Momentum Podcast: 445
Choreograph Your Meetings
by Alex Charfen
If you don't have a clear structure of how your meetings run, things get confusing very quickly. The people on your team are not going to understand the outcomes and you're going to lose time in your organization. The way to fix this is to have a set structure that can be repeated over and over again for all your meetings.
The more effort you put into setting up communication structures, the faster the people on your team will understand where they're going. People need to communicate with each other effectively to achieve joint goals. Put in place systems that facilitate fast, effective and clear communication, these are the systems that change everything. If this sounds like something you want and need in your business, let us help you.
Full Audio Transcript
It was very late in my career when I realized just how important, just how crucial process was to every corner of a business and everything you do in business. And one of the places that it took me forever to realize was in how you conduct meetings within your business. In fact, if you choreograph your meetings, you will see everything in your business get easier.
Your team members become much more mobile and movable, and you'll watch your business grow at a much faster rate for a reason.
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, 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.
When I was younger, if somebody told me that I would be a coach who taught systems and process and structure to entrepreneurs, I would have laughed because that always when I was younger, systems, process, structure, all that stuff was always my Achilles' heel. I had a hard time with those parts of running the business. I actually had one of the characteristics of a visionary running the business but I didn't have a lot of the system and process and structure. And what would happen is, was I would build businesses and then I would get overwhelmed.
And so I realized that it was this massive need for systems and process and structure. So early on, I started putting that stuff in place. When I was younger, the business that I ran first, the first larger business I ran, I started realizing how important there was the need for structure at the highest level of the company, communicating where you're going, the strategic plan, the goals around it. And in that business in my 20's, we got really good at doing that with a large team.
But I didn't realize that that wasn't enough. Communicating where you were going wasn't enough. It took me a few more years. In fact, it was in my next business where I got out of that consultancy and it was in a real estate business. Cadey and I created a massive real estate business and we had a small team and some contractors. And when we were working in that business, I realized the need for consistent communication with everyone in the business.
And the first one I figured out the global communication, but man, I still did not get consistent communication with team members. There was a couple of people that I met with but I didn't have a system or a structure where every team member was checked on. Every team member had a weekly meeting with somebody. Every team member knew what they were doing. A lot of it was kind of left to like everybody was telling each other what was happening and we still grew. We had huge opportunities, so we still grew but it just wasn't ... We weren't great at communicating any deeper than that huge company level and that we just kind of went from there.
And so when I was working in our real estate business, I had contract teams. And if I didn't meet regularly with those contract teams and talk to them regularly, then we had a really hard time getting projects done, and I didn't know what was going on. And as a result, I would've [inaudible]. They didn't know when they were going to be talking to me. So, as a result, I was constantly getting bombarded with, "Hey, I have this question. I have this question. There's this decision to be made. There's this hold up on this property," and it was brutal until I started creating the structure where everybody knew when I would talk to them, everyone knew when our meetings where we call it then targeted interactions.
That's what we call them now when we're training them because they're targeted. It's not a meeting. It's an interaction. Both sides are participating. You're not just showing up to meet. As we built out that real estate company and when I put structure in place not just for where the business was going but how we communicated with everyone in the business, that business took off like crazy. And then we had a really hard time with that business because the real estate crisis happened.
And then when we started our next business, so in 2007, Cadey and I went bankrupt. That whole business really ... We had to give it all up, all of our real estate, everything. We literally went to zero. It was one of the most humbling experiences in my life. And the business we started out of bankruptcy was an information product called the Certified Distressed Property Expert. It was just Cadey and I. This was before ClickFunnels. This was before anything was making it easy. This was when you used to sell, hand code your own pages online. This was way back then.
And Cadey and I launched the company, got it up and running and then started very quickly building a team. And we built a team in person in Austin. And so the Certified Distressed Property Expert, out of bankruptcy within a year of our bankruptcy's discharge, we were liquid millionaires. We were building the team like crazy here in Austin. We went from, I think our first ... In 2009, I think we were four people and at the end of 2013, we were over 90 people plus contractors, plus a lot of contractors. A big contractor population and over 90 people in person, so it was a huge organization.
And I realized that there was this one other level of communication needed. I had figured out the high-level communication. Then I had figured out like I figured out strategy and like this is where we're going. And then I figured out high-level communication but I hadn't really figured out that every meeting had to have a structure, but in that company, I did. Here's why. When we were growing it, I had to hire fast and I had to delegate success fast. I got to the point where we were growing so fast we went $127,000, $500,000, $7.2 million, $9.9 million. That's how fast we were growing.
And I had to delegate success within the company very quickly to leadership, to people who I hire to lead the business. And here's what happened. Very quickly after like just maybe 12 to 18 months was we had all these different departments that were running in different ways. So, one guy was meeting with his team every day for a daily standup. Another guy was running his team by having one weekly meeting where they all brought everything and then they left him alone for the rest of the week. Another guy was like ... Everybody was doing something different. There was no consistency at all.
And here's the problem with no consistency in how you're meeting, no consistency in when you're meeting, and no consistency in what you accomplish in the meeting is that if you lose an executive team member or if you have to move them which has happened to us a ton of times, somebody goes from operations to technology or somewhere whatever it is, finance to operations, we've done it before. And if that happens, then they move into a department that's been running in a way that they weren't running theirs and they leave a department that no one knows how to run.
Here's the fact of running a business, if you have executive leadership team members, you are going to lose executive leadership team members. When I've been around wildly successful business, when I'm in the businesses, when I'm in the room, you see a lot of original team members but you certainly don't see all of them. And so you will lose team members and if you lose someone in leadership and you don't have a choreography to your meetings, you don't have a clear structure to how your meetings run, when you take someone out of one department and put them in another, they're going to be confused by the meetings to begin with. They're not going to understand the structure. They're not going to understand the outcome. They're going to lose time and you're going to lose pace in your organization.
The way you fix this is you create a structure for all of the meetings that you have. The way we coach, these are targeted interactions. And you have an annual meeting, a quarterly meeting, 12 monthly meetings, 52 weekly meetings plus or minus 200 daily huddles. And you know what? The annual, the quarterly, the monthly, and the weekly meetings look very, very similar, almost identical in structure. When we have department check-ins, there's very similar structure for all of them so that people are portable. We can move them around our company. We can move them from department to department. They can join the meeting and immediately understand what's going on.
And so when you have a structure too, one, how you plan strategically and communicate that plan, then two, how you meet together to understand that plan, how you meet with leadership, how you meet with your team. And then three, even down to how you choreograph your meetings, everything in your business will go incredibly fast. I know because this is what we train. This is what we coach. This is how our clients grow their businesses faster, far faster than average. And this is how our clients grow businesses sometimes in ways that don't even seem believable. It's because they have a structure to the most important system in the business and that is the communication system.
One of the things that we don't understand as entrepreneurs ... We put a lot of time in the apps and we put a lot of time into IT. We put a lot of time into the technology around us but we don't put a lot of time into the communication structure, the communication system through which we grow and lead and manage our team. In fact, I was out at Archangel. I spoke at ClickFunnels and Archangel in one week. It was a bit overwhelming but when I was out at Archangel, one of the things that I shared with everyone was that if you're not communicating with your team within a system, you're probably not communicating with your team. And the more systematic, the more structure you build around how you communicate, the faster people on your team will understand where they are going. And the most important system in your business is the communication system.
The communication system for the human beings, because here's reality, fact, you can't argue this. The fact is that you get to the point in your business where the most important thing that's going on is people are communicating with each other to achieve joint goals, period. And that happens directly after you build the team and it's there for the rest of time, the time that you own a business.
The systems through which you facilitate fast, effective, clear communications so that your team can move forward quickly are the systems that change everything and down to the meetings, you should have choreography so that you know in any department this is how we introduce a meeting, this is what we do in the meeting, this is what we exchange, this is what the outcome for the meeting is. So, when you know exactly what's going to happen in the meeting going in, everyone always feels prepared. They anticipate what comes next and your team's confidence goes up.
If you're ready to grow your business fast, start paying attention to the most important system that there is, the communication system within the business. When you put time there, everything in your business will you get easier and I suggest you go all the way down to choreographing your meetings. If you're ready to start communicating within a structure like this, and if what I just talked about sounds like what you want in your business, where you have a system and structure to reliably and repeatedly make sure everyone on your team knows where they're going, understands with perspective where you are, and knows exactly what they need to do to get there.
And when you have that level of clarity on your business, it will grow faster than you ever thought possible. When you have systems in place where that continues in your business regardless of how big your team gets and regardless of how many people you add, everything in your business will get easier. Will it ever be easy? No.
Being an entrepreneur is one of the most difficult paths in life that you can choose but it is also one of the most rewarding, and I believe the path through which we learn more than anything else. And if you're ready to grow your business, scale your team, and make the impact in the universe you've always known you should, let us help you with this because this is one system and structure you do not have to reinvent. We've proven that ours works.
If you want to jump on a call with a member of my team so that they can go through your business, help you understand where you are, where you really want the business to be and what's standing in between you and that level of success, let us help you understand how to grow your business faster. Go to BillionaireCode.com. Fill out the application there and you'll get three things. One is a copy of Billionaire Code Decoded, that nine levels of the billionaire code with a description of each one so you can understand exactly what it takes to ascend to $100 million as an entrepreneur.
Two, you'll get your results as to where you are on the billionaire code and where you should be focused right now. And finally, you will also receive an opportunity to set up a momentum session with a member of my team where we can help you. So, go to BillionaireCode.com. Fill out the application. Set up your call now.