Momentum Podcast: 481
You Can't Decide Everything
by Alex Charfen
When we start our businesses in order to be successful, we do everything. If we are successful, we've done everything. The problem is, this conditions us to continue to do everything, to continue to execute everything, to make everything happen, to do everything ourselves, and we have this bias towards if it's going to be done right, I will do it myself, for everything including decision making.
If you're growing a business, if you don't change this, it will become your biggest bottleneck.
As you grow your business, you can’t continue doing everything. This includes decision making.
In so many ways, the entrepreneur is by far the biggest bottleneck in the business. We see this all the time in our coaching programs. In a growing business, your responsibilities will change on a daily and weekly basis. You miss an opportunity for leverage in decision making when you don’t share the process with your team.
As you build a business, growth happens this way:
Grow a tactical team
Grow team that can execute directly for you
Grow and share decision making
As entrepreneurs, we get used to making the decisions and being in charge, but in order to grow, we need to stop making all the decisions. This is crucial because decision-making fatigue is real. If you are making the decisions in every part of your business, you are making so many decisions that ultimately they won’t get made and will slow down your business.
This is why growing a team to share in the decision-making process is necessary and prevents you from becoming a bottleneck, allowing your business to increase capacity and grow exponentially.
If you are ready to build out exactly what I talked about – core values, communication cadence – go to billionaire.com, and we will show you exactly where you are on the road to entrepreneurial success.
Full Audio Transcript
Alex Charfen: When we start our businesses in order to be successful, we do everything. If we are successful, we've done everything. The problem is, this conditions us to continue to do everything, to continue to execute everything, to make everything happen, to do everything ourselves, and we have this bias towards if it's going to be done right, I will do it myself, for everything including decision making. If you're growing a business, if you don't change this, it will become your biggest bottleneck.
I'm Alex Charfen, and this is the Momentum Podcast, made for empire builders, game changers, trailblazers, shot takers, record breakers, world makers, and creators of all kinds. Those among us who can't turn it off, and don't know why anyone would want to. We challenge complacency, we destroy apathy, and we are obsessed with creating momentum, so we can roll over bureaucracy and make our greatest contribution. Sure, we pay attention to their rules, but only so that we can bend them, break them, then rewrite them around our own will.
We don't accept our destiny, we define it. We don't understand defeat because you only lose if you stop, and we don't know how. While the rest of the world strives for average and clings desperately to the status quo, we are the minority, the few who are willing to hallucinate there could be a better future, and instead of just daydreaming of what could be, we endure the vulnerability and exposure it takes to make it real. We are the evolutionary hunters, clearly the most important people in the world, because entrepreneurs are the only source of consistent, positive human evolution and we always will be. If you're an entrepreneur growing a business and you feel like you are the biggest bottleneck, you're not alone. We all feel that way. In fact, in so many ways, you could mathematically, scientifically, tactically, and strategically prove that the biggest bottleneck in a small business is by far the entrepreneur.
It might not be that way right at the beginning, but there is a point where the biggest bottleneck is the person who was running the business, the person in charge, and the person making things happen, and we watch this all of the time. In fact, we help entrepreneurs grow their businesses very fast. We take people from multiple six figures to multiple seven figures. We take them from seven figures to well into eight figures, and when you're going through those transitions, everything in a business changes. In a growing business, your responsibilities, what you do as the entrepreneur in charge, will change on a daily and weekly basis. In a growing business, what the people around you do will change on a daily and weekly basis, and where so many entrepreneurs miss an opportunity for leverage is in decision making. We see this all the time.
We watch our clients grow businesses like crazy. They hire people, they get help, they get tactical help, but they don't share decision making, because this is how growth really works. When you grow a business, first you grow the product, the service, what you're doing. You start getting people to be interested in it. Then you start getting a tactical team around you. You have to find some contractors, some people who can do stuff. Then you start hiring people who can actually execute for you directly, and do it over time, and then where most entrepreneurs, miss is they don't think about how they need to share decision making and start hiring decision makers. In fact, here's the epiphany that we have as entrepreneurs. As entrepreneurs we get used to making all of the decisions. In a lot of ways, so many of us, including me, became entrepreneurs so that we could make the decisions, so that people would be out of our way, so that we could be in charge, so that we can create our own momentum, so we wouldn't have to wait for anybody else.
But here's the challenge. In order to grow, we need to actually stop making all the decisions and start sharing decision making. Because in so many ways, as an entrepreneur, you're not just the bottleneck because of your time. You're actually the bottleneck because of all of the decision making you're doing. Here's why this is important. It's crucially important, especially if you're trying to go fast, especially if you have a business you really care about, if there's an outcome that really matters to you, let me share why this is important. First, decision making. Fatigue is real and it will cause fatigue everywhere. If you're making a ton of decisions, if people are coming to you all day asking you to make a decision, asking you to execute, here's what it has to happen. You end up carrying around the entire equation for your business in your head.
If you're making the decisions in delivery, if you're making the decisions in marketing, if you're making the decisions in member services, in sales, in every part of your business, what ends up happening is, you're making so many decisions that you will hit decision making fatigue, and just due to the fact that there's only so many hours in the day, and your team can only communicate with you so much, the decisions won't get made. This slows down the growth of your business, it slows down the expansion of the effect that you're having, the impact you're making. It slows everything down. I ran into this early on in the business that I'm running right now. We are coaching entrepreneurs to grow and scale their businesses. We work with multiple six figure businesses. Like I said earlier, to go to seven, multiple seven to go to eight,... and if I was making it initially I was making all of the decisions in our coaching and our content department, all of them.
I created the content. I was coaching, I was talking to our clients. I was creating everything, but I was also making the decisions of what we would offer, how we would offer it, what policies we would put in place, how we could build the department. Then I realized that it was just too much. I was completely overwhelmed. There was too much going on. I needed help. I needed help to make the decisions. I needed help to build the department. I needed someone with the skillset, the experience, and the motivation and intelligence to help me make decisions in our coaching and content department, to help me decide, what would be the foundations of coaching? What is the content we want to have? What customer client or client questions do we want to answer? What customer or client questions do we want to tell our clients?
Hey, that's not what we answered. The way that I solved that is, I have a person on my team, Deanna, who now she is running our coaching and content, and here's what happens. When anyone comes to me with a question about a decision making, or making a decision in content or coaching, I defer to Deanna, and then I watch the decision making process, and I understand it, and I talked to her about it. This has been going on for about a month and a half now and as time has gone on, she's making decisions faster and faster. They're incredibly aligned with what I would do, because we've been communicating the whole time. I'll tell you how we achieved that alignment in just a second, but now here's what's happened. Our coaching and our content department is growing like crazy. I look at the metrics and milestones in coaching and the number of calls we're on, the number of new content sections were making.
The number of, the amount of content and resources being released to our clients is exponentially greater than when I was doing it. Why? Because I'm running our entire business. I'm making decisions all over the place by handing off the strategic decision making to someone as good as Deanna. It has freed all of my time, all of that time up for me to go do other things, so I can continue to grow our business. Here's another reason why this is important. When you're growing, trying to make every decision is impossible. I just wanted to tell you that. It's impossible. You can try. You can try and grow at the maximum rate and make every decision, but it will be impossible, and here's what will happen. If you insist on making every decision, you have to also decide that you're okay with not growing as fast as you could, because when you make every decision in a business, you literally are slowing everything down.
Because here's how I want you to imagine a business's growth. If you think of how as a business grows, each dollar in revenue it's bringing in each year, so each increase in dollar in revenue in each year, there's an increase in the amount of decisions in that business. That's just how it is, and as your business grows into higher and higher levels or dollar amounts, the decision making actually grows not on a linear curve. It grows on an exponential curve, so as the business gets bigger, as more people are added, as more clients are added, as there's more outcomes that are added, there's more and more decisions, but it doesn't curve linearly. It hockey sticks, like the number of decisions goes up exponentially in a business, .nd if you're trying to do all of it, you not only have to be able to keep up with what you did to start the business, you have to be able to grow at an exponential rate in your time.
I've tried this, I just want you to know this. For over 20 years, I tried to create more time. I tried to bargain for more hours in the day. I tried to get more out of each day, and I think I'm really good at being efficient and effective in my days, but there's no way I can make all of the decisions. It's important to be able to hand some of those off, and most of the time in a business, like I said before, you're a bottleneck, not due to just being the entrepreneur in charge. You're a bottleneck due to decision making, like boil it down. Really look at where you're a bottleneck. Maybe you're doing all the sales. Maybe you're doing something strategically in the business, but in most businesses we've ever analyzed, in most entrepreneurial relationships we've ever analyzed, what we've found is that the entrepreneur in charge is the biggest bottleneck due to one thing.
There's not enough people in the business who make decisions, and we see this all the time, especially in hyper fast growth companies. We work with a company that has grown incredibly fast, exploded, and they've gone from multiple millions to tens of millions, and in that timeframe, they've grown so quickly, they haven't grown past the three person executive team, and a three person executive team at tens of millions is going to be an overwhelmed, inefficient, and let's be honest, ineffective executive team. That's really... That's the reality. If you are trying to make too many decisions, if there's too much responsibility, if there are not enough decision makers, you become ineffective due to decision making fatigue. Here's what it feels like for a lot of entrepreneurs who are in this position. Here's what it feels like for a lot of people who work in entrepreneurial companies that are in this position.
When you're making all the decisions, when there's not enough other decisions makers, you feel like you have to be involved in every decision made. You'll hear entrepreneurs say like, before you change anything, come and talk to me, or don't modify anything without coming, talk to me. You'll hear team members in entrepreneurial companies where there's not enough decision makers, especially operators will say things like, don't implement anything until you've cleared it with me. Why? Because again, they're trying to carry that whole equation of the entire company around in their head without help, without strategic decision making support. In a company that's going places, in a company that's growing, in a company that has potential, that is going to be your biggest bottleneck. It's going to slow everything down and crush you, so how do you overcome this? How do you create decision makers around you?
How do you develop leaders around you? John Maxwell said that the true test of a leader is not, can they lead people? It's can they develop leaders around them? Can you actually develop people to go into leadership in your business in a way that you want them to lead, in the way that you want them to show up in your business? Here's what you should be doing in order to share decision making. Number one, make sure that when you are bringing in people into a strategic position, that not only do you go out and recruit, and hire, and interview, and do everything that it is ,and make the offer letter ,and bring them on, but once they accept the position, go through a formal, intense onboarding process with them. I'm doing this right now with a couple of decision makers in my business.
In fact, Greg, who came in to help us with systems, and all of our technology. I've been onboarding him for the last two months, and at the beginning we were meeting every single day, and some people say, "Oh, every day is overkill, especially with somebody with experience." I don't agree. I spend that time together because I want to discuss decision making. I want to talk to him. I want to build a relationship with him. In the onboarding process, I'm often asking, when someone says, "Alex, how do we handle this?" I'll ask, "What would you do?" I want to start getting used to how they naturally make decisions, so that I can coach them to make better decisions for me. I want to see what their tendencies are, so I understand what I'm dealing with, and how I can coach them, and how I can share with them.
The second thing you should do besides just onboarding, make sure that you have real core values in your company. In our organization, we have five core company values that we use constantly, and we talk about them. We share them with our team. We make sure that each person who is in a decision making position knows our core values, because what our core... Our values, our company tenants are, what they really are is, they're decision making rules, they're decision making guidelines. Let me share them with you. Number one is we walk our talk, so that core value, what does it say? We follow all of our content. We do our own stuff. We don't tell other people to do something we're not doing. Another decision making guideline in our company is correct the process, not the person. Anyone who comes in to make decisions in our business, I want them to know we look for problems in process.
We do not look for problems in people. Companies that fall apart, companies that are not growing fast ,and companies that don't understand how growth works correct the person, not the process. We want to correct the process so it stays fixed. We have three more core values. Success through the success of others. If somebody in my business is making decisions, I want them to think about the ultimate success of our clients. Minimum effective dose. We tell people the simplest explanation is usually the correct one, so in our business, do not build a space shuttle to go across the street. Keep it simple, make it easy, make it easy on us, make it easy on the client, so that we can scale, and then the last of our core values is momentum in the process. We tell everyone, our clients live for a momentum, and so do we.
Our processes, our frameworks, everything that we do is designed to provide momentum in the process. When one of the people in my business who's in a decision making capacity is making decisions, they can use these five guidelines to make better decisions, so onboarding people who are making decisions, share your core values with them, make them real. Then here's the last one. This is big. If you haven't yet, create a communications cadence in your business so that you are routinely meeting with your decision makers in a group, so you're strategically making decisions together, and then create a cadence in your business, that same cadence, so that you are meeting with decision makers one on one, and you're going through the decisions they've made. You're talking about what's going on, you're reviewing things with them, you have an understanding of what they're doing. Here's why. You ready?
When decision makers screw up, you have to jump in and support them. When they make the wrong decision, you have to let them know that it's absolutely okay, and that you would've done it differently, and explained to them what the decision is, how you would have rather have it done. The thing that you do not want to do as you build somebody in a decision making capacity is intimidate or scare them. Here's what far too many entrepreneurs do. They give someone just enough room to start making decisions, and then they freak out when the decisions aren't exactly the ones they would have made. Here's what you want to do. As you're bringing on and you are creating decision makers in your business. Empower them to make decisions, help them and support them where they ask for it, and then let them know what you think of the decisions that they're making, and discuss it with them, and create a cadence, so you're meeting with them regularly and you're talking about those decisions.
Here's what happens in my organization. My team makes decisions, and then we talk about it afterwards, and we decide is that the decision we want to stick with, or do we want to do something else in the future, and are we going to make it into a policy, but what I do not do is freak out on a decision maker for making a decision. 100% of the time, I support the fact that they took the initiative, and made the decision, and if there's a correction in the process, or a correction the decision they made, then we make that correction in a way that still let's them know they did the right thing. Because what I never want to do is take someone who's making decisions in my business, and turn them into someone who feels like they have to verify, and ask, and make sure every single thing is okay before they actually move it forward.
Because the worst thing you can do is hire a decision maker, then scare them so they won't make decisions, and then have them double check, and verify, and cross-reference everything with you. That will take so much time away from you growing your business, and if you haven't been through this before, if you don't have the perspective of an experienced CEO who's been up the billionaire code several times, you won't even realize how much it's taking from you, until someone points it out. Do an inventory of your business today. Are you making too many decisions? Because here's what happens. When you share decision making in the right way, when you set people up to make decisions successfully, you remove bottlenecks, you create far more capacity, and you launch you, your company, and your team into momentum, because that's just how it works. When you open up the channels within your business for more people to be involved in decision making, you create more capacity, and you get way more done.
I'm excited for you to start sharing decision making in your business because let's get it straight. You can't decide everything. If you're ready to start hiring the right people in your business, bringing them into the company, and empowering them to make decisions, if you're ready to build out exactly what I talked about, the right onboarding, core values, and even the communications cadence, so every person in your team knows exactly what's going on, reach out to us. You do not have to do this all yourself. Go to billionairecode.com. You'll have an opportunity to answer some questions for my team. We will show you exactly where you are on the path to entrepreneurial success right now, and we'll give you an opportunity to set up a call with my team. If you're interested in getting some help in growing and scaling your business, don't wait. Go to billionairecode.com and reach out now. We're helping CEOs around the world expand their businesses, expand their profitability, grow their teams, and make a massive impact. We can help you, too. Billionairecode.com.