Momentum Podcast: 466
Stop Micromanaging With Confidence
by Alex Charfen
Managing people is one of the most difficult things you will do as a visionary entrepreneur. Transitioning from startup where you're doing everything yourself to scaling a business where you are managing people, leading people, helping them move forward is not easy and it's why the vast majority of businesses never do it.
Now, we know we're not great managers and we never want to end up micromanaging, but there's a reason why so many of us do and I want you to stop micromanaging with confidence, let me tell you how.
You need to get over building processes. Here's what I mean, too many entrepreneurs see processes as rules and red tape. We don't want someone to tell us how to do things over and over again the same way. The challenge is, if your team doesn't have processes then you are going to get stuck permanently in transactional management. That is brutal, it feels like you have more people on the team but you're working harder. Entrepreneurs fight process like crazy but when your team gets a hold of it they can move forward like never before. When a process is used in the right way it sets you free. Without process, you will have to micromanage every person on your team. I want you to have more confidence in your business and to make the impact that you know you're destined to make.
I'm going to share something with you that will give you an idea of just how crucial process is. If you go to morning.charfen.com – It's a personal process for building a documented morning routine. This will give you an idea of just how magical process can be.
Full Audio Transcript
Alex Charfen: Managing people is one of the most difficult things you will do as a visionary entrepreneur. Transitioning from startup where you're doing everything yourself to scaling a business where you are managing people, leading people, helping them move forward is not easy and it's why the vast majority of businesses never do it. Now, we know we're not great managers and we never want to end up micromanaging, but there's a reason why so many of us do and I want you to stop micromanaging with confidence, let me tell you how.
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.
I've met tons of entrepreneurs who have said, "I want to lead people, I want to lead a movement, I want to make a huge change in the world". But rarely do I meet an entrepreneur that says, "I want to manage people". They're rare and when I find a entrepreneur and entrepreneurial personality type who's really good at managing people like Haley, who works with us, I grab onto them and bring them in and hang onto them because managing people is hard and Hailey is, she's exceptional. She's even exceptional among really exceptional people managers. Our team loves her, they love to work with her. She helps people like get stuff done. Our team, we get a momentous amount of projects done and she's amazing at it and I'm lucky to have her because when it comes to management, I've always had a really hard time.
But there's one thing that has saved me over and over again making the transition from starting a business to scaling the business and it's not just finding people like Haley. Haley is crucial and finding a really incredible operator, a really incredible, somebody who can help you operate your business is critical. But making the transition, there's something that's even more important and that is getting over building process and here's what I mean by getting over it. See, too many entrepreneurs see building processes for your team as like things that we wouldn't like. We see it as making rules, we see it as red tape, we see it as like we don't want somebody to tell us how to do something over and over again the same way, especially if you're the entrepreneur who started the business. That means you're a visionary, you're out there, you're the person who's laying down the process, who wants to lay down how things are done, not following a process over and over again.
So a lot of times we confuse building processes with being controlling and dictating too much of what your team will do. But here's the challenge is that if your team doesn't have process, then you are literally going to get stuck permanently in transactional management, which is brutal. When I say it, my skin crawls a little bit because I've been there at the beginning of getting a business going, you end up doing some transactional management. It's where you tell someone what to do, check it if [inaudible 00:03:56] done and tell him what to do again and if you don't have process in place, the speed with which you're doing that, the frequency with which you're doing that is almost constant. That's why so many entrepreneurs when they first hire people feel like they're working harder rather than having things be easier on them. So I want to let that sink in.
If you are hiring people and it feels like it's getting harder for you, you probably don't have enough. That is a symptom that you don't have enough process in your business. You don't have enough documented processes that your team is using. See, process is not control. It's not too many rules, it's not micromanagement. It's none of those things. In fact, when you don't have process, you are forced into micromanagement on a constant basis because you need to go check that everything was done the way you want it because you're not going to have confidence without a documented process in place and when you have a process, it changes everything. It allows people to take ownership and move forward without having to figure out what they need to do next.
Having clear process in place creates a consistent client experience for anyone who deals with you and when you have process in place, every onboarding, every interaction that your client has with you, every interaction whether it's in a restaurant, there's a process for greeting the diners, whether you're in a coaching company where there's a process for coaching like we have, whether you're in a dealership where there's a process for how you determine what a client wants or what a potential car buyer wants when they walk up on the lot. All of those things should have a clear process that is repeated every single time and when you have a process, things like hiring somebody, onboarding somebody, training your team, when you have process for those things is infinitely easier to scale your team. In fact, I would tell you that if you don't create process for those teams, you are going to struggle to scale your team and here's ...
We help entrepreneurs scale businesses and here's what I can tell you when there's a lot that we help entrepreneurs with, it's planning and it's communications cadence and it's absolutely building the right process, doing the right projects and hiring the right people and as we watch the entrepreneurs who run businesses that we coach build process one at a time, their onboarding process or their whatever it is, their sales process, their marketing process, as we watch them document it and make sure it gets repeated every time and make sure their team understands it and they're making it better, we watch companies explode. So here's what's interesting, entrepreneurs fight process like crazy, but when your team gets ahold of it, it changes everything. So here's the epiphany I want you to hear that I've had, see I was the same person, I've fought process forever.
I am a business growth and scale process expert and I never would have said that. In fact, it's taken me forever to come to terms with that because I fight process just like you. But when you build it, when you write it down, when it's used the right way, it sets you free and allows your team to move forward. You are no longer a bottleneck. The more process you building your business where things can get done without you, the less you're a bottleneck and the more competent you can have in what people are doing around you. See, process, building processes here's what entrepreneurs tell me. They say, "You know, if I give my team or a person a process to do something exactly the right way or exactly the same way we've always done it, it feels like micromanagement" and the reality is without process you will have to micromanage every new person on your team or someone on your team is going to have to micromanage them.
The more process you have, the more you can build your team, the more you can move people from place to place. If someone leaves, you can quickly put somebody in place and have them up and running using the same process as that person was. So process creates a consistent client experience. You will not have a consistent client experience without process and it's, you have to have real process and I'll talk about that in just a second. You can't have "air" process. Too many entrepreneurs I'll ask, "Do you have your major systems and processes in your business that run the business? Do you have them documented and are they clear?" They'll say, "Well, yeah". Then I'll say, "Great, what documentation?" They say, "Well, it's not really documented. We had it on a whiteboard once" and right there we have to stop because when processes and documents is not going to create that same experience.
Your process gives team members clarity to get things done. When you have process in place and someone can when they have an inquiry, when they have to get something done, they can look up the process and just knock it out, everything changes and the more process you build, the more complexity you eliminate. I think for a lot of entrepreneurs they think, "Oh, we have, you know, so many different process documents. It's crazy". Well, as long as you're using the right process and you're updating that document and your team's going back to it and you're using it over and over again, the more documents that you have, the more complexity you've eliminated because the less guesswork there is, the less need for your team to experience decision fatigue figuring things out. They can just perform at their best and so here's what you need to know in order to have real process, if you ... If I've convinced you this is important, which I hope I have, because I want to see you scale your team, build your business, grow your empire, and go make the change that you want to make in the world.
If you're ready to do that, if that's where you are right now, here's what I want you to understand about process. There's three things you have to do with process. Number one, don't even play that you have a process until it's documented and in our business, we show people how to do documented flowcharts and process documents that are checklists and so you have two different ways of seeing things, the visual and the process document. Second, you don't have a real process unless it's used over and over again. Every time we have a client, if we have a client, we have a process for when a client moves from one of our coaching programs and graduates join another one. Every single time that happens, someone pulls that process document, they initial it so we know that they've done it and it's used every single time. There is no guesswork. That's how you have a real process and three, first document it, use every time and then improved over time.
So you have to have a feedback system so your team can say, "Hey, this process doesn't make sense or we need to approve it in this way or there's a better way to do this or less expensive way to do this or there's more efficient way to do this" because if you allow your processes to improve over time, you're consistently improving the entire business that you have over time and here's something magical about process, it builds equity in a business. If you can be replaced and everyone else can be replaced in your business, guess what? There is a lot more value for a potential investor, and I've been on the side of the table with you negotiating purchase of businesses with entrepreneurs dozens of times and when the entrepreneur has fully documented processes, it is a totally different negotiation when they don't, because when you don't have fully documented processes they need you, not the business, they need you and that's not the best thing to have because that shakes their confidence. That makes it so they don't feel like they can buy the business without having some type of a contract with you.
But if you create process, you actually create more equity in your business. That's how important this is. That's just one result of that will get you in to also give you a dramatic reduction in time and massive momentum as each process in your business shifts over to fully documented. We watch it as each of our client's shifts over to fully documented processes, we just watch those businesses explode and I'm not talking normal growth rates. I'm talking three or four or five or 5000% in a year. Like we've had people grow at that incredible growth rate and probably not 5,000, but I know we've had 300, 400, we've had at least 400%, 500% growth rate and I think we're going to have some of the fastest growing companies in the United States on the INC 500 list who've used our systems and processes because as each client shifts over, they exploded.
I think some of our clients have done things I don't think anyone in the history of business has done and I think will prove that out. Like some, I think we've coached some of the fastest growing privately funded startup businesses, bootstrap startup businesses that have ever been out there. They're just, it's incredible and it's one of the biggest reasons is because they committed to documenting processes and having a process and system for everything's is important in the business.
So I want you to explode your business. I want you to start making the impact that you really want to make. I want you to have more confidence in your business and feel comfortable that if somebody leaves, you can replace them. If you go on vacation, things will be done the right way, that if you want to take some time off, you can. If you have something else that draws your attention, things will not fall apart and that confidence will come from knowing that the important things in your business have processed documentation behind them that's documented, used over time and improved over time. That is going to reduce entrepreneurial anxiety for you more than just about anything else you do in your business besides strategic planning and setting up a communication cadence.
Now I want to share something with you that will give you an idea of just how crucial process is. If you go to morning, like morningroutine.charfen.com, morning.charfen.com, you can download my morning routine and here's why I would suggest you do that. It's a personal process. Building a morning routine, a documented morning routine that you use every day and that you check off with a pen is a personal process that will show you just how magical process is. Because here's what happens, when you create process documentation for your team every check mark that they make gives a little bit of dopamine and Serotonin. It gives that reward of accomplishment, of achievement, of getting something done and when you use a process document, a written checklist in your morning routine, you will see that you start getting those hits of dopamine, those hits of Serotonin, those chemicals that put us in momentum and if you download the morning routine that I have, it will give you an example of what one looks like and then you can create your own and you will start seeing how just that simple process in the morning creates incredible momentum for you. Just think of what the momentum will be like in your business when you have a process for everything. Check out morning.charfen.com.