Building a Business that Works Without You – Episode 51

Building a Business that Works Without You

Carl Taylor of the Automation Agency joins us today to speak about the powerful magic in building a business that works without you. I am so excited to share this episode with you because Carl is going to talk about his humble beginnings to building a successful business; his framework called the Four Stages of Removing You from the Business, which is one of my favourite frameworks; and his advice for people to be able to go up the stages of his framework.

This episode is sponsored by Angela’s 4-day, 3-night Women in Business Retreat happening in Australia on October 24-27, 2019. Click here to learn more.

Important Links Mentioned in the Show:

Carl Taylor Website

Carl Taylor LinkedIn

Automation Agency

Entrepreneurs by the Pool Facebook Group

Red Means Go! Book by Carl Taylor

Future of Humanity Podcast

10 Realities of Entrepreneurship Nobody Talks About – Business & Life Conversations Podcast Episode 36

Australian Business Collaborative Facebook Group

Finding Balance in Business Women’s Retreat

Angela Henderson Website

Angela Henderson Active Business Facebook Group

Angela Henderson Facebook Business Page

Angela Henderson Instagram

Prefer to read Building a Business that Works Without You? Here’s the transcript:

ANGELA:

You’re listening to the Business and Life Conversations Podcast with Angela Henderson, Episode 51.

Hey there, you’re listening to the Business and Life Conversations Podcast. My name is Angela Henderson and on this show, we talk about improving your business, life or both. By having amazing and rich conversations with brilliant guests who will inspire you and who will give you tips and tricks to help you grow both in life and in business.

Hey there, Angele here, and welcome back to another episode of Business and Life Conversations Podcast. I’m your host Angela, from Angela Henderson Consulting, where I’m a Business Consultant; helping women in business to develop the foundational framework and strategy they need to grow sustainable and profitable businesses. Today’s episode is a super important episode, but also one of my longest episodes I’ve recorded to date. Because my guest, Carl Taylor, has so much goodness, you can’t capture it in a 30-minute episode. He’s going to share with you the powerful magic in building a business that works without you. He’s also going to drop a serious truth bomb around the fact; if your business doesn’t work without you, it is a job. But you don’t have a business. Let that one sink in. In addition, he’s also going to share one of my favourite frameworks that he’s created and that I’ve seen to date, which is the four stages of removing you from your business. And he also shares so many other amazing golden nuggets.

But, before we jump into this episode, I just want to let you know that this episode is sponsored by my 4-day, 3-night Exclusive Women in Business Retreat. This particular retreat is an ability that allows to have women really have the chance to connect, refocus, learn, and grow, both in life and in business. This amazing event that I’m holding is going to be from October 24th through to October 27th, and it’s going to be down at the Gold Coast here in Queensland, Australia; and it is an exclusive event with only 50 tickets being sold. There are going to be 8 of Australia’s top female entrepreneurs speaking, we’re also going to be surrounding yourself with amazing people that will lift you up both at the conference and after conference, to daily masterminds to get individualized help on your business from both your peers and the speakers, to amazing food, being able to sleep in, and eat your meal uninterrupted; you’re not going to want to miss this amazing, amazing opportunity. To learn more about this event, and to purchase your ticket, head to angelahenderson.com.au and simply click on Retreat. From there, you’re also going to be able to see all the amazing highlights from our amazing 2018 event. And you’re also going to be able to see that we’ve got 6 monthly payment plans in order to help with your cash flow.

Now let’s begin to this much-needed episode around building your business that works without you. Alright, welcome to the show, Carl.

CARL:

Good to be here.

ANGELA:

I know you have been travelling a lot; you’ve been in The Philippines with your team. So, where are you today? Are you back in Sydney? Are you on a beach somewhere? I know you like to work remotely at times. Where are you?

CARL:

I am in Sydney. I’m back home right now. One of the few weeks, that in recent weeks I have been home. So I’m enjoying it. It’s raining today, but it’s still nice to kind of just chill out at home.

ANGELA:

Still just to chill? Yes, and it’s raining here in Brisbane, too. But I don’t mind the rain after the hot summer we had. It is nice to slowly ease our way into winter. Is it cold and rainy? Or just rainy?

CARL:

To be honest, I haven’t been outside. So, I’d say, in the house, it’s fine. So right now, it’s plenty; I do agree with you though, that nice transition into winter.

ANGELA:

Okay.

CARL:

I’m actually planning on escaping winter in June. I’m going to be going to Thailand for the month just to escape.

ANGELA:

Oh gosh. Okay. So you’re exiting.

CARL:

Yes. I’m leaving the cold.

ANGELA:

Yes. And whereabouts in Thailand are you going to be heading?

CARL:

I’ll be in Chiang Mai.

ANGELA:

Alright. Lovely. And any particular, like you’re just going to be hanging out in there? Are you going by yourself? With partner?

CARL:

Yes. I’m going by myself. Originally, it was going to be me and my partner; we were going for three months. She got a job promotion, which was a huge opportunity for her; which meant she couldn’t work remotely. So, I’m going now, just for a month. I have a friend that lives there; so I’m going to kind of hang out with him. And it’s been on my list for a while though, to live in Thailand; so just for a month; just going to hang out.

ANGELA:

Well, that will be a fantastic opportunity. And again, because what we are going to be talking about today, about building a business that works without you. When you do that, you’re going to be able to have a lot more opportunities, like living in Thailand for a month.

CARL:

Yes. Absolutely. Exactly.

ANGELA:

Now we first met originally in The Maldives, in September last year, with James Schramko, and we had seven days of fun; learning, swimming in the ocean was pretty magnificent, really. And I had a; I was giggling when I was thinking about having you on the podcast because when I caught up with the crew down at James Schramko’s event, we’re sitting down at dinner. And I looked at them, I was like, “If they give me the fish option,” I was like, “I’m going to die.” So for those of you that don’t know, I hate fish. And when we are on The Maldives, because obviously, you’re in The Maldives – fishes; a lot of what they cook with over there; and we kept saying like, “Anj doesn’t eat fish. Anj doesn’t eat fish.” Anyways, we sit down, and I swear, I was with my team, and Jackie and Debbie; and I get the fish dish. And we’re like, “Ohhh.” And anyways, I was giggling today.

CARL:

It’s a sign.

ANGELA:

It was a sign? I was like, “No.” And I remember you, you telling me like, “What are we eating?” Anyways, so The Maldives was super fun. And then, we spoke at We Are Podcast together.

CARL:

Right.

ANGELA:

And we’ve got quite a few mutual friends in this particular space. It is a bit of a small world like I was telling you before when I was at the conference couple of weeks ago. Your friend came up to me, and was like, “Hey, you know Carl?” Like, it really is, we are all are linked in some ways, somehow, in the way that we work in this entrepreneurial space.  

CARL:

Especially in Australia; it’s a small, small circle in Australia.

ANGELA:

So much small. And you have to do; you’ve got to be able to network and get along with everyone. And that’s what I love about Australia, is that it’s so small. Whereas, again in the US, there’s just so many different states; so many different people. Even politics plays a role in things, I think, over there. So it is; it’s a joy. So when I heard you at We Are Podcast; I was telling you this before we start recording. You do this diagram, which we are going to get into. And I pull this diagram out all the time to my VIP clients; when I go to conferences, to my peers. Because the way you explained about building a business that works for you really hit like; I’ve always kind of had it but it’s quite hard to explain to people. And that’s when I knew I needed to bring you on the podcast today; because listeners out there really need to be able to hear the wealth of knowledge that you have around about building a business that works without you.

But before we jump into that juicy conversation, I always ask my guest a particular question so that they can get to know a little bit about you from a personal side. And my question is, as I know you love reading. You’re quite analytical. And you are like constantly reading. And I want you to let us know, what is your all-time favourite go-to book that you just love?

CARL:

All-time favourite. I can tell you what I most recently read.

ANGELA:

Alright. Cool. Yes. That’s a good start.

CARL:

So that was, How to Be Rich by J. Paul Getty. It’s a book I’d actually bought many years ago; and started to read them, and then didn’t finish reading it. Until I watched the; there’s a movie, All For The Money, or something like that; where, J. Paul Getty, his grandson was, because I know J. Paul Getty, was, for a long time, one of the richest men in the world. And his grandson was kidnapped, and he refused to pay the ransom. So that’s what the movie was about. And it reminded me of the book. So I read that book; and I really, really quite enjoyed it. It’s not about how to get rich. It’s about when you are rich; the kind of mentality and how to think about things. And the thing I best took away from it was, how he thinks about the reason that you want to create wealth. It’s not about accumulating piles of cash. It’s about how you’re going to take and invest that back into the economy to ultimately increase everyone’s standard of living by employing more people, by investing in people’s ideas or technologies that improve the world. I just really liked the way he kind of put it in perspective. So that’s the most recent book I read. The best book…

ANGELA:

I guess it’s the one that you find that you quote often or you go back in reference. Or it was a foundational element of starting your business, or…

CARL:

Yes, look, I would say Billionaire in Training by Brad Sugars was…

ANGELA:

Okay.

CARL:

…had a big, lasting impact to me at a very young age. I would also say that some of the classics; Think and Grow Rich, people talk about that all the time. I think I don’t agree with everything about the book, but I think, the general concepts are amazing and a great way of just thinking about how you’re thoughts and how you think about things can set up your reality. Brad Sugars was a very big, early influence to me. So I’ve got, he’s got like 15 books or something like that.

ANGELA:

Wow.

CARL:

I’ve read them all. They’re all on my shelf. They’re very practical. Like there’s one called, Instant Leads; if you need more leads, you open the book and flip through all these different strategies.

ANGELA:

Cool.

CARL:

Now, it’s a bit outdated. It was kind of pre-internet or back in the early days of the internet that the books were written. But I still go to those.

ANGELA:

But they can still be a lot of value. I was speaking on James’ about HH Marketing, and there’s still a lot of value and some of the old school techniques, right? That we forget about, I think. Because we’re, and again, as you know like you own Automation Agency, which I’m all about automation. And again, getting yourself out of the business, but sometimes you still have to have little bits of human elements in there. And some of those old school practices can have this that we don’t see on a regular basis.

CARL:

Yes. Absolutely. And I think also, being at a look outside, especially if people who are in the digital marketing world, which I know, you and I, Anj, are very much in that world; that it can be very easy to start to forget. But you know what; radio ads can be super effective. TV ads can be super effective. With the right offer to the right audience, it’s all valuable. You don’t have to just think about doing everything online.

ANGELA:

Facebook ads. Exactly right. Again, if your ideal client is sitting in traffic for 45 minutes a day, and it’s constantly going to be at that red light where the billboard is; and that’s every single day, five days a week, 20 days a month; then that billboard, it could stand correctly. Like you said, could have an enormous amount of impact on your business.

CARL:

Exactly.

ANGELA:

Yes. Cool. Now, listen. That’s your favourite book. So thank you for sharing that. But tell us a little bit about Carl Taylor, coming to your journey into entrepreneurship. What is your current business? Anything that’s upcoming? And then, we’ll jump into the episode about building a business that works without you.

CARL:

Sure. So, look, I’ve been in this business game for a while. I’m a fairly young guy, I mean I suppose I’m not as young as I used to be, I just recently turned 33.

ANGELA:

Yes.

CARL:

But I started my first business when I was 15. So I’ve been at this business game for 18 years now. And over those 18 years, if anyone else listening who’s been in for a similar time, its journeys of highs and lows. That’s entrepreneur journey, right? I’ve made a lot of money. I’ve lost a lot of money. I’ve been not paying myself for years. I’ve been working overtime, and having businesses I hate and having clients I hate; all the stuff, right? That happens. And so, basically when I was 15 years old, I started my first proper business, I mean there were few kinds of things as many had. But my first proper business was a web design business at 15. And I ran that through high school, and that kind of pivoted on into; I then had an IT company with my Dad for 8 years, which we built up and sold. During that period of time, I bought a gift basket business; I went to do something completely different. I have a very tech background, right? Use your public picking up; I thought myself to code. I don’t know; 13 or something; I can’t remember the exact days.  But I’ve always been very techy, I’ve always been self-learning driven, and I wanted to try and do something different. So I bought a gift basket business with the purpose of trying to build it up to then sell it again.

ANGELA:

Yes.

CARL:

So that was, I was going to have my first experience of casual staff and stock that can go out of date. Like did you know; that you know, if you sell food goods, if they’re going to go out of date in a few months, you can’t put that in a basket that’s going out to someone, right?

ANGELA:

Yes.

CARL:

So you’ve got to be keeping your eye on how; the stock and make sure the staff are putting in the right stock in the basket and not getting the stuff that won’t be expired for ages. And yes, that was a lot of learning. I also put in that business kind of the Operations Manager, my best friend at that time.

ANGELA:

Oh, yes.

CARL:

And I learnt valuables lessons around mixing friendship and business and how that doesn’t always work out. Thankfully, my mate and I are now on really good terms.

ANGELA:

That’s good.

CARL:

Because there was definitely, probably a period of a few years that we were not as friendly as we once were; and I can tie it back to kind of things happened during the business together.

ANGELA:

Yes.

CARL:

So, I’ve had some business; I’ve sold some businesses. After selling the IT business in particular, I’ve written a book in 2010 called Red Means Go! You can find it on Amazon if people are interested.

ANGELA:

Yes.

CARL:

I wrote that book, and all of a sudden, I wanted to shed this geeky version of me. I’d always been this young, techy guy. But you know, bullied as a kid; the usual story. Because it wasn’t cool to be techy when I was young.

ANGELA:

Okay.

CARL:

It’s kind of cool to be techy, now.

ANGELA:

It’s cool, now. Yes. It’s kind of hip and fun.

CARL:

It was not cool when I was going through my schooling years. And so, I was a single man at a time. And I would, in my IT business; I’d be going to these offices where there were single attractive women in these offices. And I felt like they just looked at me as this geeky, tech dude. And not as someone that was an equal. That was the story I told myself.

ANGELA:

Yes.

CARL:

I guess that’s not reality. But that’s the story…

ANGELA:

The story we tell ourselves. Yes.

CARL:

And so, I wanted to shed myself off that. And that was part of the reason, not the only reason; part of the reason we sold the IT business. Because I’ve written this book; I’d gotten my first speaking ever opportunity. And I was a terrible speaker back then. And also, I wanted to be this big, important business guy. I kind of get caught up in my ego.

ANGELA:

Okay.

CARL:

And so, after the IT business, I really had a big identity crisis; I guess. So if anyone listening, how to sell a business before that you spent years and years building; you’re very quick like it’s your identity. It’s who you are, especially in the beginning. Like you identify so closely with your business; and so when you get rid of it, it’s almost like you lose a part of yourself.

ANGELA:

And when you lose that, too, because as a Mental Health Clinician, wherever there’s loss; there’s grief. Whether or not it’s spoken about or unspoken, it’s still there. And would say, like, that happened?

CARL:

Totally. Like, I floundered, for years. I floundered; I tried all sorts of different things. Like I tried to be a life coach; I was going and speaking, and doing a lot of free speaking, which was great. I enjoyed that. But it also didn’t make any money.

ANGELA:

Yes.

CARL:

I started to get into business stuff, and I was for a while; I had a business card saying I was the “Get Shit Done Guy.”

ANGELA:

Okay.

CARL:

You know, I had a business card saying, “You want to friend [inaudible]. I had all these things going on and nothing was sticking. And then eventually, I think it was at Tony Robins event actually; he kind of motivated me to the point, it got me to commit to do something that I didn’t want to do for a while. I’ve been thinking about it, but I didn’t feel I had the; what’s the word? I suppose I didn’t believe that I was worthy.

ANGELA:

Yes. Which is common.

CARL:

Yes. Especially in the coaching world; there’s a lot of people who feel like they don’t; they got that fraud complex of feeling like do they really have the right to say that they’re an expert on this?

ANGELA:

Yes.

CARL:

But what I wanted to do is I want to teach other people; other entrepreneurs, the way I viewed business. And the way I viewed business even now, today, is more as a product rather than as a part of your identity; as a thing that you do, right? A business is something that in itself can be bought, can have value added to it, can be sold. And that’s a big part of what makes a business work without you, right? If you think of it in most ways, then part of making a business saleable is making sure that you don’t have to be tied to the sale.

ANGELA:

To the sale. 100%.

CARL:

And so, that’s when I launched, at the time, Business Builders Academy. And I was running seminars around Australia; teaching people how to buy businesses. And I was kind of teaching them that concept that was about; I run this seminar called How to Buy a Business for a Dollar? Because it was all about the story of how I had negotiated a café that was for sale. And I’d gone in there, and I’d negotiated a deal to buy it for a dollar. And so, that was kind of the premise of it. And then, in the seminar, I was then sharing that story and sharing the general principles that I believed about how to go about buying a business and how do you add value in and then sell it. And so, then, at the end that, I was selling some programs to help coach people through that process.  And that started to actually go quite well and I was enjoying that process. And then ultimately, I joined a coaching program, a good friend of mine, Taki Moore, who coaches coaches; so if you’re a coach out there, if you’re not familiar with Taki, check out his stuff. But when I joined; blocked out his coaching program, I was surrounded by other coaches who weren’t asking me tips about how I was doing business. They were asking me I was doing all my automated emails, and how I was doing all the tech things that I did to fill my events; and to automate the show ups in my events; and send the SMS; and do the emails; and basically all the tech side of things. That’s what everyone in the room was asking me for help on. And so, I ultimately decided that you know what, the better thing, the better fit for me; I had to kind of realize that, I supposed I had to now accept that I’m okay with being a techy person.

ANGELA:

Got you. So you went back to the tech world.

CARL:

I had to kind of embrace it. That you know what, that’s a natural skill; that’s a natural part of my genius. Is that I naturally; things that people struggle with on a tech side of things just make absolutely perfect sense to me. And so, that’s when I quit coaching. But there are a number of reasons as well. Like, I had a number of students who did really well. But I had a lot of other people who, partly because of the branding of How to Buy a Business For a Dollar, that were coming; and all they really had was a dollar to their name. And yes, it is possible to buy a business for a dollar; it’s definitely possible. Generally, if you’re buying it for a dollar, you’re going to need some working capital to fix it, right?

ANGELA:

You either have to bootstrap or cram find it or something because, yes.

CARL:

Yes. Because it’s not something that if you’ve only got a dollar that, “Cool,” you’ll buy a profitable business. That’s very rare that that happens. So there are other people who were successful with buying businesses for like 20 grand that were worth a hundred grand; things like that. Those are the ones successful. But there were far too many people who didn’t fall in that category that I’d attracted. And so, quitting coaching and just starting automation is a done for agency is kind of the journey that got me essentially to here. I think that was about five years ago now; I started Automation Agency. And just to share as well, even though I know all these and I’ve been in business so long; when I started Automation Agency, I made all the same mistakes. I set it up as a business that couldn’t work without me. I built a business that revolved around me. We did projects; we got on the phone with me; I did the sales. I then, when, if you said yes to a project, I was the one that kind of project manage the whole thing. Sometimes I would use copywriters; other times I would write the copy for the clients. Like, I just built this business that so much revolved around me. And it was one day that I was having a conversation with a friend when it really hit me. I think; I can’t remember what we were talking about, but I know that it came from that conversation. Where all of a sudden, I was like, “What am I doing? I used to teach people about building a business you could sell. There’s no way I could ever sell this business.” Like, “What am I doing? Have I forgotten everything that I believed?”

And that was the moment that I switched our business model to what exists still today; I think, four and a half years later. And that’s what we call our Concierge Model; it’s a flat monthly fee people pay. And they get access to our team of graphic designers, WordPress developers and marketing, automation gurus; who just implement what you want. Because that was one of the things; I recognized that one of the core parts of my business that involved me was the strategy piece; was the advice and helping clients, and giving people more of the strategy. Not the implementation; that was fine. I could teach people to do that. What I struggled was finding someone who was better than me at giving the advice on what someone should do in their business, and helping them come up with what their lead magnet should be, and what the copy should say, and what the funnel should design should be. And that, while that was super valuable, it meant that I had to charge a much higher price or I had to find someone who could do what I did. And the reality was, in my business model, that the people who would be really good at it as well; maybe not quite the same level as me or maybe even better than me, who knows; those people generally were running their own show. They didn’t want to come and work for me. And if they did, they’d want huge amounts of money. And so I just thought, you know, what if I remove that from the business completely? Throw it away. Put that back on the client. That, you know, their job is to know their business and be learning elsewhere. And that was kind of what informed it; so how can we just offer at a no-brainer low priced. And that was the birth of Concierge Service, which is the core part of Automation Agency today. So that’s a long, long; but it could have been a longer way of summarizing 18 years in business.

ANGELA:

But I think it’s going to be important because again, it gives the listeners a broader view of where Carl Taylor started, some of the things you had to go through and how you’ve come out the other side to be able to truly have a business that works without you. And that’s going to be important because if people just kind of heard some of the questions we’re going to ask, it might not be so relatable. So I think it is super important to have that initial conversation to kind of create the foundation of where we’re going with building a business that works. And I guess one of the first questions that I want to ask you today is that you said at We Are Podcast that you had a mentor that gave you a definition of a business that changed your world. And I love you to share that with everyone because I think that’s going to kind of start the conversation about how to build a business that works without you.

CARL:

Totally. Yes. So I already mentioned his name actually. Early on, we’re talking about the books. His name is Brad Sugars. So he was an Aussie or is an Aussie, but he now lives in Vegas in the US. And he started a business called Action International, which is now known as ActionCOACH. And so basically, when I was 20 years old, yes 20 years old I think; I was running the IT company, I’ve got a cold call that changed my life. I answered the phone; had an office in the front of my parent’s place; because I was still living at home at 20, and we had our office. And I answered the phone, and this guy on the other end goes, “Hi. I’d like to speak to the business owner.” I said, “Yes,” proudly and confidently, “Yes, that’s me.”

ANGELA:

“That’s me.” Yes.

CARL:

And he goes, “Great. So, I saw you’re advertising in the Yellow Pages,” that gives you in context to what we were advertising in that, then.

ANGELA:

Yes.

CARL:

“I saw you’re advertising in the yellow pages. I’m just curious. Like, how’s it going for you?” I said, “Yes, it’s going well.” And he goes, “Great. So how many leads did you get this week from it? And I was like, “I don’t know. A few.” He was like, “A few? Do you know specifically?” I said, “Not really.” He goes, “Don’t you think that as a business owner that’s something you should know?” And he had me. I was like, “Ohhh. Okay.” But now I knew he was about to try and sell me something.

ANGELA:

Yes. It’s coming. Like, it’s coming.

CARL:

Yes. So they don’t cost you, like, “I’m inviting you. Come to breakfast for $20,” or whatever it was. “Come to this breakfast. We’ll be sharing some tips about business.” And now that’s when I bailed and said, “Oh, look. I really think you should speak to my business partner; my father.” Alright. I’m bailing on this. He’s trying to sell me. I’m feeling uncomfortable. Anyways, he did call back and he did talk to my father. And my father decided to go to the breakfast. And at the breakfast, he then decided to sign up to this thing called group coaching, which was his 12-week course, with I think five other businesses in the area. And for me, that really changed my world because the action coach principles, which come originally from Brad Sugars, and then Brad Sugars got them from also to other places, too. That really changed things; because the ActionCOACH or Action International definition of business is a commercial, profitable enterprise that works without you. And that had, at a very early stage in my business career, I mean I’m five years in of; as Brad would say, it’s like, “You didn’t have five years of experience in business. You had one year in business that you just repeated five times.” And so, hearing this idea that a business, a true business isn’t a business unless it works without you was earth-shattering to me. It was like, “Wow!” I mean the concept that a business could work without me hadn’t even entered my thought. It wasn’t even something that was in my awareness. And so, since then, I’d insist to consume everything and this become a core part of who I am. Not just in business, but also to things if I can. How do I remove me from this process? If I’m not good at it and it does not make things easy for me, it’s not flowing for me, how do I remove me? How do I get me out of this process so it just works? And that’s essentially the story…

ANGELA:

And was he also the same person, I think you quoted something at the conference that was something like, there’s like, “Do you want to get rich quick?” or something. And he’s like, “Well, do you have ten years?”

CARL:

Yes, that was Brad Sugars; “I can teach you to get rich quick as long as your definition of quick is ten years.”

ANGELA:

That was it, yes. That was a super great quote because it’s so true. Like so many people want a quick fix, but you had said at the conference was like, “Okay, yes, you’re going to need to give me ten years.” And I think nine and a half is going to be learning, and then you’ll start with the next six months, you’ll start to see some…

CARL:

And that’s exactly; it’s nine and a half of those ten 10 years. It’s not the doing that’s the hard part, it’s the learning. It’s the learning; and it’s not even just the learning of the theory, right? Because there’s learning; you can read books. I mean all the contents are out there.

ANGELA:

Totally.

CARL:

But have you ever read a book, and then come back to that book, read it again, and got something completely different from it. The book never changed when that happens.

ANGELA:

No.

CARL:

The only thing that changed was you. And so, sometimes, it’s like, you get the information you need, but you aren’t ready to hear it. So the nine and half years of that ten-year journey, or however long; for me, it was a little longer than 10 years, I think it was about 12 maybe. I can’t remember exactly. But it was longer than; I remember it was longer than the nine a half years for me. But that journey is so much about your personal growth changing, things you’ve heard years ago. Sometimes there are things that you learned and you knew, and then you seem to forget them for a few years. And then eventually, you’re reminded of them again. So it is definitely, a huge part of it is the growth; you have to go on to then be out and just get on and do the things that need to be done to achieve it. The doing is quite easy; it’s the becoming the person who can do it is the part that can take a lot longer.

ANGELA:

And I think that I mean it’ll be a whole another episode, but I think that again comes from an individual’s mindset, right? That again, your mindset shifts from when you’re first starting off as an entrepreneur, again; well, I can’t speak to all people. But even a lot of my clients in those startup stages, their minds’ a little bit more wobbly, right? They second guess themselves. They’re overwhelmed. Not that we don’t ever have that as the years go on, but we build the confidence, our self-esteem starts to increase; like everything starts to increase. I don’t know. What are your thoughts about how important the mindset shift is over those ten years?

CARL:

100%. Like it’s all mostly mindset that changes and belief systems that change.

ANGELA:

Yes. Over the time.

CARL:

I think that thing is like, it’s easy when you’re at earliest stages in business or you’re in a certain stage of life financially. It’s very easy to go, “When I achieve X, this problem will disappear.” And it may be true that that specific problem will disappear, but problems do not disappear. They just become different types of problems, right?

ANGELA:

Exactly. Yes.

CARL:

So if you’re struggling, if you’re like, “Oh, I need 10 grand this month to be able to pay my bills.” Well, imagine when you’ve got a wagers bill of a hundred grand a month, right? Now you can be stressing around the exact same problem, just a bit more zeros.

ANGELA:

Yes.

CARL:

And the same thing on the million scale. So problems won’t go away and being human nature of doubting yourself, wondering whether you’re making the right decision; none of that goes away, no matter what. There is definitely though, a level of confidence that the more you make decisions, the more you’ve done, the more data your brain has; that you can make certain decisions quicker and faster and easier with more confidence. But there’s still always be other areas, that; things that probably you, Anj are stronger at than I am; that I would really question myself on, and you would just get on and do. And vice versa; there’s things that I would just instantly make a decision about because I’ve got the newer pathways and data that allows me to make that confident decision, whereas you don’t; and vice versa. So that’s the thing; always remember that this journey of business is individual. And that’s exactly what it is. It is a journey, and it’s an exciting journey. And I think everyone on it is really powerful and brave to do it and not everyone can cut it. So if you’re still in it, well done; and yes. But just remember that it is very much; you’ve heard it before, but it’s not about the destination. It really is the journey you’re going and who you become in the process that is most powerful about business to me.

ANGELA:

And that, yes, it’s a journey; and there’s pros and cons, and ups and downs. And one of the things, too, that really stuck with me though, that I want to talk a little bit about, is at the conference. You made a pretty bold statement; I had actually like, read it back because I was writing down on my notes, and I had to read it back, I was like, “Did Carl just say that?” And I was like, read it again, I was like, “Okay, I got it.” Right? But one of the things that you said, and some people out there, you could potentially shit yourself or fall off the chair; but you said is that “If your business doesn’t work without you, it’s a job. But if that is the case, you don’t actually have a business.” And I was like, “Oh, okay.” So I want you to elaborate a little bit more for those people, like, “What is he talking about?” Like, “No, I own my business.” But you’re like, no, you’re pretty adamant that that means you have a job. And like you said, a lot of your friends are making 6/7 figures, but they’re still on a job. Can you tell the listeners a little bit about what that means to you?

CARL:

Yes. Totally. I mean, I think it goes back to that action definition of a business; a commercial profitable enterprise that works without you. If you think about that, that a business is an entity that essentially can work without you, that you are, at the minimum you’re the owner. Meaning that you’re like the captain of the ship; you’re directing, you’re kind of setting the map of where you’re going; you’re making some key decisions. But you’re not in any way involved in the day to day; that’s kind of the owner level. Or you move up in to more the investor level, where clearly all you’re doing is providing resources to that business in terms of either advice or money, capital; maybe just capital. Like, if you invest in the share market, you’re an investor providing just capital. And so, that is a business that works without you. When you’re investing in shares and buying shares in the company, well now you are owning a business. You’re owning some shares in the business. But when you’re doing consulting; if you are a coach, if you are a service-based business or even a product-based business, and you’re very much involved in the customer service, and basically anything day to day that’s not just strategic on the business stuff, then what you have is a job. And you are swapping time for money. Like, you think about the definition of a job; some people call it ‘just over broke.’

ANGELA:

Yes.

CARL:

But others say, it’s beyond your active income, you’re swapping time for money. And so, as you mentioned and as I mentioned, I have some friends that bring in millions of dollars, millions of dollars. And they’re pretty leveraged; they don’t work that many hours. But I would argue because of their business model that what they have is a highly paid part-time job, not a business. Because their business is tied around their personality and who they are, which makes selling that business, not impossible, but very difficult.

ANGELA:

Difficult. Yes.

CARL:

And, plus, if they completely remove themselves, it becomes this thing that people don’t value. I mean think of Tony Robbins; I’m going to a Tony Robbins event, A Date with Destiny, in a couple of weeks. And you know, Tony Robbins; he’s got all these other companies; the Tony Robbins’ events are very much branded around him. And if and when he eventually moves on or chooses to stop doing it, they’re already like; if you go to some of Tony’s events, he’s not there for every day. There’s other people who present, but he built it in such a way that it was so much around his personality…

ANGELA:

Yes.

CARL:

…that when he’s not there, the value of that business is lots. So even Tony Robbins in that, he’s got other companies that would classify him an owner of, but in the kind of Tony Robbins where he shows up as the talent, he is not; he has a job. That’s part of his active income or possibly leveraged income strategies. So that’s when I say that if you currently are involved in the day to day of your business, you don’t have a business; you have a job. I’m not saying that that’s bad.

ANGELA:

Yes.

CARL:

I’m not saying that that’s terrible. All I’m saying is just face the reality that what you have is a job. And sadly, here is the bad side of that; sadly, and I’ve been through this, too, so there’s definitely no judgment. Sadly, a lot of business owners have a really poorly paid job. They’re getting paid like $3 an hour for the hours that they’re putting in. Some of them are even paid zero.

ANGELA:

Exactly. They’re getting paid less than if they would have just stayed at the other corporate job that potentially, I mean, yes they hated it and all that. But that’s why I decided what you’re thoughts are. I haven’t seen it as much, but there’s a big push earlier, maybe a couple of years ago where people are like, “Leave your 9 to 5. Just quit. You’re going to make millions. Actually, no. I worked my job for many years, up until two and a half years ago. I was strategic about it. I had four weeks annual leave, two weeks sick leave, 1 RDO a month, I bought four weeks purchased leave, right? So in that particular moment, all my other bills were paid. And then during those times, I was able to still grow my business, right? But, again, I mean, that was a choice. But for those people that are leaving those 9 to 5 thinking that they’re going to get rich, some of them actually are making a really big detriment. It messes up their marriage, potentially some health problems, bankruptcy for some people I’ve heard of. It’s a big thing.

CARL:

Yes. I think people who are prepared to do it, kudos to having the guts and the ability to take that risk. Look, it’s hard for me to say because I’ve never really had a full-time job to then leave.

ANGELA:

Yes.

CARL:

So I can’t put myself in their shoes. What I would say is, the number times, and I think about it, like literally, on Master Shift someone said it the other day, and I said, I turned to my partner, I said to her, I said, because basically, the person on the TV said, “Oh, yes. I really want to work for myself.” Like he had some high paid job but he wants to become a chef and be his own boss.

ANGELA:

Yes.

CARL:

And the way he said it, I just turned to my partner and said, “Bullshit. He has no idea what’s involved. Like he likes the idea, I reckon he’s going to hate it.” Kudos for him I think he’ll love being a chef, but I think he’ll hate being his own boss. I can just sense it in the way he’s doing it; because I’ve met those people over the years. But I don’t want to discourage if anyone’s listening; I think business is one of the best things you could ever do. I just want to set the preset though that I used to believe everyone could cut it in business. I truly used to believe that. And I’ve now no longer believe, I believe everyone should try running their own business. 100%. I now no longer believe that everyone has the risk appetite, the various different traits that make being out and running business bearable. It’s lots of highs and lows. And if you like security, then it’s probably not the best thing for you to do. You’re better off going and getting a job; maybe in a startup and getting some sort of a steady, secure salary.

And that’s the one thing I would say, that if I was to go and do my time again; I was 15 and I just kind of play out straight into business. If I was to have my time again, what I would have done is I would have gone and got lots of jobs to learn all the various different parts. Because I had to learn on my own money; I had to make my own mistakes. When you’re on job and you’re employed; if you’re on a job that you’re learning nothing and it’s not going to help you with your long term plan to run a business, then I think that’s a waste of being in that job. Get out of it. But if you’re on a job where you’re learning skills and you’re being paid to learn that will serve you in the future with what you long term want to do, stay there. Learn as much as you can. Move around. Like, get a sales job so you can learn sales. Go and work in the bookkeeping, accounting of some business so you can learn more about the finance side of business. Go and work in customer service so you can learn how to handle your pissed off clients. If you’re planning on being in a product-based business, go work in a warehouse and learn how warehousing works. Just go and get lots of these jobs that are going to give you the skills where you’re not making your own mistakes, you’re learning on someone else’s money. That’s something that I would have done differently if I was to do my time over. So that would be my piece of advice to anyone listening who’s on the edge about switching, is just think strategically about what would be best. Yes, run the side thing, build up the business. But if you need security, if you need cash flow, make sure that you’ve got some sort of cash flow coming somewhere and make it worthwhile. Not just income, but a learning that will help you, too.

ANGELA:

Yes. I totally agree because it is, I did a podcast about the 10 Things You Don’t Ever Hear About Being an Entrepreneur. And I was like, “Man, this shit is hard as fuck, first of all.” And I was like; I laid pretty much ten things. I don’t even remember what episode it is. But I’ll reference it in the show notes. But yes, it is, it’s like 10 realities of being an entrepreneur that nobody talks about, right? And I think it is important if you’ve got any doubts, you kind of like maybe just stick with what you’re doing and look for a change within that. But, yes.

Now, I guess, why don’t we talk about this; so you’ve got I think 37 employees that you have with Automation Agency. Has that increased since I last saw you?

CARL:

I think that’s still the right number. Yes. I think it’s around that number. I know it’s around that number.

ANGELA:

And at We Are Podcast, what I guess I really want to hone in now is about building the business that works without you. And that little triangle that you drew on the white piece of paper with the black marker and blue marker; and that to me has been one of those powerful things that I’ve learned probably in the last 12 months. So kudos to you. And I guess that I share it all the time with everyone. And this is what I really want you to talk about it, and I think you call it The Four Stages of Removing You from the Business. And I’d love for you to be able to walk us through each of these stages. But I guess, before you walk us through, I just want to kind of preempt for everyone; are these four stages that you’re about to talk about from removing you from your business able to be applicable to any business? Or just personal brands? Or, I just want to like kind of caveat, so if they’re listening, they kind of know if it’s relatable to them or not.

CARL:

No. This is 100%. This is another way of putting it. That diagram; I’ve been playing with different names and the other way of putting it, is the entrepreneur’s journey. So it’s not specifically down to what type of business. This is just the typical path that most entrepreneurs will go through. And the thing is, they’re all in front of you if you’re in your own business right now; or job/business. But if you’re running your own thing right now, all these stages are in front of you. What often happens though is people get stuck at a certain point. And they just stop there; because either they don’t know that there’s more levels above them, or just because it all gets too hard and that’s just where they get stuck. So, yes, this applies to any business; service businesses, product-based businesses, personal brand, coaches, agencies, consultants, professional services, whatever.

ANGELA:

Alright. Perfect. So now, we got this. This is going to be applicable for any of the listeners out there. I guess I want to pretence like, again, if you were to if you’re driving down to this, but if you’re just sitting there listening, or visualize a triangle, am I correct? A triangle; and it’s going to have four stages. The bigger one on the bottom, and then we’re going to slowly work our way to the top; the one, that’s the last phase. So you can walk us through what each triangle; are we starting at the top? Are we starting at the bottom? How are we going to do this? I know, but the listeners don’t know.

CARL:

Sure. Yes. So if you wanted to follow on and draw, what you essentially draw is you would draw yourself the biggest triangle; not super small. And what you would do is then you would add like levels to that triangle. Like you’d put lines in that triangle and there’d be four lines so that this triangle is broken up into four different sections. There’s like a big piece at the bottom, there’s a smaller piece a bit on top. Kind of lane slabs if you’re going to look at like a pyramid; a pyramid, you’ll just be looking at it from those different slabs and levels. That’s what you’d be looking for majority. And we’ll start at the bottom. Where we go is we start; usually, when we go into business we start in what would I call self-employed. You are usually running the business solely yourself. Whether you’ve board into something like a franchise, whether you started the business, typically the way you would be defined is self-employed; meaning it’s a business of one. Or maybe it’s a business of two or three; partners who have come together, but you’re ultimately all your “own boss.” Right?

ANGELA:

Yes.

CARL:

And that feels fun and exciting. And it truly does, and it’s some of the best time in business; because that’s before the reality starts to set in. The challenge is that the longer you’re in that, what happens is, you are wearing so many hats. You’re in overtime mode. You’re working so many hours, because if your business actually succeeds and starts going well, which I hope it does; what will happen is, while you’re wearing the hat of being a salesperson, you’re wearing the hat of being customer service, you’re wearing the hat of being the accounts person, you’re the one chasing bad datas, you’re wearing the hat of marketing, you’re wearing the hat of graphic designing, you’re wearing the hat of web designer, you’re wearing the hat of content and social media; you’re basically doing everything. And so, in the self-employed stage, it’s just like you’re on the, it’s always like you’re on a seesaw, right? Where it’s chase the work or go do the work; chase the work, now go do the work; chase the work, now go do the work. And so you just kind of never-ending exhaustion. That’s kind of where we start.

And the next level that we have to kind of get to is, we’ll go, “Okay. Well, I’m trying to do too much.” Maybe, finally, there’s some money coming in, so you start to employ other people. It might be through by hiring freelancers. It might be getting part-time people. Might be getting casual staff, it might be bringing on full-time staff locally. Or it might be getting an offshore staff. It doesn’t really matter how you’re bringing these people in. When you’re in the self-employed stage, you might hire a few outsourced services, like a bookkeeper and things. I would still classify you as self-employed. You’re not really managing those people. But when you start to directly be managing these other people you bring in to do key parts to your business, that’s when you move from being self-employed to being a Manager. So level two, you would write the word Manager. And when you’re in Manager Mode, you’re no longer working overtime, because you’re actually starting to get a bit of leverage. You’re starting to have either things that weren’t getting done and now starting to be done because there’s someone to do it. Or you’ve been able to take some of the things off your plate and give them to others. So now you don’t have to be as overtime, but you’re still working full time. You’re still very much in the business; day to day. Taking a holiday is still generally going to require that the whole business shuts down. I mean that’s one thing I didn’t mention on self-employed; typically, you’re the type of business owner that, you want to take a holiday; you’re calling all your clients saying, “Hey, I’m taking a holiday for a week. Don’t call me.”

ANGELA:

“Don’t call me.”

CARL:

Hopefully, there’s no emergencies, right? Your business shuts down for that week. And when you get to Manager Level, yes, sometimes you might have a few staff that can keep things going. But, generally, even at that level, you still finding that you have to kind of shut down the business in some way. Stepping away from your business for too long is dangerous. You might take a day off here or there, and things are okay. But it’s not smooth sailing when you step away. So the full-time; when you’re in this Manager Level, instead of being on a seesaw, now you’re on a merry-go-round that you’re kind of like putting out fires. Because when you start to hire people, they’re inevitably going to screw up. They’re going to make mistakes. As well as you defined it or you think you’ve explained it or trained the person; they’re going to do something not the way you would have done it. It’s not their business. They don’t have the same bind and same level of care. It’s just the reality. You can get good people and bad people. There’s definitely things you can do to improve the odds of the people you get. But there is a certain reality that as the owner of the business, you have a certain level of stake in the business that generally most employees, freelancers, subcontractors, whatever, don’t have. And so, they’ll be fires; that you’re kind of now, not only doing the day to day that you do. Maybe you’re great at sales, so you’re a salesperson while other people are doing other things; you’re still also going to be the one dealing with the mistakes that the other person makes. And so, you’ve gotten more time, which is great. But you’re still very much in the business. So, in you’re self-employed and Manager Level, you’re kind of below. And this is where I would say like, you’ve probably heard other people, maybe even Anj had said it; but the idea, you’re to work on your business and not in your business.

ANGELA:

Yes. All the time.

CARL:

You probably heard that. The problem is, a lot of people say that; and I think a lot of people say it and don’t actually; who say it don’t actually understand the concept itself, which is why they can’t explain it clearly. When you’re in that level, like it’s very much in 80/20; where 80% of your time is spent in the business and 20% of your time is working on the business. That’s just the reality. Like if you’re in the Manager and self-employed level, that’s where majority of your time is going. Some of you might be a little bit more 50/50. But you’ll find that most people will fall within the prior principle; 80% of the time is working in the business, dealing with things, day to day. And then only 20% of your time is able to focus on things like growing the business; strategic direction, hiring; the kind of things that will help push their business forward.

ANGELA:

Yes. I 100% agree. And again, they’re not able to be the visionary, because there’s no room to be a visionary and look at the CEO; kind of acting one that CEO role because they still have to invoice, they still have to train people, they still; there’s a variety. Like their list is still endless about all the things that they still need to do in the business to still make it workable.

CARL:

Exactly. Exactly. And so this is; when I said before, that this is where certain people kind of don’t know there is more.

ANGELA:

They get stuck at Level Two.

CARL:

Yes. This is generally where people get stuck; is they get to some sort of level of this Manager. They started to employ people, they start to feel like, “I’ve got a real business because I’m employing people.” And they had more of a business than they did when they were self-employed. That’s definitely true. But they still don’t have a business that can work without them. If we go back, Anj, at that definition, it’s like you still now have maybe a more part-time job. But let’s face it. It’s still a full-time job. Even at the Manager Level; it’s a full-time job. And so, this is where it always gets stuck. And there’s nothing wrong with that. Like, if you’re happy with what you’re doing, you love. Let me stress that. I’m not coming on this and saying that if you work hard and you put in lots of hours, that that’s terrible. I have no problem with that if you enjoy it. If though it’s exhausting, and for most entrepreneurs that I meet, one of the key reasons they always wanted their own business, is they valued freedom.

ANGELA:

Freedom.

CARL:

They wanted time. They wanted to be able to spend more time with their family. They wanted to be able to spend more time with their kids. Yes, maybe they’re working from home so they can be with their kids. But then, they’re sitting there on the computer all day or they’re on the phone all day. I mean, not actually out in the park or whatever they want to be doing with their family. And so, if that’s you, then what you really want to look at doing is how do you move from Manager to Owner. And so, that’s what the third level is; to get to an owner. And owner is really where, at a bare minimum, I would like to see more business owners get to because that’s what you really wanted, right? Because as an owner, instead of now working overtime as a self-employed or working full-time as a Manager, you now actually have some free time. As the owner, you’re purely; your job now is purely to be the decision maker of core key decisions, is to kind of set that map at the journey; to be the visionary as you called it. To kind of sit around and think about what’s going on in the marketplace; what needs to happen next; what’s the biggest problem in the business right now that needs to be solved? You might not be the one to solve it, you just might be the one to identify what the biggest gap and problem is; and then you can go to the various team members or managers or leaders you have, to say, “Hey, we need to fix this problem.” And you become more of a consultant and an advisor to your own team to go on and do that. You’re no longer; in the Owner stage, you’re no longer tied to the day to day.

You’re not a 100% out. I will make it clear, that if you’re the Owner of the business, you’re generally; you’re still going to get involved. There’s still going to be fires that’d come up but are over and above what your operations managers or whoever you go and place can maybe handle. Or maybe just you’ve got still got some old personal relationships with some key clients and it’s really good for the CEO or Owner to come in and kind of deal with that personally. But instead of an 80/20, where 80% of your time is spent in the business and 20% on the business; if you’re at the Owner stage, you’re spending maybe 10% of your time in the business, you’re dealing with a customer complaint, or taking on some feedback, or talking to clients and hearing their feedback on what’s good and what’s not working. And then, 90% of your time is spent working on the business when you’re actually putting time into the business. And that’s a real flip. And I’ve got to say that when you get to that level, there is a huge amount of freedom that that brings that it is overwhelmingly positive. But what a lot of people won’t tell you, and if you are at this level, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. What happens is you become dangerous. When you have that much free time and your business no longer needs you, you get bored.

ANGELA:

Bored. Yes.

CARL:

And when you get bored, you need to feel needed. And so what happens is, you can start to break things, change things, add things, that sometimes actually quite good for the business, which is great. Other times, they can be quite detrimental to the business; completely unnecessary. And when you really reflect on it, you realized the only reason you’re wanting to change things is because you were bored. Not because clients told you there was a problem; not because the team said there was a problem. Just because you decided that marketing strategies doesn’t work anymore because it’s boring; or just because you think that product’s tired or whatever. And you start changing things rather than getting based on feedback. And so, what can happen is when you get to this Owner level, if you don’t find a way to move from Owner up into the next level, you start to break things. And it can be the downfall. And I’ve struggled with this, knowing when ideas I have; smart strategic ideas versus Carl’s bored ideas. And it’s hard for me to give you advice on how to tell the difference. I haven’t found a formula or created a formula to know the difference. Like it’s more an intuitive knowing and asking the question of where is this data coming from. Is it just a gut feel? Or do I actually have some evidence and data to tell me that this is a smart decision? And I also very much; I very much include and talk to my entire team. Like, I always tell my team that no one has all the answers; I have no idea. Like, if I tried an idea to you, I want you to challenge me on that. I want you to tell me why it’s a bad idea. I want you to tell me everything that’s wrong with it. Because only through that will we make sure that we don’t implement stupid ideas.

But the next level up; when you get to Owner, like you want to get into Investor. Because when you get to the Investor Level, this is where you stepped out purely at from any day to day. You’re now 100% working on a business. Then this is where you’re now kind of having fun. Instead of free time, you now have fun time. You get to do whatever it is you want.

ANGELA:

Wait. Can I just ask one question with regards to the Owner and Leader?

CARL:

Yes.

ANGELA:

We’ve got; so I just want to recap for everyone, so that kind of bottom tier is we’ve got the self-employed and they’re working overtime in the business. Then we’re moving up to the Managerial Role; and that’s kind of, they’re still working full-time. We’ve been in the depth to the Owner/Leader Role. What is the timeframe that I think you, at We Are Podcast, you called it SP?

CARL:

SP.

ANGELA:

I can’t remember what it was. It’s going to be because each of those things; like you said, “Overtime, full-time…” I think there was SP.

CARL:

Oh, SP would have been spare time.

ANGELA:

Spare time. Yes.

CARL:

Yes.

ANGELA:

And then the next one I think you said is this next kind of last top level, which you’re going to start talking about is the Investor/Advisor Level is more of your fun time. I think you called it FT.

CARL:

Yes. Yes. Fun time. Exactly. So yes, I just said free time this time but obviously, when I did it at We Are Podcast, I said spare time. Basically, when you are the Owner, the thing that you now have that you didn’t have on the other stages is time. That’s the key thing. You now have a lot more time on your hands, which is both powerful but can; idle hands can lead to all sorts of troubles.

ANGELA:

Yes.

CARL:

So you need to start being out to direct that energy into other things. And that’s why I say, like if you’re in that Owner Level, what you need to start looking to do is, what I say install distractions. It’s not actually; we should maybe backtrack a bit. Like, if you’re self-employed right now and you’re going, “Well, how do I go from where I am to Manager?” What you need to do is you need to install automation. So when I think of automation, I’m not just talking about system technology automation; I’m talking about human power or human people automation, right? So automation is just you not doing it. That might be through people, it might be through tech. But you need to start, from self-employed to Manager; you need to start installing automation through tech and people. When you’re at Managerial Level and you’ll be in the Managerial Level for a while; but let’s be honest, like, that takes some learning to get used to managing people. You have to learn to become a leader. These are skills that take time. Yes, you can do courses; you can read books. But the reality is, you’re just going to have to make some mistakes. But to go from Manager up to Owner, what you need to do there is you need to install operations. This is where you need to learn how to; it’s very different to employ people that you manage, becomes different when you want to start employing people who are going to make decisions, and manage the manages; manage the people.

ANGELA:

Yes.

CARL:

He’s got to run and be the operational and kind of be your; if you like your two eye see, that your left hand or your right-hand person who will be able to take the ideas and be able to help get them implemented and integrated into your business. And so, you need to start doing things as the team grows as well. How do you ensure that you could keep culture and it doesn’t shift over time as you grow and get more, more people in the business? So that’s kind of why you need to install these operations to get them in the business; better systems; better managers; leadership skills. When you’re at Owner Stage, to move up to an Investor, it’s really about installing distraction. It’s time to find hobbies that you enjoy, or for some of us; for me, I’ve tried a bunch of different hobbies. I’m doing a dancing competition tonight, which came from doing ballroom dancing as a potential hobby. I tried to do sabre fighting, you know sword fighting.

ANGELA:

Yes.

CARL:

Indoor skydiving; I tried all sorts of different things, right? And the reality is, I’ve realized that for me, I just enjoyed business. And so now, my hobbies are, or my distractions are, we’ve been launching, expanding into other areas of business to build a better ecosystem. I’m working on a course; I’m working on some software, and we’ve launched the recruitment service for people trying to hire in The Philippines. So that to me is how I’ve chosen to distract myself, as well as in obviously investing in shares and doing advice for other people. But I can’t tell you what you’re distractions would be. But if you’re in that phase, you just need to start exploring and finding ways to fill your time; not to completely take it away. Because this is an important point; I was thinking about this earlier, actually. Sometimes people might think, “Well, my goal is to get to the Owner, then get to the Investor; and I’m no longer an Owner. I’m purely an Investor.” And that’s fine. But I think the reality is how most people, how I’ve done it and how I see a lot of other people do it, is what will happen is you have one core business in particular, that you get to the Owner Level and you’ll remain in that Owner Level. Until such point that you might want to sell the business and completely get out. But generally, you’ll probably be happy to continue to be the visionary for that business. And that’s okay; if you can remain in that Owner Level for that business, then what will start to happen is when you move into the Investor Stage, now what’s happening is you’re spreading your income streams across other businesses. You’re investing through into other people’s businesses whether that’s either privately, directly or whether that’s publicly, things through the share market; you are going to start investing more or providing advice, maybe starting other ventures with other people. That’s okay; because they’re now businesses that are working without you, while you remain the Owner of the business that’s working 99% without you as well.

ANGELA:

Yes. That makes perfect sense. And when we get to the last stage; Jordan Harbinger, a friend of mine, Pat Flynn; they do these different advisory boards as their kind of distractions. It’s really endless, there’s no wrong or right ways to what you’re distractions are going to be. As long as, again, you don’t go back and start breaking the shit out of everything.

CARL:

Yes. That’s the thing, is that, if you start breaking things as your distraction, I mean that is a distraction, let’s be honest. Going and breaking things, and going and rebuilding your business from scratch, that’s a distraction. It will keep you distracted. It just could have a very big impact on your personal finances, which is not right. I think if you’ve got something that’s working; yes, you’re going to be smart and strategic and look to make sure that it’s going to continue. But one of the smartest things you can do when you’re in the Owner Level, I think it’s too much of a distraction when you’re in lower levels. But once you’re at the Owner Level, looking for multiple income streams is a really smart thing you can do where you build these pillars so that if something was to happen to your main business, it doesn’t kill you. It doesn’t wipe you out and you’re not starting from scratch. I see some people who are very early in their business careers, focused on trying to build multiple income streams and do all these things, and then they wonder why they can’t get any traction because they’re trying to do too much.

ANGELA:

Trying to do too much, but I also think sometimes they overwhelm their audience with choice; like do I do this? Do I need this? Do I do this? Like, what’s going on? So sometimes, I think people need to, again, I say, put it in the toy box. Put it there; great idea. But let’s focus on the foundational stuff we need to do to get this piece working really, really well in getting you out of that equation to then allow you to bring on something new. I think people jump ship fairly early and I think that’s where the shiny object comes in. They don’t actually complete their initial projects. So, therefore, we can’t test to see if it’s a viable product or a viable service. And then people would say, “Output didn’t work.” Well, it’s like, “No.” I think they jumped too early.

CARL:

Yes. The incomplete bridges is a common syndrome of business owners where you go to a seminar, read a book or just had an idea, and you build the bridge about 50-80% of the way. And then something else comes up and you start building a new bridge. And you go, “It didn’t work,” but the only reason it didn’t work is because you didn’t finish boiling the bridge to get to the other side. That’s the only reason it didn’t work.

ANGELA:

And with these four stages, like, I can hear some people out there already going, “That’s fine. But why bother outsourcing because I can do it better than the people I hire?” Like, again, I hear that all the time. “Why? I can just do it better? It took me an hour to come up with a policy and procedure and they didn’t it follow it correctly.” What are your thoughts around when people say that? Why bother outsourcing because I can do it better than the people anyways?

CARL:

My answer to that is, you’re right. You can probably do it better than they can. The difference is that you’re doing it, right? And it comes down to how you value your time. Like, that’s just the reality. Like, there are so many things that I do in my business that I know; there are things though that I have people who can do it far better than me, which is amazing. But there are plenty of things in my business that I know I do way better than most of my team. And that’s definitely a hard thing to kind of grapple with, but the reality is that is, if I have a hundred people doing things at 50% as good, let’s just say at 50% as good as I can do, but I have a hundred of those people doing that for an hour, that means I just got like 50 hours’ worth of work done and I didn’t spend a single bit of time, right?

ANGELA:

Right.

CARL:

Because we had a hundred people at 50% of the time, meaning it took them two hours when I could have done in an hour. But that, in that one hour that I could have done it, and only got one thing done, I’ve had 50 hours’ worth of stuff done. And that’s the difference; it’s leverage. It’s the power of doing the work once and having it work forever. And that’s the power of installing automation; whether that’s through documenting a process to give it to a human to do, or whether that’s through installing automated systems that mean it happens again, and again, and again, and again. And when you can do that investment of the work and time once, and then have that continue to go, you never have to think about it ever again. And that freedom that it will give you to free up to focus on other important things; because, I mean, I get that a lot in my business, too. Automation agency, right? We have two primary types of people that come to us. There’s the people who are already doing all their own technical online marketing, email marketing themselves. And they’re good at it. And they enjoy doing it. It’s actually quite fun for them, right? They’re kind of more wild like me; they’re quite technical.

ANGELA:

Who love it. Yes.

CARL:

And then we have the people who are non-technical; they’ve gone to a seminar, learned this thing in there; they’re struggling to figure out how to implement it. So those people, it’s obvious why they would outsource. Because they struggle, they’re like, “Oh, yes. Just give it someone else who can get it done.” So that’s great. But the people who are like, “Oh, I love doing it, it’s good.” The conversation I have to have with them, and through our marketing, and even if I just meet them is, “Well, that’s all well and good. And that’s great, you enjoy it. How is that holding your business back? What are you not doing because you’re busy clicking around in Infusionsoft, or Ontraport, or ActiveCampaign, setting up that thing, which brought a lot of joy. And I’m not taking anything away from that. But instead of being on the phone, talking to people who want to buy your product; or being out there coaching more people, you’ve been busy setting up these things. And that’s holding your business back.” That’s just the reality of why I would say, “You need to stop.”

ANGELA:

And I guess the benefits of being able to, again, I think a lot of entrepreneurs, especially when we first start, we’ve got OCD characteristics, we’ve got the perfectionism in us. And as I think, that’s kind of also what makes us really good entrepreneurs at some stage, too. But I think it can also be a detriment to us. But again, as being able to sometimes I think you just got to let go. And sometimes, they’re going to do it worse than us, and sometimes we still have to go in and fix it. But once you can get those systems, those policies and procedure in place, the benefit to that is that again, you can be the visionary in your business. You can look at how you can have a bigger impact in the world if that’s what you choose to do. You can look at again how you can increase your revenue, right? To be able to have more opportunities to do more things. But if you continue into that day to day working in your business and not being able to work on your business, well then, like you said, if you choose to do it and that’s what you want, that’s fine. But just know that again, you’re not really going to be able to scale to masses.

CARL:

Yes. Absolutely. 100% agree. That’s it. It’s a choice. Everything in life is a choice. And if you choose to do it and you enjoy to do it yourself, that’s fine. Just be aware of the choice you make; what impact that’s potentially having on your business. And one thing I would say though, this is another way of thinking about it that might be unique for some. If you choose to just keep doing it yourself rather than giving it someone else to do, you’re robbing them of the learning opportunity. You’re robbing them by you going and just go, “Oh, it’s just easier for me to do. I’m just going to do it.” You are actually stealing an opportunity for this person to learn and grow and make mistakes. There’s nothing wrong with mistakes. In Automation Agency, we have a core value; that we have no problem with people making mistakes. As long as you admit your mistakes and you learn from it. If you’re making the same mistake over and over again; we have a problem. If you make a mistake, we celebrate it. We go, “Look, that’s great. What did you learn from it?” And that’s a key thing; that if you don’t allow team members, you don’t allow other people to make those mistakes, you’re stealing a huge opportunity of life, which is learning from it.

ANGELA:

I also think the learning is getting stolen from you, too as the owner or the business owner.

CARL:

Oh, yes.

ANGELA:

Is that, so many people avoid making mistakes because they look at it as a failure. Whereas people for me repeatedly, that I don’t look at it as anything as a failure. I look at it; these are the lessons that we need in order for us to step up to the next level. It’s like Super Mario, you failed over and over and over again and finally, you got it and you pass to the next level. But it wasn’t until you figured that, “I need the mushroom on Super Mario to grow and when I grew I had this.” It’s like this game, right? And so I’m all about the; I think the more mistakes any of us can make, the more lessons we have. And that’s where the growth truly comes from.

CARL:

I think if there’s a meaning to life like I think that’s really it. The meaning is to go through life learning…

ANGELA:

Learning.

CARL:

…learning new skills. Challenges will come up and learning to overcome them. That’s really; if you look at all life, that’s really kind of what it is. A challenge comes up, and some organisms can’t adapt, and some can. And that’s just through learning.

ANGELA:

And that’s just reality there, too. That sometimes I think people are sugarcoating, but it’s a reality. What are you going to do? What are the choices you’re going to make? You got to keep going. Now listen, for those out there, like, listen. Like I said, I have used this diagram so many times. Like I said, I’ve got to swipe up from my photos to find it all the time because I just think it’s great. So again, for those that are there, I just want to kind of recap the triangle. Again, on that bottom level, we’ve got the self-employed, and you’re working overtime in your business. To get to the next level, which is that Managerial Role, you then go from working overtime to working full-time. You then move to the next level up which is the Owner or Leader space, where you’re going to be able to work more on your business and then in your business; and that’s going to give you some spare time. And then the last kind of top is that Investor/Advisor space where you’re going to be able to do a variety of different things; and that’s where your distractions are going to come in, and that’s going to give you some free time. Now, if people out there, though, Carl, are like, “Okay, That’s great. I’m currently sitting at the self-employed and I’m wearing all the millions of hats”. What’s the one piece of advice that you will give people to able to start working through the self-employment stage and up to the Managerial stage. Like, what do they really need to be doing?

CARL:

Step one: Do a stop doing list.

ANGELA:

Yes.

CARL:

Yes, a lot of people have to-do lists. But this is a list of all the things you need to stop doing. And by stop doing, this is basically; so you would list out all the things that you do on a daily basis, weekly basis, monthly, quarterly, annually, whatever, on demand. You’d list out all the things you’re doing; and what you want to do, is you want to find all the things that you hate doing the most. What are the things that most deflate you, that most suck your energy, don’t give you energy? Keep the things that give you energy and fun, for now. Find the things that suck energy from you. Start with those. What I would also encourage you to do, especially if you’re in the self-employed stage, because people often go, “Where should we start? Who should you hire first?” My personal belief is, if you don’t already, you should definitely be outsourcing or bringing someone in to be a bookkeeper to take care of finance stuff. Even if you’re good at finances; I’m actually quite good at finances, but I don’t want to do any of that day to day. Bookkeeping; you should bring someone else in to just take care of that off your plate. Maybe a bit of admin, calendar management; that’s a great thing. You could bring in a Filipino VA, or you can get a local assistant. You can bring someone in, part-time or whatever, to help manage with some of the admin.

That’s a good starting point, however, what’s going to make the biggest impact to your business from a hiring point of view; actually, let me jump back one second. If you’re looking at, “Who should I hire?” And your business is busy; you’ve got more clients and opportunities and you can know what to handle with, admin is a good thing to just all of a sudden free up some of your time, so you can keep, you can just take on a little bit more work, and you can keep bringing in the growth. If however, you’re in a situation, where you’re like; not heaps and heaps and heaps of a sales coming in, admin is not the thing you want to start outsourcing first. You want to outsource the doing of whatever your product or services; the fulfilment, the delivery of that. The more you can get that, that’s where I would start building automation through people or tech. Because once you do that, that’s going to free you up to spend more focused hours on the marketing and sales. So that you can just spend more time bringing in more sales and work; and that’s where you’re also going to scale. Because if you did go the admin path, the next step in my approach that I think is the better approach, is to go to the delivery. A lot of people start going to customer service sales; the reality is that even if you suck at sales, you will still always be the best salesperson in your business.

ANGELA:

I totally agree. You know the one that, it’s your business, the heart, the passion, everything. No one else will ever be able to replace that.

CARL:

Yes.

ANGELA:

And also, I think you’ve made a big thing there. Is that again, giving people permission, alright? That you don’t have to hire a local, alright? You can if you choose to, alright? And that’s fine. And I have VAs here in Australia but I equally have VAs in the Philippines because I hire based on job description and skill set that is necessary. So, my podcast team, I want to have them here in Australia, on Australian time, that just what I choose. But then my people who help in the Philippines; great women. Again, and also, again, they’ve got experience and chances to learn; to be able to grow their family; their own financial situation. So I just liked that you also talked about that you can hire Filipinos, because I know that there are some people, particularly in Australia, who get a little bit funny about that sometimes. Well, I’m the complete opposite. The way I look at it is, whether or not you hire a Filipino VA or an Australian VA, at the end of the day, you’re still giving them opportunity to work for themselves, be giving them opportunity to provide for their family. And to say that a mother in Australia is more important than a mother in the Philippines is like not cool with me; like, they’re both women, or men, okay? That need job opportunities. So thank you for bringing that because again on my little rants and bandwagon. And that there’s a variety like I think you’re starting an agency, or model to be able to help people to get connected with people in the Philippines, is that right?

CARL:

Yes. So we’re like, if you’re in a situation where you’re looking to build a decent sized team and an office in the Philippines, then hireavirtualteam.com is where you can find out more about that. If you’re more looking just for like a General VA, it’s probably like; you could definitely talk to us. We do have a recruitment service only for home-based staff. Generally, we focus on a Project Manager Operations type person rather than more General VA. That person fits well with something like Automation Agency; they can help delegate and send tasks to automation and see if they can help work with other vendors. So if that’s the kind of person you’re looking for, hireavirtualteam.com…

ANGELA:

Yes.

CARL:

…is where you can go, and book in and talk to Julie from there. But one thing I did want to mention about; I know what you’re talking about. I’ve come across that even for my own family when I first started to hire globally. People are like, “Oh, why are you doing that? Like, it’s slave labour.” Or it’s this and that. And what I found is that, it’s just a misunderstanding. And the reality is that we now live in a global economy. Whether people like it, whether people feel it’s fair; there’s all sorts of discussions around. And it’s already happening around the world, in politics and whatever. But the reality is we do now live in a global economy.

ANGELA:

100%.

CARL:

And the thing is that, when you give, especially in the Philippines; when you employ someone in the Philippines, you’re not just employing that person. You’re actually funding a whole family.

ANGELA:

100%.

CARL:

Most people in the Philippines, they’re usually the younger people, and they’re paying for their brother to go through college. A lot of their parents actually stop working the moment their child starts working, so now they’re paying for all the food for the family, they’re paying the rent if there’s rent or mortgages, they’re paying to put their brothers and sisters through university; you are making a huge impact on a community when you do employ someone in the Philippines. I’m not saying you don’t make a huge impact in Australia either. There’s pros and cons.

ANGELA:

It’s a different type of impact.

CARL:

So just understand that it’s not a slave labour thing; it’s different costs of living, right? And that’s just kind of how the world works. So if you are on the fence, like obviously, if you’ve got your own opinions, that you’re welcome to them. But if you’re on the fence about it, I would encourage you to explore a little more; do a bit of learning to understand just the impact that it truly can have. Not just to them, but also to your own business.

ANGELA:

I also think like, again, and those people who are in the self-employed stage who may not have, if you’re not like able to bring in copious amounts of money through whatever that is; again, it’s a wonderful opportunity to be able to hire someone in the Philippines at a lower cost, alright? Again, it’s not a slave or whatever; it’s at a lower cost. It is going to allow you the ability to be able to grow your business and moved to the Managerial, the Owner/Leader Role, etc. But if you’re stuck with small finance, as I know, at the moment, a few of my clients; finances aren’t great. But they know that they need to outsource in order to free up their time. You know, it’s a wonderful, like, “Oh my goodness. This lady did this entire spreadsheet. She went and researched all of this information for me. She’s now making the cold emails for me.” And we just freed up one client by 20 hours because she is paying someone $7 an hour versus $40 an hour, right? So, I’m just saying.

CARL:

Yes. Absolutely.

ANGELA:

From a financial stage, also a point also.

CARL:

Absolutely. And that’s it. Like that is one of the biggest objections you’ll get from, “Oh, I can’t move from self-employed to Manager because I can’t afford to employ someone.

ANGELA:

Yes.

CARL:

That’s where you’ve got to look at the global economy. We have people who work for us in India; we have people obviously in Philippines. For a while, I had people in Serbia. I have someone in the US. I have people all around the world and I’ve tapped into various countries and places around the world throughout the years in my business. And a good place to start, if you’re wondering, like, “Where do I start?” You hireavirtualteam is great, if you’re looking for full-time type people. The really simple way to start is to go on a platform like Fivver…

ANGELA:

Fivver, Upwork…

CARL:

Upwork, and just post a specific small job or task you need done, and you’ll be amazed. And there’s people all around the world; people from Australia are on those platforms as well.

ANGELA:

Yes.

CARL:

So it’s not just Philippines and South America and places like that. There are people all around the world, which will kind of auction or bid to work on those projects for you. And it’s a great way of just getting a bit of freedom in those early stages.

ANGELA:

Well, thank you, Carl, so much, for being on board today. And like I said, I use your triangle; the four stages of removing you from the business all the time. And I appreciate you; I know you’re flat out majority of the time. I look forward to hanging out again with the two of us and everyone else in The Maldives; where we just get to hang out and chill. But in the meantime, if people want to connect with you, where can they connect with you or with Automation Agency or any other agencies? You like to give a little bit of a plug that would be great.

CARL:

Sure. I mean one of the best ways to find me I guess, is just to go to carltaylor.com; from there you can click through to Automation Agency. A really good way to stay in touch with me, I know, Anj, you’re in it. I have a Facebook Group; it’s free. It’s called Entrepreneurs by the Pool. So if you’re an entrepreneur that’s kind of like, you aspire for freedom; you’re looking, you’d love to learn more about how to build a business that works without you. Then that’s kind of the group to be in where other people are wanting the same thing. You can ask questions. I’m in there, obviously. So you can find that easily and quickly. You can go to Facebook and search Entrepreneurs by the Pool or carltaylor.com/pool, and that will link you straight there as well.

ANGELA:

Well, thank you so much, Carl. And remember for the rest of you listening, my team and I will be putting together the whole transcription for this episode at angelahenderson.com.au with all of the links. And of course, I cover all sorts of related business and life topics inside my Facebook Community, The Australian Business Collaborative. We hit I think 5100 members; so it’s a super great community; so head on over. But in the meantime, have a fabulous day no matter where you are in the world. And I look forward to you joining me next week for another amazing episode of the Business and Life Conversations Podcast. Have an awesome day everyone. Bye.

Thanks for listening to the Business and Life Conversations Podcast with Angela Henderson, Building a Business that Works Without You. www.angelahenderson.com.au

Angel Henderson Consulting

I'm Ange... proud Canadian, Nutella eating lover and pink is my favorite colour with a splash of glitter. I'm a business consultant/coach who has helped hundreds of business owners get all the pieces in place to have consistent 5-figure months and multiple 6-figure years... without burning out in the process.