionsoft which is now in keep Max classic. He fell in love with it. He said can I use it? Do whatever you want. You don't have to touch it again your last. So that's what he did. He picked over that side of things. Other people needed it. We decided hey, let's do a pivot and and do Done For You tech, so that people didn't have to stress about learning what an acronym meant in order to Have a conversation with tech support in order to it was just easier to work with them. And we partner with our clients, which is a lot of fun too so that they're not stuck trying to figure out what what's best software. Why Why can we use this one? That's it's cheaper. It's faster. Does all this look with the marketing? Yeah, yeah, that's why you count. So yeah, it's been a ton of fun helping businesses just to be able to let the leaders do what they do best. Do their jam, and we take over the tech side of things.
Unknown Speaker 5:30
I love that so much. And for whatever it's worth, like. It will always be Infusionsoft to me. change their name. But yeah, us Oh, is it still a rose? As we say, for Oh, geez, if you say keep or like, what? Which company? Is that again? Oh, you mean Infusionsoft? Yes, yes. That's such an interesting pivot. Because you're I mean, even today, there's a lot of people that are doing that Franken were like bolting this and this. And this, like, what, from your experience working with companies that have done that like? Like, What things have you? Have you noticed that the friction that brings into the business? Oh, it's
Unknown Speaker 6:18
painful. So I mean, just starting from a tech perspective, a lot of companies that have that set up in their systems don't have a tech department, for starters, so they don't have the wherewithal to be able to understand why isn't it working right now? Like? And that seems like to be a legitimate question, like you go into website, why isn't it working? You can go in and you can find that there's updates and things. But when it comes to your overall business system, and complaints are coming in, and you're not really understanding why the complaints are coming in, and what the back end is doing that's, that's causing this frustration, because it can be anything from what I'd love to call dirty data, and getting the your, your clients information messed up. So if somebody has six different email addresses, and they've unsubscribed from one thing, but then they sign up for something with a with one of those email addresses, it's like, it creates confusion, mayhem, because you're getting email saying, you know, you can't access your data, even though they just bought it. And they're super excited about it. They want to get it but they can't they don't know what's going on with it. And it's this whole domino effect of Well, yes. But the systems aren't set up right in first place. Yes, but our system doesn't do that. Yes, but our systems don't integrate without, we have to do that manually. Oh, that only gets done by Sally, Sally was off on Thursday, and the system went down. So we lost our data for three months. And it kind of goes on and like I can give you the hell that has been people's business. Because all they want to do is go and run their business, right? If you're a dentist, all you want to go is doing being dentists, some fun part of your business. All I care about Zillow, I want to go and do if you're a plumber, if you're a speaker, if whatever it is going and figuring out why somebody can't access the information that they just paid for. It becomes super stressful, because, you know, we get in shellac over something as silly and stupid as a typo on a page, let alone, you know, they've paid 10 grand for their program and they can't access it. So it's, yeah, it when it comes to how does it affect your operations? Is everything from your customer service people all the way to your bottom line?
Unknown Speaker 8:39
For sure, and I think a lot of the operators I've talked to faced with a similar circumstance where like, this is a customer service issue.
Unknown Speaker 8:50
Exactly. Let's blame them.
Unknown Speaker 8:51
I need a customer service person like that knows what they're doing. Why
Unknown Speaker 8:55
don't they know what they're doing this? You know, this happens all the time. I think we need to fire these people because they don't know what they're doing. And meanwhile, it's not their fault. They're going like, Hey, I'm just trying to do the thing. Work in the way that I think it should. And meanwhile, somebody untagged somebody from the program because you didn't want to be part of the program before. And now they're an egg from the whole system completely because they weren't as a past user of something like it's the problem is that we have basically four different personality types, right? You you've got your high D high highs if you want to use a disk model, and most business owners are Heidi's they want to get stuff done they lickety split, they've made a decision before somebody else has even finished the sentence. And you know, they just want things done. And then result oriented, which is super important to note. Then you have your customer service, which is typically your eyes and they're really nice, and they want to have a conversation. They don't want anybody to feel bad about things. And so when they say it didn't work, they go back to tech and they're like it didn't work and texts back being the high seas are like well what didn't work What page when they start asking all these questions, they're like, oh, no, it just didn't work. Oh, man, we think about that. And it really hurts them. And so it's a matter of and man, worst part is they usually have somebody who's an eye high ask, running their marketing systems, because I SS know how to make things look beautiful, they look gorgeous. We have the most lovely website, but the back end, and the tech doesn't work on it. And and, and they're scrambling. So when we can put text in charge of the tech ones, it usually speak English as a dual language, you really want some text work. But you also want to monolingual text work and back there that know how to just, you know, create the systems and do the analysis and all that kind of fun stuff too. Because they get to a different level than anybody else can. The problem with it is it tends to be this huge black box, or the black curtain. And it's like the Wizard of Oz going like nobody knows what's going on in this poor guy. Things work for them.
Unknown Speaker 11:03
Right, it's falling apart. I love that you went into the DIS framework, which I love that is framework. Say it, I teach it in my program for hiring like you need to hire using the desk. And actually two Fridays ago, guys, you can reference back we had a dis s expert on the show, Deanna. Because I know Indiana for years now. So to have like, I have three people now talking about this. Yeah, social proof. So perfect.
Unknown Speaker 11:30
Well, and it really becomes boring when you, somebody will say say they start off as a solopreneur, I got this great idea, I'm gonna go do this, I am the chief bottle washer, and you know, go for Hunter and whatever else was required in the business. And then I go, I just want to get this stuff off my plate. So they'll usually go to a VA, which is a catch all for a virtual assistant, which means absolutely nothing. It could be your nephew. What does that mean? But usually these poor people are like, I just want to, you know, make your life easier. I want to do things that are repeatable things that I can get in the habit of doing things that I can I know how to eventually go through your email and take away all the junk mail and put it into and sort it and all that kind of fun stuff, which clearly is an asset type, job description. But then they go, the owner goes, Hey, go and learn the software, and go and set up a marketing. I like kind of hair. So not only are they now supposed to know how to communicate with other people and have a high eye, they also have to know how to implement it and be that high see, and they got to make decisions on it on something that they know nothing about. Like it's cruel and unusual punishment, as far as I can see in the industry. And it's and it's just because people don't know how to delegate and get stuff off their plate initially.
Unknown Speaker 12:50
Yeah, exactly. So it's an interesting topic, we could go down the rabbit hole on but I did have one. One particularly pointed question about customer service is always customer facing, we know that and that's where we want those people. They're great at it. But we have to get tech the information they need to Fick actually fix it. And and I don't know about you, Michelle, I don't like leaving things to chance. I like giving people like a roadmap or a forum or something where it's good, cuz they're in their workflow. They need that, right. So if we're talking about tech issues, tech is always death by 1000. paper cuts, it's always gonna be like little things that add up. What have you seen as a good way of giving our high AI, customer service reps, the tools they need to accurately report what they're experiencing with the customers?
Unknown Speaker 13:51
So our first one is always can you ask them to get a screenshot of whatever is going on? And make sure that they include the URL? Because some people will get it take a snapshot of the page and says thank you. Right, yeah, that's great. And I really need to know what the URL is. And sometimes they need to know what the URL is. And sometimes they need to explain to the customer, what a URL is, and how do they know that they're capturing that in their in their picture? If your audience is less than 30? I mean, it's a moot point. But as soon as you start getting over 60, it's a huge point. They have no idea what a URL is, they have no idea what a textbox is, they the lingo just doesn't match. It's like seeing the top where there's a little arrow and then we'll circle and then there's bunch of letters after that I need those letters. Yes. Thanks for time, you're talking to your grandma and just you know, okay, this is where we're starting. But yeah, if we can get a screenshot of it, usually that kind of breaks it down into whatever is going on, obviously depends on what they're experiencing, but usually, that will help because as you know, there are you know, as soon as somebody started getting some complexity the their business They can have website pages, they can have separate landing pages that's on different software, they can have login pages that are on learning platforms they can like there's like eight pieces of software that you could possibly go into to see why they can't get in, let alone any other issue. So it really becomes important to know, you know, is this Infusionsoft? Is this a Click Funnels is the pages is that the learning management system? Where is it that we're inquiring on this and, and then becomes conversation back and forth?
Unknown Speaker 15:33
Mm hmm. I love that. And funny story, I put myself through college working for Verizon tech support, like, oh, this was like DSL days, where you'd ask them, like, unplug the port, and they disconnected phone call. It was fun. So I'm very accustomed to the, okay, turn off the computer. That's the big box. And once had I once had a gentleman call me and say, hey, my, my beer coaster broke. And after some probing, I found out it was a CD ROM drive. So yeah, not not a very close review. Here's something I'll give you operators that I immediately thought of when Michelle said that was I love canned responses. I love scripts. We're all using FreshWorks or HelpScout. We're all using these ticketing software, get your tech guys to give input on what that canned response should be. Right? So
Unknown Speaker 16:40
what did they really need to know when that happens? And even if it sounds odd, right, you want your your customer service personnel? If I don't know what that means, how, how is the person I'm talking to going to know what it means. So it helps because there's going to be a middleman, right? You're rarely going to put the tech in front of the consumer to try and problem solve what's going on. And you want that middle person to at least have the language to be able to have an intelligent conversation, even if they're just translated, right. Like if you ever learned a new language, and you're like, I have no idea what I just said. But they told me to say it, so I said it. Yep, that's good. I now feel when your customers work, people are talking to your clients. Oh, my
Unknown Speaker 17:23
goodness. I know. For sure. Yeah. And keep tech people away from customers. Guys. Don't do it. Like, love our tech people tech people out there throwing things at their computers. Now. You know who you are. Come on, we can be you know, you
Unknown Speaker 17:37
don't want to talk to the customer. You
Unknown Speaker 17:39
don't want to anyway, come on. Just like the customer service person wants nothing to do with Infusionsoft. It's fine. Exactly. We're all in our happy place. Very cool. Oh, my goodness. So I mean, what were you talk a lot of what you were talking about was like basically, moving away from that franking system moving into something it's integrated. When we talk about integrated like, I integrate stuff right now, with Zapier, is that what you're talking about? Or is it like more native integration that you're talking about?
Unknown Speaker 18:14
Yeah, I'm talking more native integration. So we we have a love hate relationship with Zapier. I
Unknown Speaker 18:20
don't mind everyone does. Everyone, we love you when you
Unknown Speaker 18:23
work, honey bunny, but when you work, it's the bane of our existence. So when it comes to data, the best way I can describe this to somebody who has no concept of what's going on, is when you have Christmas lights, and you have them all plugged into that little one, six blocks in there. And it looks like a fire hazard waiting to happen. That's what non integrated software it looks like, to a techie when they go in, okay, your your software systems that aren't connected, like, Oh, this is not going to work out? Well. I'm gonna tell you that the way you want to have it connected. And the difference between a Zapier thing is plugging into the wall and having that six blocks there, and not even going directly into the wall. But what happens with this funky thing called API is that it's almost like you've fused the plugin to the wall. And nobody can stick a fork in there, no matter how dangerous your children are, and really want to pry those out with a knife you can't. So an API allows you to have integration of your data in directly into your CRM from a software system. Why this becomes important is because when when there's misconnection misfires, information can go missing, which is always fun. You can get wrong kinds of data. So if you have a shopping cart, and you're collecting the name and email address, and the purchasing amount, kind of thing, if it doesn't have a direct integration into your CRM, you can end up with you know, not Having a first name, or if they've put in three names, and it doesn't fit for those slots that you have in your system, you end up again with this thing called dirty data. So you end up sending emails out to, you know, hello Smith, my name, the way it works, or, or you get six months, and you don't know if it's the same person or not. And, and that when it comes to reconciling your books, and when it comes to your customer service delivery, and it just, it's a nightmare for people to be able to look at the data and try and make sense of it. So you want you want what's called an integrated system. So or a native system, which means that like an Infusionsoft your CRM is actually and your email system is the same system. It's one in the same. Yeah, your affiliate marketing is one in the same your back end to those affiliate programs are one in the same. Your ability to be able to create links to pages one in the same. So native systems. fabulous, wonderful and love them. And if you can't get everything you want in one, then you want them connected with this thing called API all the texture like Yeah, yeah, we want to like why are you doing Wow. And we avoid custom programming like the plague. Because it's, it's expensive to set up. It's hard to maintain somebody has to maintain it, and somebody knows code has to maintain it. If somebody comes in that doesn't know the code, they have to figure out the code before they can solve the problem. And a lot of people don't realize that it's not that you go in your programming, you can read it and go, Oh, yeah, here's problem. It's not quite that easy. Like is writing home or before you can
Unknown Speaker 21:41
explain Yeah, we had a script that was written for us to connect, like Pay Pal subscriptions to Infusionsoft. And when it worked, it was great. When it did it, it was not,
Unknown Speaker 21:57
ya know, why pay pal hasn't figured that one out yet and just add the integrate integrated system. I mean, I'm not a fan of PayPal, either, just because I read their actual contract. And like, yeah, we can take money out of your bank account whenever we want.
Unknown Speaker 22:09
Yeah. Like, I personally avoid PayPal now in my personal business for part of that reason. But you can have a complete, you can have all your ducks in a row on a fraud request. When someone reports you, and it's like, this is legit, see all this stuff? And they're still there, you're never gonna win. It's insane. It's like, I don't even I stopped bothering putting together because I never won. So yeah,
Unknown Speaker 22:37
yeah. Well, and that's fun part to it. And from a leadership role is you really want to work with somebody that doesn't just do the tactics of what you're asking them to do. You want somebody that understands that the strategy, the concepts of what it is that you're doing. Because if you say, you know, just set this up with people, and if you have somebody that's tactical, they'll just do it, like, Yeah, okay. But now you've created an issue that you don't even understand what the issue is, in the same thing can happen with things like your merchant account with your stripe accounts or your square accounts. Those are fundamentally completely different than merchant accounts where you have to apply and you have to qualify, and you have to talk to somebody to explain how your business works and why you have $100,000 influx one weekend and zero revenue for three months. Right? That looks easy. Right? Whereas swearing and Stripe will shut you down. If somebody understands your business model, they'll just go oh, okay, so you had a live event that we can use all the 100 Grand, awesome, congratulations.
Unknown Speaker 23:38
I think that's especially true for anyone out there listening that has high ticket, especially if you're doing launch models. Because I have a friend, they launch once a year, and they'll do 10 million in a weekend. Yeah. But that's it. That's their revenue for the next 52 weeks, which
Unknown Speaker 23:58
screams fraudulent. And if they get shut down, and they hold, you know, 6 million and really operate without a little cash flow.
Unknown Speaker 24:08
Yeah, just a little bit cash flow matters. But I love it, because it definitely puts a different spin on what we're looking for when we're looking for tech solutions. I think so often. The first, you know, I'm very I'm a I'm that high D get it done guy. You know, first place I look for is does it do the things I wanted to do? Right, but maybe I should flip my screening process and go for the integrations first. I think it's where you're leading to.
Unknown Speaker 24:40
So there's this funky software that will take your data from your social media and put it into your CRM and identify who's who and what's what. The problem with most of them is that they don't actually integrate. They say they work together with them but they don't really squat you. It. It doesn't To give you the clean data that you need to be able to go, what did they actually come from Facebook, because Facebook loves telling you to everybody came from there. And you need to have the ability to be able to verify that and go, Okay, well, were they actually on another website, and they clicked on the Facebook link, and then they went to, and then they went to, it's because if you don't have clean data on that you're making huge financial decisions that impact your bottom line, and you go, wow, we're wasting all of this money on SEO, let's just move it over to Facebook, because they're sending us all this traffic. And it's, and then when you do that, all of your traffic stops. And you're like, Well, what the hell happened? Right? Where did that go? And how, and the only way you would know that is because of the analysis previous. But the data actually, or the leads weren't actually coming from Facebook originally, that they were going, you know, coming from somewhere else, and then going to Facebook. So it's it's stuff like that, that you really want to what somebody says in their marketing isn't really what happens in the back end, if you don't know what questions to ask. So yes, you're absolutely right. It should be a question of integration first, and then a question of application, because most of them will say, Oh, yeah, we do the applications, but they don't really integrate. So it's, it's just a faster way to be able to do some market research. Not having to sift through everything to get the answer you want. Just go straight for the jugular and go Yeah, but do you do this?
Unknown Speaker 26:30
I think most of them when they say they integrate meaning. Yeah, we integrate through Zapier.
Unknown Speaker 26:40
manually if you do it manually, it'll integrate. Yeah, integration.
Unknown Speaker 26:46
And it's that it's prone to one other system breaking down, which if it's a system, it will break down at some point. That's our reality. Right? Yeah. Oh my gosh, now I'm questioning tech decisions. Michelle, this is a great way to end my week. Happy times here. Awesome.
Unknown Speaker 27:10
yummies stewing over it all weekend going, I can't believe now what am I gonna do? No problem hits on Monday morning like that. Because the integration,
Unknown Speaker 27:20
which is terrible because I'm going to the woods all weekend long I'm gonna be without a computer's I can't even check the things I'm going to think of, and I'm going to be alone with nothing but my own thoughts. This is gonna be crazy.
Unknown Speaker 27:32
Paper and pen, they still work?
Unknown Speaker 27:34
Yes, they do. Oh, for goodness sakes, I love it. Well, now we have another leadership thing to do, guys, it's get down to the root of it, find out those. What do they mean by integration like, and I know, Michelle on her website, which I'll share in the show notes. Like they have some recommended software that they've battled tested, they proven. And it does come down to the solutions that we're using. And there are some great on ones. I know most of you out there, of course creators that are a couple really good on one course creating programs. And I don't want to give myself another bad weekend by asking about those particular programs to find out, they're not as good as I thought they were. But let's just stick with that for now. For someone that is leading this team, like I know, you do a lot of work with leadership and like really inspiring leaders to move up to that level like, like, what kind of work and what kind of things have you done to to help leaders develop themselves?
Unknown Speaker 28:37
Well, I mean, the whole concept of leadership is really understanding who you are and what you bring to the table. And without ego being able to share that with people when they need it in a way that allows them to grow. So way back in the day, when I had a jlb it was very much that you do what I say when I say how does it how I say it, and and I think Brad a lot of entrepreneurs, because we're looking at him like, wow, if he can run a company, I can't be that hard. So then we go and start companies, and then we try and get stuff over blades. And we're like, Hey, can you do this? They're like, No, oh, okay, well, I'll do it myself, then it's easier and faster if I just do it myself, them. And then there was a lot of that going on. And that led into a whole, like this whole series of misaligned entrepreneurial opportunities. And I think when we're looking at leadership today, if we say, Okay, I'm coming to the table, I want my team to be as as great as they can. So there's two ways, essentially, to have a team and one is that you hire the best of the best. And you let them go do their thing, which a lot of people would love to do. But they don't have the wherewithal to kind of understand that I'm going to have to put money into this first, and then it's going to pay off because they know what they're doing and I can just let them run And they're good at it, some people will go, Okay, I'm gonna bring on this team and I'm gonna train them how to do well, then you need to have time to time or money, it's always time or money. And you have to be able to train these people to be able to have that solid foundation. But then you need to let them go at some point and and start letting them answer their own questions in front of you. So that you can kind of supervise that thought making process because not everybody thinks the same way going back to their whole desk, and how did you come to that conclusion where you're looking for your data, and you start to see the patterns of how people make the decision in their day, so that you know that they're putting it together in a way that you want to so that they're maintaining your corporate culture, and that they're delivering in the end what it is that you're looking for. So it really comes down to, in my opinion, a lot of self identification, a lot of mindset work with an owner as they're progressing through their business in order to bring on those first few people and then to delegate and then to oversee, and then be able to step away. And each one of those comes with its own challenges and opportunities.
Unknown Speaker 31:12
I've personally found that's all amazing. It's a love it. I've personally found where I've struggled the most. And I probably got like a bunch of people out there nodding their heads, right? When I say this, it's the letting go part.
Unknown Speaker 31:26
We don't want to let go of our babies because it's our baby. And we're so used to you know, I've finally got it down to where my customers don't yell at me because I'm doing things wrong. So I have to make sure that nobody yells at me anymore. And I can't do anything wrong. We can't have typos. And like, yeah, actually, you can you're gonna live? And how do you do that in a way that makes sense. So that you're not dropping things on somebody else's plate. And they're giving, you're giving them too much, it's being able to kind of understand kind of what they're capable of where they're at, in, in learning process and figuring out how your company works. And kind of continually going, Hey, are you comfortable? Do you got enough? Can I feed you more? Where are we at in our, in our relationship here. Because as they get used to things now as they learn things, some things are just gonna get done, lickety split. And then they're gonna get really bored if they don't have a few other things on their plate, but not too much. So. And that, to me is always up to the leader to identify not the employee, because employees will never tell you the truth of what's going on. Because they don't, usually they don't have the wherewithal to understand that they really should be like, again, going back to the culture of the company, but they should be focusing on the things that they're good at that they like, and that they love to do. And it's okay to tell the boss Hey, you know, this project you got me working on, I'm not getting it. Like I don't really understand what's going on with it, I'm not able to wrap my brain around it, I'm not getting the solutions, I think I should is because they don't know what I'm doing or is because I'm just not meant for this kind of a role. For example, when we transitioned into working from, we had a million dollar client contract with a company and after we've done that, I'm like, I'm never doing that, again. Back to that small entrepreneurs, we're working with them who are a lot more fun. But I made the dumb mistake of putting myself in, in project management. So I would talk to the clients figure out what they want, strategize with them, which is all awesome. And then I bring him back to the team and go, Okay, here's what we're doing and go make it happen. And they're all looking at me like, well, is that a webpage? Is that webinar? Talking about? Like, I got it. And I quickly realized that the attention to detail side of things, not my forte, not at all, not in any way, shape, or form. I'm like, Okay, I will help you write the SOPs for this, but we gotta get project managers talking to the clients because, like, I will help them strategize. I'll give you the recording. Okay, now you got to ask me, you know what else you need after that? So yeah, I was losing my mind. I'd say quickly, actually, thinking, I have fired myself very quickly. She was very incompetent at that job. And it was okay, we left on good terms. So, you know, she's still doing sales and stuff like that. She likes it.
Unknown Speaker 34:19
Seems I mean, it was it was good to retain her. I like it. Good. abscission Michelle. Michelle snow cool. Oh, that's funny. I've heard that phrase now like five times and last week, like firing myself. And it's real. People talk about like, that whole process of bringing someone on and like, I feel spoiled because I'm an Army guy. I've been training people for years. I'm also a teacher. So I've been teaching people for years. So I've talked about this stuff, but I am always interested to hear other people's perspectives like it is not innate to us. It's not exactly so like, let's say, Joe, not Michelle is out there listening and wants to do wants to fire himself like, how does he actually train someone up? Like what have you found to work? Well?
Unknown Speaker 35:14
Well, if it really came down to okay, what part of this? Am I clearly dropping the ball on? What am I failing at? And it was clearly that decisive part between, okay, we have a plan, we have a strategy, but now it's okay, we need to know which website this goes on, we need to know which pages is is the landing pages is an information page or an educational page, which unless you understand marketing, it's like, well, what's different? What educational pages a page that somebody comes upon, and they go, oh, I need some information on this thing. And landing pages somewhere you send people to, and you want them to make one decision on one decision only. And the decision is do I buy or do I not buy? Period, end of story. Whereas in an educational page, you can tell all about your products and services, and you can link to Bloomberg articles, you can link to the definition and that word, they're just going through trying to figure out what the heck it is you're talking about. And in some cases, that becomes super important, like lawyers, lawyers, oftentimes, we'll need an educational page to explain to somebody what the ins and outs of, you know, working with them are over a divorce case, maybe you're not necessarily going to send them to a landing page on how you get your divorce, you want it or not boy you will do is send them to maybe an opt in on, you know, five things you need to know before you hire your divorce lawyer, right. And then it's an out it's, you know, opt in for it or don't opt in for it. It's kind of a lame example. But it's when we're translating that to the team. Again, you need to know what kind of information they need, which is where these kinds of SOP, things come into place that become a living organism, if you will. Once upon a time, we used to have SOPs that were like, you get the binder, right? Hey, welcome to the company. Here's your four inch binder, go in, memorize everything that's in here. And it tells you how to you know, accept a Visa card. And it's like put their name in. But the last name in but there's, you don't need to be that itemized. Just like
Unknown Speaker 37:09
here's your four inch binder. Go ahead and don't read this.
Unknown Speaker 37:14
You can go and use that as a prop for your kid to sit up in the car. It's awesome. Yeah, yeah, don't do that. And videos can be useful. So if you're doing something and you record the video so that they can watch it later, and they can watch it at six speed. That's awesome. That's the difference between learning how to do something and watching somebody else do and it's painful. But really just an outline of these are the steps is what we want you to do. This is how you get it done so that nothing, I think gets overlooked. And oftentimes, when you're delegating work to somebody I would set up as structure of this is what I've got, what do you need? And then they'd add their stuff, I'd come back. Does it make sense to me? Yeah. Okay. So these kind of SOPs go back and forth for a little bit until we understand what the function of the means. And then we store them on our project management system so that, you know, anybody that's new can come in, and they can see those based on the categories.
Unknown Speaker 38:11
Hmm. I love that idea of it. It's not the one way conversation that so many, when when we envision delegate, it's like, here, it's delegated. There you go. But it's like this continual back and forth, right? It is a, like I say, Guys, it's a process. You have to do that back and forth. So is there a number of I advocate a certain number of meetings, like regular meetings with a new employee? Is there anything that you found to be particularly successful when someone's first coming on to the job? Yeah, we,
Unknown Speaker 38:45
we tend to do trial by fire. Like, hey, here's the thing, go and do that. And we explain to them like, I don't expect you to know anything of how to do this. Our employees, when we bring them on, they have a skill set and an attitude. They don't have necessarily aptitude, what they have aptitudes are they have aptitude and attitude, they don't necessarily have the skill set to do the job. So we will train them on how to do the thing the way we want them to do the thing, which just tends to be easier for us than hiring somebody that knows how to do everything. But then they do it their way. And they ignore the SOPs. So we start with them, and we put them through a training of you get to work with our smaller clients that are usually really flexible. They're really understanding, they're trying to figure out their stuff to they're not high demand, and they're not paying a whole lot for it. So they get that there's a little bit of conversation there and a little bit of leeway. And then as they are with the company for longer and longer they get the bigger clients with the more immediate problems like hey, we need this time yesterday. Right? And by that time, they have the opportunity to be able to do that. We also triage our clients, which most companies don't do, meaning if somebody needs things done Now, it's all hands on deck, get that done, and do it so that the clients getting things done right, and all the other stuff that needs to be done. You know, by Friday, we'll get it done by Friday. And it's all awesome. Most companies don't work that way. But we do because our clients are with us for years on end. And we just want to make sure that thing gets done. And it'll all work out in the wash, in which, again, most companies don't work that way. So we're a little different in that, but we also work on you know, I enjoy your job, what are you doing, you know, this assignment, we need somebody to do this, anybody want to take this on? And it's free for all and we totally get, you may or may not understand it. And it's totally cool. Hey, we found a new software the client has nobody knows how to use it. Who wants to specialize in this stuff? Somebody will raise your hand, we're like, great. Let's go for it. Right? And then there becomes this. So they could be a veteran. And they're still going to go back and forth with Brad and going. It's like they're starting all over again and going. Okay, I looked at this, I found that, what about this? What about that, and they're constantly zoom. So to answer your question, the whole onboarding newbies tend to be trial by fire here, go do this thing. And come back to me, we have weekly team, our weekly team meetings every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, where the whole team gets together. And we're in constant communication with each other via WhatsApp and Facebook mass messenger. Because our team is diversified. We're all over the place. And so it's you get a hold of who you need to and, and there's constantly this kind of integration of communication. We don't have like a traditional org chart. Everybody looks like they're mushed. It's it's more of a quilt than an org chart.
Unknown Speaker 41:42
The org chart to make my skin go like my nice organized one, but still messy, but it looks nice. It actually, for anyone that has an org chart that looks neat. Let's be honest, it's messy. The reality animation doesn't actually flow that way. It's all over the place. So we can forgive ourselves for that, I think. So even though you guys are remote, geographically dispersed, you're still coming together in those triage moments. Is it like the office hours? Or how are you able to coordinate on like that?
Unknown Speaker 42:21
Yeah, so we operate on our timezone. So everybody works at a nine to five mountain. But understanding that we have some clients that are Pacific and some clients that are in Eastern, some clients that are European, so it's being able to, because, well, with that, we understand that not everybody's going to have kind of the problems aren't going to be between five, that's the fun part of Tech Tech is awesome until it doesn't work. And then it's hell. So sometimes you just gotta jump in and get stuff done. And a lot of our guys because they're techies, right, there are also gamers, and they're also. So we go, I don't really care, I want you available to us. So they're monitoring the conversations with the clients and with the team between those hours. But if they want to get stuff done at midnight, our time, I couldn't care less I want to do at three in the morning, go ahead and do it three in the morning. Like when it gets done, I couldn't care less as long as it's done by the deadline. So in that respect, they have the flexibility. So some of them may even have another job. But as long as they have their monitoring the WhatsApp and their other job knows that they're going to be doing that. We're totally cool with that we couldn't care less. It's just being able to kind of get the things done when they need to. And there's multiple people on each thread. So somebody catches things and then we can harass people when they're when they've overlooked something. That's kind of fun at team meetings, actually. So you know, that thing that you totally overlooked? We got that done. Boy, it's all good. Oh my gosh, there's a little bit of free harassment. Yeah, and becoming a client or employee of
Unknown Speaker 44:08
ours. I found those moments. So just in my leadership of the team to be where I formed the biggest connection so with people they saw, like, Oh, he's not a robot. I can show emotions and just genuine human stuff. It's really cool, guys. I love it.
Unknown Speaker 44:30
Well, I mean, particularly, I'm fun because we're a diverse team. People have different accents, and they pronounce things differently. And, and when they mess something up, and we're like, the why. And then it becomes the ongoing joke in there. Oh, yeah. You know that and it's never, you know, PG 13 Oh, great to say. So I won't mention what we're doing. But it is just quite hilarious that it becomes an internal joke and we we tease each other. We have fun with it. It's like marketing is not a matter of life and death. If people it's notice nobody dies because he didn't get access immediately when they wanted. It doesn't work that way. I get it. It's inconvenient, stressful, but it's, you know, not a matter of life and death. So it's to me, the biggest thing is it's up to us as leadership to be able to translate that, do I ever get ticked off? This often happens like, Okay, we all know, these are five things. I never thought, Okay, we'll figure it out. It's all good. Doing a good thing out, and then we have fun. Yeah. And people need to realize that we are human, right? Computers do things automatically over and over again. Exactly the same way, hopefully, all the time. And that's great. People, on the other hand, are fabulously, creative, spontaneous, or screw ups, we stuff comes out of the mouth that we're like, hey, that just comes out of my mouth. Everybody does it. We want the humanity in the office, and we want to bring the automation into the business. So it's, it's a different way of looking
Unknown Speaker 46:03
at things. I think that's the title for this episode, humanity in the office automation in the business. I love that. That's beautiful, man. I couldn't have said it better myself.
Unknown Speaker 46:15
Like that. We never know what's coming out of here.
Unknown Speaker 46:21
I love it. It reminds me of we even had these team meetings and we had one gentleman whose kids were homeschooled and he would never wear headphones on calls. And then we hired a guy from Ireland. Who just f this f that f this.
Unknown Speaker 46:37
Well, that'll get you some head says real quick.
Unknown Speaker 46:39
And I told the Irish guy. I'm like, like, Hey, dude, you really can't cuss that much on team calls. He's like any SAY WHAT THE F? What the f are you talking about? I was like, Yeah, that. Oh, dude, I can't I'm Irish man. I can't help it. I'm like, you gotta, you gotta put you got to put on headphones. I'm sorry. He's gonna say, You know what he's gonna do?
Unknown Speaker 47:00
Unknown Speaker 47:01
He's a, he's a really good copywriter, and he doesn't curse in his copy.
Unknown Speaker 47:07
He can edit those out afterwards, even if we had a one gal who was hilarious. So she speaks Serbian, his first language. And her kids are like five and seven. And they swear in English. So every once in a while I go out there speaking English. swearing.
Unknown Speaker 47:32
Oh my god, I'm so sorry. That's hilarious.
Unknown Speaker 47:37
Because usually I couldn't hear them because we like but um, but but but but but when all of a sudden was like
Unknown Speaker 47:42
it? You could hear? Yes. Oh, get that one. Yeah. So tremendous. It's been so much fun. Michelle, I could talk all day with you. I just think this is definitely a nice back and forth. And you just have such a personality. I think we just connected in a real cool way. So I want to stay in touch. But before we before we wrap things up one thing I love you all know it. I love reading. And so what books would you recommend for someone wanting to up their leadership skills? up their tech skills? And if there's anything that matches both of those, it's extra special?
Unknown Speaker 48:24
Ooh, that's a good question. I'm not certain of that. However, what I do know is thinking Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill is the Bible of business. If you haven't read that, you'll have to read that one. On on leadership, I think it's most important to understand kind of what's going on for you. One of the ones that I found particularly useful not in the exactness of it tends to be a little religious for me. But is things wait you say to yourself by
Unknown Speaker 48:58
Unknown Speaker 48:59
group survivor, you'll find it. Yeah, I believe is first name in the search ad. But it becomes important to understand how you're coming across with people not because you have expectations, but just because you can't live with the conversation going on in your head. How are they supposed to deal with it? Right, so get rid of the crap that's in your head that you don't like and and then it becomes less likely that it's going to come out and fall onto somebody else's shoulders. And really, I have a little my little thing on my monitor, little arrow that points that people when I'm in zoom in it says protect the bunnies. That's basically I get it, they screwed up. It's my responsibility as business owner, don't kill the bunnies. Get down. And then you know, we'll figure out the problems later.
Unknown Speaker 49:48
Protect the bodies.
Unknown Speaker 49:53
So you can see your team and you like what are you thinking right and then they feel bad because you know who's harder on themselves. Everybody's always hardest on themselves, they know they screwed up. They know they did bad. But you don't have to, you know, crush them.
Unknown Speaker 50:07
Wow. It's one of the things I think we all know intuitively and we forget in the moment. But I think the biggest thing I'm taking away from that is just so much about leadership is like really just knowing yourself first and just being centered, being aware of the things that are happening in the zone, weird, gray matter that we got going on up here. Because we're all crazy. Let's be honest, guys are all crazy. So no, you're crazy, though. But it's a good thing. Oh, man, well, I have a
Unknown Speaker 50:47
gift. Can I give you peeps a gift? Yeah, I would love to. Yeah, awesome. So we have a website audit, that value is about 500 bucks. And I would love your peeps to go and take advantage of that. It scrapes your website. So it does take about 510 minutes before you get it back. Because it's actually your website that it's going through, giving you the report back on it. So no, it doesn't happen instantaneously. But you can go to I'm sure you'll have the links in the description, all that kind of fun stuff. But what the report does is it'll give you all your green lights, your yellow lights, and your red lights, according to the Google gods, meaning there's some things that you're doing right and they you get a green light on it. They're letting traffic go through there, life is good. Yay, celebrate, you don't have some things that are getting yellow lights. Google's or the Google's the Google gods are slowing your traffic down, they're not giving them all access. And it can cause issues, you're not getting as high ranking as you could get. And you may have some red lights, which means that they're stopping traffic altogether, you want to go and fix those right away. Some of them you may not know what they actually mean, which I totally get, which is why we have a link to you can book an appointment with me. Right afterwards, in 30 minutes, I'll go through your report just translated into English for you, if nothing else, and then you can take it to your team and go Oh, this one we gotta go and fix and and if you want to talk strategy, you want to talk mindset, all that kind of fun stuff happening to that team.
Unknown Speaker 52:07
Love it. Thank you so much. Good. Yeah, it's wonderful gift. And yeah, this one of those things. I'm gonna do it myself. And I'm a little scared.
Unknown Speaker 52:18
Um, yet we all are. Because keep in mind some of the yellow things, you'll go Yeah, we chose to do it that way. And that's okay. Because I think it's funny that Google doesn't let you start the same sentence with the same word. And in marketing, you know, the, the option of triple cat is kind of powerful to the reader. So sometimes you want to have things in there like, you know, we want you to succeed, we want you to be the best in your business. We want you to do this. And Google look at it, like you just repeated yourself. And you're like, I know. And it's okay.
Unknown Speaker 52:47
Dan Kennedy told me to. And Napoleon Hill told me if I think this way, I'll grow rich.
Unknown Speaker 52:56
Alright, so I just picked up a fresh copy of that my older one got beat up. Nice. I was I was at the Half Price Books, which is a huge chain here in America. And they had this whole like palette of fresh brand new ones. Some I bought, I bought like 10 Nice because they're like eight bucks each. So I bought, like giving them away to people I know. Like, the great book, Napoleon Hill, like, can't read anything bad by Napoleon Hill. He's awesome.
Unknown Speaker 53:23
Now the one that's a little easier to read that you might not know is Think and Grow Rich. That was also another awesome book. I rewrote that one by hand. Just to ingrain it into my head. It's a fantastic book.
Unknown Speaker 53:38
Wow. Rewrote by See, that's dedication.
Unknown Speaker 53:45
Like, I wasn't leaving anything to chance and want this you might have wanted in there now.
Unknown Speaker 53:50
Don't work anymore. That's how I learned Indonesian was by writing it over and over and over again. Yeah.
Unknown Speaker 53:58
Wow. How long were you there?
Unknown Speaker 54:02
I was there like a year and a half. Wow.
Unknown Speaker 54:06
Yeah. So So you needed to ingredient fast.
Unknown Speaker 54:10
I actually did most of my learning before I got there. But then like once I got there, I'm like, Oh, this is how they actually talk. Crap. And I still know all my curse words in English. So
Unknown Speaker 54:26
oh, so fun. Michelle, I've had an absolute ball. Let's do stay in touch everyone. Check the show notes. Take your website audit. I'm gonna do it myself here. Once I get the bravery to do it. I'm gonna fix the things I know around first. And yeah, definitely look forward to staying staying in contact. It's been a whole lot of fun. Love it. Thank you. Thanks. Have a great day everyone and we'll see you on the next one.
Unknown Speaker 54:52
Okay, before we bounce out here, I have a free strategy session available exclusively for my podcast audience in this 30 minute phone oncall will unveil the immediate steps you can take to operationalize your business and put you back in the driver's seat. Just go to www dot Adam liette.com and click Start Here.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai