Episode # 24 - FigureItOutNess
As we are building our businesses, it’s so easy to fall into the trap of wanting someone to just tell us how to do it. We buy courses and checklists so we know all the things. But we can’t know all the things. That’s why having figureitourness is such a huge asset as business owners AND for the people we hire.
Featured on this show:
- The Techie Mentor - Susan Mershon
- Certified Director of Ops - The Ops Authority
Hello, everyone, and welcome to Episode 24. When you're a business owner, there are all these times when you have no idea what you're doing. We do our best to figure this out, right? We have to figure out how to do bookkeeping, or get a website, or how to sell things, or... all the things... right? Especially if you come from corporate where you did one thing and now you do all the things. There's a real feeling, especially depending on your personality type, that you want to know all the things, you're not going to go put your business out into the world until you're "ready", you're not going to be able to sell this product until you're "ready". I'm going to tell you today that you're never going to be ready because you can't know all the things. Even if you thought last year, you had a pretty good handle on all the things... 2020 has made us really aware that we do not know things and there's no way to prepare for everything. And it turned a lot of things upside down. I want you to realize we have to just move forward regardless of that. It's a big part of being an entrepreneur is kind of knowing that right? Like you're willing to go out into the unknown. Because most entrepreneurs have what I call "figure-it-out-ness". It's hugely important trait as far as I'm concerned with business owners, contractors, the independent contractors that I hire. This is a huge, huge thing I hire for. If they can figure it out, whatever it is, if they have that kind of drive to figure things out, whatever I throw at them, they're going to be fine. They'll learn it, they'll figure it out. And as a business owner, that has been, I think my most valuable asset over this time, not my experience on Wall Street, not anything else. Being able to get in there and figure it out has been the biggest asset I have. So I wanted to talk about it today. Because there has been a lot I've seen lately, between people I've coached and people that I've worked with, and just talk on the socials, people want to know... and you can't always know. I mean, you can know some things. But knowing that you can figure it out is much more helpful. Knowing in your head, "Alright, we're gonna, we'll be fine. No matter what happens, we'll be fine." That is gold. When I started my business, I didn't know any of it. How to do any of this. I definitely didn't know how to build a website. I didn't know how to do bookkeeping, software, all of the stuff that you have when you are out in this world, when you're not in corporate anymore using their systems. I would go on people's websites, I still do this to this day, I saw how to build websites, I built mine. And I've learned how to do things. But I will see something on somebody else's website and say, "Oh, that's really cool. I could have my podcast at the top like of my website." If you go to my website. At the top, you'll see the latest episode, plays, you can play it right there. I didn't even know that was a thing. But I saw it somewhere. And then I thought, I wonder if I can figure out how to do that. The internet's a great thing. Never in history, have we've had so much knowledge right at our fingertips, that you can just go Google something, or go to YouTube and figure out a video on how to do a whatever. It's incredible. So having that "figure-it-out-ness" is really damn awesome. And it's what saved me. Knowing that there is no one way to do something, I think is a really important point here to make too. Because not knowing anything and being like, "Alright, I'll figure it out." That's one thing, but then you see somebody doing something and you think, "Oh, well, that's the way to do it. That's the way to do it. And that's the way I should do it. The end." Well, maybe not. I see business owners all the time wanting the exact thing mapped out for them. I need a checklist. Do you have a list of questions I can ask? Is there an exact process I can follow word for word so that I can be successful?
Because being a business owner scary, right. There is no paycheck to fall back on and all that kind of stuff. It's scary. The fear that can come in, is the fear of "Oh my God, I'm totally gonna fail." And that's what keeps a lot of people going right? They don't want to fail so they work hard. I think that's a driver in some. But I think it's also a complete immobilizer in others. The idea that they could fail totally shuts them down . They get bogged down in wanting to be perfect and successful without ever failing. And that fear is terrible. It makes you feel terrible. But it also stops you from being good at a lot of things. Because lots of things out there, you've got to test and try. And if you do something one time, and it doesn't go well and you just stop. Well, that's it. Knowing that you have to fail a little bit, knowing that you're going to figure it out. That is how to keep going forward. When we get bogged down in the perfect, and we are held back by our fear of failure. We want to be told what to do. You go back into an employee mindset, please just tell me what to do and pay me. I just want somebody to tell me what to do. I want them to pay me. And I want to go home. That's not what we're doing here. That's not this gig. That's an employee mindset. You got to be a little bit more daring here. What are we going to do? How are we going to figure it out? The reason the course-creator sector of online businesses right now is so lucrative is because people want to be told what to do. They've been employees, or they're just scared. They want someone to give them the exact process to follow to be a millionaire. They sell you this dream of how you're going to do all of these things. And I'm not saying that they're scammers. They have a process that if you follow these steps, you should have some level of success. But most people don't follow the process. Most people don't finish the course. Most people like the idea of being told what to do. And then when they don't do it, they just feel bad about themselves. So I want instead, to remind you, that you have "figure-it-out-ness". You can go and figure this out. Life is a crazy mess these days. Everyone's ever, we don't know what's happening. I think the best meme has been like that what's going to happen in the season finale for 2020? We don't know. But knowing that you're going to be okay, no matter what happens, you're going to be okay, you're gonna figure it out. That is the thing. That's the thing. Look, I'm a worrier, I worry about everything. But I know we'll be fine. I'm gonna worry about it all, but we're gonna be fine. Instead of taking that course, from this person who has obviously some knowledge and knows what they're doing, they made lots of money themselves. Instead of taking that course with the idea of; I'm going to follow every minute and do exactly what they did, instead of all of that, why not take that course, take the knowledge out of it, and then start to figure out how you're going to do it. That is going to be the way you figure out how it works for you. That course, whatever that way, that process that you want someone to tell you, that's just one way to do something. It's not the only way. And maybe you have a way better way, or a way that works better. My brain works in certain ways other people's don't. So maybe I don't want to do their way. But I like to see all the different ways everyone does. It gives me ideas of how to build something else out. If I watch something, I'm not going to copy what they do. I'm going to figure out what's going on. You can build your knowledge from taking courses, then go and do it your way. That is how you build your business so that it's yours that you could build the life that you want. Being like one of... what are they? ...One of those animals, lemmings, they run off cliffs... don't be that. Being told what to do veers into that employee mode, and we are not employees. We are business owners. We are entrepreneurs. We have an idea and we're going out there to do it. Do you want to be cookie cutter? Do you want to be like everyone else? It's really hard to stand out especially in a saturated market if you are like everybody else. Any marketing course 101 will tell you you need to stand out. So take that knowledge and figure it out. Figure out how to make it yours.
Then you know that you can make it work. Start looking at how other people are doing it, take bits and pieces from here and there, get ideas. And then maybe that'll spark something in your own head as to how we get it done. I think that's one of my favorite things about the Director of Ops certification. Natalie's done a great job of giving a ton of information (Natalie Gingrich she's the owner of the Ops Authority which certifies the Director of Ops) and she's really great at giving information, teaching you different ways to do things, and then encouraging you to take that and go make your own business. I think every Director of Ops has a different business. I don't think there's any two of us that are cookie cutter. We have that knowledge, and then we've all taken it, and then mixed it with our strengths to create a business of our own so that we are living the life we want to have. And that's what I want for you, I don't want you to just follow the lemmings over the cliff. It becomes also very expensive to do that. Because you take one course after another after another, hoping that this one will make you a millionaire. This one will do it. This one will make you successful. You make you successful. There is no list or chart, or checklist, or course that will make you successful. You do it. You take that knowledge. You put it into practice. You do it. So far, I've talked about us, as the business owner, needing to figure this out, right, especially if you don;'t have enough cash, like especially in the beginning, and you don't have money, and you say, "Well, I need a website, and I need to figure out how to invoice people, and I need to figure out software and all this stuff" and you have no cash to go buy someone to build you a couple thousand dollars worth of a website, or any of the other things right. So you start googling everything, or reading about everything, and you start to put things together. And in the beginning, sometimes they're a little rough. And then you learn more and you do more. That's the whole idea. You don't need to do it another person's way. And I think a lot of people at this point, especially in my industry (the VA, OBM, DOO- that industry of online service providers) a lot of people think they have to take a course, to do a thing. I took a kickstart course I've mentioned it before, from the techumentor, Susan Marshawn. And it was a business building thing, because I didn't know any of that kind of stuff. I could have googled it, I wanted that kind of short way to get everything that I need to know in a very quick time to get up and running quickly. But I didn't take a course on how to build a website, because that to me was something I could figure out. You don't need courses. Sometimes they are the quicker way to learn things. But a lot of times you can figure it out. So I don't want you guys out there to think that you need to spend a ton of money having someone else tell you what to do. Be brave, you can do this. Alright, so that's us. But this also applies... it is a huge thing on your team, if you're hiring a team. I hire for "figure-it-out-ness". If I had a bullet point list of the things, the skills that I wanted someone to have "figure-it-out-ness" is number one. If you can figure it out, you can learn any of the other things that would be down the list. I mean, honesty and things like that are very important. You don't want anyone stealing from you. But being able to figure it out means that you can learn any software, you can figure out what you want to do, how you're going to do it. My guys are not employees, they are independent contractors. I hire them because they come with skills and a business of their own. So presenting them with a challenge and letting them figure it out. Like I have this issue. Can you figure out how to fix this? Can you figure out how to make this mess less of a mess? That is much more rewarding to them than me saying, follow this list of things and just do what I tell you. They get more involved in it. I can tell you it's much more exciting. They have that "figure-it-out-ness". They want to go figure it out. It's interesting. And that is a great, great value to me because that means I can get things off my plate. It's way less management. If they can figure things out on their own. That's their job, right? Like they come in, they help me figure all this stuff out. If they're always coming back to me
with 1000 questions because they don't know how to do any of it. How is that getting any of these tasks off my plate? If I'm just spending a whole bunch of time telling them how to do it? Wouldn't it be faster if I said to myself, and I think a lot of people when they hire someone, that's what happens. They say, "Can you go do this?" Person says, "I don't know how to do this, you have to tell me." And then it's right back on your plate. But if you hire for "figure-it-out-ness", and you say, "I have this problem, can you help me figure this out?" And they say, "Sure, I'd love to, I'll let you know if I have any problems." Done, they take it and go, you can do something else. Now, look, if they have questions, that's a different story. If they come to you and say, Look, I tried like five different things. I'm stuck on this thing, can I have a another look, from an outside point of view, can you give me some information on this, or whatever, that's different, but just walking into me, like, Yeah, I don't know how to do this. And just standing there without any kind of help, or ideas of how we might get through it, that is gonna suck the life out of you, and it's gonna suck all your time away. But if you're going to hire for "figure-it-out-ness" that means these people are interesting, qualified people, they are going to want the space and autonomy to figure it out. And that's hard sometimes, because you don't want to let it go. And you want it to be perfect. And you don't want it to be messed up, so you micromanage in the middle. Instead, give them the thing. Trust that you've hired the right person, and then let them do it. Remember, they are people that come with skills, you hire them for the reason, for that reason, you know? So presenting them with that challenge, giving them the space to figure it out, and then letting them know that if they have any questions, or if they need some kind of feedback, you're willing to help. That is the way I have gotten so much off my plate. I fall into this issue all the time (frankly, if you ask my team, they'll tell you this) where I think, "Oh, well, I have to tell them exactly how to do it. And I have to have it all prepared before I can give that to them. Because I don't want to give them a mess." but they are so much more capable that and frankly, they're probably better at it than I am. So if I said hey, I got this problem, it's a mess. Can you jump in here? They'd be like, Yeah, we got it. See you later. But I forget that that happens. So it's so easy. It's so easy to be like, Oh, I have to do all the things. They can figure it out, you can figure it out. Anything is possible. So a lot of this is just mindset. It's just mindset work. A good amount of everything in business is mindset work, believing you can all that kind of stuff, but also just the belief that you'll be okay. Because you're going to figure it out. And then looking for ways to figure it out, sitting in a corner and saying, "Oh, I don't know what to do. I wish someone could tell me what to do." That's, that's not going to work. And I know right now, there's a lot of people that are having a real rough time, with businesses being on the brink of closing. And that fear of failure. And that fear of not knowing what to do is overwhelming, and they can't see their way out of it. We have friends like this, I have clients, they've hit the wall so hard that they cannot see past that. And knowing in your heart, if you have to write it on a big piece of paper and stick it on a wall, "I will be okay. I will figure it out." reminding yourself of that. That will get you so much farther than going and buying a checklist and having someone else tell you what to do. And I know sometimes you just want someone to fix this for you because you're tired. And you've worked 20 hour days all week and you're shot. No one is going to hand you the magical formula to fix your life. You're going to be okay, you're going to figure it out. So write it on a piece of paper. I'm going to be okay. I will figure this out. I have "figure-it-out-ness" remind yourself of that. Even in the tough times, especially in the tough times. There is another way to do something you will figure it out and you will be okay. I know you guys are if you're listening to this you've got "figure-it-out-ness" maybe you don't remember it maybe you need to find it but I know you can do it and then go hire some people with some "figure-it-out-ness" and then they can help you get all the stuff done. That's what I'm gonna try to do. Get more stuff done. Guys, I'll see you next week.