Momentum Podcast: 94
I Have A Team, Why Does Everything Feel Harder?
by Alex Charfen
Last week, I had massive, overwhelming anxiety. Here's why, I was sick. I was actually sick from before the 1st of July, until about Saturday or Sunday, so over seven days.
Many entrepreneurs grow teams and yet each day their lives get harder. For some growing the team, which was supposed to help them, only feels like it has slowed everything down and made everything take longer. It is common for entrepreneurs with million dollar plus businesses to feel like they should just go back to doing it all themselves.
Things felt so much easier back then, there was so much less complication. We dream of being responsible only for ourselves, and getting rid of everyone. Each day that goes by, you have less hope of making your life easier as everything around you feels harder.
Almost immediately animosity towards the team sets in. Each pay period grows more frustrating as you write checks bigger than you used to pay yourself to a team that isn't doing everything you want. This is when some entrepreneurs actually do fire everyone, hit the reset button, and try to figure out what went wrong. There is a better way.
Full Audio Transcript
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, 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, and 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've built your team or started building a team, and you're building leverage, and you feel like everything has gotten harder, I want you to know you're not alone. I have this conversation with entrepreneurs constantly. And this is how they feel, you know, this is what's communicated to me. They've built their team, so they've started hiring people, they've hired help, they've brought people in, they've onboarded them, or they've talked to them, they had to do the interviewing, they're starting to feel overwhelmed by the fact that now they have people around them that they have to manage those people and then they have to do what they're doing as well.
And they feel like everything takes longer because when it's just you, you think about it and then you do it. When you're with a team, you actually have to let them know what to do, you explain it to them, coach them, have them help you move forward, which inherently takes longer. And before long, almost every entrepreneur who is going down the path of building their team for the first time has the rip cord thought. And I call it the rip cord thought because it's like pulling the rip cord on a parachute and bailing out. It's, "Why don't I just go back to doing it all myself?"
And here's what would shock most people who don't understand entrepreneurship is that, I talk to people with million dollar, plus, businesses all the time that have these thoughts. They might have a team of five, ten, 15 people, and they're still thinking, "Why don't I just go back to doing it all myself?" And that is one of the most debilitating, demoralizing, challenging thoughts an entrepreneur can have especially when you're building your team because the second you've started to build a team, you're investing in an infrastructure. You're investing in the people around you. You're investing in this ecosystem called a business that you are in fact creating. You're paying for every part of it.
And if you are doing that as you're having thoughts of, "Why don't I just go back to doing it all myself," you're not going to do it well. The second those thoughts start creeping into your head, you are going to lead your team in a de-leveraged, de-motivated way. So I want to make sure you don't get here. And there's a lot that goes into having a team, and building the team correctly. But I want to share one strategy in a second about how to like make sure this doesn't happen. But let's make it clear, in order for your team to grow, you want to have some type of a forward looking communication system.
You've heard me talk about this before. Go back to the podcast called, What Only One Percent of Companies Have. It's a forward looking communication system where they can let the team know where they're going and then the team can follow you there. See one of the biggest challenges for a team member on an entrepreneurial organization is that every day, they are taking a step off of a cliff and expecting the cliff to extend and be there because while you know the future, you understand where the company's going, most entrepreneurial teams don't have any clue. They usually know something like a vision or a mission or a [be-hag 00:04:14] which is really just intimidating and hard to understand. But they don't know what the steps are that you're going to take to get there, what you're measuring, how you know they're successful, who's accountable for which parts. All of that has to be built into the forward looking communication system that builds your team.
Now, if you have that, you have what one percent of companies have and instead of your team feeling like a burden, instead of feeling like you're carrying them along, because on a day to day basis you're literally telling them what to do, checking that it got done, and telling them what to do again, if you have a forward looking communication system, well you can tell them where the company's going in the future. They can now help you get there. And that changes everything in a team dynamic because when you take the team from passengers to understanding where you're going, everything changes. They can help you. They can provide leverage. They understand where you're going, so they don't have to ask as many questions. You cut down on communications issues tremendously, about 99, maybe 99.9 percent of all problems in a company are communication challenges.
And if you have a forward looking system where you're telling the team where you're going, now they understand and can anticipate what's going to happen next. So you eliminate tons of communications issues because now they can see where you're going. They can make logical decisions. They can help you co-create the outcome of your company. And until you have this, for most of us, the challenge is, team is always going to feel like weight. It's going to feel like you're carrying them. It's going to feel like you're pushing them. It's going to feel like you're pulling them.
And here's the real issue. You're going to get to the point where you're writing a payroll check, or a series of payroll checks, a group of payroll checks each two weeks, that is far more than you've ever paid yourself before the current company you own, and you're going to start asking yourself, "Why am I doing this?" And animosity towards your team will set in.
And guys we see this all the time. I see entrepreneurs far too often on Facebook, or on social media, or in a closed group discussion saying something like, "Well my team is stupid," or "challenging" or, "My team has issues." And I want you to know as an entrepreneur, that whatever you say about your team you are saying about yourself. Because if your team is stupid, you assembled a stupid team. If your team's clueless, then you put together a clueless team. If your teams just not doing the right thing, then you are 100 percent responsible.
And so how do we make sure you don't get to that place? Because, it's a small step from, "Why don't I just go back to doing it all myself," to, "I don't like my team anymore." And I want to help you avoid that. And so the forward looking communications system, that's what we help companies do. Less than one percent of companies have it. It will change everything. And remember, here's what it is. When you walk into an NFL locker room, and you ask anyone, what are your goals? They'll tell you exactly. Long term goal, I want to get to the hall of fame. This year, Superbowl. Next quarter, here's my schedule. Next month, here's what I'm doing, here's who I'm working out with, these are my assignments. This week, here's who I line up against on Sunday. And today, here's my daily schedule down to the minute.
You ask most entrepreneurial teams, or most members of entrepreneurial team, hey what are your goals? They'll say, survive? Because they really don't know. And this will make a tectonic shift in your organization once you start telling people where you're going. Now, in the meantime, while you're building your team, I want you to be careful about not falling into the pitfall that so many entrepreneurs do. We start building our teams, and we are taking too many sales calls, so we hire a sales person. Then we're building our teams, and we can't do all of the customer service calls, so we hire a customer service person. And then we can't keep all the books together, so we hire a bookkeeper. And then we can't keep everything else, you know, we can't keep doing all the social media so we hire a social media admin, and then we can't do all the design anymore and all the writing, so we hire a designer and a writer.
And then we have this team but no one on the team is there specifically to lower pressure and noise for you. We go out and we hire positions and we put positions in place, but we never turn around and look at how are we going to specifically lower pressure and noise for you, consistently? That needs to be a daily question and unless there's someone on the team responsible for doing that, then you have to make sure you're having the entire team do that. You're not just bringing in positions as you get overflowed. You're not just bringing in people that stop the leaks in the dyke. You actually have to turn around and say, okay, how do I make this easier on myself? And who is going to make this easier on me? And how do I stop doing the things during the day that I don't want to do? And how do I offload where I'm uncomfortable?
Because if you put these two dynamics in place, a forward looking communications system for your team, and you consistently and constantly ask yourself where you are uncomfortable and how you're going to offload that, this dynamic will ensure that you grow a team, that the noise goes down for you, that everyone on the teams knows where you're going so that they can contribute, and that you never get to the place where you're thinking about just going back and doing it all yourself.
Because in the past few weeks, I've watched at least three different entrepreneurs do this who had companies that were growing, companies that were over seven figures, making them a lot of money, but finally got to the place where they just couldn't take it, pulled the rip cord, and went back to doing it all themselves. And a lot of the reason is the way the teams were set up. A lot of the reason is there wasn't a communication system in place. A lot of the reason is that they just didn't understand what they were doing when they built the team. But the challenge for me always is could that team have been successful? Could they have continued to grow the business? Could they have moved the company forward if they knew where it was going, and if the entrepreneur themselves wasn't so overloaded, overwhelmed and stressed?
Because only four percent of companies ever get to a million dollars. And if you're in that elite group, I want you to know that you've already beaten the odds. And for me, whenever someone's gotten to a million, I know they can get to ten. We just have to put the right systems in place and make sure we are offloading where they are uncomfortable. And everything will move forward. If you're an entrepreneur who's had that fleeting thought, "Why don't I just go back to doing it all myself," reach out to us, and reach out to us soon. We'll take you through a short qualification process and if you're qualified for one of our programs, we'll jump on a call, and show you how we help entrepreneurs build teams, build them fast, with minimum affective dose, processes, and systems in place that ensure that your time with your team feels like momentum.