Just A Number. The Worst Business Decision.

Over the past few days I sat down with an entrepreneur friend of mine who is a very successful woman with a large company based out of the Atlanta, GA area. From my last post, I felt like I really needed to dig in and digest what my company and other companies do to help their employees not feel like a “number”, and dig into their employee retention.

The woman I sat down with yesterday owns an extremely successful company, that chances are you all have heard of, and you know personally. When we sat down with her, and we got past our typical exchanges of “how’s the family” bullshit, we really dug into the facts and I asked her the following question to begin…

“What made you feel like you had to leave your old company, and start your own?”

Her answer was one which was the most telling thing to me, and really hit home more so than any other answer she could have given.

Her response: “I got to a point where i felt like a number, and not a part of the company. I became disposable, as the only value i brought to the table was numbers to them”

I took this and really sat back and thought about it, because her answer was a bit different than what i thought it would be. She didn’t come out and say “well i could make more money”, or “well i hated my boss”, or something along the lines that you would expect. She simply stayed in her lane as her boss asked her to, and simply generated numbers to support the longevity of the company and build the company she worked for and loved.

Finally, she got sick of only bringing numbers to the table and wanted to bring more. When she asked to bring more to the table and manage employees, it became very clear that she was just a number, just a revenue generator, and nothing else.

Essentially, her value to the company was defined by a sales number and that was it…. All along she simply wanted to do more for the company to help build them up.

Just think about it; As a company you have your best sales resource saying “i want to help manage people the correct way and help them generate more revenue”…

The company was so concerned about HER revenue generation, they didn’t want to invest in anyone else and let her help grow others into larger revenue generators.

Now, let me tell you where my friend is versus where her old company is…

My friend: Owns her own business. Makes her own money. Manages an amazing sales team and owns her OWN COMPANY. Calls her own shots, and doesn’t deal with the narrow minded bullshit of other people. She wants to see you grow, wants to see you flourish professionally and empowers not only women but everyone at her company, regardless of position, race, sex, creed, etc.

Her old company: Took a massive sales hit the first year she left. In one year, their revenue was cut in half, they want through lay-offs, and they closed their doors a year and a half after her departure. Two years after her departure her new company purchased her old company’s assets, and sold them off a few months later.

If THIS doesn’t provide insight on how to treat people, how to manage your employees, and how to grow a business, then you deserve the shit train wreck you’re about to cause.

Keep your heads down, and grind it out. Remember, CASH IS KING.

No one will ever fault you for benefiting yourself. (And if they do, they’re pieces of shit)

How’s your day?! Really!

Kind of funny to ask the question and see how people reply to it. You can learn a lot about individuals outlooks in life based upon their response.

When people ask you this question I challenge everyone to respond in a way that only uplifts your day and your attitude.

When people ask me how my day is going, I tell them that I’m conquering the fuck out of the day, and then I’m gonna flip it over and finish!

Fuck replying like you’re “accepting” the hand of cards you’ve been dealt.

Control your hand of cards, and conquer the fuck out of your day!

Friends With Benefits

It’s pretty funny how people can perceive you personally as well as in business.

During my career I have met many individuals who simply were friendly under the notion of what they could get out of me or my firm professionally. After months and sometimes years of friendship certain things happen and you start to see the true colors of these people.

It becomes very clear when the pressure is turned up as to who is your friend, and who was simply occupying space with you to see what they could get out of you.

Personally, I prefer to work only with friends. We are a privately held firm and we need to align our cultures and beliefs with others, in order to develop that strong professional relationship.

It’s interesting how people crumble in the pressure cooker of life, and their true colors come out allowing you to see their true motivation.

To those of you that can’t handle the pressure cooker. Fuck you.

It all comes out in the wash. Parasites!

While the overall displeasure of lazy employees haunts most of us on a daily basis, it remains pretty consistent that it always comes out in the end.

Typically, in most all businesses there are always those few employees, generally one per department, who really do more harm than good. These are the people that have the reactionary management mentality and love being the “superhero” of the team when everything falls apart because they were not pulling their weight.

These individuals are the parasites of companies and are quite possibly the worst individuals you can employ. They will suck the life out of your employees and at the same time bring the morale of your company down to a point of mass chaos.

Everyone should take a step back and try to identify the parasite of your department or company. Every single company has one, and if you don’t know who it is… it’s you!

Hire wisely!

How You Act.

We just spent the weekend up in the North Georgia Mountains with some of our best friends. We have a pretty diverse group of friends, and all of us have vastly different career paths, so we have to schedule time for all of us to get together. The best time for us to do that is typically every November, without any kids, and far enough up in the mountains to where we do not get cellphone coverage.

Especially with kids now-a-days, it has become more difficult for us to actually make time to just talk with other parents that are on our same wavelength, and simply just decompress from all of the shit we deal with. All in all, there were a total of four couples on this trip, staying in a beautiful mountain top cabin where food and drinks were plentiful.

While sitting in the hot tub one night chatting about life with my four buddies we got on subject of our wives being nagging little shits, when all of them are stay at home moms and really do not stress about anything other than where’s the wine, where’s the cleaning lady, where’s the baby… In that order.

One thing became incredibly apparent while chatting with them… All of us really live conservatively and try to give back as much as possible to where we came from in life or to those that are less fortunate. Additionally, we stay on top of our household finances pretty intensely to ensure we are not just squandering money away.

It became very apparent though that the way we looked at life was vastly different than a lot of our peers and friends. This was simply because of the fact that all four of us came from nothing, and we have turned our lives into something for our families and ourselves. Others that we are friends with, primarily came from money and very well off families, which i believe somewhat skewed their perception of life.

You appreciate things a whole hell of a lot more when you have worked for them and when you have taken the time to actually put the sweat equity into your overall quality of life. I would advise anyone, even if you are blessed enough to have come from a very well off family, to get your ass out there and work like a slave.

There’s a certain respect your gain for what you’ve worked for that can only help your financial livelihood.

Think like you’re RICH!

I am sure all of us can name a few of these people in our lives that thrive for the easy way out. A lot of us can relate to having the one employee that simply tries to do as little as possible, only caring about themselves, and not the additional burden then place on their co-workers.

Additionally, many of us know the parents that simply stick an iPad in front of their child and treat it like a babysitter, and then there’s those people that always seem to get tied up in “hard times” because of the life decisions they make.

No matter who the person is or the situations surrounding their “Easy out”, 95% of the time the easiest way out it actually the hardest and with the most consequences. The shitty employee will eventually have all of the other employees turn on them, the bad parent will eventually have a child with behavioral problems, and the individual with the “hard times” will keep having hard times because of their bullshit life decisions.

A long time ago a professor told me that the only difference between rich people and poor people was they way they looked at life. He told us this at the very beginning of the semester and we all looked at him like he was some sort of insensitive jerk-off with little or no compassion. Then as he began to teach the class, it turns out he was right…. Think about it. The only difference between rich people and poor people is the fact that the rich look at a problem and find a solution, they’re solutions people. They thrive on solutions as the solutions can make their lives easier, and their is a direct correlation to them finding a solution and them having the ability to make more money. Now think about the poor person, they simply accept a bad hand of cards, put their shoulders down and say “well, it’s just not my time”… Note: a really good way to spot this person is to look for the person that blames everyone else’s success on “luck”… It’s not luck when you make it for yourself!

The easy way is never taken by the rich, because they’re always looking for solutions. If the rich do have the means of taking the easy way, it’s because they’ve made it easy for themselves.

Never look for the easy way out, it will only begin to shape your character in a way that will keep you comfortably living paycheck-to-paycheck.

Why do employees leave? 

My business partners and I have seen lots of companies succeed and have been strategically involved in their success which is something we live for. Unfortunately, we also see more companies fail. The largest reason companies fail is the fact that the companies cannot retain their start up talent. (The employees that make the business tick)

So, why do these people leave? Keep reading.

Companies overwork people. Nothing burns good employees out more than working them like slaves. They have lives too. Remember most employees work to live.

If you must increase how much work your talented employees are doing, you’d better increase their company status as well. Who is responsible for the company’s success?

Companies don’t recognize contributions and reward good performance. The mentality of “you’re lucky to be working here” doesn’t work anymore. Sorry to say but we are not in a recession employers.

They hire and promote the wrong people. Your employees know when you hire the wrong people and they see through the bullshit. I have seen employees threaten to leave the company, and the companies turn around and give them a raise and promotion to avoid any market back lash from a PR standpoint.

They don’t let people pursue their passions. The convenient glass ceiling. Fuck that. You need to provide your employees with a development path and a career. Not a job!

Be a good boss. Ask yourself if you’re treating your employees how they should be. Disconnect from your ego, status, and your corner office and actually listen.

Un-Friend People. Do it.

Nasty-D and I were talking about this the other day, and from both of our perspectives, it is quite accurate. Nasty-D is a few years younger than me, but we both grew up in the same part of town, with the same types of people.

Look at the people in your high school and college that were addicted to each other. I’m sure for everyone there’s that one group of bitchy stick up the ass idiots in your life. This applies to men and women, doesn’t matter trust me.

Look at those people now, in your late twenties and early thirties.. They don’t look so hot anymore do they? They likely have the same group of friends, thrive for that same interaction, with the same people, doing the same things, making the same salary, making the same decisions, with the same consequences and outcomes. Sounds thrilling doesn’t it? Not so much.

I spent my time in high school as well as college distancing myself from these people for the sole fact that i had one goal in mind, to live a financially independent life and not have my wants of today negatively impact my wants of next year. I sacrificed a few years of partying in college, for decades of freedom. That also meant un-friending some of those people that simply brought me down in life. I look back and i do miss some of the dumb things i used to do, but would i give up all this that i have now, for some stupid stuff 15 years ago? Not so much. A phase of your life should determine the rest of your life.

Nasty-D was the same way. Graduated high school early, graduated college early, and is now working his ass off making TONS of money doing something he loves. All because he sacrificed all of the social bullshit in high school and college, to succeed later in life.

Don’t lose sight of your goals and what you REALLY want out of life.