Momentum Podcast: 431
The Magic Of Weekly Reporting With Brad Cobb
by Alex Charfen
Weekly reporting can completely change how you lead and manage your team. Today I'm talking with Brad Cobb from Cash Flow Tactics (cashflowtactics.com) about how it felt to go from one million to a nearly 5 million run rate.
Weekly reporting has been a game-changer for Brad and his team. Most entrepreneurs want to run and hide when they hear the words weekly reporting but you're about to hear first hand why this kind of reporting is different to anything you have experienced before.This is going to be interesting!
Full Audio Transcript
Today I'm joined by Brad Cobb, who's going to share with you how weekly reporting has completely changed how he manages and leads his team, and he's going to share with you a little of what it feels like to grow from one million to over four million, approaching five million, in run rate, and to have a company that has done $10 million overall. This is going to be interesting.
I'm Alex Charfen, and this is the Momentum podcast, made for empire builders, game changers, shot takes, 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 we can bend them, break them, then rewrite them around our own will.
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Brad, welcome back to the podcast. It's so awesome to have you here. I want to just get some quick information to establish context for everybody who's listening. So Brad, what's the name of your company?
Brad Cobb: CashFlow Tactics is the name of our company.
Alex Charfen: And what do you do?
Brad Cobb: We do ... [inaudible 00:01:48], so I got to get better at this. We're in [inaudible 00:01:53] services, but the objective of our company is we're here to empower individuals in their conversation with money. [crosstalk 00:02:00] like that happens, right? The information and teaching and options that are out there are meant to disempower both the entrepreneur and the individual in that conversation, and so our education and our solutions are meant to empower those with the [inaudible 00:02:16].
Alex Charfen: Let's give everybody perspective, because when somebody says financial services, what everybody thinks about is a slow moving, pretty boring company that's relatively avoidable, like who cares. When we look at CashFlow Tactics and what you guys are doing, this is a true, rapid growth movement. Brad, how long have we been working together?
Brad Cobb: Just over a year. I think we signed up last December, so we're 14 months in.
Alex Charfen: 14 months. And when we started, you were right hovering around a million, maybe a little bit below a million. Where are you now?
Brad Cobb: We're at almost a five million run rate. [crosstalk 00:02:49]. We haven't pulled five million, but we're about five million run rate. Let's expand, because we got a couple of divisions. Actually, since our launch of the actual CashFlow Tactics divis-, like restructuring, 'cause we did a bunch of restructuring as part of working with you as well as with [Russell Brompton 00:03:08], and we did ... We launched CashFlow Tactics in March, and we hit $10 million total revenue collected since then.
Alex Charfen: Geez.
Brad Cobb: [inaudible 00:03:19]. So 90 days, we hit a million, and nine months in, we're at 10. So to have total company revenue including all of the back end that we were already viewing from a financial services perspective.
Alex Charfen: The growth is just crazy, Brad.
Brad Cobb: It's ... But just the front end, we're in about just over a four million run rate on just the front end products of what we do, if that makes sense.
Alex Charfen: Yeah, absolutely. You're growing an empire here, and the growth has been explosive. And here's what happens a lot of times to CEOs when they're in this type of a growth curve, is they get into a place where they don't really have the right information. And Brad, I always talk about you and I as CEOs having to solve this equation. We have to make increasingly important decisions with less and less information. And you've gone from you and Ryan in the business to now you have a team of seven people, right?
Brad Cobb: Yeah, seven full-time and then obviously contractors in there, yeah.
Alex Charfen: So when you look at going from two people to seven people plus contractors, you have a lot less information now, and the reason I've brought you on the podcast, is because you sent me a message a few weeks ago that said, "By the way, weekly reports have been a game changer." And here's why I brought you on, is because when most entrepreneurs hear "weekly" and "reporting" in the same statement, they want to run away and hide. But I want to draw out why getting weekly reports from your team members to you has been such a game changer.
Let's start with this question: what was the problem you were having in your business prior to instituting weekly reporting?
Brad Cobb: Prior to instituting it, 'cause like you said, when we signed up it was just the two of us, because we had hit that entrepreneurial wall [inaudible 00:04:55] go back to what it was before. And then the problem was, is we brought people on, especially in our industry that's so detail-oriented and focused and process-driven ... I was uncomfortable [inaudible 00:05:11] and anything [inaudible 00:05:15] have my finger [inaudible 00:05:18], and it had to be done correctly and perfectly, and some of these things can't be screwed up. And so we were very hesitant to hand off the actual critical operations. I could bring in people to support me here or there, but I never got beyond an admin secretary. Really. I never got beyond that, 'cause I couldn't hand off an important enough process.
Alex Charfen: Yeah. And Brad, when you feel like that, like you can't hand it off, you can't get leverage, you can't get help, what does that frustration feel like for you as an entrepreneur?
Brad Cobb: It's like a straitjacket. I mean, it's ... 'Cause we needed to move to a message, because we're not financial products. We're empowerment, and we're messaging. We're freedom. And to move into that, I couldn't ... Every person I met with one-on-one, to make sure everything was done correctly, I started to see that I wasn't talking to 10 or a 100 or a 1000 people. And that straight off is constraining, to the point where it's so frustrating, to the point where I'm ... You can't move forward any more.
Charfen: Yeah, yeah. That not being able to scale the impact that you're having, it's ... Like how fast is it before it starts breaking down who you are?
Brad Cobb: I didn't want to do anything ... It just ... We almost ... When we came to you in December in our year and we were talking about this, like, we don't know how to continue to have the vision that we have and not be able to implement, because that disconnect caused more pain than not having a message at all, or not having people ... I had enough people to talk to one-on-one, and it was fine. It was ... The pain of not being able to deliver the message was worse.
Alex Charfen: Yeah. Yeah, that frustration level's huge. So Brad, as you've built out your team, what has been different about using weekly reporting, with everyone submitting a report to you every Friday?
Brad Cobb: The difference about the way we do it in the [cadence 00:07:22], 'cause nothing works in isolation. It's having the cadence, and having the client-centered mission, it's hiring true believers, it's having those pieces together. But it took us a long time to plug in the weekly reporting, and once we did, what we realized is that it isn't weekly reporting like in most other companies where you sit down with your supervisor and, "How are things going?", and you're only allowed to say positive things and you [crosstalk 00:07:46]. You're supposed to blow smoke out of your [inaudible 00:07:50] and say how awesome and amazing you are, and it's just like a suck-up session to say how good your supervisor is. Right?
Those are the weekly reports that none of us like to do, and are unwilling to do in our company. And so a lot of times, they go out, but because of the structure, because everybody has clear weekly commitments that they agreed to that they know what rolls up into their monthly objectives and the quarterly goals for the company, this is a place where the questions are brilliant. We ask what went well. This is their chance to say, "This is what I own, and this is what I got done, and I feel proud of it."
Alex Charfen: "And this is where I created momentum."
Brad Cobb: Yes. And they like sharing their wins, and they get that chance to brag just a little bit, and say, "This is what I'm proud of. This is what we got done." And then where they need support, it's not complain about somebody else or gossip about somebody else, but it's, "You've given me this, and I committed to it, but here's where I need support." And because it's not ... I actually like that it's not face to face, it's not in a group. They get to be honest and genuine in that, and in 15 or 20 minutes of reading through my reports, I know exa- ...
Usually, it's on Sunday evening that I'm going through 'em in preparation for the Monday meetings that we have. We can handle so much right out of the gate, that I can say it's allowed me to get out the way of a process, 'cause most of it's like, "Brad, I need you stop doing this, this and this. I need you to let me do this, this and this. Just finally turn over this piece and this piece, and I'll be able to get everything done." So now it's how quickly can I get out of the way, so my team can get everything done?
Alex Charfen: Yeah, that's huge. You know Brad, whenever anybody puts something like weekly reports in place, there's a little trepidation. You may have had it. Maybe you didn't have it, 'cause we've had so much success in the program, but I think most CEOs are like, "Man, if I go to the effort of putting this in place, I really want to see it pay off." Take us to the moment when you realized, "Man, weekly reporting is really a game changer."
Brad Cobb: So when I sent you that text, what had been happening was, we had ... We'd finally turned over ... Just 'cause we had to, we got committed to keeping our foot on the gas on the messaging side, and we'd had one of the busiest weeks on that element, where Ryan and I were completely disconnected from the one-on-one aspect that we were doing before. And I think I had messaged you this as well.
I had started to forget my logins for some of the things that I used to be in every single day, because it had been months since I'd been plugged into that side of the business. And I had one of those moments of like ... when you're starting to fall asleep, and you startle yourself awake? I startled myself awake, like, "Wait a minute, I haven't looked at all this information," and instead of trying to go into that, I went into the weekly reports. I had all the numbers I needed, I had all the information, I had all the feedback. And the realization was we actually closed our biggest month of one-on-one work in the history of the company, and I hadn't even logged in. I was like, "Wait a minute. The only way that happens is, we were able to make the decisions with less and less information, and it was all there comforting me in the weekly report that everything we had lined out, and said, 'Go, we're going to do this regardless, even though I'm not good at it or it's not perfect yet.'" That was the bow on the box for all that.
Alex Charfen: That is so awesome. You have this moment of what I would call entrepreneurial anxiety, like that, "Oh no, is it all working like it's supposed to be working?" And the fact that within minutes, you're in the reports, seeing what's going on; that level of access to information to create awareness and calmness and get you back in your body had to feel amazing.
Brad Cobb: Well, and that's why I had to message you, 'cause it was ... It immediately put me back ... I was ... My natural instinct would have been call everybody, get an all hands meeting, and tell me what's going on, 'cause I'm freaking out. And [crosstalk 00:11:52].
Alex Charfen: Mass panic in the staff.
Brad Cobb: Yeah. Everybody would have been on edge by doing that, but instead, I just pulled up the reports, took a deep breath, followed up on the one or two things that weren't as clear, but 90% of my anxiety went away because it reinforced that from the 90 day to the 30 day to the weekly and to the systems and processes, and the delegation we had done, the only way to get visibility that that's all actually happening, was finding that last piece of putting in the weekly reports. And we've only been doing the weekly reports really since the first of the year, so only a couple ... [inaudible 00:12:33] we avoided pieces of it, and it wasn't until we finally said, "We're doing these processes," and you recommended we add in those we'd forgotten about, and we added them in. So it was only six weeks maybe of having weekly reports running, that we had that moment of "Oh maybe now I see how that fits in."
Alex Charfen: That's awesome. One last question, Brad, because this is ... I just want everyone to hear, 'cause you just went through this experience. One of the questions I get about weekly reporting constantly is, "Well, I don't know if I could get my team to even do that." How has your team reacted to having the weekly report, and having the direct line of communication with you on a weekly basis?
Brad Cobb: It definitely took a little bit of time to get people in the habit to remember it. It didn't ... It took a couple of weeks to get them in consistently, but the first thing is I gave it to my EA for her to run it and said, [inaudible 00:13:26] Jessica, we said, "This is yours. You follow up and make sure that they're in. We just do it in a box [inaudible 00:13:33]. And everybody just posts their link when it's done."
I was able to totally delegate the task. She created the form, so it's very simple for everybody to fill out. But the feedback we get from it is, "My team wanted to communicate that information to me, but didn't know how. And they knew I was busy, and didn't want to get in the way." And so their feedback has been, they feel less anxiety when they can dump all of that into the weekly report, and then go into their weekend with a clear mind. They get to recharge, they're not stressing about the things of where they need to bring it up, or how does he know that I got this done, or how do we recognize that that's checked off. He put a big responsibility on me; I want to tell him that I knocked it out of park.
They have the format to do what they've already been wanting to do. They just need to see the vision of how the weekly report is that mechanism.
Alex Charfen: Yeah, that's awesome. So Brad, thanks for sharing that. I think weekly reporting is one of the most effective tools we can have to lead our team and to stay in contact with our team and to grow the team. One of the things that I tell every CEO that we work with is you get to a point where it's no longer about what you can do, it's about what you can have done, and when you can lead to get done. You've absolutely crossed that threshold, and I'm super excited for you. I think to go from one million a little over 14 months ago and really trying to figure out how you were going to move this forward, to now growing a ... well, it sounds like in excess of $10 million movement, but a movement that is exploding like crazy. Can you just really quickly ...
You guys, I just want to share this with our audience. Brad's in financial consulting, and he shared with me ... They teach people how to create wealth and how to create freedom, and their slogan is "Rise Up and Live Free." And I just want to share with everyone, when you create a movement, this is what happens. Brad had a member ... Well, you tell it, Brad.
Brad Cobb: Yeah, so Dan ... Dan came [inaudible 00:15:43]. We didn't even ... I didn't even have a chance to get to connect with him one-on-one. He just came into the group side, which again, who ... First off, who's willing to get in a group and talk about money? That's like getting in a group and talking about religion, or ... It's just ... Everyone consulting us from the financial services industry said, "No, you're opening up such a ticking time bomb of getting people into groups to talk about money, and it's a bad idea." But we do everything initially en masse and in group and in one to many.
He came into our group, caught hold of that message, and we sent him his T-shirt. His wife was expecting their first son a couple of weeks after that. He set his shirt aside to be the shirt he took with him to the hospital. So the first time he held his son, he had our shirt on. And he picked up his son and whispered in his ear ... First things he ever told his son was, "In our family, we rise up and live free."
Alex Charfen: Ah. Dude, every time you tell that story, I get goosebumps. Brad, you're a financial services company where I don't think anybody listening would take their accountants or their bookkeeper's or their financial advisor's T-shirt into the hospital to make sure that they got that first picture with their son, because that is the foundation for their family. Dude, you and Ryan and Jimmy are changing the world when it comes to personal finance, and I'm so proud to work with you guys.
Brad Cobb: I appreciate that, Alex. And like I said, we would still be stuck trying to ... We had the message, we had the marketing, we were unable to get out of own way until we had a system laid out in front of us to follow. And that's what the cadence has given us, so thank you.
Alex Charfen: Man, I'm so proud to work with you guys, Brad. I know that people listening to this are thinking, "Hey my financial advisor doesn't sound like that," so where can anyone get more information about what you guys are doing? Brad Cobb: Well, the best place is [inaudible 00:17:35] our website, cashflowtactics.com. We do a webinar, where we give an introduction. There's some information there, but that's the best place to just go in and sign up for the webinar. And like we said, we're not out to improve anybody's finances, we're out to revolutionize the financial services industry. It's done wrong, and you'll see that in the way that we put the training together, or in the way that we interact and the way that we operate. So that's the best place to start.
Alex Charfen: If you're listening and you have wanted to get your finances in order, you want to create financial freedom, it's something that you've always thought about, but you haven't known where to start, I can you from personal experience, Brad, Ryan and Jimmy, the partners at CashFlow Tactics, are absolutely different than any other financial advisory firm or consulting firm you've ever spoken with. Go to cashflowtactics.com and check them out. Brad, thanks for joining me today, brother.
Brad Cobb: Thanks, Alex.