Momentum Podcast: 683
683 - Chaos to Clarity (With Justin Dyson)
by Alex Charfen
Does this situation sound familiar?
Your team gets nervous every time you go to an event because they know that the things they have worked on for the last several months will no longer matter when you come back.
This issue plagues entrepreneurs around the world.
I call it “Shiny Object Syndrome.”
So many entrepreneurs have an addiction to new.
Here's the reality. Your addiction to new is keeping you from mastery.
When you have the tools, systems, frameworks, and structures in your business to get repeatable and predictable results, you will see that “new” is damaging your team and keeping you from growing a world-changing empire.
In this episode, we are joined by Justin Dyson, former CEO of Kids and Such. Justin struggled with an addiction to “new” and it kept him from being able to build the business he wanted. In fact, it kept him in a state of fight-or-flight that was hurting his relationship with his family and his team.
By committing himself to install the Charfen Cadence in his business, Justin broke his addiction to “new”, and built a business that gave him the freedom he always wanted as an entrepreneur.
Full Audio Transcript
This is the Momentum Podcast.
Maybe this situation sounds familiar to you. Have you ever come back from an event and seen your team get nervous because they know that what they worked on for the last several months will no longer matter once you're back? This is an issue that plagues entrepreneurs all around the world. We call it shiny object syndrome. It's an addiction to something new. But here's the reality, your addiction to new is keeping you from mastery. When you have the right tools, and systems, and frameworks, and structures in your business to get repeatable and predictable results, you'll see that new is damaging your team and keeping you from growing a world-changing empire.
In this episode of the Momentum Podcast, we're joined by Justin Dyson, former CEO of Kids N' Such. Justin struggled with his addiction to new, and it kept him from being able to build the business that he actually wanted. In fact, it kept him in a state of fight or flight that was hurting his relationship with his family and his team. But by committing himself to installing the Charfen cadence in his business, Justin broke this addiction to new and built a business that gave him the freedom he always wanted as an entrepreneur. I hope you enjoy.
Alex Charfen: 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.
So I'm thrilled with this next presentation. Justin Dyson and I have been working together. He's been working with our company for a while now, and recently went through the process of deciding to sell his business, marketing his business, finding a buyer and getting the deal to go through and actually getting money in the bank. That's when you know your business is sold when the money's in the bank. Too many people I know have sold their business. Until the money gets into the bank, you haven't done it. Justin's there and he volunteered to give us a presentation from chaos to clarity. And with that Justin, I'm going to let you take this over brother. 683 - Chaos to Clarity (With Justin Dyson) Page 1 of 7 Transcript by Rev.com This transcript was exported on Jan 05, 2021 - view latest version here. Justin Dyson: Awesome. Thank you, sir. So I'm super excited to get to do this. I got the email just... I guess it was just asking if anybody wants to present. And at first, I deleted it and I was like, "Hold on. This is my chance." So every one of these events that I've been to, I think this is the sixth one or something like that now. There's always somebody who goes up and there's usually a panel of success stories, and people who have been with Charfen for a long time. So I think the last one I saw it was Emily Wallace and I think Daniel. I always found it so inspiring to see just how other people were using the cadence and how they actually went about implementing it in their company, and the freedom that they got, not only from a business perspective, but also a personal one. So yeah. So I'm super excited to do this. So it's a very short presentation. So let's just dive in. Here we go. So from chaos to clarity, it's basically going to be a snapshot shot of what my life and business was like before I came into the Charfen coaching and cadence and everything. So I've actually been doing this for a little more than two years. So September of 2018 is when I went to the very first summit. I think something Bradford said earlier, so I discovered Alex, chasing shiny objects. I had no intention of going to this. My buddy Devin [Durosh 00:04:10] was coming down. He was driving through Texas to go see Alex in Austin. And I was like, "Screw it, man. I like conferences, I'll go with you." So that's what I did. And so 2018, I think it was September of 2018 was the first event I went to. So this will be kind of my life up to that point. And then two years afterwards, until right before I sold my business in September of 2020. And then finally, one of my favorite things that Alex always talks about is minimum effective [inaudible 00:04:35]. For some reason, when I first heard that, it really resonated. So I try to kind of live by that. And to me, it means do as little as possible to have the same or an even better result than if you had spent a lot more time on it. So going back to Parkinson's law, if you have five minutes to do something or an hour, you're going to use up all of either one. So try to use as little resources as possible to get the maximum result. So that's what I try to live by and we'll see how that kind of plays out. So my company is called, Kids N' Such. We are an e-commerce company selling physical products in the baby space, primarily to breastfeeding mothers. We had about 85 different skews at the time that we sold the company. So this is essentially where we were at. So we didn't have anything going on as far as processes and systems and things. It was a very small team, but despite that, we had just hit 3 million in revenue for the past 12 months. And it was kind of cool because I didn't actually know that until Alex made us look it up at the conference. I didn't even know we hit that number. That's literally how bad it was. I was looking through QuickBooks and I hit [inaudible 00:05:43]. I was like, "Holy [inaudible 00:05:43], dude. We just hit $3 million in the past 12 months." I had no idea. So that's kind of where we were at. Our profitability, on the other hand, was pretty crappy. 683 - Chaos to Clarity (With Justin Dyson) Page 2 of 7 Transcript by Rev.com This transcript was exported on Jan 05, 2021 - view latest version here. It was about 10%. In our industry, you really need 20% plus is ideal if you're going to exit and sell this company. So we were pretty low on the profitability side of things. We had three employees, including myself, so me and two other people, and we had two VAs or contractors. One was a sourcing agent and the other was just a data entry VA out of the Philippines who did a lot of data entry stuff for us. Our primary goal, again, no systems, no processes or anything in place. So we had one goal and that was to get revenue to grow. We want to increase our revenue. We want to hit 10 million or whatever the number happened to be that year. That's what our goal was. Our plan to get there was to increase revenue. So it was really well thought out, very decisive, very descriptive of what our plan was going to be. Our goal and our plan was the same thing. We had no plans. So now the reality of that, not having any of that stuff in place, not having any of the cadence set up, what I would do is I would go to a conference or a coaching program and I went to many. I would go to six or so conferences a year. I'd be in one or two coaching programs at the same time. I would go to these things constantly trying to learn. Then I would come back and I would change the strategy or the tactics of what we were doing in the company. As a result, I would piss off everybody. I go to a conference, I learn something new. I go back to the team like, "Guys, check this out. We are literally going to change the game and we're going to try this new thing." I would repeat that over and over and over. I did that for about three years. I guess I should have mentioned that this was about three years into the company, we kind of discovered Alex. So we started in 2015. After we started the cadence, I came back to my team and it really opened a discussion that we had never been able to have before. One of the things my operator told me, he goes, "We know that every time you go to an event, that whatever we've been working on will be kicked to the side and is essentially a waste of time." So it was a really big kind of like just kick in the ego that my team has been thinking this for literally the past year or so that I've had them, that they know when I go to an event that it's literally just going to piss them off. I'm going to go, I'm going to learn something and then tell them whatever they'd been working on was pointless. I was doing that over and over and over. So it was a really big ego check for me. Unfortunately, it was a pill I had to swallow, and then on a personal level, right? So one of the things that Alex does that I find really beneficial and it's very helpful for me and which is why I've been here for so long, is not only is this about your business. Yes, that's important, but it's also about you as a person. I never ever experienced that with any other coach. So for me at this time, and again, a lot of these terms come from Alex, because again, I had no idea I was even this way until someone pointed it out. So I was mentally fluctuating between preloaded and full overwhelm, like I was constantly agitated, constantly frustrated. I wanted to grow now. I didn't how to do it. 683 - Chaos to Clarity (With Justin Dyson) Page 3 of 7 Transcript by Rev.com This transcript was exported on Jan 05, 2021 - view latest version here. I literally lived by this philosophy of, "I'm going to get rich or die trying," just like the 50 Cent song, right? That's how I operated and I was going to sacrifice whatever I needed to, to get it done. I wasn't going to be unethical about it. I don't want to be a thief. I don't want to cheat my way there, but if I have to sacrifice my health, I will. If I have to sacrifice my family, I did. So that was how I operated on a personal level. I was working eight to 12 hours a day, including the weekends. I didn't work that long on the weekends, but I certainly had my phone, had my computer. I didn't not have my computer for like six years. There wasn't a single day I did not have my computer. So it was very key point, or part of the business. So I never went anywhere without it. And I just, I felt the need to be involved in every area of the business. I started this thing on my own with the last bit of money we had in our savings and I had to make this work. So I needed to know everything. I needed to do everything because ultimately, I felt like it was my job to make it work because if it didn't, I was literally crushing my family. So I felt a very strong need to touch everything and be involved. Then as a result I was [inaudible 00:10:07], I mean, that's pretty much how it kind of played out. And one thing that Alex said, so this was after the second event, I believe it was the second event I attended in Austin, he said, and I'm paraphrasing here. I don't remember exactly what he said, but he said, "When I first met you, I wasn't sure you would do well in our program because you were so guarded and rigid. But after you broke down at this event, my opinion has completely changed." And I really think that was Alex's polite way of calling me an [inaudible 00:10:33] because up until this point, he was just very, I don't know, kind of stand offish with me. I could definitely feel that. And at the second event, guys, I broke down. I was in tears, like ugly crying, like ugly crying. It was so bad. I finally broke down. It really hit home that not only is this about business, but it's about you as an individual, it's about you as the owner, the operator, but you as a person and when that hit home for me, it rocked my world. So this is my life before coming into the cadence, learning how to implement that in my business and also the personal life. So the turning point, right? I finally realized that my business should serve me, not the other way around. I don't have to control everything. In fact, that is part of the problem. Then I'm the biggest constraint, right? And not only am I the biggest constraint, but that also means I'm the only solution, so changing at that point becomes the only solution. As you guys have probably figured out by now, the solution was pretty simple, adopt the Charfen cadence, bring that into the business, bring that into my personal life and things will get a lot easier. That was my hope. That was my wish. And it worked out. So fast forward two years, right? So this is a big leap in time from September, 2018 to about September, 2020. So life and business have obviously, they've gotten a whole lot easier. We doubled our revenue, went from 3 million to 683 - Chaos to Clarity (With Justin Dyson) Page 4 of 7 Transcript by Rev.com This transcript was exported on Jan 05, 2021 - view latest version here. about 6 million in revenue. We actually did over 6 million this year. I just, I don't own it anymore. So I couldn't claim that, but whatever. So 6 million in revenue, 19% profit, which is great. So we almost doubled the profit as well. We had four employees, including myself. So I ended up hiring one more and then we had two more contractors come on board. One was managing advertising and what was the other one doing? I can't remember. But we had two other contractors that came on board. So our goals at this point, they're well-defined. Obviously, for those of you that have been in Charfen for awhile, you have your yearly TI, your quarterly TI, your monthly TI. All that gets documented. You have OTAs for everything. So literally, all the goals that we have, we have it written down. There's no ambiguity on what we're trying to accomplish. As a result, we actually have plans that serve to accomplish these goals. So everything's written down, there's a plan associated with everything. As a result, things just fricking fly by. So my personal life improved as well. I think this, to me, was the biggest impact. Obviously, personal is more important than business, but at the same time, like Alex said earlier, everything's integrated. It's all combined. So I'm no longer operating in the day-to-day operations. So about January of 2020, I came to Alex and I told him like, "Dude, we set a goal or an objective for the year to get me out of the day-to-day operations. I don't want to be in any part of delivery." I actually hadn't decided to sell the business at this point. So I still wasn't decided. We didn't decide for another month or month and a half. He told me, "It's going to take you about a year to do that." I told him at the time I was like, "Challenge accepted." So long story short, Alex, I did it in about six to eight months. So I beat your timeline. I'm really proud of that, by the way. So just so you know. And then this is another thing too. So I went from being completely overwhelmed all the time or just constantly agitated and now, and even today, I still only feel constraint when I'm overdue for planning, and this is especially true when we get towards the end of a quarter, like right now, right? It's like December 11th, we're approaching the end of the quarter. I feel like how we've accomplished a lot of things at this point. I need to really redefine where I'm going, because for me, I'm a high D, high C. I need to know where I'm headed or I'm uncomfortable. So even to this day, this is the only time I really feel constraint. I'm a much happier person than I was a few years ago. Then I also use the cadence for my personal goals. Going back to the momentum planner that Brent was talking about yesterday, I've literally got two years of momentum planners behind me or almost two years. [inaudible 00:14:36] sitting in front of me. I fricking love that thing. I use it every single day, just like Brent. And then, and this is another key thing. The reason I broke down at the event a couple of years ago was because we were actually, or a year ago, is because we were talking about kids and we were talking about their schoolwork and things like that. Then I didn't actually have the cube. I didn't have the block. I popped off to Alex, like, "Does that also apply 683 - Chaos to Clarity (With Justin Dyson) Page 5 of 7 Transcript by Rev.com This transcript was exported on Jan 05, 2021 - view latest version here. to your kid's behavior?" I don't even remember what the topic was, but I popped that off and he pointed at me and he goes, "I'm going to come back to you on that," because we weren't finished talking about something else. I was like, "Oh [inaudible 00:15:11]." He came back to me and dude, I could not even get out the words. I just started breaking down. That was when it really hit home for me that I needed to change not only for my business, but also for my relationship with my wife and my kids. So huge, huge improvement. Have a much better relationship with my wife and kids as well. So that is pretty much kind of the before and after. And the last thing I want to give you guys is, again, the minimum effective dose. I know for a lot of you, and it was for me, especially, as you come into this and it's very overwhelming, right? You see this huge list of things that you have to do and you need to set up and it's like, "Holy [inaudible 00:00:15:49], where do I start?" So for me, and this is again, this is how I approached it and it worked well for us. The first thing you need to do, in my opinion, is get clarity for yourself, right? You can't give anyone else clarity if you don't have it on your own, right? So the first thing that we did to implement everything is we set up our yearly, quarterly, and monthly TIs first. And again, it was September of 2018 when we first started. So we just said, "Screw it. Our year starts in October." So we didn't care. It was like, "We are so lost. We need to get this going now." So that's what we did. Then as a part of that is your OTAs. This was a huge game changer for us because it allowed me to get out whatever was in my head onto a sheet of paper so that whoever was going to pick up that project or that goal for the quarter or month, they knew what was expected. I never had anything written down before. So this was a huge thing for not only giving them clarity, but also for myself. And then finally for our documents, I did not realize how inefficient we were when it came to staff, like everybody was doing a little bit of everything and it was overlapping. So getting those set up, knowing what your org chart looks like, that's a huge deal. And then secondly, now that you've got clarity for yourself, you need to give that to your team, right? Don't just hold onto it. You're building a business, you need to build a team. Part of that is giving them the clarity as well. So one thing that I found helps a ton is never missing a weekly or daily huddle, no matter what. I have missed a handful over the past couple of years, but for the most part, I'm there 99% of the time and they need that from you. They need that feedback loop. They need to be able to ask you questions. So that is very important. Then on top of that is the weekly reports. This is great because it's more of a one-on-one level, right? Weekly and daily huddles. Those are in a group setting, but the weekly reports, especially if someone needs to vent and they need to get something off their chest, they can do it there. I'll see it, I'll read it and we'll address it. So that was a huge deal for them as well. Then finally, and this is for everybody, do [inaudible 00:17:44] time study. No one wants to do the time study. I didn't want to do the time study, but I've 683 - Chaos to Clarity (With Justin Dyson) Page 6 of 7 Transcript by Rev.com This transcript was exported on Jan 05, 2021 - view latest version here. probably done over a dozen of those over the past couple of years. At one point, Alex had me doing two weeks on, two weeks off when I was really struggling through some stuff, but it's huge, hugely important. So do the time study. No one wants to do it, but it is literally the pivotal piece, right? It lets you know when you need to hire somebody. It'll let you know when you're overloaded, even though you think you're not. It told me that I don't actually eat during the day. In fact, you probably have noticed, I still eat while we're doing this. I feel like it's a waste of time. Can't help it. But it's important. You're going to gain a whole bunch of insight into your life. It'll give you clarity. When you had your team do it, it'll give you clarity on how their life is going as well. So that's it for me. About five minutes over. But yeah, so I hope you guys, I really hope you found this to be inspiring because, for me, the biggest thing is, or one thing I heard on stage a couple of years ago at the Traffic and Conversion Summit, I think it was the co-founder of Digital Marketer. He said, he had a bunch of data to back this up, but what he said was, "Happy customers don't refer you, successful ones do." I think that's why I find it so inspiring when I saw the other people talking on stage at the other previous events when we could do these in person and why I'm excited to do this for you guys now. So I hope you found this inspiring. I hope it gets you excited to get out there, implement the cadence, and get that up and running in your business and your personal life. So that's it for me. Speaker 2: Are you ready to break your addiction to new and start committing yourself to mastery and growth in your business? If you are, we're ready to help you. If you go to billionairecode.com right now, you'll be able to connect with a member of our coaching team and discover which one of our memberships best fits the needs of your business right now. Let us show you the systems and processes and frameworks that we teach entrepreneurs in order to build a business that gets predictable results and gives you the freedom that you actually want. Go to billionairecode.com right now to get started. We look forward to seeing you there. 683 - Chaos to Clarity (With Justin Dyson) Page 7 of 7 Transcript by Rev.com