Welcome back to the Healthpreneur podcast! Today, I’m very excited to introduce you to our special guest. Chris Guerriero has built four 8-figure companies and is an advisor, investor, and equity-holder in a variety of companies.
Chris has been featured on major media outlets, is a bestselling author, and hosts the Built to Grow show. After companies get funded, Chris goes in and examines their systems, people, processes and culture to then restructure them for the growth he wants to see.
And he gets it. Tune in to learn what Chris looks for when searching for investing, advising or equity-holding opportunities, and find out how he builds leadership teams, prioritizes time, and maximizes the efficiency of an entire organization.
Click here to subscribe to the Healthpreneur™ Podcast on iTunes
In This Episode Chris and I discuss:
- Something people don’t know about him.
- Parenting and entrepreneurship.
- How he helps companies grow and the Club 28.
- Prioritizing time and maximizing efficiency.
- When and how to build out a leadership team.
- When he thinks about acquisition.
1:30 – 08:30 – Introducing Chris, his motivators, and his journey
08:30 – 16:00 – What Chris looks for as an investor, advisor, or equity-holder
16:00 – 21:30 – How to structure a process org chart
21:30 – 28:00 – Leadership teams and when a COO or CFO comes on board
28:00 – 36:30 – Not attracting, filtering, and onboarding properly
36:30 – 44:30 – Delegating tasks daily and team management
44:30 – 47:00 – What to know on day one and his growth model
47:00 – 50:30 – The Rapid Five
What You Missed:
In our last episode, we talked about how to deal with clients who’ve been burned before. We know how to handle this because about 20% of the clients we deal with had been burned by a coach before.
The thing is, those kinds of prospective clients have trust issues. They’re afraid of losing money and time again – and, like a new relationship, they’re going to go into it jaded, searching for the negative signs they missed before.
And that’s not good. Don’t start a new relationship with a client where you have to explain yourself, defend yourself, and prove that you aren’t like the scumbag they were with before.
Tune in to learn how to deal with these kinds of clients so you can start off on the right foot and build a relationship that lasts.
Yuri Elkaim: Hey, guys. How’s it going? Yuri here with you, once again. Welcome back to the show. I’m very, very excited to be speaking with our guest today. His name is Chris Guerriero. Chris and I have known each other loosely for maybe 10-plus years. I think we met in a pool at an event eight years ago, really briefly, and then we reconnected recently. I’m like, “Dude, we’ve got to have you on our podcast, because you’re doing some amazing things.”
Introducing Chris, his motivators, and his journey
Yuri Elkaim: Before we formally bring him in and have him speak, I want to give you a bit of context as to who Chris is, and why you need to listen to him, and this episode specifically. Chris has built four eight-figure companies. That’s right. There’s a lot of zeros behind that. He’s been around for a while, done some amazing things.
Yuri Elkaim: He’s an advisor, investor, and equity holder in companies across a variety of industries, including health, medical, digital advertising, legal, and real estate. He’s been featured on Bloomberg, and in Success Magazine, and in Entrepreneur, as a top entrepreneur of our time. He’s also a best-selling author and host of the Built to Grow show.
Yuri Elkaim: Chris and I both started off in the health and fitness space, and he’s been doing some amazing stuff now helping companies scale, and doing some really, really big things. Chris, really pumped to have you on the show. Welcome.
Chris Guerriero: Yuri, I’m stoked to be here. Thank you very much for having me.
Yuri Elkaim: We’re going to be talking about how to build a winning leadership team in this episode. This is what you’re amazing at doing. This is how you, amongst other things, help companies grow and scale. I think it’s really important for our listeners to really understand this. No matter what level of business you’re at, this is, at some point, a discussion you’re probably going to be having with yourself, or people around you.
Yuri Elkaim: Before we dive into that, Chris, what’s something that very few people know about you?
Chris Guerriero: What’s something very few people know about me? Gosh. Here. I was born to be a dad. That is my focus in life above anything else. When we get a chance to talk about business, I love it. That is a passion of mine. Growing companies, helping other companies grow, it’s a big passion of mine.
Chris Guerriero: However, underneath everything I do … I’m doing this for my family. Everything that I do is built on my core competency of my love of being a dad. That’s probably it. It has nothing to do with anything anybody’s here to hear, so I apologize for throwing that out there, but that’s something most people don’t hear me say.
Yuri Elkaim: Totally. I can definitely agree with that. Another question to follow up on that is, what do you think is more challenging: raising great kids, or building a great company?
Chris Guerriero: Raising great kids is far more difficult. I can systematize everything. We have processes to predict obstacles at different levels of growth in companies. We have processes, and I have enough experience, to onboard great leadership teams, and develop them, and motivate them, and create a culture inside of organizations, no matter what size, that scales them rapidly. But I can sit down with my teenager and be bewildered in some of the things that they bring back. It is difficult. I read more books, probably, on being a father than I do on business.
Yuri Elkaim: Yeah, that’s awesome. That’s great.
Chris Guerriero: I write books in business, but I can’t write books about being a father.
Yuri Elkaim: If only there was a manual … I mean, there’s no one-size-fits-all, right?
Chris Guerriero: There’s not, yeah.
Yuri Elkaim: Yeah. I’m a big believer that parenting and entrepreneurship are two of the biggest spiritual growth journeys we can be on.
Chris Guerriero: Yeah.
Yuri Elkaim: Cool. Talk to us about how you got to this stage. Where did Chris Guerriero start? Where did shit hit the fan? And how did you evolve into doing what you’re doing now?
Chris Guerriero: I’m writing a note down of stuff that I want to talk to you guys about. I’m sorry.
Yuri Elkaim: Yeah, that’s okay.
Chris Guerriero: Where did I start, man? I started as a personal fitness trainer. I started with this goal of helping the greatest number of people possible to achieve their quote-unquote “health goals,” right? But that particular mantra, that force, that passion followed us through every single company and every single industry that I’ve built since then.
Chris Guerriero: As a personal fitness trainer, I was able to help a very few people, right? Dozens of people. Then I grew a personal training company up and down the East Coast, which had over 150 personal trainers, and we were able to help hundreds of people with that, right?
Chris Guerriero: Then I went from there, because they were all independent contractors, and you can’t really … It’s like a constant struggle to keep independent contractors rallied around a passion. It was difficult. So I took that and I went into a health club. I started my first health club. Grew that into a chain of health clubs on the East Coast, and went from being able to help hundreds of people in the personal training company, to tens of thousands of people.
Chris Guerriero: However, I sold that company in 2004, which was probably a little bit … just under 15 years that I was in that industry. I sold that company. Wrote my first book right before I sold that company, and utilized the same tactics that I used to really get the word out big for our health clubs in the online world, to get the word out big for our books.
Chris Guerriero: Where most authors sell a couple thousand books in their entire lifetime, we sold 60,000 copies in the first 60 days … 319,000 copies in the first year. We’ve sold over a million copies of the book, so far. We’re really able to get out there and help a lot more people. It turned into a TV show. It turned into a lot of other books.
Chris Guerriero: We built several good companies in the health industry. But that attracted to us a lot of other businesses that wanted to know what the hell we were doing to grow so rapidly. We started helping other companies doing that. We built this branding company, which then helped politicians to get their word out faster. It helps Hollywood producers to get the word out to fill movie seats … seats inside the movie theaters, when their movies come out. It helped us to really branch out, and help people in great industries.
Chris Guerriero: I got into a venture capital firm, also, which I’m one of the partners in a relatively good-sized venture capital firm. In there, my core competency is, after a company goes through all of the rigamarole of getting funded by us, I’m the one who goes in to the company and I look at their systems, their people, their processes, their culture, and I help to restructure them for growth.
Chris Guerriero: Because if we invest a couple million dollars into them, then within three to five years, I want to be able to get them double that. I want to get them $4 million more productive, so that we could take our initial investment back, and still maintain an active ownership in there, so that they are now a growing asset inside of our portfolio, right?
Chris Guerriero: I’m sorry. Long story short, I started wanting to help a lot of people. Now, instead of helping individual people, I’m able to help companies … My own, as well as a few others, who are honest, ethical, moral, legal, and really doing great things in their world … Help them to reach out and touch even more and more people. Now, we’re just touching people in every industry, which is a good feeling.
What Chris looks for as an investor, advisor, or equity-holder
Yuri Elkaim: That’s awesome. How do you, as a advisor, venture capitalist, investor … How do you look at, or what are the things that you look for in a company to be like, “Yeah, this is a company that I want to be a part of,” in terms of helping them grow and move to the next level?
Chris Guerriero: It has to be a fit with my core competencies. There’s three different levels here. I am either an owner, or a partner, right? So I’m the owner.
Chris Guerriero: An investor … completely different thing. I’m putting money in, and I expect … I want to be able to go in there, bring in a leadership team if I have to, change SOPs … I mean, I really want to be able to get my hands in there, use my core competencies, and get them to the next level.
Chris Guerriero: I need to know that everything that I know from developing my companies, I could plug in here, get them to the next level, and it’s an investment. I’m putting money in. I need the investment back.
Chris Guerriero: Then the third part is as an advisor, where growing companies are paying me. I need to know, before I take somebody on into this … It’s called Club 28 … That my core competencies, after growing my companies, and also investing in these other companies, I can take what I know from here, proven systems, the people, the processes, whatever it is … plug them in over here and help them grow.
Chris Guerriero: Because my brand is on here. Right? My investment here, I’m getting paid up front, but it’s my brand. I can’t be part of a company, and have them decline, because that would look really obviously crappy for me.
Yuri Elkaim: What does the “Club 28” signify? Is that the number of people in it, or-
Chris Guerriero: That’s the number of companies that I’m able to help in one year. My week looks like this. I believe everybody listening really should have a formal schedule. Maybe not as tight as mine is. I’m a little bit anal about this. But they should have a formal schedule for what the heck gets done every single week, so that they know … They can put their finger on that metric and say, “Yes, I did good this week.” Right? “I pushed things forward this week.”
Chris Guerriero: My day goes like this … From 9:00 to 9:30, Emily, who’s been my assistant for 17 years now … Emily delivers to me my numbers. My metrics. My key metrics for each one of the companies that I own, or am a partner in. There’s three to five key metrics in every company.
Chris Guerriero: I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, when I look at those metrics, that something’s good, or something’s not good. Right? Between 9:00 and 9:30, I’m taking notes. It’s called “Numbers and Notes.” I get my numbers. I take notes. I could look through all of my companies, and I could know, “Shit’s good,” or “Shit’s hitting the fan.” Right? “I need to talk to them about this.”
Chris Guerriero: From 9:30 to 12:30, about, I am in meetings with my leadership teams for each one of those companies. Right? Every single call has my leadership team … For my class action noticing firm, we’re on the phone. For my branding company, we’re on the phone. For the health company, we’re on the phone.
Chris Guerriero: Those meetings will last anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes, depending on the company, depending on the level of growth they’re having, depending on if they’re having promotions, or a launch, or whatever it is. They need 10 to 30 minutes, and I’m able to fit them all in during this time. It’s just the leadership team for this one company, and then I hang up, and I go to the next one.
Chris Guerriero: I’m talking about three things, mostly. I’m talking about what … Everybody on the team, we’ll go around … “What have you accomplished so far?” It’s either yesterday, the last 24 hours, or the last week so far. Like today is Thursday, so we would be talking about “What have you accomplished this week so far?”
Chris Guerriero: Then “What is your top five today?” Right? We live on top fives. Top five most important uses of our time, so that one of the main questions that people ask themselves in my companies, every single day, many, many times during the day. The same question that I ask myself, “What is the most important use of my time right now?” Right? That’s coming from our top five list.
Chris Guerriero: We look at what they did. We look at what they’re doing right now. “What’s my top five most important things today?” That top five must be in alignment with that company’s top five. So that the company is constantly moving forward.
Chris Guerriero: Then the third thing that we talk about is “Is there a rock in your path? Is there some kind of obstacle that either I, or somebody else on the team, or the team together can just blow up for you, and make your life a lot easier today?” Right? That’s it. That’s 9:30 to 12:30, about.
Chris Guerriero: Then from 12:30 to 3:00, I work in my companies. I’m an employee of each one of my companies. I work … I have core competencies. I’m really good at a few things. I push things forward doing what I’m really good at during that time.
Chris Guerriero: And 3:00, I’m gone. That is my day, every day, except for Wednesday … Which, I’m sorry. That whole long thing to answer your question. Club 28 is 28 companies that I can work with. On Wednesdays, and a little bit of Thursday morning, I am on the call with companies that are inside of Club 28, which are companies doing maybe a couple of million dollars a year to a couple billion dollars a month.
Chris Guerriero: They’re good, strong companies that are aggressive growth. Companies who, if I went in, put my core competencies behind them, they know beyond a shadow of a doubt that we, together, can help blow them the hell up.
Chris Guerriero: We have an average growth … I mean, I could go through … I’d have to look for the exact stats, but I think we had about 218% growth average for the companies that I worked with last year. A little more than 200% growth the year before. 100 and something percent growth … high hundreds the year before that. Again, 200 …
Chris Guerriero: We average quite- a substantial amount of growth every single year, because when you have a good company … a company who’s really good … honest, ethical, moral, legal … doing good stuff, and then you add this gasoline. The systems, the knowledge, the experience that I have. The relationships that I have … into them, then, I mean, what … Good shit happens.
Yuri Elkaim: Totally.
Chris Guerriero: Right? That’s what my Wednesday is, and I’m juiced at the end of that day. So much so that it’s tough for me to go to sleep.
Yuri Elkaim: That’s great. Well, that’s when you know you’re doing your unique genius, is that it energizes you instead of draining you. That’s great.
Yuri Elkaim: In terms of building out a winning leadership team … in terms of hiring people … for most companies, everyone starts off as a solo entrepreneur, or a partnership in some way, shape, or form. At what point does that first hire happen? Who, usually, is that first hire?
How to structure a process org chart
Chris Guerriero: Well, okay. Good question. I’m going to answer it two ways. First way is, what was my first hire? Because I want to share what I believe everybody should do, but I also want to share what I did, because often there’s a disconnect. You probably learn from watching sometimes more than from listening.
Chris Guerriero: What I did was, I had a mentor when I was first starting out, and I asked him that question, “If you had to do it all over again?” Right? It’s the most common question that you ask a real successful person probably. “If you had to do it all over again, and you were where I am right now, what would you do?”
Chris Guerriero: His answer was, “I’d hire two people. I would hire an assistant … A really good assistant, and I’d hire a gofer. Somebody who would come to my house, pick up the hose … They’d cut my grass. They would do the stuff that I don’t need to do, so that I could be productive with my time.” Right? The assistant, their only job is to take shit off your desk, that you don’t need to do, so that you could be doing what you’re really good at to scale this company. That’s what I did.
Chris Guerriero: Now, what I tell people to do, and what we do inside of each one of our organizations now … If I were actually starting a company now, this is exactly what we do. We create an org chart. It’s called a Process Org Chart. It’s not the most common org chart that most people know. It’s a Process Org Chart.
Chris Guerriero: The Process Org Chart can be done no matter what level you’re at right now. Whether you’re just starting out, or your just breaking the million dollar mark, or you’re trying to break the 10, 25, 50, 100 million dollar mark. It doesn’t really make a difference. If you do this, this will help you understand if you’re overstaffed, or if you’re understaffed, and who to hire.
Chris Guerriero: You literally create an org chart with … the boxes on the org chart represent the most important departments, or the most important processes that need to happen to get from where you are to the next level. Not to get you from $1 million to $10 million, or from $1 million to $100 million. To get you from $1 million to $2 million, or from $10 million to $12 million, right? To the next level.
Chris Guerriero: Make that perfect organizational chart. Not with names, with the processes. This one might be a cold traffic … I may need cold traffic. I may need somebody who’s really great at cold traffic. Then, underneath there, I’m going to put the bullet points for the most important processes that have to happen in there. I’ll create the entire company.
Chris Guerriero: My name may initially be in every one of those boxes. That’s possible. Or I may put vendors names in there, because I don’t have enough capital yet to hire anybody else. I don’t care. But those things need to happen, in order to get me from here to here.
Chris Guerriero: Then I look at that, and I say, “Well, if I were to take my name out of one of these boxes, and that would free up a lot of my time, so that I could do what I’m really good at, which box should that be?” That’s the first hire. Most of the time, we default back to what I actually did early on, because most of the time, it is a great assistant.
Yuri Elkaim: Yep. Totally. How does somebody who is, again, building the early stages of their company, and they’re trying to think … “Okay, I’m at $100K. I want to get to $500K, or $1 million.” Whatever that might be. How do they even know what the org chart might even look like. I guess you only know what you know, and you don’t know what you don’t know. How does someone who doesn’t have the luxury of your guidance or advice figure out what those seats are on the org chart, in the first place?
Chris Guerriero: Well, I would start with a Google search, I guess. It’s pretty simple to say, “Here’s a company that is similar to mine.” Right? Or the next level up from me. “It’s my next-level wish list.” If your company’s doing $1 million, and you want to be a $12 million company, and you see a company that is doing things that you believe is a $12 million range, then you Google them, and you say, “Well, what can I learn? What do I think they’re doing here?”
Chris Guerriero: You go to LinkedIn, and you look at their team. Because LinkedIn is like an open book for every single person and their job description inside of each company. It’s amazing what a resource that is that nobody even uses. We use it all the time. We steal people from other companies in a great, honest way, right?
Yuri Elkaim: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Chris Guerriero: From there. Here, I’ll give you an example. One of the things that I would do, is if I wanted a new assistant, which I don’t. In case Emily’s listening. I would figure out the job description. I’d figure out five, or six, or ten bullet points of exactly what I need, right?
Chris Guerriero: Then I’d write down on another sheet of paper where my company is, and where we’re growing to. Right? I want to make that a marketing piece. I want to make that really motivating. That if I said it to anybody, they would say, “Oh, this person started here, and they’re growing to here? That’s pretty impressive.”
Chris Guerriero: Then I want to go to LinkedIn, and I want to find companies that have already done … They’ve already built what I want to build. I go on their LinkedIn profile, and I’ll find out “Who’s the executive assistants?”
Chris Guerriero: I’ll look at them, and I’ll say … I’ll send them an e-mail, and I’ll say, “Hey … Hi. This is who I am. I am CEO of Blank Company. We’re a small company right now. We’re just starting out. This is what we’ve accomplished so far. This is where we’re going. The one missing piece to this puzzle is an executive assistant to me. I see that you are doing that for a company that’s very similar. I know like-minded people hang out with like-minded people. So if you know anybody who would be a good fit for this, I would love it if you would reach out, and just let me know, and I would personally love to speak to that person. If you have any questions, feel free to ping me here. I’ll jump on the phone with you for 15 minutes, and I’ll answer your questions. I’d love this.” That’s the end of it.
Chris Guerriero: Now, you’re going to get two things. You’re going to get people who ignore it, or just say, “Hey, I don’t know anybody. Thanks for reaching out.” Number two, you’re going to have somebody who says, “Hey, yeah. I’d like 15 minutes. Let me just talk to you about this.” I know they’re not happy in their job there. Right? I know that they want to be associated with a growing company. Maybe they feel stagnant over there. Or maybe they just know somebody who they can refer. But if I send that to 10 companies, I’m going to get a good person.
Leadership teams and when a COO or CFO comes on board
Yuri Elkaim: That’s awesome. That’s really good. Cool. Let’s move up the journey of business. So where we’ll get into a couple million in revenue, for instance. At what point, as the CEO or the leader of your business … I guess two questions. Number one, does every entrepreneur have to be the CEO of their company? And two, at what point do you really start to think about building out your leadership team? Your c-suites. At what point does that make sense financially, as well as growth-wise?
Chris Guerriero: It depends on the industry, and what your needs are. I would say it’s pretty common that at the $10 million mark, or give or take 20%. With all of the numbers I’m giving here, give or take 20%. At the $10 million mark, it’s very common for someone to say, “I need somebody who is going to be able to run the organization of this.” It’s normally a COO who is a first c-suite introduction.
Chris Guerriero: After that, often, it’s a CFO. Somebody who can actually handle … That’s not at the $10 million mark. That may be at the $20-25 million mark. Because prior to the $10 million mark, we’re going to have maybe an internal bookkeeper who starts working with us, but still working with an external accounting team.
Chris Guerriero: $10 million or so, somewhere around there, maybe we bring an accountant in. Maybe. I mean, I probably still wouldn’t bring an in-house, at the $10 million mark. But certainly I would have a very close relationship with an accountant. I mean, they would know me real well. And they’d know everything about my industry.
Chris Guerriero: $20 million mark, maybe we have an in-house, or we’re talking about a CFO. Right? That’s probably as specific as I could get without knowing the industry and the actual company.
Yuri Elkaim: What are … for those that don’t really know, how much is … if you wanted to poach someone from another good company in your space, through LinkedIn for instance … I shouldn’t say “poach.” “Invite” may be a better word … What type of salary are we looking at? Just so people have a ballpark of where they need to be revenue-wise in order to make sense of this?
Chris Guerriero: Hey, let’s attack that from a different standpoint, if it’s okay?
Yuri Elkaim: Yeah.
Chris Guerriero: Because we have people approach us on a regular basis for jobs, and they already have great positions. The reason why we have people approaching us, and the reason why, if we reach out to somebody, they listen to us, is because we’re not poaching. We not going … By the way, not a bad word. I love the word. But that’s not what we’re doing.
Chris Guerriero: What we’re doing is building a culture. When we build a culture … A culture starts with values. We could go through … I could even share some of my values with you, if you want. But we start with our values, and the values are my values, right? They start with me, as the leader of the company, because the values of the company I’ve got to live, eat, bleed, and breathe them. Everybody who meets me has to say, “Oh, yeah. That’s why one of their values is this, because that’s just him.”
Chris Guerriero: Then everybody that we attract, they’ve got to buy into those values. They either have to have them ingrained, or they have to believe them. When they get there, they’re like, “Yeah, I get that. I want to live like that.” Then that’s the way they live. When they talk to our customers, talk to our prospects, when they talk to potential investors or whatever … When they talk to each other … The shit comes out. The values come out in them, right? They want them.
Chris Guerriero: Because of that, when we reach out to people, there’s a culture in here now. Because of that, when we reach out to people, it is a culture thing. They’re coming for the culture. They’re coming because they want to be part of this growing culture, not just because there’s a number associated with it. If we go to people with a number, then those people are seeking numbers, and they will leave us.
Yuri Elkaim: Sure. Yeah. I mean, with that said, is there a ballpark? Are we looking at … Because I mean, there still is a point where people are like, “Culturally, this makes a lot of sense,” but this obviously has to meet their financial needs within a range. For a good COO to move from … I don’t know. $10 to whatever million, is that … What are we talking about, $500,000 hire per year?
Chris Guerriero: No.
Yuri Elkaim: No?
Chris Guerriero: COO?
Yuri Elkaim: Yeah.
Chris Guerriero: A COO. It depends on the industry. There’s a lot of reasons why somebody will work for a company in a c-level position. The great majority … Let me put it this way. It depends on the industry. It depends on where in America, or in the world you are, because of the economic environment. I could get somebody for $150,000 in a c position in the mid-states, but if you’re going to where I am, on the East Coast, or the West Coast, that exact same position in the exact same industry is going to be two-and-a-half times that, pretty easily.
Yuri Elkaim: Yeah, that makes sense.
Chris Guerriero: However, if they’re coming … I could get somebody here for far less money, if there is an equity position. For a great COO … Not a CFO. I would never give a CFO equity. I’m sorry, I shouldn’t say “never.” I have never. A COO, I’ve given equity. Small percentage. And it is an equity not in the company … They don’t have voting privileges. They don’t have stock.
Chris Guerriero: What they have is … What you find is, if you’re reaching out to somebody, and you’re saying, “Hey, you’re a COO there. Come be a COO here.” You’ve got to put a carrot at the end of the stick that is going to be something that fulfills something that they really need.
Chris Guerriero: Here’s what most of them need … They grew a company, and they’re getting a salary, and they may get a bonus. But they don’t own a piece of the company. Over here … “You already know what you did over there. You do the same shit over here, and you’re going to get a piece of the equity. The equity starts the day you sign the contract, and it has nothing to do with the money we’ve been making. You own a piece of the equity in the growth of the company from this point forward. Because this is what you’re effecting.”
Chris Guerriero: It may be one percent of the equity this way forward. “If you stop … If for some reason you no longer are employed here, your equity stops. But if for some reason we sell this asset while you’re here, if you have one percent equity, you get one percent equity in the sale, also.” That’s such a big carrot for the right person.
Not attracting, filtering, and onboarding properly
Yuri Elkaim: That’s awesome. That’s really good. What do you see … Regardless of the level of the company, what are maybe three mistakes that companies make in hiring or building out their leadership team?
Chris Guerriero: Hmm. Well, I don’t know if I have three. Let’s go through this. Maybe I have one. Maybe I have 20. Let me think.
Chris Guerriero: Three mistakes … Not attracting the right person. Not filtering them before they come in, right? The filtering process, the interview process, is vital. Right? We need them to jump through some hoops before they even talk to anybody. We need them talk to somebody in the company to see if they’re a fit. We need them to talk to the CEO after we know they’re a fit. Right? And we need to exhaust them in those interviews, so that they’re there so long that they begin to tell you the truth, right?
Chris Guerriero: We need to onboard them properly. One of the biggest mistakes is that a company says, “Yeah, we’re so damn good, we not only know how to find the right person and filter them, then what we do is we have this great training program where … It’s called the onboarding process. We bring them in. They meet with people. They freaking get this great training, and then they get on with their lives. Some of them last. Some of them don’t.”
Chris Guerriero: They want to know, “Why would I put so much money into this training, because so many of these people don’t last afterwards?” Here’s the biggest problem. The problem is, when you’re training somebody during the onboarding process, they’re drinking through a fire hose. You are giving them everything, and you’re expecting them to remember everything.
Chris Guerriero: Then here’s what happens … They get in. They’re real excited. They go to this training. They start, and then they plummet a little bit. They come up a little bit, and they plummet. Their first 30, 60, 90 … even 120 days … is this roller-coaster. Because they don’t remember everything in their training sessions.
Chris Guerriero: After everybody gets trained, we throw them into the fire for two weeks. Then we bring them back to a retraining, which is only a day or two. Right? But during that retraining, they’re touching on stuff, and they’re like, “Oh, now I get this! Now that I saw it live, now I get this.” They come back in, and now they’re success trajectory is much more fluid.
Yuri Elkaim: That’s awesome.
Chris Guerriero: There’s a lot of-
Yuri Elkaim: That’s good, because now they can … if they’ve experienced it, it makes sense for them, because they’ve already been through that process. Are you typically … with this type of onboarding training, would it be real specific, or is it more like a company cultural thing, and expecting those people to be really proficient in their area already? Or is it a bit of both?
Chris Guerriero: Both. It’s … Well, it’s both, but the culture always comes first, prior to them even going through the specific training. The culture will be part of the interview process. Part of the interview process, depending on the size of the company, but let’s just say we have a company that’s doing a couple of million dollars, so they have some staff. They even have an office, right? This is not where everybody’s virtual … They’re working from their house.
Chris Guerriero: They have an office. You’re doing a couple million dollars, or whatever the case is. You have somebody come in, they go through meeting a few people. They’re still doing interview process. I will take them in, and I will put them into a room with the rest of the team.
Chris Guerriero: I’ll have the rest of the team just hang out with them, and just talk with them. I want the team to feel like there’s a fit. I want them to feel like there’s a fit with the team. I want there to be a room where it’s not a distraction to them. It’s not a work room. But they get a chance to socialize.
Chris Guerriero: That’s big. That’s the culture fit. If they pass that, we don’t need to train them on the culture. We know that they’re a fit.
Yuri Elkaim: Yeah.
Chris Guerriero: The rest, the onboarding is really specific training for their position.
Delegating tasks daily and team management
Yuri Elkaim: Cool. What about TPIs, or metrics that each new hire or individual in the team or company is accountable to? Is that something that you guys employ? Is it one number, or are there a few? What does that look like, typically?
Chris Guerriero: Well, the company always has three to five key metrics. Inside of each person, however, they have metrics, and that’ll vary. That’ll vary. Depending on the department that they are in. But there’s metrics for everything.
Chris Guerriero: Here’s where a lot of people think that this is a gray area. Everybody understands what a salesperson’s metrics might be. Right? Here’s the number of phone calls. Here’s the number of contacts. Here’s the number of closes. Here’s the retention. The specific key metrics that most salespeople understand.
Chris Guerriero: But when you’re an entrepreneur, and you’re looking at this, and you’re saying, “Yeah, but I have an assistant. I mean, how is there a key metrics … What are the key metrics for an executive assistant?”
Chris Guerriero: There’s got to be key metrics for every single person in here. Those key metrics may be amount of projects that they take off my desk. It might be the amount of time they take to handle a challenge inside the organization.
Chris Guerriero: It might be how long do you take between … to get information out before one of our team meetings? We need, our team, for our daily meetings, to have their invite, along with what they should come prepared with, an hour before the meeting, if not more. Right? If it’s less than an hour before the meeting, it’s fruitless. If it’s an hour before the meeting, that seems to be the sweet spot where the meeting’s on everybody’s mind, and they have time to prepare, right?
Chris Guerriero: There’s metrics for everybody, and it makes it very simple when you know what I expect of you, and what you can expect of me, everybody gets along so much better.
Yuri Elkaim: Yeah. That’s good. Because I think one of the big challenges for a lot of companies, and ours included, is really identifying within an operational role, what are some of the metrics? You mentioned the speed of implementation, or the turnaround time on certain things. But it’s a little more gray than “How many sales did you bring in?” Right? It’s a little bit less cut-and-dried.
Yuri Elkaim: But I think, for me, what’s helped is sometimes just getting creative and sitting down and thinking “What is meaningful for our company?” Even if it’s not a standard KPI, or whatever. And just thinking through that. Because I think one of the biggest problems that I’ve had in the past is bringing on team members who weren’t clear about their role, and what they were accountable to. I think … obviously, you can correct me if I’m wrong, everyone wants to know how to win. Right? How they win in their role. I think the right KPIs can really help with that.
Chris Guerriero: Yeah. Hey, listen. Our job. Our job … yours, mine, the entrepreneur’s job, is to make everybody underneath us look like rock stars. That’s the end of it. I want systems to be awesome, so that the person using the system looks like a rock star. I want the person to feel comfortable tweaking that system constantly, so that it stays up-to-date, so that person keeps looking like a rock star, right?
Chris Guerriero: The only way we can do this is we have regular meetings. We have daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annual meetings. During our annual meeting, it’s pivotal for the rest of the year. Anybody who doesn’t have meetings with their team, I believe you could … It could be a game changer.
Chris Guerriero: When you do these properly. It’s a tough transition in the beginning, if you’ve never had team meetings. Because if all of a sudden you have team meetings, people think you’re micromanaging them. But when done properly, it opens everybody’s eyes up, and it tells them exactly what the target is. Everybody’s … Now you’re a team working towards the target, and it’s crazy fun.
Chris Guerriero: But our annual meeting, I really only have a couple of jobs at this annual meeting. We get everybody together, and we’ll put the … This is too big of a conversation for what we’re doing right now, but I’ll give you the 30,000-foot view.
Chris Guerriero: We get on a giant whiteboard. I may put a big number at the top of that whiteboard. That might be, let’s just say, for argument’s sake, it’s $25 million. That’s what we need to hit at the end of this year. Then, underneath there, we’ll put the top three or four revenue sources. It might be this service number one, product number one over here, right?
Chris Guerriero: Then every single person who has a stake in helping us grow that … every employee, every independent contractor, every vendor, will be there. Either in the room, or on the TV screens behind me, in our war room. Everybody’s part of this meeting, and everybody brainstorms on the first product or service.
Chris Guerriero: We go over every single action that needs to take place. It’s going to take hours to get this down. The contents writer will say, “Well, we did 20 articles, and 20 this, and 20 that last year. We had four sales funnels for this. We’ll just double that, and we’ll be able to do this.”
Chris Guerriero: Our cold traffic guy will say, “But if we’re going to do that, we’re going to have to not just use Google. We’re also going to have to use Facebook. In order to do that, we’re going to have to have all of these tasks.” In the end, we’re going to be left with this whiteboard that looks like somebody vomited on it, with millions of tasks for this … millions is an exaggeration. Hundreds of tasks to reach just this one bubble. This one product that was here. Then we’ll do it for the other two or three that we have left.
Chris Guerriero: We have all of these tasks, and then Emily’s job will be to go up there and take one task down, and drag it over to somebody’s list. We have a column for the name of every single person who is on our team … employee, independent contractor, or vendor. Doesn’t make a difference.
Chris Guerriero: Everybody who is in that meeting, or who has part of helping us reach that $25 million is on that. They have a column, and we drag every single task over. They take ownership of it. They say, “Yes. I’m going to do that. Put that on my list. Definitely.”
Chris Guerriero: Everything from there, every single task … So we know beyond a shadow of a doubt that if we do every task on that whiteboard, we will meet or exceed the number for that first bubble. If we meet or exceed the number for each one of those bubbles? Each one of those products or services? We will meet or exceed the $25 million.
Chris Guerriero: Now, it just comes down to managing these tasks. Everybody has their list of tasks, which may be 100-150 for the entire year, to do, to do this. Then, the person’s job … Let’s just call it me. Chris’s job, I have a list of 150 things that I need to get done this year.
Chris Guerriero: My job, every single day, is to choose the top five things, our top five list, every single person in our companies run their departments with a top five list every single … a daily top five list. They take the top five most important things from that list, and they belt them the hell out that day. Right?
Chris Guerriero: That’s what our meetings are based on that you and I started talking about earlier. Our daily meetings. We go over “What did you do already? What are you doing today? What’s on your top five list?” As long as they’re taking the top five list from that project sheet, we know beyond a shadow of a doubt that everybody is doing tasks that bring the company towards out top five goals. Right? If all of those tasks that are on that board get done, we will meet or exceed those numbers, and we, as a team, celebrate.
Yuri Elkaim: That’s great. What happens in cases where this type of planning is taking place, and the person who is … or the team is putting stuff out there that is maybe untested, unproven, and maybe their climbing the wrong ladder. All right? They go in, they set a goal, and the strategy or tactics to reach that goal … They’re not too sure if it’s going to work, and then they deploy it for a couple of weeks, and then they’re like, “You know what? This is obviously not working.”
Yuri Elkaim: I guess the question is, as a leader, there’s an element of, I guess, foresight and predictiveness, I think, can be powerful. But what happens in cases where maybe someone doesn’t have that? Where they’re just throwing shit at the wall and seeing what sticks?
Chris Guerriero: Well … You’re talking about the initial actions that we put on that whiteboard?
Yuri Elkaim: Sure. Yeah. Say, “Hey, we’re going to do $25 million by doing this, and this, and this.” Maybe some of those things, they don’t move the needle at all.
Chris Guerriero: Yeah, so definitely there’s going to be red flags on there. The challenge … Our job is to make sure that everybody on our team earned their right to be there, right? Having a bad hire in there is a virus, and it will screw things up.
Chris Guerriero: However, the solution to that, usually, to make it as clean as possible, right? We’re not going to be perfect on this, which means we have to be flexible in how we’re reaching things throughout the year. But to get as perfect as possible, everybody’s got to be in that room.
Chris Guerriero: Doing that one thing helps so that our paid media people can see the mistakes that our content writer might make. Or our ops guy, because of his experience, may see the problems that somebody else might make.
Chris Guerriero: When somebody is suggesting an action that goes up here, or a task that goes up there, we are all talking about it, and saying, “Well, if you’re going to do that, then I need to do this, this, this, and this.” Or the coder’s going to get up there and say, “The last time you opened up traffic for Facebook, everything got shut down. Right? We need to then be able to build this number of funnels out, which means we’re going to need this hosting, and these accounts, and this, and this, and this.” All of those things go on there.
Chris Guerriero: Now, if shit hits the fan as we’re implementing those things, then it needs to come up. That becomes something that we are able to predict only because we have our daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annual meetings, right?
Chris Guerriero: The annual meeting … all those things get broken down, and taken care of daily. When we hit an obstacle, if we can’t push through it within a couple of days, then we know we’ve got to be flexible and have a contingency plan built in there. But we’ll know about it as a team, and we’ll hit that obstacle full force.
Yuri Elkaim: Once … I can’t remember if it was an article in the New York Times, or somewhere like that … There’s a number of different traits of great leaders. One of them was “stubborn on vision, flexible on strategy.” Like-
Chris Guerriero: Love that.
Yuri Elkaim: That’s so good, because there’s so many times where, especially now, where things are changing so quickly with technology, and algorithm changes … I think if you’re so stubborn on like, “No, this is the way we’ve always done it.” We saw how Blockbuster ended up, right?
Delegating tasks daily and team management
Yuri Elkaim: Wicked. One last question for you, and then I’m going to … actually, I didn’t tell you about the Rapid Five that I’m going to throw your way in a couple moments. But so you start a company because you love doing something. You want to, obviously, live the entrepreneurial dream.
Yuri Elkaim: At some level of the journey, the business becomes very different from how it started. In a lot of cases, people who initially enjoyed the creative, marketing, salesy side now become managers. They’re managing people, and they don’t necessarily like that as much.
Yuri Elkaim: How does somebody identify … “You know what? Maybe I just want to create content, and I don’t want to run this company?” How do they … At what point do they step down, bring someone else in, and just do their thing within the company as it grows?
Chris Guerriero: At what point? Hopefully, before they go through burnout. But it’s rarely that case. I mean, we could talk more intelligently, I think about solutions to that, than about how you can predict it, because most people can’t predict that until it’s too late.
Chris Guerriero: Solutions are take on a partner … Number one solution, without a doubt. Take on a partner who has a core competency that is going to truly be able to help. But also the buy-in. There’s got to be … It doesn’t always have to be financial buy-in, but there’s got to be enough skin in the game so that you both feel comfortable with this.
Chris Guerriero: Then there’s got to be the right paperwork in place, if you are going to take on a partner. A real partnership contract. A real operating agreement. Real partners.
Chris Guerriero: Onboarding somebody who has a strong skillset. If we are at the level that we just now know we hate this. I don’t love this anymore, but I have a lot of revenue coming in, then I would onboard somebody. If I don’t have a lot of revenue coming in, I may partner with somebody. Right?
Chris Guerriero: Because if there’s somebody who hates what their doing, because they don’t want to do what you’re doing, and you hate what you’re doing because you don’t want to do what they’re doing … perfect match. That’s why you go to these seminars and these events, right? To make friends, and talk with people.
Chris Guerriero: If I have enough revenue coming in, I’m going to onboard somebody. If I’m at this level, and I know I don’t like it … I still love to build stuff, but I don’t like it? Then you sell. Right? This word “sell” is taboo to so many people, especially in the internet marketing industry, because they don’t understand how to sell a company. Because they never built a real company.
Chris Guerriero: The strategy here becomes making your company sellable, and during the process of making your company sellable, you make your company so much more effective that you become far more ROI-positive. Far more profitable. Which is a great process to go through.
Yuri Elkaim: With that said … and I totally agree with that, because … With that said, what is something from day one … You literally just set up your corporation, what’s something from day one every entrepreneur should do in their business, whether or not they want to sell, but just with the intention that if I did eventually, this needs to be in place from day one? Or at least the habit of whatever it needs to be?
Chris Guerriero: Day one, first thing we do, figure out who’s going to acquire us. If I know who’s going to acquire us … Which means two things. Number one, who is acquiring companies like mine? Number two, who has deep enough pockets to afford me? Right?
Chris Guerriero: I find that, then I find what do I love doing that is a perfect fit to their puzzle? Then I build what I believe is a perfect fit to that puzzle, and then I create a relationship with them. I let them know that I’m on the radar, and that we are building something that is a perfect fit to their puzzle.
Chris Guerriero: There is, in most large companies, an acquisition manager. Right? A person, guy or woman, in charge of buying companies. That is part of their growth model. Part of our growth model is acquiring other companies, right? That is part of how we grow.
Chris Guerriero: Now, we’ve done this lots of different times, and we have a specific set of criteria. I’m struggling to say this, because I don’t want to share the criteria with you.
Yuri Elkaim: You don’t have to.
Chris Guerriero: We have specific criteria that we look for, and that when we know that somebody’s on that criteria, they are on our radar, right? We want to create a relationship with them.
Chris Guerriero: But if they … or somebody reaches out to us, and says, “Hey, listen. I know you’ve acquired companies like ours before. What do I need to do? This is what we have. What would I need to do? Am I a wet dream for your, or am I a piece of crap to you? What do I need to do to be appealing to you?” That’s pretty easy.
Yuri Elkaim: Cool. That’s awesome. That’s not something I would have thought of. That’s … Thank you for sharing that. That’s great.
Chris Guerriero: Yeah. Absolutely.
Yuri Elkaim: Chris, this has been amazing. We could talk all day about this stuff, but I do want to make sure that our listeners know where to find you. Guys, ChrisGuerriero.com. Let me spell that out. C-H-R-I-S. That’s Chris, obviously. Last name Guerriero. G-U-E-R-R-I-E-R-O. Dot com. Check out his website. Lots of cool stuff over there. Where else can people follow you and stay in touch with your work?
Chris Guerriero: Well, ChrisGuerriero.com is the easiest place. That’s the portal where we give all the information. We’re starting a program called Built to Grow, so if they go to BuiltToGrowShow.com, the Built to Grow show is where we’re going to be posting a lot of the Built to Grow shows.
Chris Guerriero: Which is going to be programs like this, where I’m literally talking to people about how to scale. How to attract the right people. How to motivate the right people. How to create culture inside their organization. How to create systems that help companies to grow. Where we’ll be feeding them tactics … short, small tactics that we’re using inside of my companies, and the companies that I invest in, to help them grow.
The Rapid Five
Yuri Elkaim: That’s great. Awesome. All right. Are you ready for the Rapid Five?
Chris Guerriero: Yeah, absolutely.
Yuri Elkaim: These are five Rapid Five questions. I have no idea what they are. Nothing incriminating. It’s all good. Okay, number one, what is your biggest strength?
Chris Guerriero: Leading.
Yuri Elkaim: Cool.
Chris Guerriero: Leading my teams. Leading.
Yuri Elkaim: Cool. Number two, what’s your biggest weakness?
Chris Guerriero: Temper.
Yuri Elkaim: Temper?
Chris Guerriero: Yeah, it is … You and I started … Prior to us recording, you and I started, and we were talking about something, and I said, “One of the things I’m really focused on right now is being more influential.” Being more influential, in my opinion, means learning how to understand the person that I’m speaking with. I seek to understand, from their point-of-view, exactly what they’re sharing, so that I know how to communicate with them better, more effectively.
Chris Guerriero: Not doing that, I tend to quickly turn things off, and stay focused on the path. Which turns out to be a little rude sometimes. I try to work on that.
Yuri Elkaim: I think a lot of us … the leadership types … are very much like that a lot of times.
Chris Guerriero: Yeah. Let’s use the word “blunt,” not “rude.” Because it’s-
Yuri Elkaim: Exactly. Blunt … just “short.” Exactly. Number three, what’s one skill you’ve become dangerously good at in order to grow your businesses?
Chris Guerriero: Going into companies, and being able to see holes, and filling those holes in a creative way. If I were to sum that up, it would be thinking outside the box.
Yuri Elkaim: Awesome. Wicked. Number four, what do you do first thing in the morning?
Chris Guerriero: Very first thing in the morning, before my feet even hit the ground, I drink a glass of water. I go work out. As soon as I’m done with my workout, I have breakfast, and then I read, and I get to work.
Yuri Elkaim: All of that before your feet hit the ground?
Chris Guerriero: No. No, no. Before my feet hit the ground, I have a glass of water.
Chris Guerriero: My feet hit the ground, and I go work out. Right? When I have breakfast, I have breakfast with my kids. When I work out in the morning, I’m working out with my son. It is all integrated with my kids. I get them to school, and then when I get back, I’m here, and I’m ready to go.
Yuri Elkaim: That’s great. Finally, complete this sentence: I know I’m being successful when …
Chris Guerriero: I know I’m being successful when people come back to me, and they say what I have done has helped them.
Yuri Elkaim: Awesome. Chris. Dude. Thank you so much for being here, sharing your wisdom. Just a piece of your experience and all your wisdom. I know our listeners are going to get a ton of value out of this one, so dude, thanks so much for being with us.
Chris Guerriero: Hey, Yuri. It was great. Thank you very much.
Yuri Elkaim: Awesome. Thank you.
Yuri Elkaim: Hey, thanks so much for joining us on this episode of Healthpreneur Podcast. If you’ve enjoyed this episode, here’s what I’d like you to do right now. If you haven’t done so already, please subscribe to the Healthpreneur Podcast on iTunes, and while you’re there, leave us a rating and review. It helps us get in front of more people and change more lives.
Yuri Elkaim: If you’re ready to start or scale your health or fitness coaching business, and want to start getting in front of more people, working with them at a higher level, without trading time for money, then I invite you to check out our free Seven-Figure Health Business Blueprint Training, totally free, right now, and you can do so at HealthpreneurGroup.com/training.
Yuri Elkaim: For now, thank you so much for joining us. Continue to be great, do great, and I look forward to seeing you in the next episode.
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