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)

Be a leader, not a needer

In management it seems that there is a massive misconception about managing employees and how they “manage” their most valuable assets in their company. Looking at the leaders of today, they have this mentality of breaking down their employees to show their “management worth”, and that’s about it.

Take a look at the largest companies in the world that have a sales division such as Coca-Cola or Home Depot. They have an internal sales team that is responsible for massive amounts of growth and that department is solely responsible for maintaining revenue, forecasting revenue, as well as interpreting market trends.

When you’re looking at these massive companies with sales divisions, look at the people that are making it happen versus the upper management. There’s going to be a large amount of “worker bees” that actually out-weigh the skill sets of their management. This is due to their managers lack of drive, lack of knowledge, and lack of market trends.

The managers that fit this role are typically those who develop issues to manage in the work place, and provide their employees with enough guidance to feel “in control” of the situation still.

Example: Your best sales person understands market trends and provides your firm with 50% of your annual revenue, however that’s the same person that you keep putting down for character flaws and management styles that do not agree with yours. Well, truth be told, it’s his character that grew your company, it’s his management style that grew your revenue stream, and it’s his work ethic that sustains the company. Is the issue really the sales person, or the lacking knowledge and guidance provided by the manager? This manager is the same person that will say “you’re not ready” or “that’s not a good fit” to their employee to keep them generating revenue.

Keep your employees on the hamster wheel long enough, they’ll realize they’re worth more than you value, and they’ll hop off the wheel, and far surpass their manager’s “expectations” but elsewhere.

Be mindful of how you’re treating those employees, and be sure to evaluate where you are in your company as an employee.

It’s easy to spot a bullshit manager. Just take a look at yourself.

Remember those “managers” will either LEAD you or NEED you…

Kids Today… WTF?!

Seriously, what the fuck is wrong with kids today? There is a total lack of respect with kids in society today and the world is completely screwed. Multiple times over this Christmas holiday off work I have been out at stores and have seen children screaming at their parents and back talking like it was no big deal. Then I see the parents just laugh and brush it off like their kid is a fucking angel?!

These kids need a swift kick in their asses before the cruel world knocks them down. I am in my mid-thirties and never in my entire childhood could I have gotten away with talking to my parents so disrespectfully.

The world is screwed if these kids are “the future”…. SMH

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!

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.

Don’t be a megaphone!

This applies to most people unfortunately. If this doesn’t apply to you, I personally applaud you and thank you for your logical service to society.

In a whirlwind of bullshit at one of our offices today I have an employee run up to me and say “Hey, we have a problem”… He states the problem which obviously cannot be shared with all of you, but the problem is small in the big scheme of things. Literally, the problem equates to somewhere in the neighborhood of a fraction of a percent.

So, I of course ask the logical questions of… 1. are we required to take part in this? 2. what is this needed for? 3. have you asked anyone else about this to see if it is actually needed?

As I ask these questions, I get blank stare in return. To all of them.

I say this as a business owner, problem solver, and more so than that, a logical person who doesn’t like bullshit.

Please make it a point when seeing a problem and complaining about it, to actually have a solution to the problem when you are bringing it up to someone. Think of how the person must feel when you’re bring a shit little problem to the table, but no solution.

Don’t me a megaphone and state the problems louder than necessary. What are you doing? What are you solving?

Be logical. Be thoughtful. Be proactive.

Be careful who you sh*t on!

In all aspects of life you will run into people not just once, but multiple times. Don’t ask why, but generally if you’ve seen someone once, there’s a very high likelihood that you’ll see them again. No matter if personal of professional, you will likely run into the same people later in life.

A great example of this, which is very relevant as of recently for me is a business partner we worked with in Los Angeles a few years back. My company had a large project out in Los Angeles, California with this project team that was comprised of about 5 individuals who were living out there permanently to finish up this start-up project they were working on. When working on these larger projects, you get pretty close to the people you’re working with because they are who you are with literally ALL day. I am not emphasizing when i say all day. You live in the same corporate housing, you eat at the same restaurants, you work on the same job site, it’s literally nuts. Over the 18 months we were on-site my partners and i got very close with the project team out there that we were working with. These guys were from ALL walks of life and all countries.

One thing i forgot to mention was the fact that these guys you are working with, are literally your weekend co-pilots. Lots of times it’s more of a pain in the butt to travel back home Friday after work, just to fly back on Monday morning or Sunday evening. More times than not we would end up staying in Los Angeles to play golf over the weekend and just goof around. We did toooons of dumb shit while out there. It was great.

Once our project was closed out we all shook hands and parted our ways like men do and haven’t spoken since.

(Fast forward 6 years)

My company is working on a project, and we hear our client is going to be bringing in a new internal project team for us to work with. We really don’t think anything of it because it’s a longstanding client of ours, and they’re just shifting chess pieces around essentially. Earlier this week my company was asked to come in for a meeting so we could meet the new project team that would be handling this project for us, and guess who walks through the door?

The same three guys we worked with back in Los Angeles for 18 months! As soon as we saw each other we all busted out laughing and exchanged hugs, laughs, etc. These were three guys that i thought i would NEVER see again in my entire life despite spending close to two years of our lives together. These are guys that literally, not only live on the other side of the country, but two of them live on the other side of the world. The likelihood of us seeing each other again was so slim, i never thought it would happen.

Now, we are working on this dream project with people that we have a GREAT professional and personal relationship with…

Goes to show you…. Almost a decade later… People remember you. They remember the good times. The bad times. They remember everything. Be careful who you shit on, and how you treat people. You never know when God’s going to put someone or something back into your life!