Ep. #1091 - How to Create Efficient Remote Teams
In today’s episode of Startup Hustle, let’s learn how to create efficient remote teams. Matt Watson and Stacy Tuschl, CEO of Well-Oiled Operations and The Foot Traffic Formula, are on the mics. Their conversation brings out effective strategies on how to manage and motivate your remote teams. And the best practices that you should incorporate into your organizations right now.
Covered In This Episode
Let’s talk about how to create efficient remote teams! From recruiting the best people to figuring out how to communicate with your team—today’s conversation has it in stride.
Matt and Stacy also have insights on building a more responsible and self-reliant team. So you can have more time for priorities other than holding your team’s hand throughout the day.
Manage your remote team wisely. Learn the how-tos in today’s episode of Startup Hustle.
- Stacy reminiscing her backstory (01:47)
- On having a great work culture (03:25)
- Stacy’s podcast (04:14)
- Helpful tips for entrepreneurs stuck in the weeds (05:34)
- The struggles of an entrepreneur (11:08)
- Trusting your team members (11:53)
- Setting goals with your team (14:00)
- Real stories of things going unexpectedly (15:41)
- How to train your team to make the right decisions without you (18:35)
- Measuring OKRs and employee performance (22:45)
- Training people to do the right thing (25:04)
- On being strategic during recruitment (28:31)
- What happens when your business gets to a point where it’s not fun anymore (30:13)
- How to hire the right people (32:11)
- Tips for building a more efficient team (34:27)
- Why a daily meeting is necessary (38:57)
- Where to connect with Stacy? (42:44)
One of the biggest challenges that entrepreneurs have is they get stuck working in the business. Yeah, instead of working on the business. We’ve heard that expression a lot. And you have shown that there’s a great way to do that. If you’re working on the business from the outside, you can help improve it.– Matt Watson
I like to learn what’s already working. I don’t want to be the first person trying and testing something. There are smarter people than me out there. And I want to learn from them.– Stacy Tuschl
It’s just more about really maximizing who you have. And I think, a lot of times, we think we just need another person, or we need to do whatever it is. But the more I can understand my sweet spots with each person, like where their zone of genius is and what they’re really good at.– Stacy Tuschl
Make the right decisions when it comes to recruitment. Work with Full Scale to build a software development team quickly and affordably. We specialize in creating a professional, long-term team tailored for you and your business. Check out Full Scale’s platform to help with recruitment and make team management more manageable.
As always, look into all the services offered by our Startup Hustle partners too.
Following is an auto-generated text transcript of this episode. Apologies for any errors!
Matt Watson 00:00
And we’re back for another episode of Startup Hustle. This is your host today, Matt Watson, excited to be joined today by Stacey Tuschl. We’re going to be talking about how to run a business. And as an entrepreneur getting out of the way of the business. She owns multiple businesses, and they all run themselves. So we’re gonna learn from her how to do that. I know that’s something that we all struggle with. Today’s episode of Startup Hustle is powered by FullScale.io. Hiring software developers is difficult. Full Scale can help you build a software development team quickly and affordably and has the platform to help you manage that team. Visit FullScale.io to learn more. Stacey, welcome to the show.
Stacy Tuschl 00:35
Hi, Matt. Thanks for having me.
Matt Watson 00:37
Okay, I have to start with some random facts here. Yeah. I have three sisters named Stacy. Three sisters is a long story, but I have three sisters named Stacy. And both of my parents had daughters named Stacy. And funny. Yeah. So I have three sisters named Stacy. So you have my favorite name. Okay, I love it. But so welcome to the show. And I guess you get to start to tell us a little bit about your background and what you’re working on today.
Stacy Tuschl 01:07
Oh, that is very interesting. Yeah, so I actually grew up in an entrepreneurial family. So I was raised in the construction business from the time that I was born. And then, right at high school, I was a dancer in high school. I started teaching middle school, like a dance group, in my parent’s backyard for fun. And my parents and grandparents were watching. And within three years, I had 100 kids without any marketing. And they’re like, we don’t know anything about dance. But I feel like you could maybe do a business out of this. So three years in, I decided, okay, this is going to actually be something I do, like actually treating it like a real business. Today, we have 1600 students that come to us on a weekly basis. I have about 50 employees in that business. It’s a seven-figure business. And I haven’t worked in them in almost 10 years, actually, yeah, almost 10 years. So that really kind of sparked at first: me wanting to do something else because I like to work. And I wanted to have a challenge. But it also sparked other people saying, how did you just do that? So that’s where my second business, Well-Oiled Operations, kind of started, where I teach other business owners how to build a team, how to systematize the business, and just get it less reliant on them. So they can, like you said, get out of their own way.
Matt Watson 02:25
Yeah. So for your business, you just mentioned it there. How many locations do you have?
Stacy Tuschl 02:30
So I have two locations right now. And honestly, it’s not something I don’t see myself having more. I think with that business, it’s like it’s done. It’s good. And I’m not really scaling besides scaling those locations.
Matt Watson 02:45
So if one of the managers quits or something, or do you have to step in and kind of deal with it, or do you think it’s all in good, you know, if the only person that could step out that I would have an issue is my sister, which is actually really good, because the chances of her doing that are not great.
Stacy Tuschl 02:53
So she is the general manager. So if somebody were to leave, as general manager, she would step in. But our leadership team is pretty strong. I don’t know that we’ve had somebody retire, and she gave us like a year’s notice. So I always tell people, when you have a good culture, they don’t just put out like two-week notices randomly. They’re very thoughtful of, hey, I know this is going to take a while to train somebody. Let’s start working on it as I retire.
Matt Watson 03:28
So you also have your own podcast. Can you tell us a little more about your podcast as well? Yeah.
Stacy Tuschl 03:34
Yeah. So I started podcasting. I always tell people I’m just a really good student. And when somebody smarter than me, more successful than me, says to do something, I usually just listen. And I remember this guy, like seven, eight years ago, said, Do you listen to podcasts? And, like, yeah, I love podcasts. He’s like, You should have your own. It’s a great way to get out there to meet people and connect to interview people you’ll never get to talk to in a million years. And you could eventually get clients from it. So I just jumped full in back in 2015. And just started putting out content. I started with three days a week back in the day and did that for a while. And now I just do about one or two episodes a week.
Matt Watson 04:12
And so what are the topics usually? Yeah, so typically, we’re in the management category in iTunes. We’re usually in the top 20 or so.
Stacy Tuschl 04:15
And for us, we’re talking about how to delegate more effectively, how to find somebody to hire, who to hire, which positions are the most profitable, and which positions can just cost you money but not really make you money? We talked about systematizing a lot as well. I always tell people, you know, you’ve got to get clear on the plan. And then you’ve got to figure out the people who you need to get you to the next level. And then it’s like how right, the process of Okay, and how are we gonna get there? So we kind of just stays in those three little bubbles of planning the people in the process stages.
Matt Watson 04:54
So I think one of the biggest challenges that entrepreneurs have is they get stuck working in the business. Yeah, instead of working on the business, right? So we’ve heard that expression a lot. And you have, you’ve shown that there’s a great way to do that you’re working on the business from the outside, and you can help improve it. And so I would love to talk more about tips that you have for other entrepreneurs about that because I feel like most of us get stuck in the weeds in the business. And a lot of times, I feel like we’re holding it back because we just don’t trust and delegate to other people.
Stacy Tuschl 05:27
Yeah, so good. So I always like to look at, well, what’s the alternative, right? Because some people will say, Oh, don’t hire a team. It’s a headache. This is where I tried to hire once. It was a nightmare, right? But ultimately, the alternative is staying just a solopreneur, right. And Entrepreneur Magazine did an article on a freelancer that can make, you know, 30,000-150k a year, and it was actually a pretty positive piece like this is a lot of money. And what I, you know, question or want to make sure people understand is that’s before expenses, like we know, as business owners, like you’re not putting 150,000 in your pocket, right? We also know that 150,000 is probably the exception, not so much the rule of how much a solopreneur makes, right? We’re gonna get taxed on that, like, it’s just not. You could, you could honestly just go get a real job with somebody else, make more money, and have fewer headaches, right? So if the alternative is to stay small as a solopreneur, and that’s not what I’m sure most of your audience is looking for. They don’t want to stay small. They want to grow, right? Then we’ve got to get good at delegating. We’ve got to get good at hiring. And the problem is, we maybe aren’t naturally that great at it. We haven’t done it before. Or maybe we like to be the boss. But that doesn’t mean we’re good at being the boss. We just like to be in charge. I don’t know about you. But growing up, I wanted to be the leader, I wanted to be the captain, and I always wanted to be in charge if there was an activity or somebody was leading, right? That does not mean I was good at leading, it just meant I wanted to be in charge. Right? So we’ve got to start to learn how it takes to build a team to bring great culture to create that culture, and to get people really fired up and wanting to show up and be an A player?
Matt Watson 07:07
Well, people that are really good at being creative and innovative are probably also not the same people that are very good at operations. There are different personality styles. And so I was at an event last night, actually. And I was with a guy who has been an operations person at a bunch of different tech companies. And I asked him, like, why don’t you start your own company? He’s like, I have no interest in taking the risk, and that and they’re just different personalities, right. As entrepreneurs, we need, like the other guy I mentioned last night, to help run the business. And I think a lot of entrepreneurs struggle to realize when they get to the point where they need that person 100%.
Stacy Tuschl 07:45
And what’s funny is, people might be thinking, Well, wait, is she good at operations? So is she not a visionary or creative. So what’s funny is I am a visionary, I am a marketer, I am a salesperson like I love creativity. But I realized very quickly, you cannot just be a marketer, you have to have all of the pieces to the puzzle. There’s marketing, and there’s fulfillment, right? Or product, you know, mastery, and then there are operations. So I had to get good at it. But I also find people that then thrive in that role and put them in that role. So I have no operations in either of my businesses. But I know how to find good people and how to have us be a trio, right? Or have three people really leading those departments.
Matt Watson 08:27
So what tips do you have for entrepreneurs that are struggling in that spot of wanting to figure out they need to do a better job of hiring other team members? And delegating?
Stacy Tuschl 08:37
Yeah, so a lot of times, we have very high expectations as the CEO and the entrepreneur, right? And we assume this is just not an A-player, right? And what I want people to understand is, this is still your responsibility. You either let an A-B player or worse into the team, right? Like this is still you attracted them, you hired them. If that’s truly the case, this is on you, right. The other alternative is that they possibly are as good as you thought they were. But they just don’t have the training and support they need from you to thrive. Right? So we’ll hire somebody and think, Well, I hired you to do that. So you should know how to do that. Why do you need me? Right? I can see you laughing, and it’s because we think this, right? And I was just telling somebody. So I have a couple plants at my house. I have a snake plant, which is the best plant because you can literally put it in the closet for 30 days and not water it, and that thing is not going to die. Okay, it is so good on its own. Then I have this Lily that I have to get rid of because it needs so much attention. And like you have to pour into it. And what I always tell people is everybody’s treating their team like the snake plant but doesn’t need anything. But everybody’s different. The snake plant is the exception. You might have like one or two of those people, but most people are the lily that needs you, right. They need the water. They need the sun. And if you don’t give it to them, they look like the B player, the C player. And as soon as you start to turn it around, and give them time, give them attention, give them energy, you can start to see them like blossoms again. Right? So I always say, like, even just a quick question or tell me where you’re at? How are you feeling? What’s going on this week? Where are you struggling? Where are you winning? Just even asking those questions, you will learn so much from the team members. People don’t ask?
Matt Watson 10:28
Well, I think the other struggle is as an entrepreneur, when you go to hire other people, especially if you’re hiring people that are in your expertise, it’s really difficult to trust them and or not micromanage them. So for example, my background is more like being a Chief Technology Officer, right. So for me to hire another chief technology officer that works for me would be a brutal position because they know I would be second-guessing everything they did. And that would be really hard. And I think that, as a business owner, you have to decide in those roles. Like, look, that’s my expertise, I’m going to hire somebody, and I’m still going to drive the strategy. And I just need people to, like, carry it out. Right? Yeah. Or you’ve got to hire somebody smarter than you that you will unequivocally trust to go do it.
Stacy Tuschl 11:13
Yes. The problem is, we say that, and then we don’t trust them. And we were thinking, I don’t know, if I do I know better, do they know better? Right? And that’s where I always say, I just listen to smarter people talk, right? Like, if I know, they had the credibility, they’ve done it, there’s not something you’re gonna say to me that I’m gonna think I don’t think he knows what he’s talking about. Right? So that’s where I think we have to learn that skill set of trying the strategy from the podcast you’re listening to or the coach that you’re hiring, right? If they have that credibility, and you’ve done your due diligence, start attempting their strategies, and let the proof of the evidence of it working, earn your trust, right. So same thing with your team member, I’m not going to hire somebody and just give them all of this stuff and say, take it and run with it. Right? I’m going to give them little by little. And as they start to earn my trust of okay, this is going well, I give them more rights, we give them more responsibility as they thrive. And if something goes off, it’s like pulling it back. Okay. We just had a little tech issue today with something in our emails. And I had somebody on it and I said to the person above her, I’m like, bring it back in like you need to be double checking, because that can never happen again. Right? So it is not our natural instinct to lead. We like to micromanage because we like it the way we think we know best Right? Or the boss. So think about who likes to be micromanaged. Okay, so you’ve got players who are competent, they excel, do they want to be micromanaged? Absolutely not. Right? Then you’ve got the people that aren’t great, that are second guessing themselves. They don’t like to micromanage either, because they know they’re messing up and you’re like, This is not a great environment, they’re actually getting more nervous and more stressed and will probably make even more mistakes. So micromanaging is just not a strategy that is effective, no matter who you have, or who you are, right? So we have to figure out how to give these little micro tasks where they can display and earn your trust. I always question, are you giving them an opportunity to show you that they’re trustworthy?
Matt Watson 13:20
So do you think the key there is having weekly one on ones with them, setting smaller goals, giving them time to accomplish them? And setting expectations of what you want them to do? But not, you know, not necessarily telling them exactly how to do it. But you know, collaborating with them on a weekly basis to ensure that they’re getting done whatever it is you want to accomplish?
Stacy Tuschl 13:40
Yeah, yes to all of that. And one thing when you said, you know, setting, helping them set their goals, I like to even say, I find that when I set the goal for them, I go smaller than when they set the goal. If I say how many sales calls do you want to shoot for this week? Or how many? Just something with social media or Facebook ads? Like what kind of return on investment are we looking for? If I set the tone, sometimes I’m lower than when a player they’re driven. And they want to prove to you I can do this, right? So when I say what do you want to do? A lot of times they pick a number higher than me and I let them, they’re too aggressive, give me the number and she says seven. I’m gonna say I love it. Let’s do it right. Now, if I’m thinking five, and she says four, I’m going to question a little bit and see if it’s, you know, a mindset thing on this person’s and is there a lack of belief that they can do it? Maybe there’s a lack of skill set, and I can help train and say, Listen, I think you can get five and here’s how I think you can get five, right? So I love them picking it first. But then I don’t just go with it, right? Sometimes they’re going to shoot way too high. And sometimes you just need to let them go for it and then work through it right? But just be careful that you don’t set the tone and then they could have achieved more but they’re thinking perfectly. I hit her number. I don’t have to try any more this week. I’m good.
Matt Watson 15:00
So I wonder, do you have any horror stories where this has all gone wrong?
Stacy Tuschl 15:04
So I think this is just all learning. Right? So I definitely have, I wouldn’t say horror story, but I definitely have the story of like, she shot big and just missed the mark. Right? So then it’s just, it’s just conversations. And I think a lot of us don’t want to have awkward conversations with people to actually say to somebody now I know your goal was seven. And we had to wonder what happened? Like dominion, right? It doesn’t have to be this huge, like punishment and problem. It’s just like, okay, so why what happened? And what do you think we could do this week to get that number higher. I mean, resourcefulness is such a great skill set to have anybody, let them be resourceful. Let them come up with different ways to achieve it and hit it and all of that, right, you’re there to guide. I always say, we’re teaching people how to fish. So if I just keep telling them exactly where the fish are, they’re not going to build that muscle or that skill set.
Matt Watson 16:01
Well, I feel like part of the problem, though, is some entrepreneurs and I guess who’s guilty of this, they’re good at delegating. But they don’t teach support, set the goals to your point, it’s like they tell them where the fish are. And they say, Go Fish go do it. But they don’t really tell them how to fish or set the goals or check on with them. You know, they don’t, they don’t do any of the rest of it. They just, it’s like, they almost threw the plan at them. And they’re like, Here you go. Good luck. Go do it. Yeah, yeah.
Stacy Tuschl 16:27
So I had, I mean, I still do this myself, right. So we brought in the salesperson who came from a company who was trained in this, like, specific specific selling skill set. So I thought, all she has to do is learn our offer, and she’ll be able to sell it right. So she knows how to sell. She now knows our offer. And she does her first few sales calls. And I realized, oh, no, she knows the bullet points of her offer. She doesn’t know if somebody asks a question about one of those bullet points. So I learned the hard way that that was not a successful way to have her do sales calls. And then when the new next person came in, I knew that was an issue, right? So I’m like, Listen, I’m going to ask you questions, and I’m going to pick your brain about these bullet points, until you never mess up the pitch. And you know exactly what is offered and exactly what isn’t. And you know, like what to say and how to sell it, right? And as I started, today, I was working with this person. And she’s like, This is so awkward, like having you pretend to be a client, like, listen, it’s gonna be a whole lot more awkward when you are with a real potential client, and you don’t know what to say to them. So let’s have fun together. We’re roleplaying. Right. But I’m pouring into her. And I could not believe how much traction we were making. And just a few simple questions. And now that she knows that she’s not going to make those mistakes again. But a lot of people don’t think they’re like, no, no, they came from a company, they should know the skill set. I’ve paid good money, they should be good. You go do it like the snake plant, you’re fine. Go, right. It’s like no, no, no, they still need a little bit of support to get them up and running.
Matt Watson 17:55
Well, I think that that brings up another topic. And I went through this recently working with somebody where sometimes your expectations are just also way too high. Yeah, that’s the first time they’re going to do something right. You have to expect them to need some on the job training they need to do whatever the thing is, they’re going to learn from it. And you can’t give them the training, the playbook, all of that no matter what it is, and expect them to do it perfectly the first day like it’s not going to happen anyways, you can give them all the information in the world. And they’re going to have to just simply do it, they’re going to learn on their own, and you can continue to kind of guide them and tweak them. But you’ve got to give them that ability to like to go do it, try it and learn it.
Stacy Tuschl 18:34
Yeah, I think high expectations, like I have high expectations. But there is such a thing as too high of expectations, or I’ve heard a business owner say I could do what she is doing in six hours in an hour. Like, of course you could be the boss, like you run this thing, you birthed it like, of course, you could do it faster 100% If I had to be replaced, they probably would need to have like three or four people to replace my position. I guarantee you, I’m faster. And I can make executive decisions. A lot of the people we are hiring, they have to stop and wait for you like you become the bottleneck. They can’t make the decision without hearing from you or their manager, or whoever it is. So of course they can’t go as fast as somebody who can make up the rules in our head at the moment. And nobody can say anything bad to us.
Matt Watson 19:25
So I want to talk more about that. But before I do, I do want to remind everybody that finding expert software developers don’t doesn’t have to be difficult, especially when you visit FullScale.io where you can build a software team quickly and affordably. Use the Full Scale platform to define your technical needs and see what developers are available to join your team today. Visit FullScale.io to learn more. So my question for you is how do you train your team in a way to make decisions without you? Right? Like you know, somebody told me I think with my business partner he’s like if there’s a 90% chance I’m gonna say Yes, then it’s just Yes. Like don’t even ask me. Right? Like, how do you coach people to deal with that part of it?
Stacy Tuschl 20:07
Okay, I love that sentence. First of all, like, even just him telling that to you, right? You now know and feel good about it, I know what he’s gonna say, let’s just do this, right? So the problem is most people don’t know the boundaries or don’t know the rules. So there could be somebody who joins the team who thinks, oh, well, I saw Matt do this. So obviously, it’s okay, I’m going to do it, too. It’s like, no, no, no, right? You might be in phase one, which is, here’s the system, you do exactly what it says, right? You might be in another phase where the system doesn’t exist. And you have to get authority before you can do anything. Or maybe I have like, one of my rules is with my general manager, I always tell her, like, Don’t interrupt me during dinner, or on a weekend about something, I really just don’t care, I would rather have you in the moment, create the system fresh, if it doesn’t exist, based off of our values. And then the next day we’re talking, let’s talk about it and decide if that’s going to be the real system moving forward or not. Right. And what’s funny is, you have to give people the authority at least right? To say, I trust you, you’ve got this, I believe you’ll make a great decision. Right? And it’s okay, if they don’t at the moment, you can fix it the next day for the future. Right? Now, I’m at a stage with my Studios, where I don’t need to hear this system. I don’t care what you do. I trust her completely. It has been running so well, without me being involved in every decision, like she is at another phase of you’ve got it, you know exactly what I would say or not say. And if you need me, I am here, but we very rarely, like she has to call me.
Matt Watson 21:49
So how do you run those kinds of businesses? Do you? Do you give them goals or OKR frameworks? Or do you work off like a scorecard or metrics? Like, you wake up every morning and you expect to see the numbers and the week before? Like, how do you recommend that people run those types of? So
Stacy Tuschl 22:05
I am a big believer in a scorecard where you can actually see the numbers, the metrics. So I’m looking at certain metrics on a daily basis. Like I do have a quick morning daily huddle, and I look at the biggest numbers I need to see. And then typically in my business, I stick around with my sales team. Like I want to know what happened yesterday, what’s going on? How can I support you, I mean, they’re literally the lifeblood of our entire organization, right? They’re talking to potential clients every single day. So I am looking at constant daily metrics. And sometimes people don’t look at metrics often enough, especially in the beginning. They don’t want to know the numbers because they know they’re not great. So they just don’t look and they think avoiding it is going to solve the problem. But even looking at bad numbers, that data can help you move in the right direction. So every day when I see certain numbers, I go, Wait, what happened yesterday, or Whoa, what happened yesterday, I want to know what we did, cuz I want to do more of that. If I get that data, four days later, or a week later, or a month later, it delays my reaction by many days or months, right? So if you aren’t looking at certain numbers until the, let’s say, your CPA gives you your numbers, every single month, you know, 30 days passed. And that’s the first time you’re ever glancing at numbers. You couldn’t use that data to impact your current month. Right. When I see my daily income, like what we collected yesterday, I can make changes happening in that exact month. Does that make sense?
Matt Watson 23:32
Yeah, but do you think daily is too often? I mean, does that get to the point where it’s almost micromanaging?
Stacy Tuschl 23:37
Yeah. So I would say it depends on the business and what the model is. My business is to make money mostly every day. So for me, I want to see what happened yesterday. If you’re not making money every day, you’re making money. There are so many different ways. People do it, like once a month or whatever it is, once a week, figure out the frequency of what you need to track, right? So I think we think oh my goodness, micromanaging sometimes it’s just like rewarding them. It’s to say, Great job yesterday, you guys like Oh, my goodness, this is amazing. People want to feel like you’re seeing them that they’re being valued. So I don’t want people thinking looking at numbers is to punish people or to or to say something bad. Sometimes it’s just like, killer job yesterday, like, whoa, the marketing team is crushing it, right? Or whoever I want to, you know, shout out with those numbers.
Matt Watson 24:24
You know, earlier earlier in my career, I think what I, what I saw as being the CEO or executive or manager has definitely changed over my career. And, you know, based on the way you’re describing all of this, I think what you preach it’s like really the goal of the business owner or an executive is more along with training. It’s like our goal isn’t to do the work. Our goal is to hire people, train people to ensure they’re all doing it the right way. Yeah.
Stacy Tuschl 24:49
Yeah. And just like really sharing the vision and getting them on board to become part of that vision and where we’re heading and how there’s room for them there right, and where they could be growing. Intuit and all that because they get excited. So somebody will always say to me, like, half of me, my people just don’t ever, they don’t have the passion, like I have the passion, or they don’t want it as bad as me. And it’s probably because they see this as your business. Right? And they’re just a little piece playing in it. Whereas me, I’m helping people build like micro businesses within my business. So they love having the opportunity to lead departments or having the opportunity to make Commission’s or whatever it is, right? So I think there’s a lot of ways to do this. But getting them so onboard that they feel a part of the vision has been really huge for us.
Matt Watson 25:38
Well, I think it’s also important to realize you’re never gonna hire somebody who is as good as you are at what you do, because to some degree, then they would have your job instead, right? But it’s also frustrating, because you want to hire somebody that’s as good as you and I. One thing I heard one day, it’s like your goal should be to hire somebody that’s like 80% as good as yes. And that’s a huge win, if you can find something that it’s just 80% as good as you at whatever the thing is.
Stacy Tuschl 26:02
Yeah, and here’s the thing. I mean, I know that might sound like why would I give up all that money. Because if you don’t, you’re just gonna give up the time. And at some point, you’re gonna want more time than you need more money, right? Like in the beginning of my business, oh, I wanted the money, I needed the money, I didn’t care what I would have to do timewise to get it to make it happen. Now, I’m older, I have children, I would pay to save time to make more time to duplicate my time, right? In your right, if I could find somebody 60% As good as me and getting certain results. But I don’t have to do it. I will play that game all day, every day.
Matt Watson 26:38
When I saw something recently, I didn’t know what the name of the principle was. But it said, basically, the square root of however many employees, you have produced half of the output. So if you have 100 employees, 10 of your employees produce like half of all of the output of the company, which sounds crazy, but the bigger you get just things become much more inefficient, like you always have the one salesperson that sells everything, right, and then two or three people that just don’t. And that that just is the nature of business. And to your point earlier, like there’s a lot of solo entrepreneurs, there’s nothing wrong with that. But for a lot of people, the goal is to build something bigger than you. And if you’re gonna build something bigger than you, you just have to understand that this is just the nature of the game too, right? Like you don’t scale, you have to figure out how to hire other people and trust them.
Stacy Tuschl 27:28
Yeah. And that people will say, How do I get from this number to this number? And they’re looking for a marketing strategy. They’re looking for a tactic, they want me to tell them the thing they have to do? And usually, it’s usually like, no, who do I need to hire? Who am I missing on my team to take me to that number, right? And we’ve got to just change the way we’re thinking as we start to scale.
Matt Watson 27:51
Well, that brings me up to another topic I want to talk about today: how, as a business owner, how do you realize that the business has outgrown you?
Stacy Tuschl 28:00
Hmm. Yeah. So that’s a really good point. I think, for me, I have always been hiring mentors, hiring coaches, finding people smarter than me. When you, the higher you get, the harder it is sometimes to find those people, but there’s less of them out there making those kinds of money, right. And I think sometimes if you feel like you’re at the top, and you don’t have somebody who’s higher than you educating you, that is where I would say, Okay, I have to realize, like, especially if I built the biggest business that I’ve had so far, which means I don’t know how to hit the next number, I haven’t done it, right. So I’m not going to be bringing the answers of how I can do this. A lot of times, I want to just sit and condense time, I want to find the coach, the mentor, the business owner, who is like, I am at this, this amount, here’s how we did it. And I like to just learn what’s already working. I don’t want to be the first person trying and testing something, there are smarter people than me out there. And I just want to learn from them. So I think now that I’m at this place, I just keep getting bigger, which means I’ve never experienced this moment at this level of revenue, right at the skill set, which means I have to completely rely on people, whether it’s coaches, or it’s people I want to hire onto the team, like a C suite or somebody that can actually come in and help run that specific thing. I just need them smarter than me, stronger than me helping me guide me.
Matt Watson 29:25
But I think there’s a lot of people that struggle with the realization that they need to hire those people and trust them. Yeah. And get out of the way. Yeah, right. And I think that’s a big part of the business. And to some degree, it just isn’t fun for them anymore, right? They may have 20 employees and 50 employees at some threshold, they get to a point. And I have a good friend that’s at this point right now. Hates every minute of every day just hates it. The business is extremely successful, but it’s just not fun anymore. And you know what, how often do you run into that? I run into that a lot and there’s a couple reasons This happens and maybe some of this stuff will relate to your friend too.
Stacy Tuschl 29:57
But sometimes we just think, well, I have to do XYZ. And I don’t like it. But I have to, and it’s just part of the job. So I’ll have to keep doing it and I and they stay miserable, doing the tasks they don’t want to do. Versus there is very little that you can’t delegate. So I would ask your friend, like, what is still on his plate that he hates? Right? And what does he actually love? And what was what used to light him up? How do we get him doing more of that? Sometimes it’s just they’re in burnout. And there’s nothing that lights them up, they literally need like a six month sabbatical from their business, to literally refresh and recharge. And sometimes that’s all they need is just a huge break, and they come back on fire ready to go. And sometimes they realize like, this is it, I’m not really interested in this business anymore. The good news is, if you’ve built a solid business with systems, you can sell that business like there are other options, options or opportunities. You don’t have to stay in something like sometimes we build things that just don’t light us up. It’s not interesting, it’s just a paycheck. So I think it’s just questioning that, like, what do we want out of this?
Matt Watson 31:04
I feel like part of it is they entrepreneurs, you know, leaders getting to this place, and they also struggle to fire the people that need to fire them, they struggle to deal with problems with business partners that need to be solved. Like they, they felt like there, there’s these problems all around them. And they, they just, at some point in time, just don’t want to deal with any of it anymore, or they’ve tried, right, they got a business partner, that’s a huge pain. And they’re just like, they just give up.
Stacy Tuschl 31:31
And there’s, I always tell people, like you’re never stuck. Even with the business partner, even with the bad hire, or the guy that’s been here for how long or whatever it is, like, there’s always a way out of it. Right? If you are hating the people you’re working with, or one person you’re working with, it’s just not worth it. Like, I don’t want to sit here and despise the people on my team. I want to get excited when I have to meet with my team, right? Because we talked about this already in the beginning, it’s one of the biggest things we need to do is lead and train. And if we dislike the people we’re working with like this is not going to work right? Now sometimes it’s as simple as just not wanting to be that person’s manager, like giving somebody else that person that they work together really well. It’s just like, our sales don’t match. Yeah, sure. I’ve had that. And it works out perfectly. Like I like this person. But we have very different styles where we cannot work together all day long, right? So there’s just different ways, but having these honest conversations, and sometimes very hard conversations, right? To figure out how we make this a bigger win for both of us?
Matt Watson 32:27
You feel like some people really struggle with that, though, with Oh, yeah, no, they have the poor performers. And they just, they just don’t have what it takes to fire them. They don’t hire the right people. And that’s another thing is people just hire the wrong people. They’re just terrible at hiring, which is why you have to get good at it.
Stacy Tuschl 32:42
Because you’re actually worse at firing. And then they just kill the bad people in their organization. I think they put so much blame on themselves, like, oh, but they quit their full time job to come here. And now if I fire them, like it’s like my fault, right? Or they’re going through a divorce. And like, This is really bad timing. They’ve got something personal, or their mom just died. So I could never fire her. It’s like, we bring all of this drama into the business. And we allow poor performance, mostly because we just haven’t learned the skill set or haven’t really practiced the skill set of just having hard conversations.
Matt Watson 33:20
Well, and I think that’s I think that’s part of where the business starts to grow. Right is Oh, yeah, they’re becoming that job, right? It’s like, every month you’re dealing with that.
Stacy Tuschl 33:31
And I will say, like, I’m not great at firing either. I really dislike it. But I have a rule that I only fire people I hire. So I don’t really hire anymore. I have Sunday, my team that does the hiring. And when the manager hires them, I’m like, by the way, you’re the one firing them. I don’t have now I get to be like, that person’s gotta go and you know it. And they’re like, I know, and then they know, this is my job, and they have to do it. If it’s me, I’m like, Oh, well, I don’t want to have a hard conversation either. So is that a cop out that I do that? No. It’s finding people that come in when I say hey, this is a management position, and you’ll be in charge of hiring and firing. How do you feel about that? If they’re like, oh, yeah, that’s what I did in my last role. Okay, great. Some people don’t mind having hard conversations there. Like this just has to be done. Some people will avoid it like the plague.
Matt Watson 34:18
So what kind of tips do you have for people to build more efficient teams?
Stacy Tuschl 34:23
Yeah. So these can be annoying, but it really is beneficial if I do time audits with myself and everybody on my team. So every 90 days, they will just track what they’re doing. Now. This is not micromanaging. This is their understanding. Oh, my goodness, I spent six hours a week on x. Did you know that? Like, do you want me to keep doing that? I don’t think we’re making money or enough money to say I’m spending this much time over here, right? So we can start to help them become more efficient. Or when we see wow, this is the highest producing type of activity you do and you’re only Doing that a fraction of your week? How do we really start to balance? Like what makes the most sense, right? So I think getting people to understand what you’re doing on a daily basis just for like a week, right? We learn so much from people’s time audits, it’s kind of like if you’ve ever tried to lose weight, and if you had to, like write down what you ate that day, oh, like, if I have to write it down, I will not eat that cookie, because I don’t want to write it down, down. But if I’m not ready, it’s out on my be like, Oh, it’s just a cookie, who cares, right? This is my time on it. You’re like, I gotta write this down. If I do this thing, and I know I’m not supposed to do this thing, right? So it really helps people start to go, oh, there’s a lot of habits that I don’t want to write down. Because I know it’s not a great use of my time, and we start to see it, identify it, and then fix it.
Matt Watson 35:44
So what kind of tools do you recommend for people to actually do that? Yeah. So that time, we use a spreadsheet. We kind of created our own Google spreadsheet that has, you can just many ways, but like, for me, specifically, I have one for me.
Stacy Tuschl 35:48
And then I have one for my employees. So they’re different looking, right? So for me, I look at what revenue producing roles or tasks. And then what are just tedious things that anybody can do. So when I do a time audit, I have to say, Is this really the only thing? Like I’m the only one that could do this? Or is this a task that anybody could do? So I do this pretty often. So there’s not much on my plate anymore. But I will catch like, why am I uploading the podcast to Dropbox? What is happening here? Like, why am I doing that? Right? And then that will prompt me to say, Okay, well, that can even be I don’t even need a person that can be automated with drop withdrawal, or zoom or something on iCloud or something, right. So sometimes it’s how can I just automate this? And then sometimes it’s no, it is manual, and I’m going to need somebody to assist me here. So I will literally do a drop down, do that spreadsheet, and I’ll see how many hours am I spending on my highest revenue producing tasks? How tedious is it? I actually put my family there and my self care time. Because I also want to know, how many hours am I working? Because sometimes we think more hours is more money. And that is not the case, we people can burn out, right? We have to recharge, I also have a value of spending quality time with my family. I want to see how much time I’m spending with them. Where it’s actually dedicated to them. It’s not that I’m working on my laptop, and my kids are sitting next to me. Like I don’t count that as family time, right? So I’m just learning about what I’m doing. Now. We all have different preferences, how we work, what we do, but like, that’s how I look at it for myself to say, okay, am I loving my schedule right now? Or am I seeing some red flags here?
Matt Watson 37:35
So do you just record that at the end of the day, like in the day, you just go back and say, Okay, I spent about 30 minutes on this thing and 30 minutes on this thing, or I probably most of the time, keep it.
Stacy Tuschl 37:42
It’s a spreadsheet on my computer. So I’ll keep it up. And if I can go in and like obviously you and me having this conversation, it’s on my calendar, I would see it, I could just put it in there, Matt and Stacy at you know, two o’clock. But there are things that pop up that aren’t on your calendar. And that’s the stuff where I won’t remember that at the end of the day I go, I check my email again. And then I checked it again. And then I’m like, Wait, why am I checking my email four times a day when I have an assistant, this is not shouldn’t be in there. Right? So it’s little things like that throughout the day that I will actually do it in real time.
Matt Watson 38:13
What other tips do you have besides the time auditing? Yeah.
Stacy Tuschl 38:17
So as far as efficiency goes, I did this one time with my team, and I really loved it. So we were at a place where our labor to revenue percentage was as high as I really wanted it to be. And I wanted to hire somebody. But my point was, I didn’t really have the funds to hire anybody. So I said to the team, I want everybody to tell me what if they had to cut out five hours a week? What do you think is the least efficient? Least like just not really producing the outcome we’re looking for? I want you to tell me the five hours you could remove, but the rule is it cannot hurt our client experience. And it cannot cost us money. Right, obviously. So we had everybody present for five hours of work, and they thought they could remove the holy cow. I was like, wait a minute, I’m sorry. You’re doing that thing. I didn’t even remember I signed that to you. I had no idea. You’ve been doing that on a weekly basis? Yes, you can stop doing that immediately. Right? I was finding things that I had no idea people were even doing. I’m like, You’re right, that is such a waste of time. So that was a really fun activity. And then what was nice was, we said yes, let’s get rid of those five hours. I mean, if you have 10 people, and you just got rid of five hours, that’s 50 hours next week that are freed up, you don’t need to hire somebody new. You just now maximize the people on your team.
Matt Watson 39:38
I hope none of them said the daily meeting with you was the five hours you’d want. Sometimes they do say things like, do we really need the daily meeting?
Stacy Tuschl 39:43
Do we really need it? And sometimes I have to let myself think about that. Do we? What’s the point of it? And you have to be able to justify it or say you’re right. I don’t know what we do. Should we talk about this? Is this really the most efficient way to do it? The reason we do a daily check in is because sometimes if we don’t, the constant check-ins are like, hey, quick question, quick question. Now we just say get your quick question in the quick 15 minute daily meeting, and let’s move on for the day, right? So you just have to really ask yourself, like, what is a frustration in your business? And then know that it’s just a lack of a system missing? So identify the frustration and then say, what’s a better system for this frustration?
Matt Watson 40:27
All right, so we talked about time audits, we talked about the five hours you have? Do you have one more for us to make it three, make it more time efficient with the team?
Stacy Tuschl 40:34
I think it’s just more about, really maximizing who you have. And I think a lot of times, we think we just need another person or we need to do whatever it is. But the more I can understand my sweet spots with each person, where their zone of genius is, and what they’re really good at. And sometimes even just saying to them, what’s your least favorite thing you do? What do you think is your most productive thing? Like just give me that information? When they say I love X, and I go, Whoa, x is really, really important in the company, do you want to do more of x, because that would be amazing, right? Or I start to see that some of my highest paid people are doing really tedious activities. Sometimes all you need to do is hire an assistant for your highest paid people. And it will literally free them up to do just like us, right? They get to spend time on their most productive opportunities, activities, and then their assistant can do the tedious stuff that is going to be paid a lot less money than your highest paid person.
Matt Watson 41:35
Love it, love it. Well, if you need to hire software engineers, testers, or leaders, Full Scale can help. We have the people on the platform to help you build and manage a team of experts when you visit FullScale.io. All I need to do is answer a few questions and let our platform match up, but they’re a fully vetted, highly experienced team of software developers. At Full Scale, we specialize in building a long-term team that works only for you to learn more when you visit FullScale.io. Well, thank you so much for being on the show today. Remind us again how to find you and your podcast.
Stacy Tuschl 42:04
Yeah, so the podcast is Well-Oiled Operations. And then I would say the best place, the most popular place I hang out on social media is Instagram at Stacey Tuschl. So those are the two best places to find me.
Matt Watson 42:15
Awesome. I hang out on LinkedIn. LinkedIn is my favorite.
Stacy Tuschl 42:18
I am trying so hard to like LinkedIn. I hope I can say that soon. I’m doing my best. But it’s just not the platform I am on the most at the moment.
Matt Watson 42:28
All right. Well, so do you. Do you have any final tips as we run out of the show to get any final word of wisdom for us?
Stacy Tuschl 42:35
Yeah, I just hope this kind of having spreads some light on a few things where you could really start to multiply your time, which will, in turn, multiply your profits. Like, let this be not something you rush into hiring the next person but or firing somebody. Maybe we talked a little bit about firing day as well. I would say, take some time. Think about it. Really ask yourself when you look at the people on your team. Are they producing revenue? Or are they an expense? Sometimes we spend money to bring this person on. And it’s costing us more than it’s making us right. And I think just getting really clear about where the roles are that are producing. Our brains want to go to the people that aren’t working and give them negative feedback. How often do we go to our best team members and give them positive feedback? I encourage you to lean into them as well.
Matt Watson 43:24
Love it. That’s a great, great tip. All right. Well, again, this was Stacy to show on the show today. Find her on Instagram, she mentioned. Thank you so much for being on the show.
Stacy Tuschl 43:35