If you’re getting overwhelmed with the day-to-day tasks of your business, it’s probably time to hire someone who can help you out.
You’ve probably even considered it in the past, but you have doubts that have held you back…
- “What if they can’t do it as well as I can?”
- “What if I hire the wrong person?”
- “It will take forever to train them”.
- “I don’t want to be someone else’s boss”.
- “Can I really afford this”?
If you’re ever had these thoughts, you’re perfectly normal.
These are the same doubts we all have before making our first hire.
Whether you’ve tried (and failed) at hiring someone in the past, you’re just now planning to make your first hire, or you’re interested in hiring help, but not totally convinced it’s the right move, this episode is perfect for you.
In this episode you’ll discover:
- How an assistant can transform your business
- Which tasks should be delegated first
- How an assistant can help you take a “workation”
- How to hire the right person for the job
- How setting expectations affects your working relationship
- How to make sure your assistant does everything exactly how you want
Join The Discussion In Our Community
Click the play button below in order to listen to this episode:
“I hire for FITFO.” – Chris Graham
“If you’re hiring somebody, take ownership of the mistakes.” – Brian Hood
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Brian: [00:00:00] Welcome back to another episode of the six figure creative podcast. I am your host Brian Hood here in uh, where am I in Prague today? Prague Czech Republic today with my terrible lighting and terrible microphone yet again, and for those who are watching on YouTube and wondering why I don't have a tripod for my microphone is because I forgot it and left it at home.
Brian: So lesson learned the hard way to have checklist upon checklist upon checklist for travel. Before you leave your country, I'm here with my big bald beautiful black shirted co-host today. Christopher J. Graham. How you doing today? My friend, Chris.
Chris: I I mean, I was going to make a dad joke about how you had to Czech Republic, which country you were in Prague anyways.
Brian: Oh, what?
Chris: But let's move on. There's a news update. And if you are a fan of this podcast, you probably already know about it, so let's get awkward here.
Brian: quit in the podcast.
Chris: yeah. I'm more into it than I've ever been, but. Last last week I had to do something and it wasn't very fun but it was the right thing to do. [00:01:00] And it was to come forward with why I have PTSD. And I'm not going to tell that whole story right now. So if you guys want to hear more about that, there's a new podcast called creativity and mental health uh, with Brandon Reich that is available now pretty much everywhere, but the short bit of it is I was an alter boy when I was a kid at a Catholic church and there were some awful priests at this church.
Chris: I didn't know about it. I repressed it. I got into therapy. I remembered it and remembered running away. That's about as much as I'm going to
Brian: But I think people can put, people can put the story, the, the pieces of the puzzle together. They're on that,
Brian: Just for people who are not familiar, Brandon Reich, which is Chris's cohost on the creative mental health, he was on episode 1 0 6 of the podcast. And he's an amazing creative director and artist and graphic designer.
Brian: And so he's like the perfect counterpart to Chris to talk about the sort of stuff
Brian: where he's got the he's got the left and the right brain. And he's got the, the kind of the [00:02:00] mental health quest background that Chris has here. So anything else, like, w what episode do you talk about this full story on the
Chris: episode one. So we just sort of get into some of the details of it, but you know, what happened two weeks ago was uh, I had been working for the last like five or six months with the Columbus dispatch, which is the biggest newspaper in Ohio. And they dropped two front page stories using a face in my name and coming forward and sharing this.
Chris: And I'm in this spot now where in Ohio, even though I have. Somebody who went on the record as a witness who saw this guy assault me as he chased me afterwards. I can't do anything legally. I have absolutely no options here in Ohio. So I'm going to change the laws
Brian: cool thing is you've got some, yeah, you've started like meeting with politicians. I saw you sent me a text with like this bill going through the whatever
Brian: sort of process we have for legalities here. The, the Senate. Yeah. With all the signatures on it, minus two people. So we're going to have to, [00:03:00] to name, drop those two people and shame them for not signing the bill.
Brian: Maybe they haven't signed it yet. I don't know
Chris: well know that, so that, that was just approving the bill to go to the Senate so that the bill that I've been working on with these two senators, Senator Nickie, Antonio and Stephanie Koonzy that's just, just the first bill. There's a few others that are kind of in the works and I'm going to try to change the laws in Ohio, and I'm trying to build systems to help.
Chris: And Kyle my manager like ex ex assistant new manager, uh, has been helping me with that. And maybe this is a good segue to introduce our guests today, Kyle and James.
James: Hey, how's it going?
Brian: so this episode is a Def a much, much different one than we typically do, because today we want to talk about the transformation and assistant or hiring employees can bring to your business. And Chris and I kind of brainstormed this episode when we were planning this ahead of time, and we thought, what better source of people to bring on the podcast to talk about this, then our own assistance.
Brian: Now, Chris has [00:04:00] upgraded his term assistant to manager for Kyle, and I could do the same for James, but in a small company, I don't think titles really matter. James basically runs a six figure home studio and six-figure credit he's he's my co-leader. If you I'm going to say co-leader my president of my company here now is he's our assistant.
Brian: Like there are one employee, like there are the one people we have hired for us and they take so much off of our shoulders so that we can work on a lot of other parts of the business. And I think no matter where you are in your. Some of the things that we talk about today can be helpful and useful to getting some of those things off of your back, that every business owner has, whatever it is, you can start to implement to take away some of those things.
Brian: So in this episode, we're going to talk about everything from finding assistance, setting expectations of the assistant we're in talking about working with them, with systems and processes, and then even talking about delegating things to them. And it's going to be even better because we're going to have our assistants here to talk to you directly so that you can hear what we think we are saying.
Brian: And then they're going to tell you exactly what it's like from the receiving end assistant. So this should be fun episode [00:05:00] to do today. So thank you guys for being good sports and coming on here and being interviewed for the podcast today.
Kyle: Yeah, I'm super excited to be.
Brian: All right. So Chris, first of all, I think United. What sort of transformation, an assistant or an employee it's kind of employee cause assistant. It seems so trivial, like, but there's so much more than just assisting us. Like they are doing a lot of the things for us in this business where it's like important high value tasks.
Brian: So I, I don't really know what the phrasing would be, but I might, I might switch between assistant or employee or help or, or whatever the hell you want to call it for this episode. Let's talk about the transformation. This brought, because I've been working with James for like three years for the six figure I'm study, or just over three years now, James was our three-year anniversary.
Brian: And I just want to say like the ability to focus on big picture stuff with my own business and not some of the tedious, like things related to this podcast or related to my YouTube videos or related to customer support requests. Some of the things that can bog my time down emails is a big one. It's like, yes, there are little things you take off my plate, but the overarching transformation that you've brought to my business as an [00:06:00] assistant or helper or an executive, whatever you wanna call yourself Absolutely crucial to me juggling as many things as I'm juggling my life right now, between all the businesses that I have and going on vacations like this and Chris, I'm sure it's the same for you.
Brian: Although your experience has been a little less time.
Chris: Yeah. So Kyle and I have a crazy story in that. Kyle hired me to be his business coach and we hung out and got along great. And it had a blast. And then Kyle, after we had finished coaching asked about working with me and I think, I think the word you used Kyle was like apprentice or something. But I said, no, you're hired. And now you're full-time and you know, our story is super strange in that I hired you. And then two weeks weeks later COVID. And I had like a little, I want to say many mental breakdown, but it wasn't many at all. It was like all this stuff. All my PTSD started to come to the surface and I was having like seizures and stuff, like significant health issues.
Chris: [00:07:00] And it was amazing. Cause Kyle came in and kept the boat afloat and I seriously don't know what I would have done. I didn't like if you would have asked me the morning that my health issues started, like what the rest of the day was going to look like, I wouldn't have been able to tell you, it caught me so off guard completely out of nowhere.
Chris: And Kyle saved the day, man.
Kyle: Yeah. it was kind of a trial by fire. It was like, you know, Hey, you're hired and oh, I can't get in contact with Chris anymore
Kyle: at all.
Chris: Hey, I'm at the hospital. Don't call me.
Kyle: Yeah, it was a, it was intense. So
Chris: Yeah. I mean, I like when that happened, I was like, he was going to be such a good assistant and this is going to scare him off. And I'm so glad you stuck around man.
Brian: Yeah. So let's, let's start this off. So we kind of talked about like how much this has helped in our businesses. Like Chris, you literally could not have gotten this to this past year without Kyle, by your side to help out. And James I've, you've become such a dependable person to where, like, not only do you do things well, but [00:08:00] you, I know you're going to do things I'm so confident that you'll do things on time, in the right way that I, I don't think I ever really check in on you.
Brian: I just know you're doing things in my business. And then the few times that I do go check in on you, they're all done and they're done correctly and they're done on time.
Chris: So I think one of the things that's, that's tricky, this, we ha we just have to put this out there, is personally, and I think a lot of people feel the same way. I hate the term assistant. It seems kind of. It seems a narcissistic. It seems like I'll only, I matter. And I, therefore I need an assistant. There's a term that I think is better to take from the corporate world. And it's chief operations officer,
Brian: Hmm, CLL. Yeah, I like, that.
Chris: in charge of doing the stuff you're in charge of doing what the business does. And then my job is to figure out what the business will do. Right. And so for Kyle, like I, we moved away from the term assistant because I like, I think we both hate it, [00:09:00] but now I just call my, my manager.
Chris: But like the official term has got to be chief operations, opposite officer. That's what you're doing is you're running the business without me, most of the time. And it's so scary when you're starting to think about, do I need someone to help me? Do I need a manager or an assistant or a CEO or whatever it happens. And when you start trying to figure out when you should make that jump, it's really tricky because I think what most people do is they're like, well, I'll hire my cousin in payer minimum wage. That is not you, you don't hire you. Don't go to Walmart to find someone to help you run your business that you don't.
Chris: And when I say Walmart, I mean, you don't just get the cheapest option. You don't just say, I'm just going to, this person will be good enough, because what happens with that is you hire somebody and all of a sudden you're like, well, you didn't do that. Right. I have a checklist for you. You didn't use a checklist.
Chris: Okay, you're not here, but you said, you'd be here. Like you have [00:10:00] all these flaky issues and having an assistant. If that's the word you want to use fricking stinks when you've set the bar that low. And I think for, for Brian and I, one of the best parts of the podcast has been how many people we've.
Chris: That allowed us to, like, I don't think I ever would've met Kyle. I don't think we ever would have had the relationship that we have. If w if Kyle didn't get to like, encounter us on the podcast first and what was so cool about that is when we finally started working together, it wasn't like I had to be, Hey, here's my priorities.
Chris: And here's what I think is important. And here's how I like to run a business. Kyle already knew all that stuff. Like the podcast really prepped for that. So did Kyle, what was that like?
Kyle: Well, honestly, like, I mean, the podcast has changed my life incredibly. Like I used to like basically where I moved from Ontario, Canada to Nova Scotia, Canada. And that's purely because of the six-figure. Oh, city of podcast and, you know, and, and it basically showed me that I should be treating my business [00:11:00] a bit differently and I started making changes.
Kyle: And basically I was realizing that, oh yeah, I should be hiring Chris as a business coach because you had, I don't know, on an episode. And I was like, yeah, I'm jumping on that. then everything started happening really fast. And I was like, okay, cool. And then I, it just happened to line up and we'd kind of be kind of like, Chris was the person I've always thought that I'd be a good, like right-hand person to somebody who has this awesome creative vision.
Kyle: And when I saw, when I met Chris and we started going through business coaching stuff, I was like, yup, yup. I need to work for him or with him or some, I need to be around him of some way. And then that conversation happened and then you're like?
Kyle: oh yeah, let's start working together. And I was super stoked about that. So and obviously I am still am.
Brian: So we have Chris and I have this really unfair unfair resource at our disposal for hiring, which is this podcast because we have some people, people listening to it. We have people in our community, people on our mailing lists that consume our content. And so it was the same for me. I just kind of put a call out to the, to our Facebook community and to other areas, I call it kind of a hiring funnel where I put the general [00:12:00] call-out and then had people apply.
Brian: And that's how James, you found me. I as well. I believe it's the podcast or a Facebook community. Can you kind of talk through the story of like the beginning process of, of working.
James: Yeah, absolutely. It was definitely a bit of a roundabout. This is before the podcast, before PPC, all that stuff. I applied. Got to the final three, but then didn't get the job.
Brian: You actually got interviewed. This was in 2015
James: yeah, I got the interview. Final three. Didn't get the job though. And then when you dropped PPC, I took the course and went through AAB as a team leader
Brian: and these acronyms by the way, are just product. Like I have a course called the profitable producer course. It's for recording studio owners. And there's something called the accountability accelerated bootcamp, just, just jargon in our community, just for people that are confused. It doesn't matter. Go ahead.
James: yeah, the bootcamp was a blast though. So if anyone is on the fence, take the bootcamp, I loved it. And then out of sheer luck, the assistant that you did hire ended up leaving right around the time that the bootcamp ended. And I remember he just sent me a slack message one day being like, [00:13:00] Hey, can we hop on a zoom call?
James: I'm like, sure. Why not? And then you just straight up offered me the job like two years after interviewing this out of the blue building.
James: Hey, you know, if you want the job, it's yours. So that's how it got started and it was, it's been great.
Brian: the fun thing. There was, I got to see how you worked inside of a team setting, because you were one of the team leaders in our boot camps. Cause we split people into teams of like 10 and we assigned team leaders. And so I got to see how organized James was and how great he was working with teammates and staying on top of things.
Brian: So once I saw that, I was like, and I'd already interviewed him years before. And when my assistant left to go start a new business, he started a, like a wedding, like a wedding photography, kind of like wedding booth
Chris: Oh, yeah. Oh my
Chris: Yeah, Sean.
Brian: Yep. So when he did that, and I think he maybe until COVID it, and I believe he was crushing it and maybe he's back now.
Brian: I haven't, I needed to reach out. Shawn reached out to me. If you're listening to this podcast, we need to catch up. yeah, but once it was all over, I was like, James is going to be my dude. Cause I saw how well you worked in teams and you've been with me since and been an incredible part. But I think for our community [00:14:00] listening now, I think it's really important to understand the value of some sort of tight knit niche community to go find people to, to work with you on a, whatever it is that you're going to be doing.
Brian: Because especially if you're in like a specific niche, like freelance audio or video production or something, you, you want somebody, some of the first tasks are gonna be hiring off office, something to do with the actual service that you're providing. That's like the first thing you're, you're typically want to start removing from your workflow with some of those like tasks that either you don't like to do well.
Brian: And we'll talk about some of those tasks later in the episode with those should actually be, but I think finding communities on Facebook or otherwise that it's really tight knit and you can implement it yourself in those communities. It's really easy to find people that are looking for like, part-time work outside of what they're doing, because if you are somebody who's so successful, you're your limited resources time.
Brian: You're valuable. You're very valuable to anyone who's looking for work right now, because a lot of people that don't have necessarily not that this is not all across the board, but a lot of people are looking for that consistent income source on the side [00:15:00] where they do whatever it is that they love.
Brian: And so what I did with James and I believe you may have done initially with uh, Kyle, Chris is I work with James part-time so he can pursue his other PR everything else on the side. And he's only working with me on a part-time basis about 20 hours a week. I think our arrangement is up to 20 hours a week, James.
Brian: And so it can flow between up to 20 sometimes over and a lot of times.
James: Yeah. it's great. You know, I'm able to do my own things, but also able to be an active part of the six figure home studio community, or the six figure creative community. I should really know that by now. it's enjoyable and it still gives me the freedom to do whatever. And you know, I've taken workstations as well.
James: Just like you're doing now. I've been able to, as your assistant or a COO or whatever, go to Germany for three weeks. I think I've done that twice.
Brian: Yeah. And I know whenever you're traveling, it can be difficult to get like as much work as you typically would get done. So like, I try not to bother you when you're on your trips. And then you know that when I'm on vacations, like I am right now, I'm in Prague with my wife and we, we just got back. We just went from Salzburg, Austria.
Brian: And before that was Spain[00:16:00] uh, when this happens, I don't get as much work done and I'm a harder to get in touch with. So it was just kind of one of those give and take type of things.
Chris: Have you been to any shows in Prague? Like, are they having concerts
Brian: we're going to the ballet.
Chris: oh, cool. I've heard that. Prague has a really great rock scene. A really great prog rock scene.
Brian: Is that. So here's the worst part about that pine for anyone? Chris does terrible puns all the time. He just did a pun. We actually have absolutely cuts. You'll never hear
Brian: Uh, and then the pun, the pun that he just did, he, he did again before we even started recording when it was just Chris and I.
Brian: So that's the second time he's done that pine.
Chris: I'm stressed. Okay guys,
Brian: I'm disappointed.
Chris: I like there's a lot going on.
Brian: Yeah. So I think we we've talked about our origin stories for where we found James and Kyle to work for us. But like, if someone is listening right now, they're a freelancer, they're creative freelancer. Where do they go to, to find their own assistant? What's a good resource that you would recommend.
Chris: Well, you know, I've tried a lot of different methods here. I've read a lot of different [00:17:00] books. And there's a really popular thing where people hire a virtual assistant and that tends to be somebody in a different country, tends to be a country where the finances work out a little bit better for you to hire them.
Chris: And, you know, I've been trying to do that since like 2010. Like when I read, I think that's when I read four hour work week for the first time. And he talks about virtual assistants and he makes it sound amazing that like some, you know, person in India, who's a bad-ass that has a master's degree. It's going to work for you for $2 an hour, and they're going to be super dependable.
Chris: That was not my experience. I tried a bunch of different things and my advice to everybody is if you're looking for an assistant hire from your community, I think that makes so much more sense where there's mutual acquaintances, there's mutual friends. There's mutual trust. That's already built in.
Chris: They already it's. You're not when you hire somebody just by looking at their resume, you have no idea if they are a square peg in a round hole or not.[00:18:00]
Brian: Yeah. So with that, I also have to say, I'm going to push back a little bit on Chris. There don't hire someone just because there are a comfortable, familiar face. That's another mistake that I see people making is they go to somebody that's. Familiar with them. They know them, they are there. Like they can trust them, but they're not always the most qualified person.
Brian: So there's a balance you have to make here. And when, when Chris says in your community, it's not just limited to your like circle of friends and family, there are so many online communities that are dedicated to specific niches that can fulfill different purposes. If you're looking for like an administrative assistant type person, there are communities for that dedicated to that specific subject.
Brian: If you're looking for someone in video or audio or design, there are communities for that sort of thing. And if you're not already plugged into those communities, it's a good time to start doing. And also don't be afraid to just go to this community is when you need to hire somebody to, because I know if someone's coming to the six-figure like home studio community, which is the name of our community, at least right now, and is genuinely looking to hire somebody and literally pour money into our community members in some way, shape or [00:19:00] form.
Brian: I'm all for that. As long as it's a good opportunity, not some sort of scam or some sort of like bottom dollar offer. If it's somebody that's genuinely adding value to our community in that way, I'm gonna allow it. At least the way we run our community. And a lot of other communities are the same way. So when I hired James, I actually set up a whole filtering process that I think is worth talking about just for briefly for a second.
Brian: Cause it was kind of clever where I was, you know, I, I could promote in all these areas that I wouldn't normally promoted in message boards, forums, Facebook communities where it was like places that I'd never posted before. And people were eagerly like asking questions and engaging and clicking on the link and going and filling out my form.
Brian: And one quick tip there just for anybody that's thinking through this, I call it a hiring. When, when I put this on the internet, I put the, the job description, like what expectations kind of like where, so I actually had a URL at some people too. And James, if you find this, put it in the show notes, people can go and actually find the job description that I had and all of the application stuff.
Brian: It's still think I had that hiring funnel up for anyone who wants to kind of reverse engineer it, but anyways, and people could [00:20:00] fill out this form. so they would read the description of what the job was first. And then in the middle of that, this job, job description somewhere, it said like, in your application, put the word potato in all caps spelled this way.
Brian: It was spelled like wrong. And, and then it continued on the job description. So only if you read the entire job description, would you see that that request was in there? And so what I did was when people applied, if they didn't have that word potato in the application spelled out the way that I had it spelled in all caps, I just, I just trashed the application because they don't have attention to details.
Brian: So that weeded out. 80% of the applicants early on, which, where I had over 200 applicants, that was really important for me, because I didn't want to have to spend all day going through applicants that don't pay attention.
Chris: Well, that's such a cool system because that system tater taught you, which applicants were going to be good or not because they
Brian: Hmm. I see what you did there. So it was, I said, potato and the application and tater tots are made of potatoes. So that's where you got
Chris: That's where I made that
Brian: Yeah. [00:21:00] Yeah.
Brian: That's really good when Chris. Good job, buddy.
James: Yeah. I also
James: remember that you had me like calculate how many pennies would fit in a room of a certain size, and this is on the application. wonder how many people got it wrong because there was an answer on Yahoo answers that was incorrect. I redid all the math and discovered it was incorrect.
James: So I give you both.
Brian: Yeah. So.
Brian: here, here's another, here's another little filtering question that I did on that application because I, because of the size of community, I did this and I knew I'd have a ton of people apply or else I would never have done this, but I wanted to know two things with hiring an assistant. Number one was, will this person pay attention to details?
Brian: So that's why I put the little potato tests I called the D I'll just call it the potato test from now on. And everyone listening to this podcast will know what I mean by the potato test. The second thing I did was I wanted to know if this assistant has the spirit of fit fo F I T F O And so what I did is I asked a really crazy question. I gave the S the size dimensions of a room and said, how many pennies? So the smallest denomination of American [00:22:00] currency, how many pennies can fit in this, a room of this size. I got answers all over the place. It was actually hilariously insane.
Brian: How many different answers I got there because there's a million ways to figure that
Chris: Well, everyone had to
Chris: put their
Brian: the, I was looking for uh, ah, there you go, Chris. Thank . You. That's a good one. I'll give you that one. Uh, I rarely give you those, but you, you got that
Brian: one. Okay. But anyways, what I was looking for, what I was looking for is for somebody that, that our initial first response to a weird question like that is to just Google the damn thing, because Google has like, Googling is the way of the world.
Brian: If you want to know something, you don't know an answer to just Google it. And if my system is going to work for me and at a high level that I can trust their first instinct should be go, go, Google it. And so the people who got the Google answer were like accepted to me. James was one of the few, if the only person to Google it and then fact check the Google answer and then give me his own answer.
Brian: That was like your end done. You're you're the guy. So. All right. So anyways, so that's, those are my little like hiring hacks. If you're the type of person where you're hiring a position, that's highly in demand and you [00:23:00] want to weed out all the bad applicants, those are two or three little things you can do there to kind of weed those people out and find people with high attention to detail.
Brian: Also think through, like, if you're hiring a specific skill position, like in the freelancing world or the creative world where there's a skill involved that people always mess up, don't be afraid to put a little like test in there, whether it's in pro tools or an audio or video of some, something that, you know, people will mess up all the time, get them to do something, have the actual assignment in there and see how many people mess that up.
Brian: And that can weed people out as well. So I think the next thing that we should move to Chris is setting expectations. When you hire somebody setting expectations ahead of time so that they, your assistant knows what they will be doing, and you will be knowing what the assistant will be doing and that you're on the same page and judging by the way, your relationship started out.
Brian: Chris and Kyle,
Chris: We're really
Chris: good at this. I set really
Chris: clear expectations.
Brian: yeah. You start that off, Chris. And then me and James will talk through kind of what we did in the beginning.
Chris: Yeah. So it was funny, like when I first hired Kyle[00:24:00] I'd come up with a software product and, you know, most of the people that listen to our podcast come from a recording studio background or those that sort of wing of creatives. And I had built this app called bounce Butler. And for long story short, it took me a really long time.
Chris: People that work in recording studios all over the world use it. It was a big hit, but I finished it and right as I finished it, I hired Kyle. And put this app out in the world. I was like, Kyle, we're going to need to be dealing with tech support. And we need to figure out how to do updates together.
Chris: And I need you to learn how to do some of this scripting so that you can add features. And and then we did all that and then a whole bunch of other. Random stuff, but dude cow, you, you tell me, like, what was that experience like as far as expectations I set and then didn't even come close to,
Brian: And then be as brutal as you can. Kyle, I want you to just, just lay it on them so that people can know if there's something that there's tension there though. Especially at the beginning, people know what that's like, because when you [00:25:00] don't set proper expectations with an assistant, it can be really frustrating and scary.
Kyle: Yeah, it was definitely terrifying. I was, I was terrified for the first little while there and, and again, yeah, it was just, it was kind of trial by fire again, and I just had to keep, we, we had some, some ideas. Okay, we're going to try this And then, oh, this doesn't work. We need to make, I have to do this as well.
Kyle: Okay, cool. And my job description just kind of got bigger and bigger and bigger. As we started to, you know, figure things out and I'd be like, Hey, should I be taking care of this? And then Chris would be like, yep. You should probably do that. Yep. I'm like, all right, cool. Let's do that. And it kind of just became this This is like back and forth fluid dynamic thing.
Kyle: And we just sort of developed my job description over time and I think it's still in flux. It's still
Chris: Yeah, absolutely.
Kyle: for me it was, it was definitely like, it was challenging at first because I was expecting like, what Brian was talking about is like clear expectations and all these basically like, you know, a to-do list, which wasn't there obviously.
Kyle: So we had to, we had to, I had to kinda make my [00:26:00] own, so I had to be my own manager.
Kyle: and go forward with this.
Brian: And also
Brian: Chris's manager.
Chris: It was wild. I have this clear memory of this was the day that COVID happened in the United States, the world health organization declared it a pandemic this day. And I'd had a uh, well, actually it's a blur. It was right around when, when COVID was declared a pan. And I was having like seizures with all these health issues.
Brian: You thought they were panic attacks at the time by the.
Chris: I thought they were panic attacks. They were considerably worse than what I understand that panic attack to be. And my, I had gone to meet my family at this coffee shop and I started having an episode and I was like, mom, I need my mom to come pick me up. I'm like in this van, like laying in the front seat, like we're, we're pondering whether we should go to the hospital at this point, we eventually did in the days, weeks later.
Chris: But I remember calling Kyle and I could feel in my body. I was like, this is going to get real messy, real fast. [00:27:00] I have no idea what's going on. And Kyle just needs to be aware that I'm completely out of commission and I have no idea what's happening. And like I was full on reclined in my mom's minivan's front seat, just like Kyle. I need you to put up an away message in my inbox or something like this is what was going on. Just whatever you think needs to happen, make it happen. And that is such a Testament to Kyle's character and ingenuity and creativity and all of the good things that makes Kyle a dope ass human that he was able to.
Chris: Yeah, dude, well, like, like Brian said, I, I can't remember how to pronounce it, but you, you had this figure it, the out spirit of it was just like, you're a problem solver. Fitspo this I think is the most important thing that I will. This is never going to change the rest of my life. I hire for fit fo I think everybody, [00:28:00] whether they knows it or not, if hires, hires for fitspo, that they want to hire somebody who is a problem solver, not a minion.
Brian: that's an important thing to have in entrepreneurship as well is having that fitspo spirit like as an entrepreneur, you have to constantly solve problems every single day. There's going to be something that pops up that you've never encountered before. And if you don't have that sort of ability to figure it the out. It's going to be a tough time for you as a business owner. It's the same as assistant like James, even today, we've worked together for three years. Now, you have what I feel are really clear expectations and things are supposed to do. And we can talk through how we set expectations early on in our relationship together and how that's changed over the years.
Brian: But even now, there are things that likely come up constantly that you have to figure stuff out because I'm not available, especially when I'm traveling abroad. And it is important thing to have, whether you're assisting somebody in a business, whether you are building a business or whether you're trying to juggle a million things at a time, fitful, fitful fit fitspo
Chris: it's true. When you're hiring somebody, I think what a lot of people do is they just find someone who [00:29:00] is compliant. Will you do what I tell you to do for me? That is not how to grow your business and create less stress for yourself, in my opinion. And I feel very passionate about this. They have to feel a sense of ownership and you have to accept from the beginning that they're going to graduate someday, that they're going to grow as a result of working with you, that you're going to invest in them.
Chris: And eventually you probably won't be able to afford them. Kyle, at some point is going to outgrow me. I think maybe he doesn't maybe I'm wrong. And that sounds fantastic. Maybe I grow fast enough to keep up with him here. But you have to, you have to hire somebody that you can trust to solve problems and to put themselves in your shoes and think, well, what would, what would my partner do here?
Chris: How would they solve this? And what mistakes would they make that I will prevent them from making uh, in the future. So, yeah. Kyle, I feel [00:30:00] like I hit it out of the park with you. I've made a lot of mistakes in my life hiring you. It's not one of them. One of the better moves I've
Brian: So you mentioned one important thing, Chris, this is super important for people to understand as well is I I've seen conversations in our own community where people have two things, two reasons they don't hire one is they can never find somebody that's good enough or two, even if I find somebody that's good enough, they're just going to leave me eventually.
Brian: And I want to make sure people understand, like you should hire, you should always hire somebody that you're afraid to lose. If you're not afraid to lose that person, they're probably not good enough to work for you. Stop being afraid that like, like Chris said, always be willing. Like you want your person to graduate.
Brian: Like if James, like at any point, James, you get so busy with the other businesses and stuff that you're building on the side to never work for me again, I will be ecstatic for you. My business will crumble and like, everything will fall apart in my life, but I'll be so excited for you and I'll go higher again.
Brian: And there'll be a, it'll be a tough time in my, in my it'll be a dark day, but I just hope to always grow the business enough to where. Just keep slapping on more golden handcuffs on your part-time to [00:31:00] where I always have at least part of your time to help with my business, but let's go back to the expectations James, cause I want to, I want your thoughts on this.
Brian: Do you remember back in the day, like some of the expectations I set on you and how it looks from your perspective on, because from my perspective, it was, I had daily tasks, weekly tasks, monthly tasks, all laid out. A lot of this has changed over the years, but that was kind of how we had things set up from the beginning.
Brian: And I'm curious what your perspective.
James: Yeah, basically, we just had a call and you gave me a list and I wrote it all down. for the most part, the monthly tasks and the weekly tasks are no longer a thing, but the daily tasks are very much they're they're in my to-do list, which is the app I use. It doesn't list every single thing. It just says like, check. Daily tasks. And then I remember like check the Facebook group, check Facebook ads. And there's like a, it's basically like memory items of like, this is what's included in daily tasks. then the big one that you said is it has to happen on time, no matter what is the podcast.
James: And, you know, we have not, aside from the [00:32:00] break missed an episode in three years, I think there was one that I messed up and published it early
James: by accident instead of setting the
James: date. That was a mess.
Chris: Which was
Chris: actually fascinating though. We get a lot of extra data of seeing like how many downloads we got on an episode that was like, it was, that was really interesting. I'm glad you did that.
James: Okay. Yeah. I think it was like Friday instead of Tuesday or something and yeah. But then something else that stuck in my mind is in that first month I was working for you, Brian. I messed something up and I can't remember exactly what it was, but it wasn't anything big. And then you're like, But here's the thing. I didn't tell you exactly how to do this. If I had, you wouldn't have messed this up. So that's my fault, not yours. And after that, I was like, okay, like as long as I don't neglect something that I've been told to do, and I use common sense, I'm not going to get in trouble. Cause like, when that first happened, I was
James: like, oh no, like this is the first month I'm still in my like probation period.
James: I'm screwed. And [00:33:00] they're like, oh no, no biggie. I didn't tell you. Just remember for next time. I was like, okay, that's so much easier. And since then, the expectation has been like, be smart and ask questions. If I need to, you know, if Google doesn't help, but also if I do something wrong, you're not going to fire me on the spot.
James: Like other people might.
Brian: Yeah. So there's two things you brought up that are really important. There. One is the permission, probationary period. You can call it that, that sounds super like risk, like really strict and mean or whatever. It was kind of like a trial period is what it was like 90 days. The first 90 days, we just worked together, see how we fit.
Brian: And at the end of the 90 days, we'll have a discussion of whether we move forward together or not. And I suggest anyone do that.
Chris: I think we did that. Right, Kyle.
Kyle: We did it for A year
Brian: A year trial period. That's that's intense. Okay. All right. Let's see. That's a different thing altogether.
Brian: But the other thing that you mentioned, James, is being able to, like, this is really important. If you're hiring somebody is to take ownership of the mistakes. And this goes back to one of the reasons people don't hire is they're afraid that they're never going to do it as good as I can do it. And I'll tell you right now, they won't, they will not do it as good as you [00:34:00] do it until you show them how to do it as good as you do it.
Brian: And if they don't do it as good as you, it's your fault as the business owner. And that's basically what James just summed up there is James did something in the wrong. And my response wasn't oh my God, you idiot. I could have done that myself. Why do I even hire jams? I could've just done this and not had this thing up.
Brian: No. And instead I said, okay, that was my bad for not showing you the proper way to do it. Let me work with you on like training you on this. And I'm going to take ownership and say, this is my fault. And that's, that's the correct thing. It's always your fault. As a business owner, if something doesn't get done the way you want it to be done.
Brian: And even today, when we have new processes, we're working on this just happened with something we started recently working on related to YouTube is now I'll just, I'll go through the process myself. I'll bullet point it and like Evernote or something really like casual. And then I'll send it to James for him to try out and then we'll discuss whether or not things needed to be changed or adjusted.
Brian: And then I kind of let James just take it from there and build the process out on his own time. And that seemed to work out. I don't know when you tell me your perspective.
James: Yeah. I mean, that process, to be honest is so simple that I just use the Evernote. I go through it [00:35:00] for like the podcast stuff I go through. It's an app called process street and like automate stuff and makes a WordPress post for me and all kinds of stuff with the videos. It's so easy. It's just like what four or five bullet points and
James: YouTube is not a fan of automation.
James: So it said it's more manual.
Brian: Yep. And we're actually, we're kind of moving into our next subject actually right now, which is building out systems with your assistant or with anyone helping you in your business. So this is actually kind of a good segue to that. I don't want to talk too long in this because here's, here's my thesis on systems, make bullet points and work off of bullet points and a spreadsheet or a.
Brian: And don't do anything else until you've done that for awhile. Chris Graham and Kyle, you guys might have a different approach because I know you guys, if anything, I will like sculpt you on overbuilding before you've tested. Cause we did this for our own podcast. When we started building out stuff for the guest processes or whatever, but I like to keep it simple and work through the process manually a few times.
Brian: And then we can start doing more and more complex stuff. And James, you mentioned something [00:36:00] we use called process street, which is just an elaborate process app that allows you to go from item to item, to item and you have instructions built in it's like this really beautiful process system and that you can also automate things.
Brian: It's like it's way extreme if you're just starting out. So don't even start with that. Don't even, don't even Google it. Chris, James don't even put it in the show notes. That's how far I want people to stay away from that right now instead just build out bullet points and then go from there and make it expand.
Brian: You can always add more, but as you, if you start overbuilding the beginning, you're going to waste a lot of time. And Jay, Chris wants so bad to say something right now. So go ahead.
Chris: edit out that really weird laugh. I just did. I dunno what That
Brian: That was so awkward
James: Executive override
James: col says it stays.
Chris: So what I recommend that people do and what, what Kyle and I often do is we use a form builder, just any form builder software where work probably the easiest free one is Google forms, and building out a process using some sort of form builder software.
Chris: We love gravity [00:37:00] forms because it integrates with all the websites that we build in WordPress
Brian: That's only WordPress by the way. So if you're not on WordPress,
Chris: when you're building systems. I think there's two main types of systems. There's things that remind you or someone else what to do and in what. And there's other fancier types of systems that Kyle and I are obsessed with called automations.
Chris: And that means, Hey, when I do this, this thing should automatically happen. Kyle and I are obsessed with automation and there's some stuff I need to unpack here. And I think that this relates heavily to our conversation about an assistant as well. My trauma makes it terrifying for me to be in charge of other people because I associate power with the pedophile priest.
Chris: and that makes it difficult for me to, to manage because I don't want it to tell anybody, Hey, you need to do it like this, or blah, blah, blah, blah. But at the same time, I also don't feel safe unless I have some level of control. [00:38:00] And a lot of my trauma I'm I'm through this, but a lot of my trauma and that was touching all my friendships and my family and all this was, I didn't feel like anyone would be safe unless I was in.
Chris: So for me, building systems was a little bit of a coping mechanisms. I had all these systems of like my kids and like, Hey, you know, if this happens, then you're going to have to do this. And you know, you have, there was just all this stupid controlling stuff that came out with me. And it was weird because in my personal life, I was pretty controlling.
Chris: But in my professional life, I was terrified to have like an official like authority structure. And that was something that Kyle has been just really easy to work through with like, you have been like, the worst thing you can possibly have is a traumatized boss, right. That usually plays out and really, really ugly.
Chris: Like this is all your fault, like freaking out. And I think how you've been so helpful to help me sort of work into like, oh, I [00:39:00] should set clear expectations and I should tell you to do this one thing and I should adjust your priority. But, you know, all those things are, are so complicated for me emotionally.
Chris: So I think we're, we are trying to grow as a team is finding a system that helps us organize the relationship of what is this thing that we're doing, where we're working together. So Kyle, when you think about systems and when you think about our working relationship, how have systems played a role in that?
Chris: How has that kept the train on the.
Kyle: I kind of think of our systems is like I have like a two camps. I have the automation stuff, but I also have like the policies and procedures so that I know like how to do things in the future. And also, but when we're building our systems, I try to think of. Okay. What if I'm not the one running this, you know, 10 months from now a year from now, I need to make a system that is, or a policy and procedure that works for any person that you eventually hired down the road.
Kyle: And that's where I, that's where my mindset is with all the stuff that we build. And we work together that it's like, no, it [00:40:00] needs to be clear. So that in the future, it's easy. And also helps me remember when I have to go back and do something and I haven't done in a while. I can be like, oh yeah, I have a policy and procedure for this.
Kyle: And it keeps things, it keeps things clear. Right. And, and I think that's, what's really important.
Chris: Absolutely. when you have a system that relies on anyone's. It is going to explode in a fiery ball of hell-fire and poop. It's just going to be everywhere. Boop and burning. It's just going to be on everything.
Chris: You cannot
Brian: growth. There's such a disgusting imagery.
Chris: that there's, you
James: you just
Chris: use a glitter bomb?
Brian: Hell fire of poop and glitter.
Chris: I was just going to get it's like a, it's like when you have a system that is based on anyone's memory, it is like a giant glitter bomb full of poop and hell fire. And it just goes everywhere. It's awful. So you have to build out processes, even if that's just like Brian said a freaking notepad that you've written out stuff, you have to [00:41:00] store the information in a shared location.
Chris: I think what a lot of people do is they only store it in their brain and they think they've communicated it well to their assistant. Then they think their assistant remembers it. He hasn't, she hasn't. And then they think everything will go great. It won't. So you have to have a shared repository of knowledge to have a relationship like this.
Chris: And I think, man, just to talk a little bit about communication as a whole.
Brian: So those are called in, in the general business world they're called, and this sounds super nerdy and boring, but I still want to get the point across standard operating procedures. If you read the book, the E-Myth revisited, they talk about this a lot is a really important part about becoming a business owner versus someone who just has a job that they built for them.
Brian: If you want to be a business owner, you need to have these, these sorts of things in place. Because when it comes to hiring, Kyle's not going to be in the same position for the rest of his life. James is not going to be in this position for the rest of his life. Somebody will have to step into that role at some point, whether it is an app, that's automating [00:42:00] things, or whether it's another human taking on some of those responsibilities, you don't have to have to retrain every single person to learn every single thing that is you do in your business or that your assistant should be doing in the business.
Brian: You need to standardize it, meaning that every. X happens then you should do Y every time a happens, you should do B you should have to standardize at first and then document the process for it, which can be as simple as bullet points, which is what I pointed out. I just have bullet points for some of our processes and that anytime something happens, you just follow this, this standard operating procedure and it will get done.
Brian: And as long as you have the clear end, result the expectations and when it should be done, it generally gets done on time. And, and to your liking, if it doesn't get done on time or to your liking, it's typically your fault as a business owner. And if it's not your fault as a business owner, then it's time to have a conversation with whoever you've hired about meeting expectations and doing what it is that they said they would be doing and find out the root cause.
Brian: If the root cause is the assistant or the person you've hired, then you may need to start working with [00:43:00] someone else or actually, and look to yourself for hiring the wrong person in the first place, because that's actually the true root cause is why did you hire the wrong person for this job? So it all always comes back to you as a business.
Chris: I love that idea of, of ownership of ultimate ownership. When you look at your business and just assuming it's your fault, it's a hundred percent your fault. And it, it always has been until. And the problem might've been that you hired the wrong person to start with. That's not their fault and it's not an excuse for you to treat them like garbage either. So I love this stuff, man. This is as you're talking about the E-Myth revisited, I'm thinking about that book and how much I learned from that early on in my career as an entrepreneur, the second business book I read it blew my mind. And every time I hear people talk about it, I like want to hug the book.
Chris: Like it's, it's like a Teddy bear, like a business Teddy bear for me of like, Ugh, I learned so much about systems. I learned so much about process. I learned so much about [00:44:00] imagining what it would be like to not be a one man shop, to actually be efficient
Brian: I don't feel the same way about the book. It's like, it's pretty good book. It's not one that I'm going to hug her, like hold her love. But I do like the mental shift you make. When you read through that book and you start thinking about. Am I just going to be a freelancer for the rest of my life, or am I going to think bigger?
Brian: And if you just want to be the freelancer, I don't want to, I don't want to knock anybody for that, but I do, even if you just want to be the, like the freelancer for the rest of your life, which is perfectly okay. I still think it's a good mindset shift to have so that you're not sticking with just the freelancing route, the rest of your life.
Brian: Only out of ignorance. You have the, you have the mental knowledge of what it looks like to start hiring people underneath you and building a team. Even if it's a part-time team for small tasks that you don't like to do or can't do or whatever. Again, we'll talk about those tasks, I think next, but I think you need to make that decision from an informed standpoint, not an immigrant standpoint.
Brian: I just can't, I can't say to, for people to make a decision without [00:45:00] having all the information at their fingertips. So read the E-Myth revisited, understand what it's like to be a business owner, an entrepreneur, someone who has a team and. Knowing all this, if that's still not appealing to me. And I just want to be the person in the trenches everyday doing the freelance work without ever hiring anyone.
Brian: That's okay, too. But at least you've made the decision from informed standpoint.
Chris: Absolutely. And I think I want to bring this part of our podcast home before we go on the final stretch here. This is so personal This is not business knowledge or book smarts or whatever guys. When my health stuff started to happen, I was not sure I was going to make it. There were a number of occasions when I was thinking, could Kyle run this business?
Chris: If, if I died, how would that impact my family? What can I do to set him up for a win? Like it was really, really, really scary. Thank God.
Brian: Yeah. I, I remember the time that you woke up, we were on a call for the podcast. It was like 1:30 PM, maybe [00:46:00] 2:30 PM. Your time you were in a bathrobe with like a five o'clock shadow beard,
Chris: Covered in baby oil. Just like for some I'm just getting, there was no baby oil
Brian: Yeah, but it was, that was like the lowest I had seen you ever in my
Brian: life up to that point. And since
Chris: Yeah. I mean, I I'm, I'm, I'm kind of opening up to you even right now about how bad it was. I mean, it was, there was significant cause for concern and I was in the hospital for awhile and it was, it was really scary. So one of the things I want to challenge our listeners with is if you have a family, if you have people that depend on you, what would happen if you couldn't work at all anymore?
Chris: If you're a one man shop, the answer is pretty simple. If you are building a team and if you are investing in people and at least there's a potential for the business to continue without you, at least, even for a period of time to help other people transition and to [00:47:00] help you transition this last year.
Chris: I have not made so little money in such a long time because I had two full-time jobs. I had my own health and I had my business. And frankly, that the health, frankly, the health thing was a lot more than a full-time job. It was like 10 hours a day. Do the work and get healthy and figure out what's going on and, and wrestle with this.
Chris: And man, the really painful, uncomfortable thing I don't wanna really get into this too much is that for victims of priest abuse, suicide is very, very common or ODI. Like it, there's a movie called spotlight that won best picture in 2015. And there's a great scene in. Where there's this lawyer uh, his name's Garabedian is talking to the Boston globe for the first time.
Chris: And he explains that the w the victims who are still alive are the lucky ones that when you have had such an earth shattering [00:48:00] reality shift it's hard to process everything when that's part of your childhood. So what I want to challenge our listeners with is I had no idea I had any of this garbage.
Chris: I had completely repressed it. I thought I was healthy as a horse. I thought I was the most mentally healthy person I knew. And I was just like arrogant. And I was in avoidance mode. Is it a pretty normal part of this?
Brian: Yeah. You were a, you were a ticking
Brian: bomb waiting to explode. Yep. And so just to bring this back to our listeners, you may not have something as earth-shattering, as that happened to you, but sometimes you get sick. Sometimes an illness happens or you have to leave the town, leave town for a while, or you
Brian: have to, or maybe you just want to go on vacation once you feel like we as freelancers, we don't have paid time off.
Brian: So we have the only way we have any sort of potential for paid time off in the future is having a business that runs while we're not necessarily at home. Sorry for my closest, I can hear them in my headphones right now. And this is part of I'm traveling right [00:49:00] now. And I have a business that runs while I'm.
Chris: for you, a non audio creatives plosive means uh, when the microphone does this, actually mine didn't do it. That was.
Brian: All right. So I think the next place for us to go in this conversation to kind of wrap things up is what to delegate. Because I think whenever you hire somebody on whether it's part-time or full-time, it can be intimidating because either you have so many things you want to start passing off, you don't know how to prioritize, or you're the type of person where you struggle passing things off.
Brian: So you don't even know where to start. So wherever you are, I think this would be a good part of the conversation to listen to non we're going to talk about the three things that you should be delegating in your business when you start hiring stuff out to people. So the first thing to get rid of whenever you're trying to outsource outsource tasks or hire an assistant is first things that you are bad at.
Brian: So, Chris, I want to start with you and ask Kyle what Chris is bad at.
Kyle: Oh. Oh, nice. Okay. Yeah. Well, I would say right off the bat, like delegation is definitely one, but also. Emails in a timely [00:50:00] fashion would be the,
Brian: bad at emails. No way.
Kyle: that's, that's definitely like the, but also getting to delegation, being able to choose which which things are most like the highest priority things to work on, that kind of stuff.
Kyle: I think that's like the most important
Brian: So, as you say, Chris has a ton of things that he wants to get done and never really like prioritizes them correctly, or what is that? Give me the more details there.
Kyle: yeah, I th I think it's a shifting goalpost type of thing. I think that'd be the worst is just being able to and I think also Chris well, he needs somebody to bounce ideas off. Sorry, I'm going to talk about Chris. Like he's not in the room,
Brian: Do it, talk about him and he's not
Kyle: Yeah. Like but Chris needs somebody to bounce ideas off of.
Kyle: So and, and he's not really, like, he won't come to me and be like, okay, here's X, Y, and Z. And do all these things. It's more of like, Kyle, I have some ideas. What do you think? And then we kind of work through and we make the ideas for it, but he needs that other person. I have that conversation with, and I think
Kyle: yeah, and also someone to push and be like, like I actually, like [00:51:00] one of the roles that is like, that I take on now is I'm I come up with what I call like bad ideas.
Kyle: It's kind of like like a, like a Dr. House type of situation, where he needs a team of people to come up with bad ideas. So he can come up with a good one. And that's where Chris is kind of, kind of that. Whereas like I
Kyle: just come up with that ideas and Chris goes, Oh, yep. Okay. Nope. Let's, we'll go with this one
Chris: I'm uncomfortable with that.
Kyle: oh, I'm sorry.
Chris: No, no, I'm not going to cover with you sharing it, but I think that you're right
Chris: about that. And I don't think I knew that about myself and I had drives me bonkers when, like I had a boss years ago. I had a job at a church and it was same thing of like, I would, the way we, we should do this and he would have all these meetings and everybody would weigh in and only his ideas are what we would do.
Chris: And it was just really Let me emotionally process that. I'm sorry.
Brian: I just deal with it, Chris, as a business owner, this is kind of you have to deal with every day is not being great at all the things in the world. If like [00:52:00] James will tell help, James, we'll talk next about what I'm bad at, but Kyle has something he wants to weigh on here
Kyle: Yeah. And just to clarify, it's not that I'm like, I know my job is to come up with, with the bad ideas or just suggest all ideas. It's a brainstorm. So when, when it is your idea that you pick, I'm not, I'm not hurt over that. It's not like a. Uh, it's more of like, um, it's a brainstorming session we're coming in with ideas.
Kyle: That's what
Brian: Don't circle back, Kyle, just to make Chris feel better. My gosh,
Chris: I'm at an emotionally fragile state in my life. Brian. I need the.
Brian: James, what am I bad at?
James: You don't delegate enough.
Brian: That's true.
James: either you'll do something or like the other day, Kyle messaged me and told me that you had done something. I was like, wait, why didn't Brian have me do that? That's like the exact type of thing that I normally do. Yeah, I think it was like making a new landing page or a form of some sort or something
James: like that, which is the stuff that you usually would have me do.
James: And it's like,
James: you know, you're on vacation right now. Why are you wasting your
Brian: I'm not on first of all. Okay. So a couple of things, first of all, I'm not on vacation, I'm on [00:53:00] workstations. That means I'm still doing work while I'm traveling. Second of all this is a tough one because when we're talking about what to delegate in someone's business, this first thing, they should start handing off to other people as things that you're bad at.
Brian: If you're bad at delegation, it's really hard to hand that off to somebody. How do you hand off delegation to someone else? So I think just by default, let's just pretend that most people are going to struggle with this. So the only thing you can do is start fighting against it and be, be a little bit better each day at this one thing.
Brian: Cause this is literally the only thing you can really delegate is delegation James, go ahead.
James: I have an idea for that, which is just make a list of everything that you need to get done. And like post that somewhere where your assistant can see it so they can see like, Hey, this is something I should do because I can do this. I know how to do it. You don't have to spend time on that.
Brian: Well, so I have a whole, I have a whole like Trello board, Kanban board of like everything that I'm working on. So I'll just add you to that, James. And maybe you can take some of those things off my. So that's the first area to focus on things that you're bad at. And so I'll, I'll go ahead and say one that James handles that I'm terrible at, and that [00:54:00] is emails.
Brian: I will not reply to emails most of the time I am so bad at it because this is something that Chris alluded to earlier. I avoid things when I get overwhelmed. So if I start getting overwhelmed in something, I will just ignore it altogether. As long as I possibly can. This is just my struggle as a, as this is not just in businesses, in life in general.
Brian: But so if, if I'm getting so many emails that I get overwhelmed instead, instead of texting those emails, I'll just ignore them altogether. And so like multiple times in my life, I've done something. This is before I hired an assistant, I've had something called declaring, email bankruptcy.
Brian: That's where you literally reply to like anyone that's in your inbox. And just says, I officially declare email bankruptcy. I will not be replying to any email it's in my inbox right now. If it's very simple, Reply. And maybe I will try to get back to you, but I'm officially archiving every email that's unread right now.
Brian: And so I've done that multiple times in her life. And now James is that's one of his daily tasks is answering all my emails or replying or, or trying to assign some to me, which even in my assigned emails, I haven't even got back to all of those[00:55:00]
James: There's like 250 in
Chris: makes me feel so much better. Kyle, are you getting like a cathartic, like, oh, thank God. He's not the only one that does that. Like that's, I'm exactly in that spot. And I think what's been really hard for me to transition over the past couple of years is I was like on it with the crisp with Chris Graham mastering my first successful business, man.
Chris: I was all over the emails. Cause I knew the faster you replied, the more, more sales that you close. And I was just like laser fast, always got back to people constantly. And now I'm in this situation where I'm like, whoa, All these messages from people that listened to the podcast and all these messages from people that saw the front page news article.
Chris: And there's just so much more vying for my attention. That is hard. It is not easy to figure that out. And I do the same thing to Brian of I get overwhelmed and I'm like, I'm not even going to open my inbox because I know I'm just going to [00:56:00] feel like a crap person when I open it. And I see all these emails that I haven't responded to.
Chris: And they're from people I care about that I want to be friends with as well as work with. And it's this, it is so weird. And I think that that's
Brian: Well, just use this, everyone listening right now, use this as a time to just feel free from that sort of stuff. There's going to be times in your business where you feel overwhelmed, where you feel like you can't get it done. And so you avoid the best thing I can say. And this is again, coming from someone who was very imperfect with this.
Brian: I don't have a perfect solution to this, if it's okay. There's a couple, there's a couple of layers to this, but I've got to move on for time. Cause I got to get to the opera tonight,
Chris: Oh, my God. It's can you repeat
Chris: that? That was the stupidest thing you've ever said on this podcast.
Brian: really, okay. We're going to see sleeping beauty at the state opera house here in Prague.
Brian: Is that the stupidest thing you've ever heard on the podcast? And I didn't think so.
Chris: I'm going to double down and say yes,
Brian: It seems very intolerant of you.
Chris: I'm just kidding. I'm just, I mean, it was like you said, well, I, we have to end this podcast cause [00:57:00] I have to go to the yacht club and play croquet while eating
Brian: Yeah. Well, anyways, so going, going back on this, the only thing I can say, there's, there's multiple layers to this is it's okay. If you just be, just be better tomorrow, just like give yourself some grace and reply to the next email you get or whatever that thing is that you just have this long back list of things like it's okay to declare email bankruptcy, or just, just ignore those things.
Brian: As long as they aren't holding your business back. If it's holding your business back, it's time to start tackling some of those things that are backlog. But for the most part, the reason I hired James is to take some of this off my plate, because a lot of these things are things that James can handle, not things that I should be handling, and this is really important.
Brian: And honestly, Kind of a, it's kind of a one-two punch, which goes to our second thing to delegate it's things I don't like doing either. If it's like, if it's an email, like helping someone recover a password or helping someone answer a question, that's an FAQ frequently asked questions that we have, like something we can copy and paste our template.
Brian: We can send them, I hate doing that because it's not, there's nothing fun to [00:58:00] just load up a template and send it to somebody it's not it's, it's, it's a, it's a slog. So this is where we start looking to, like, if there are things that you. those things that are piling up, that's a really good sign that you're either bad at it.
Brian: Or number two, you hate to do it. So these are the things you've got to get off your plate so that these are not the things that are weighing you down mentally and emotionally, because I'll tell you right now, if I didn't have James in my inbox every day, looking at it, monitoring it, answering the things that need to be answered or passing off things.
Brian: To me that need to be passed off it's it would be an emotional and a mental burden on me every single day. And so James handling that every single day is a huge stress relief that allows me to focus on big picture stuff. Be the CEO of my business, look where it's going to be in the future, not being bogged down by stuff.
Brian: That's someone else's agenda on my life and my business. That's an email, that's an inbox. So that's the first thing to go for me. So those are the first two things to delegate. Number one, things you're bad at number two, things that you hate to do. And a lot of those times, those are one of the same and a lot of, a lot of things.
Brian: But I think we should move to number three now, which is [00:59:00] things below your desired, hourly. So it can be things that you love to do. It can be things that you're really good at, but it's things that are below your desired, hourly income and your desired aerial income can be any number. Like for some people, it might be 50 bucks an hour, which is the least I could say you should be looking to earn if you want to make a hundred grand a year.
Brian: Is it a full-time 40 hour, a week of around 50 bucks an hour is what you need to make to make, to earn six figures a year. But for some people, like for me, it's in the hundreds of hours. So like, if I'm not getting paid hundreds an hour, I shouldn't be doing it. If it's not something that's earning my business hundreds an hour, then I shouldn't be doing.
Brian: And that's because I've leveraged my time so much that my time is incredibly valuable to me. And for you, it could be 20 bucks an hour. It could be 25 bucks an hour. There's no like you get to set this rate, but whenever you know what that number is in your business, that definitive number, then you start looking to the daily tasks that you're doing yourself, which James did for me.
Brian: He just said like, why are you doing this? I could have done this for you. He looks at this task and says, is this going to earn me X per [01:00:00] hour? If not, I should not be doing it. It is, it is a thing that I can pass to someone else to do. And that helps boost helps leverage your hourly income. Chris, you have anything to add to
Chris: Yeah. Well, there's a flip side of this as well. You have to think about what is your peak hourly income. We've talked about this in the podcast in the past, but what is the, the circle of genius that you have where you're making an obscene amount of money? Because you have a corner in the market, you are unbelievable at this one thing.
Chris: How do you spend more of your time doing that? One thing you do exactly what Brian said. You figure out what are the things outside of that zone. And especially if they're below your desired average income per hour, and you start to hand those to somebody else. If you want to get better as a creative, you have to focus on doing creative work. And in order to do that, you have to delegate. Other stuff to other people. And [01:01:00] eventually you're going to have to delegate some of your creative work to somebody else because it's not in your circle of gene.
Brian: Yeah. So honestly, whatever, there's like two areas, there's the left brain stuff, which is like the super analytical, like strategic step-by-step kind of things that are not creative at all. And those are honestly the first things that should be going into business. That's what I did from a mixing business where I was mixing and mastering music and every single step in the process that wasn't creative.
Brian: I built a whole step-by-step process. I created a tutorial video and I pass it off to an assistant and I paid him 30 bucks an hour. And I was making many multiples of that on the backend because I knew what my desired, hourly income was. I could pay him a fraction of that and I kept the rest. Allowed me to leverage my income from instead of around 80 to a hundred bucks an hour, up to 300 bucks an hour, because I was taking off so much of that non-creative work in my business.
Brian: And then now that meant my average hourly income, I desired hourly income was two to $300 an hour, which meant now anything below that number should be passed off. And [01:02:00] that means there's some certain creative tasks that can be passed off to somebody. And you want to talk about, can you find somebody for 90 to a hundred bucks an hour that can do high quality work in the creative world in my world?
Brian: Absolutely. So that's, that's the power of when you start leverage, you're leveraging your income. You have more money to pass off to people for those more creative tasks or the higher, more difficult tasks to do. So that's where you start, really skyrocketing your income. So we're kind of going off in the weeds here, but that's the third thing is hiring off things That are below your desired hourly income. So that's, so just to wrap all this up, the three things were number one, things that you're bad at, or another way of saying that there's things that are outside of your circle of genius. Number two, things that you hate to do, number three, things below your desired, hourly income, those are really the best places to start.
Brian: And if you find two bad acids like Kyle and James send them our way or hire them, whatever you want to do, but that's a good place to start is hiring some of the best people that you can who can get [01:03:00] past all sorts of stupid BS tests that you put in the way like the potato test and the penny test.
Brian: Uh, James' kudos for you for getting through those. Now, any last words, James or Kyle of, of what should people look to or expect, or consider when they're looking to hire.
James: You know, I, I think it's obvious given the test and the application that you talked about, but don't hire the first person that you talk to, even if they seem great, check out the other options. I went through this recently. I hired an editor for other podcasts that I work on and all three candidates were great when I was talking to them.
James: But the first two of them kind of sucked when it came to the practical test. And the third one just knocked it out of the park. And he's been working with me since February now. And he's great. So yeah, just pay attention and don't go for the first person that reaches out.
Kyle: Yeah, exactly. I agree wholeheartedly with James.
Brian: Well guys, thank you so much for coming on the podcast, be interviewed being willing to sh to air our dirty laundry about Chris and I. And, uh, for [01:04:00] anyone who's looking tired, assistant your business, I can't recommend it enough. It is a game changer in your business. That is honestly, that's the time when you plant your flag in the ground and say like, I'm no longer just a simple freelancer.
Brian: I am an entrepreneur, I'm a business owner. I'm gonna take this seriously. I'm gonna set my business up for any potential changes in the future, in my, my life, my personal time, things like Chris talked about in his story, when unexpected events can happen in sideline, you for a long amount of time, this is a really good way to, to kind of future proof your business in, even in the worst of times.
Brian: So, all right. That's it.
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