6 Keys To Delegating More, Building Your Team, & Having More Freedom

If you want to grow to be bigger than a one man or one woman show you’re going to have to learn how to develop a team.

Too many fitness entrepreneurs just hire trainers and expect them to be rock stars, do everything you want them to do, and exceed every expectation.

Finding, keeping, and developing a team can be a business owners biggest headache if you don't go about it the right way. 

Here are six keys to building and developing your team.

1. It’s not their baby

This took me a long time to learn, and it’s still a frustration I find myself in sometimes.

As much as we want to grow our team, develop them, and have them work hard when they are representing us, it is not their business, it is not their baby, so they will never care about it as much as you do…and that’s okay.

But you have to get past that mental block.

2. Have a really clear vision

How big do you want your business to be?

Who are you going to serve?

What’s your purpose?

It all starts with this, as you need to have a really clear goal of how many team members you’re going to have to hire, otherwise you’ll just catch yourself hiring more and more, and just building a bloated business, and you’re piece of the pie becomes smaller and smaller.

Get really clear on what you want to build.

3. Hire character, train skill

I always say that I can train you on anything that needs to be done in our business, but I can't train you to be nice.

 It may seem smart to hire the guy or gal with 20 years experience and all the certifications in the world, but that can potentially mean 20 years of bad habits you have to change. 

You have your way, your system of doing something. It's much easier to teach a nice person specific skills and protocols, then it is to teach a person that has a bunch of irrelevant skills to be nice. 

Hire based on character, hire based on your core values, and then train the skill. 

4. Clear Expectations & Systems

We have one way of doing things in our business. It's our system. 

From day one, and every day after that it's important as the leader to set really clear expectations and have a system for everything you want to be done. Quite often I hear frustrations from business owners that their employees aren't up to snuff, and I ask them about their systems. 

Crickets. 

If the standard isn't set, if the expectations aren't clear, if they don't know what right looks like, how can you get mad at them?

Extreme Ownership. 

Set clear expectations by having systems for everything in your business. 

How are people greeted?

How is the phone answered?

What happens when someone inquires?

What does the client journey look like?

What happens when someone leaves your business?

What do the service standards look like?

These and more are all things that should be clearly documented for all to see. 

We have ours stored on a cloud that everyone can access at any time from anywhere. 

You create them, get their feedback, tweak, and then hold them accountable to it. 

If you want the business to run without you, to run smoothly and consistently, every single thing in your business needs to have a system. 

5. Hold Them Accountable & Train Relentlessly. 

So you've brought on the right people and you set clear expectations through systems. 

Great, you're just getting started. 

The hardest part is the daily, yes daily, training of your team. 

Just like the famous Ziglar motivation quote, staff training is like bathing, it's required daily. 

Every day is an opportunity for a learning experience or a moment for positive reinforcement. 

We set up our formal training and accountability through daily meetings.

Bad meetings suck.

They're boring time wasters, and people hate them.

A good meeting can be a game changer.

Get good at holding valuable and engaging meetings.

Read the book Death By Meeting and everything else by Patrick Lencioni. 

Our meeting flow looks like this:

Daily Huddle: Each morning a preview of the day and what people are working on. 

Weekly Individual Meeting: Each week every employee meets with their supervisor to discuss their specific role, responsibilities, tasks they're working on, and how they're developing. 

Weekly Team Meeting: Each week we meet as a team to dive deep into one particular topic. 

Weekly Coach’s Meeting: This is specific on the training side, programming, etc.

Weekly Marketing & Membership Meeting: This is specific to what we’re planning for marketing, membership role playing, and other issues and training under the umbrella.

Quarterly War Room: Each quarter we recap the previous quarter and set 2-3 big rocks we're going to accomplish for the coming quarter. This is blocked off as a half day each quarter.

Annual Vision Meeting: Each year we map out the coming year, set goals, and everything above (quarterly, weekly, and daily meetings) is a breakdown of the goals we set at this meeting. 

It was not like that in the beginning, so don’t just try to copy and paste these.

Start with one.

Start with a daily huddle or a weekly team meeting.

Get good at that and build from there.

It may seem like a lot but these meetings alone will change your business. 

It allows you to build team rapport, hold them accountable, and keep communication clear. 

6. Build Autonomy and Lead From The Back

This is where the magic is made but you can't do this until you have the first four keys down pat. 

Once you've found the right people, set clear expectations, have concrete systems, and have a cadence of accountability, it's time to let them do what they do best. 

Your job as a leader is to make them better people. 

I don't lead from the back with a whip like you see in those cheesy leadership photos, I lead from the back by challenging and inspiring my team to be 1% better every single day. 

I push them to get better at their craft, to develop as better spouses, friends, and just better people in general. 

Involve them in decisions, get to know them outside of work, let their personalities shine, and treat them the way you want to be treated, not as a dollar sign. 

It’s amazing what happens when you actually treat them as people, listen to them, and care about them.

I meet with each member of the team quarterly for a “personal development meeting” where we grab lunch and talk about how they’re doing, how life is going, and what they have for personal goals.

I’ll do everything I can to help them get closer to those goals, everything I can without putting the business at risk.

If you're in the service based business your team is your biggest asset. 

Your clients will stay not because of the service you give them, but because of the people behind that service. 

Running a business is hard, trust me, I know, but you can't do it alone. Follow these five keys as you look to develop your team. 

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling

.1%

.1%

Do you know what that represents?

Not 1%.

.1%

If you live 30,000 days, (about 81 years), .1% is a single month of that.

One month of your life.

.1%.

Just think about that.

I’m going to take you down two paths.

Path one…

Just think about the mental frustration you put yourself through because you had a “bad month.”

Maybe you didn’t make your revenue goals, you missed a deal, you didn’t get done what you wanted to get done, or life is just smacking you in the face.

So what?

It’s .1% of your life.

We have the chance to make the other 99.9% awesome.

In the grand scheme of things, one month is a speckle on the graph of life, yet we beat ourselves up because we didn’t get the results we wanted.

When I hear people wanting to stop something, take a break, or give up on a journey because of a bad month, I continue to remind them that although in the moment it seems like such a long time, in the grand scheme of this life long journey we’re trying to build, it’s really just a blink of the eye.

If you had a bad September, if you didn’t get what you wanted out of it, if you didn’t show up enough, if you didn’t start what you wanted to start, don’t fret, it’s just .1% of your life.

Today is a new day, a new month, and the chance for something awesome.

Path two…

Just step back and think of everything you can accomplish in 30 days.

Think of everything you can see and do in just .1% of your life.

In 30 days…

You can start something new…

You can change bad habits…

You can make a difference in the world…

You can meet new people, make new friends…

You can see new places, visit family…

You can have a better business…

You can become happier, more mindful, and filled with gratitude.

You can change.

In .1% of your life you can change and make a difference…in your business and your life.

How freakin’ cool is that?

Imagine a few of those stacked together?

The possibilities are endless.

We overestimate what we can do in a single day and underestimate what we can in a single month.

Depending upon where you’re at in life and what side of the bed you woke up on this morning one of those two paths resonated with you.

Either way, it’s a new day, a new month, and it’s time to make a change.

A change for a better version of yourself.

.1%

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling

Will It Ever Be Enough?

The other night Megan (my wife) and I were sitting down for dinner and I was rambling on about some idea I had, I can’t even remember that idea.

She stopped me mid-sentence and said…

“When will it ever be enough?”

Wow.

That stopped me in my tracks.

I needed to hear that.

With a growth mindset, I always am chasing the next thing.

How can we make things better?

How can I do more in a day?

How can we make the business leaner and meaner?

What more can we do?

As soon as one thing gets accomplished, I’m immediately onto the next thing and conquering that.

As a business owner, I’m sure you may be like that too.

A strength for sure, but also a huge area of opportunity.

I’m also ashamed to admit that was not the first time Megan and I had that conversation.

As much as a lot of our goals align (family, travel, etc), she is very comfortable just doing her thing, loves her job, has never really expressed any concrete goals, and just wants to be a good mom.

I admire that, because I can never ask her the question she asks me “will it ever be enough?”

On the other hand, I’m 110% confident I was put on this earth to change the world.

Change how things are done.

Change what can be done.

Change lives…

However, that creates a constant tug-o-war of when is it good enough?

How big is big enough?

How much revenue is enough?

How many projects is enough?

What is enough?

How do we balance the goals of wanting to grow our business, wanting to get more done, and always wanting more out of our business with the question of will it ever be enough?

Hitting a goal does not equal happiness.

It’s great that we hit that goal, but quite often the first question out of that persons head is…

“What’s next?”

“Ok, now another $100,000 in revenue.”

When will it ever be enough?

I’m not sure.

I hope to keeping getting better until the day I die.

I hope to keep changing lives until the day I die and leave an impact beyond that.

But will it ever be enough?

I’m not sure I have an answer today.

I still do think the ultimate destination is not in fact a destination.

Happiness.

Be happy with where you’re at.

Be proud of how far you’ve come.

Be happy with what you have.

It could always be worse.

However, at least for me, part of constant happiness is to never stop, never stop having goals to chase, never stop having new ideas, and never stop changing the world.

But will it ever be enough?

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling

Do I Turn Left or Right?

You're driving down a winding road and you come to a stop sign. 

You roll your window down and ask the guy on the street...

"Hey, do I go left or right here?"

What's he going to say?

"It depends on where you want to go!"

That's just about the perfect example of how we approach our business goals. 

We react to every bump, we don't know whether to turn left or right, we want to ask for help, but we don't know where we're going. 

Start with the end in mind. 

That's your vision. 

Imagine asking for directions without knowing where to go. 

What does success look like in three years?

Start with that. 

Too many of us don't know where we actually want to go, thus, we set some arbitrary goals that sound good, complain about the present, and then take scattered action. 

However, if you know where you're going, then we can plug that into the GPS and come up with a clear plan of action, a set of directions. 

So, we're sitting together and it's October 1, 2021. 

What is life like?

What time do you wake up?

What do you do before work?

What does your business look like?

Revenue?

Profit?

Team size?

Impact?

Where are you living?

What does it look like?

Who are you living with?

Who's a part of your family?

How do you spend your free time?

What do you look like?

What do you feel like?

What makes you happy?

What are you contributing?

Describe it all (tip: write it in the first person, as if you were actually there)

Paint a picture. 

Then from there, and only then, can we work backward and start to move towards that vision. 

Life is about constantly moving closer to your vision...and the vision of your business is part of that.  

We do that by being clear on what that is and then breaking that into goals. 

Take some time to paint your picture. 

Get clear on where you want to be. 

I like to go about three years out at a time, and every year refine the vision. 

Start with that and then you can set some goals to get you there.

That way you know whether you need to turn left or right...

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling

Amazing Business Growth In The Next 100 Days?

Are you ready to buckle down and join me to get some really great results in the next 100 days?

Today I start my final 100 day sprint of 2018, and I'm going to make a good case for why you should join me. 

The next 100 days takes you right up to the week before Christmas, the week where a lot of us need a break, enjoy the holidays, have family in town and use it to recharge before the New Year. 

What's a 100 day sprint?

In a 100 day sprint, we really dial things in for 100 days, and then take it easy for a few to recharge. 

No, easy doesn't mean we're not working, it just means everything is on cruise control and we're just getting 1% better. 

On the 100 day sprint, we're working extra hard, have everything super dialed in, and we're after very specific goals. 

You'll be amazed at how much you'll achieve during the next 100 days if you write it down and take relentless action. 

Plus, you get to look forward to a "jog" through the holidays and the end of the year, seeing the "end" allows you to sprint harder. 

You see, none of us can "sprint" all of the time. 

You can't be super consistent all of the time, and crushing goals left and right. 

Why?

Life. 

Life gets in the way, and you'll most likely burn out. 

During the other breaks, your growth isn't stagnant and you're still working hard, you're just more in a "cruise-control" mentality.

You can't always have the pedal to the floor. 

But you can for 100 days, right?

So my action item for you...

Take a few minutes today and make a list of everything you're going to get done in the next 100 days. 

Be specific. 

Don't just say more revenue.

How much profit?

How much revenue?

What projects are you going to complete?

How many customers are you going to get in the next 100 days?

Again, be specific. 

Map this all out on a doc called "100 Day Sprint."

Make it specific so you know what success looks like at the end. 

Get it all down. 

Then, take relentless action. 

It's about waking up every day and making sure you're sprinting. 

You're going as hard as you can to move the needle on whatever is in your 100 day sprint.

The results of 100 days of dialed in, focused action, is simply amazing. 

Got it?

I'll be doing it too, so I hope you can join me. 

Who's ready to sprint?

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling

What Does It Do?

People do not buy things for what they are; they buy things for what they do. 

If you can remember one line when marketing your small business that would be it. 

People don't buy the thing, they buy what it does for them, the benefit. 

We don't buy a haircut, we buy relaxation, confidence, and the feeling. 

We don't buy a realtor, we buy a safe home for our family, a place to raise a family, and a place to kick our feet up at night and relax. 

We don't buy beauty products or fitness services, we buy the result....more confidence, boosted self-esteem, happiness, etc. 

If you can remember this when marketing you'll win. 

In your messaging don't talk about what your  product or service is, talk about the benefits that the buyer receives.

What does it allow them to do?

Hope this quick tip helped. 

Reply and let me know if you have questions. 

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling

Your Garden

Every single action begins with a thought. 

The unconscious mind controls the heart rate, blood pressure, etc. 

The conscious mind is the "above the water" thoughts, such as logistical and emotional. 

But make no mistake about it, any action begins with a thought. 

Whether it's the choice to press the letters on my computer right now, or the actions of making a day a great one, they all begin with thoughts. 

And that's the best part...

We can control our thoughts, we can shape our thoughts. 

Our minds are a like a garden.

If we fill it with positive thoughts and dreams, we will live a positive and fulfilled life, full of bright and beautiful flowers. 

If we fill it with negative thoughts, our mind will be overgrown by weeds and we will live a negative life. 

Every day we have the ability to choose our thoughts, and those thoughts shape our actions. 

In every opportunity, you have the option to look at it through a positive lens, and that choice determines the subsequent actions. 

Business is surrounded by negative thoughts...

"I can't do that."

"This is going to suck."

"Look at them, they are so much better than me."

Remember, those negative thoughts lead to negative actions, and in business, a negative action is usually not taking action and just sitting on the sidelines. 

As an entrepreneur and business owner your mind, your thoughts, are your most valuable asset. 

Doesn't it make sense to fill it with positive thoughts?

What's the difference between the guy who is 36 years old and looks like he has a constant frown on his face and the girl who is 96 years old and is full of brightness?

Positive thoughts. 

If you're reading this you have the choice to make every thought a positive one. 

You can do this. 

It could always be worse. 

We only have good days and great days. 

Above every cloud is blue sky. 

Get off the complain train. 

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling

Plan?

Aside from coaching Maine Small Business owners how to run a more efficient and profitable business that makes a big impact on the community, I "practice what I preach" running a fitness business for hundreds of clients and a full time team of nin. 

Next week we're doing a major renovation. 

In just about 36 hours we'll be ripping up all the flooring, painting, moving equipment, and putting all new flooring down...and we have to get it all done in a week so we can be back in the gym. 

While all that's going on, we coordinated with the town to use the local park so clients can still get coach led workouts throughout the week. 

I've been joking around with clients this week who have asked me...

"Are you ready for the big renovation?"

My typical response...

"Yes, but I'm surprised my hair (brown and thick), doesn't look like Josh's (a confident bald)."

For those who know me well these next few lines will be no surprise to you...

I have a six page long spreadsheet that outlines exactly what needs to happen everyday and who is doing it...

I have annoyingly called all contractors and confirmed they will be here when they are supposed to be here...700 times. 

I have met with the team to assure they know their roles at the park...

...and I have run through what I think is every worse case scenario that can possibly happen and coming up with a plan of action should it happen. 

To say the least, I have planned for this thing to the extreme. 

It's been months in the works, and it has sucked up most of my mental bandwidth. 

But you know what?

It hasn't even happened yet!

And you know what else?

There is a very strong chance the electrician will not show up precisely at 8:30am on Monday, and a stronger chance that they will not be done at 11:30am, which will throw off the rest of the days work, causing it not to go as planned. 

Plans. 

That's my lesson today. 

As you can tell, I have planned for this week-long event excessively, and it has caused me an enormous amount of stress, yet there's just the reality of what is going to happen next week, and the ACTION that needs to be taken. 

The fact is, things just need to get done. 

Paint on the walls, rubber flooring glued down...ACTION. 

This is a renovation, not a mathematical spreadsheet calculation. 

So, as much as we need to plan and prepare for things, so much of it is just showing up and taking action

As Nike says...Just Do It! 

Whether it's business and planning your marketing efforts or hiring a team member, or anything else in life, I know it's scary, and we want to have a plan, but the best plan in the world is useless if it's never executed. 

Action always beat intention. 

Sometimes we just need to suck it up, stop worrying about the plan, and the "what if's" and just take action. 

I'm right there with you. 

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling

What Are You Changing?

Doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result...

That's the definition of insanity.

I'm here to ask you one question...

What are you doing differently in your business?

Seriously. 

Think about it. 

What have you changed in these last 30 days that you were not doing before?

If you can't clearly answer that question you're basically hoping that you'll achieve goals but still doing the same things. 

One of my mentors always tells me the line...

"If you always do what you always did, you'll always get what you always got."

Now, we don't need to change things up like crazy, but if you're expecting a different outcome some variable needs to change. 

2 + 2 = 4

If we want it to equal 5 we need to change one of that variables. 

So, what variable are you changing?

Are you changing your marketing approach?

Are you leading your team better?

Are you clarifying your brand promise?

Are you improving your work flow efficiencies?

Are you mastering social media advertising?

I say this next line with all the love in the world...

Most people set new business goals and then never change any of their actions. 

So, my challenge to you is to really ask yourself what are you willing to change to hit your business goals?

If you didn't achieve a goal, don't keep trying to squeeze a square peg into a round hole, change a variable and see what needs to change in order to make it happen. 

Unfortunately wishing and hoping is not an action. 

Don't get overwhelmed with it. 

Just pick one variable. 

One action. 

Execute on that for the rest of this month, then we can stack something else on top of that. 

However, don't let yourself get analysis paralysis and end up not doing anything. 

What are you changing in your business?

1% Better. 

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling 

Don't Be All Things To All People...

Maybe this is a life lesson too, but in business, you can't be all things to all people. 

As much as we want to help everyone, if you want to make a stamp on this world, make an impact, you have to hone in on who you're going to help.

Being all things to all people will not only water down your message, but it will spread your efforts thin. 

You'll end up mediocre at a lot and great at nothing.  

The $10 buffet restaurant talks to certain people compared to the steakhouse that charges $90 a steak. 

The iPhone has never been advertised as cheap, yet it has a cult-like following, compared to the "smartphone" you get for free if you sign a contract.

The environment you need to create at a boutique clothing store compared to a department store is completely different. 

What's the difference between the $2 gallon of ice cream and the $8 scoop of hand-churned locally made ice cream?

A story. 

A message. 

A brand. 

People. 

Not right or wrong, just different. 

The restaurant that has Italian, American and Chinese options all on a giant menu is sitting vacant in 2018 while the specialty restaurant that has just five dishes has lines out the door.

Focusing on one market and one product allows you to dump all your efforts into it and become the best in the world at it. 

That's what's needed to make an impact. 

Plus, you'll sleep better at night not thinking you have to have a solution for every Tom, Dick and Harry. 

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling

Tightrope Walkers In Business

Tightrope walkers.

You know what I'm talking about...

Those crazy folks that walk across mountains or city buildings on a single rope, step by step. 

Imagine the mindset that takes?

It's appealing to focus on the destination, the end of the rope.

But what happens if all they cared about was the destination?

They'd lose focus of the next step. 

They are concerned about one step at a time, mastering that one step, then moving onto the next one. 

Eventually reaching the destination, but the thrill and technique is not at the destination, it's about taking it step-by-step, mastering each one. 

We can learn a lot from that. 

Don't focus on the destination, if you're so concerned about the destination, you'll lose focus of what's right in front of you. 

Instead, take it step-by-step, enjoy the thrill and the process of each step, and master each step. 

In business, it's easy to look at where we want to be, or compare our business to more established business, but it's important to focus on what you can to today, what you can control, which is just the next step. 

Be a tightrope walker. 

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling

Plant Your Failures...

“Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit.” -Napoleon Hill

One of my favorite people, and my favorite quotes...Napolean kills it in that quote. 

I talk a lot about mindset because I think everything starts there. 

There is only so much you can control in life and business, but do you know the one thing you can always control?

How you react to something. 

That usually comes back to your mindset about it. 

Failure is a common word in society, especially in the small business space.

"I failed to make enough money."

"I failed to get good employees."

"I failed to reach my goal."

For years, we've been taught that failure is a bad thing. 

Everything we're taught in school, everything we're taught growing up is that failure is a weakness. 

You are in the wrong if you fail. 

But isn't that when we learn the most?

If you plant your failures, they become the seeds to your success. 

One of the largest areas we can all improve upon is to not look at failure as a negative thing, but instead to look at it as a learning lesson, a chance to make a change and do it better next time. 

When we fail, we are proving that we are living life and taking chances. 

You can't be afraid to fail. 

Failure is not a negative thing. 

Albert Einstein once said, "Failure is success in progress."

Imagine how many of his ideas failed?

Without those, without learning from those failures, none of his brilliant ideas would have come to life. 

Whether you failed to hit your revenue goal this month...

Or you failed to get your product on the shelf...

None of that matters. 

Use those as learning lessons, use those as opportunities to make a change, to get better. 

Don't be afraid to fail, because failure is quite often the seeds to our success.

Failure means you're trying. 

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling 

5 Pillars of Productivity

In Small Business, it's all about being productive. 

The more you can produce, the more you win. 

Productivity is built on 5 pillars...

1. Planning & Preparation

This is something that seems so obvious, but how many of us actually do that. 

This is planning the night before what is the one thing you're going to get done tomorrow. 

This is mapping out your calendar on the weekend so you're not scrambling during the week. 

Planning your schedule to allow for a 45 minute stop at the gym to get a workout in to boost your energy, and being prepared for that by having your clothes packed the night before.

It doesn't have to be anything crazy, but all productivity starts with preparing and planning ahead of time. 

2. Professional Accountability

We all need coaches. 

I have a coach. 

My coaches have a coach. 

Steve jobs had a coach. 

Bill Gates has a coach. 

Tom Brady has a coach. 

So what makes you think you're special and don't need a coach?

If you want to get better with money hire a coach for that. 

If you want to get better at your craft hire an expert coach for that. 

If you want to get better at fitness hire a coach. 

We all need accountability, and a good coach will give that to you. 

3. Social Support

Quick story. 

In Alaska, crabbing is a huge thing. 

Imagine you walk out onto a pier and see a bucket of crabs. 

As you watch those crabs it looks like one is climbing out and ready to escape. 

You grab the fisherman and say...

"Hey, one of those crabs is escaping!"

He says...

"Oh, don't worry about it, just watch."

As you look on, just before it looks like the crab is ready to tip over the edge, get out of the bucket and back into the cold water something happens...

Another crab pulls him back into the bucket. 

Crabs will not let one escape, if one goes down, they all go down. 

That's a great analogy for a lot of our social support. 

As soon as we want to have any kind of success or want to become good at something there's always that "friend" that becomes jealous and keeps us tied down. 

If you're looking to change your behavior, in whatever facet of life, you need to make sure you have strong social support.

Find strong social support, people that challenge you and lift you up, not bring you down. 

4. Incentive

What's the point of all this?

What's the carrot we're chasing?

What's the point of being productive, achieving a goal, if there is no incentive at the end? 

So maybe if you're really locked in for 90 days, and you increase your profit by X, you reward yourself with a mini vacation. 

Or, if you're trying to be productive with your savings after you hit a milestone you agree to take a small percentage of it and buy that thing you've been wanting. 

Whatever it is, there has to be some form of incentive to change the behavior. 

5. Big Deadline

This one, I think, is the most important. 

There's a universal law called Parkinson's Law

Again, a law, something that is not up for negotiation, we all fight it. 

Parkinson's Law states that work expands as to fill the time allowed to complete it. 

Meaning, if you have two weeks to complete a project,  it will take you two weeks. 

If you have a week to do that same project, it will take you a week. 

Use deadlines for everything you do. 

A goal is great, but if it doesn't have a deadline it will never happen. 

Any project you decide to take on, give it a deadline. 

Anything you need to get done, give it a deadline. 

We work off of deadlines, it's how we're wired, don't fight it, just set the deadline. 

So there you have it...

The 5 Pillars of Productivity.

Which one do you need to build up?

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling

Small Biz: How To Build Your Team

If you're in the service-based business, your team is your most valuable asset. 

However, finding, keeping, and developing a team can be a business owners biggest headache if you don't go about it the right way. 

Here are four keys to building your company's dream team:

1. Hire character, train skill

I always say that I can train you on anything that needs to be done in our business, but I can't train you to be nice. 

It may seem smart to hire the guy with 20 years experience and all the certifications in the world, but that can potentially mean 20 years of bad habits you have to change. 

You have your way, your system of doing something. It's much easier to teach a nice person specific skills and protocols then it is to teach a person that has a bunch of irrelevant skills to be nice. 

Hire based on character, hire based on your core values (another post for another day), and then train the skill. 

2. Clear Expectations & Systems

We have one way of doing things in our business. 

It's our system. 

From day one, and every day after that it's important for the leader to set really clear expectations and have a system for everything you want to be done.

Quite often I hear frustrations from business owners that their employees aren't up to snuff, and I ask them about their systems. 

Crickets. 

If the standard isn't set, if the expectations aren't clear, if they don't know what right looks like, how can you get mad at them?

Extreme Ownership. 

Set clear expectations by having systems for everything in your business. 

How are people greeted?

How is the phone answered?

What happens when someone inquires?

What does the client journey look like?

What happens when someone leaves your business?

What do the service standards look like?

These and more are all things that should be clearly documented for all to see. 

We have ours stored on a cloud that everyone can access at any time from anywhere. 

You create them, get their feedback, tweak, and then hold them accountable to it. 

If you want the business to run without you, to run smoothly and consistently, every single thing in your business needs to have a system. 

3. Hold Them Accountable & Train Relentlessly. 

So you've brought on the right people and you set clear expectations through systems. 

Great, you're just getting started. 

The hardest part is the daily, yes daily, training of your team. 

Just like the famous Ziglar motivation quote, staff training is like bathing, it's required daily. 

Every day is an opportunity for a learning experience or a moment for positive reinforcement. 

We set up our formal training and accountability through daily meetings.

Bad meetings suck.

They're boring time wasters, and people hate them.

A good meeting can be a game changer.

Get good at holding valuable and engaging meetings.

Read the book Death By Meeting and everything else by Patrick Lencioni. 

Our meeting flow looks like this:

Daily Huddle: Each morning a preview of the day and what people are working on. 

Weekly Individual Meeting: Each week every employee meets with their supervisor to discuss their specific role, responsibilities, tasks they're working on, and how they're developing. 

Weekly Team Meeting: Each week we meet as a team to dive deep into one particular topic. 

Quarterly War Room: Each quarter we recap the previous quarter and set 2-3 big rocks we're going to accomplish for the coming quarter. 

Annual Vision Meeting: Each year we map out the coming year, set goals, and everything above (quarterly, weekly, and daily meetings) is a breakdown of the goals we set at this meeting. 

It may seem like a lot but these meetings alone will change your business. 

It allows you to build team rapport, hold them accountable, and keep communication clear. 

4. Build Autonomy and Lead From The Back

This is where the magic is made but you can't do this until you have the first three keys down pat. 

Once you've found the right people, set clear expectations, have concrete systems, and have a cadence of accountability, it's time to let them do what they do best. 

Your job as a leader is to make them better people. 

I don't lead from the back with a whip like you see in those cheesy leadership photos, I lead from the back by challenging and inspiring my team to be 1% better every single day. 

I push them to get better at their craft, to develop as better spouses, friends, and just better people in general. 

Involve them in decisions, get to know them outside of work, let their personalities shine, and treat them the way you want to be treated, not as a dollar sign. 

If you're in the service based business your team is your biggest asset. 

Your clients and customers will stay not because of the service you give them, but because of the people behind that service. 

Running a business is hard, trust me, I know, but you can't do it alone. Follow these four keys as you look to develop your team. 

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling

The One Question Every Business Owner Needs To Ask Themselves...

In a world where there’s an option for every service on each block, it’s pertinent that you differentiate yourself.

Now you can do that several ways in the bigger picture including brand development, marketing differentiation, service offerings, etc.

However, on a daily basis, you can also differentiate yourself by asking this one question each and every day…

How can I add more value?

Why can Disney charge $100+ per ticket, and other amusement parks can only get away with charging half that?

There are several reasons, but the biggest and simplest reason is their perceived value and how much value they actually give is just so much higher than any other amusement park.

So I challenge you to strategically think within your business how can you add more value?

This could be literally anything…

It could be remembering each customer’s name that walks into your business.

It could be rewarding long-time customers with gifts of appreciation such as handwritten cards or small gifts.

You could improve the experience that the customer has as they enter your business with an upgraded lobby, nicer products, or having a range of different service options for each customer.

Adding value does not have to be a “home run” thing…

Sure, top of the line materials, top of the line equipment, and top of the line furnishings will have a perceived higher value.

However, in a day and age where people hide behind technology, don’t answer their phones, and don’t follow up with customer wants and needs, nailing the basics could be added value.

Do you return e-mails and voicemails in a timely manner?

Do you remember clients birthdays, anniversaries, or special achievements?

I always tell my staff, there is no point in giving the client gravy if we don't have the good mashed potatoes down first.

Nail the basics!

We’re all in business to make a profit, support our families, and make an impact on our community.

I truly believe that starts by looking at every aspect of your business and asking yourself...how can I add more value?

If you focus on that not only will you see your numbers grow, but also, more importantly, you’ll make more of an impact on your customer's lives.

Lessons From The First Year Of Parenting...

Yesterday my son, Kaden, turned one. 

As I reflect back on the last year, he taught me a lot. 

A lot about family, about time management, about business, and about life. 

The last year has been nothing shy of a giant rollercoaster, but that's what makes it so fun. 

I look forward to many more years of learning and growing alongside my K Man. 

Without further ado, here are three of the lessons that I've learned or reenforced within me over the last year. 

1. Time is our most valuable asset

I write about time a lot. 

Selfishly, by writing about time, I continue to keep it top of mind. 

The last year has flown by, and as I hear from clients, that's the one consistent with all of this...

it goes by too fast!

I've done well for myself in my early years, Kaden won't have to worry, and I continue to work hard everyday to create a better life for my family. 

But the one thing I can never give him more of?

Time. 

I've gotten progressively better at valuing my time, being efficient with my time, and trying to spend as much time with Kaden and Megan as I possibly can. 

I'm not perfect, but over the last year, this is the are I've improved the most on. 

I run everything through the filter...

Does it take time away from my family?

If the answer is yes, it better be well worth it. 

Kaden is the reason I don't say yes to every e-mail, the reason I no longer answer your Facebook Message or text in .2 seconds, and the reason I have to say no to the person that just wants to pick my brain for a few minutes. 

Time.

I've become more efficient with my time, waking up at 430am is miserable somedays, but I do it so that I can get the bulk of my productive stuff done before he wakes up. 

I have my top 3 priorities for the day,  I get those done first. 

I schedule everything, including my workouts, and I say no to anything that is a distraction. 

Sure, I'd love to hang out at the gym for a 90 minute workout, but right now, a quick 45 minute circuit is what I sneak in before picking him up from day care. 

Most of you reading this have a few years of experience on me, and I know a lot of this is a head nod for you. 

I learn a lot from you, more than you know, but here's my challenge for you with this lesson. 

Time is our most valuable lesson. 

How are you spending your time?

I think this last year as a parent has made me more productive. 

I had a lot of people tell me that I wasn't going to be able to do everything I do once Kaden came along. 

I would argue, I get more done in less time know. 

I say yes to what's important. 

I say no to anything that's a distraction. 

I make sure I schedule "me time" with daily mediations, reading, and a workout. 

I audit my time consistently, and we can all benefit from that.  

2. Being present is my largest area of opportunity

As much as all of the above with time management sounds great, I still do have a large hole in my personal development. 

Being present. 

I've spent the last year carving out more hours to be with my family. 

But have all of them been quality?

No. 

My mind is often a pinball machine, with ideas and thoughts never ending, bouncing all over the place. 

I want to do so many things...

I want to make the experience at Spurling Fitness better, I want to make the team at Spurling so much better, I want to help my business coaching clients more, I want to make a bigger impact in the community, I want to help more people, I want to travel the world, and I want to rack up more experiences...

So many ideas.

But what about now?

Like right now. 

This moment. 

I spend the bulk of my day reflecting about past experiences and how I would have made them better, or thinking about the future, and confirming what I'm doing right now is going to make a better experience for my clients, my team, and most importantly, my family. 

But sometimes the best thing I can do is be present, here, right now. 

I'm not going to lie...it's my biggest area of opportunity. 

Slowing down, and learning from Kaden. 

Being in the moment, playing with those blocks or trucks, and just being present. 

I will continue to write about this lesson, even if it doesn't help you, it helps me remember what's important. 

As much as it's important to carve out more time with the family, and be more productive, if that time is not quality, it doesn't matter. 

I've missed out on so much because of this, I've argued with Megan too many times because of this, and it hurts, yet like an addictive drug, I'll constantly catch myself going back. 

Going back to the "ideas guy" and running scenarios in my head, thinking about all the projects or ideas I want to conquer, sometimes personal, sometimes business. 

I'm there, I'm in the room, my body is there, but my mind is not. 

I've gotten much better at it. 

But being present is still the largest skill I need to develop. 

When I say I learn a lot from Kaden, this is a great example. 

I know that when he's on the ground, playing with his blocks, he's playing with his blocks. 

That's it. 

He's not thinking, he's not doing anything else but playing with his blocks, loving life. 

I can learn a lot from that. 

3. Leaving a legacy is what matters most to me.

I think this sums up why I'm here. 

I'm a servant. 

I'm motivated by serving others. 

I want nothing but the best for my clients....

I want nothing but the best for my team...

And I will do everything possible to build the best damn life for my family. 

I've always been a pretty driven person, but being a parent has taken this to another level. 

When my mom died eight years ago, don't ask me why, but I used her death as motivation to drive me. 

I will outwork you, I will out hustle you, and I do that with the end goal of making sure, if she's looking down, she's proud of me. 

Now with Kaden around, everything I do is to leave a better legacy for him. 

I want to teach him, I want to mentor him, I want to be his best friend. 

I want him to say 85 years from now, when he's rocking in his chair, talking to his grandkids...

"That was my dad. He made a difference in this world."

I visualize that, clearer than you can imagine, and that's what drives me everyday. 

So how do you balance it all?

I need to be present and in the moment...

Yet I can't sit around stacking blocks on the carpet all day long if I want to make a difference in the world. 

There are so many things I want to do, people I want to impact, and places I want to visit. 

Yet I want to be present, and play with blocks on the carpet with Kaden. 

It's basically a combination of the first two lessons, it's yin and yang. 

It's being more efficient with my time....

It's making sure I have my "me time" for mental and physical health so I can be around for him as long as possible...

Yet it's hustling and outworking everyone to build a better future for him.

How do we balance it all?

I don't have the answer. 

All I do is bring it back to my life motto, the phrase that I sign off every e-mail with, the phrase I sign every card with, and the phrase we plaster all over the gym. 

1% Better. 

I just aim to be a little better than yesterday. 

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling

 

8 Numbers Every Small Business Must Track

1. Leads

It seems like a no-brainer, but it always amazes me when I ask business owners how many leads they got last month and they don't know. You have to track EVERY single person that inquires in some way into your business. From there, the goal is to get them in front of you, but if you don't know their status, how they heard about you, and continue to follow up with them, they can easily get lost. Have a lead tracker that every team member has access to and track leads relentlessly. If you don't have enough leads you have a marketing problem. If you're getting enough inquires/leads, move onto the next number. 

2. Trials

What is the offer that you have that people can "try before they buy? Are 50% of your leads coming in for some form of trial or consult. Do you know the exact number each month and try to improve it? If you're getting plenty of leads, but are not getting enough in for trials you have to make that offer more enticing, have a better follow up/confirmation process, or improve your sales skills for showing them the value of taking the time to come in.

3. New Clients/Customers

If all you have is people trying things or just doing consults, it can artificially inflate your numbers and feeling of busyness. Ultimately the goal is to get those trials into core customers. We shoot for 80% conversion. If we dip below that, we're looking at the trial experience and onboarding process and seeing where things can be improved.

4. Retention Rate

How many people are leaving your business. One lesson that Pat Rigsby drilled into my head for a long time as that people ARE going to leave your business. It may be a personal issue or their just not on the right bus, and they have to leave. I would always get mad if we didn't have 100% retention, now we shoot for 97%. Anything below that we look at what we can do to improve the experience. Anything above that is a win.

5. Average Ticket

You can do 7 figures with 275 customers if your average transaction is $300 each month. If your average transaction is $100 each month, you need 830 customers. Regardless of what it is, most of us are not in the volume based business so it's important to look at the average transaction or ticket each customer represents. If I want to make $50,000 I can either have 500 customers paying $100 or 50 customers paying $1,000 each month. There's no right answer, but you have to track this and make it work for the business you want. 

6. Base Operating Expenses

What is the specific dollar amount you need to make this month to keep the doors open, lights on, and payroll paid. If you know that number, you know your minimum goal each month, and anything over that is profit.

7. Client/Customer Acquisition Cost

How much did it cost you to get each client or customer? I know if I spend $1000 on marketing it's going to produce about 50 leads or inquiries, meaning my average lead cost is $20. If half of those come in for a consult, and 20 of them buy, that means that it cost me $50 to get a client. What is a new client worth? For me, MUCH more than $50. If you don't know this number, you'll always see marketing costs and an expense, not an investment. 

8. Profit

That's why we're all here. Profit allows us to grow. Profit allows us to invest in ourselves, in our team, in our community, and in our family. Without it we're nothing. I don't care about revenue, I care about profit.

All 8 of these are on our monthly scoreboard. We track them relentlessly each month, and the entire team is bought into improving these 8 numbers every single month.

Questions?

Reply and let me know...

We Can't Stop It...

We can only determine its use. 

Time. 

We can't stop it, we can only determine its use. 

Our most valuable asset. 

We chase things like more money, bigger businesses, and other materialistic things. 

Yet, those are all renewable, we always have the option of more. 

However, we don't put enough scarcity to time. 

The clock is ticking, it never stops, and we only have a finite amount of time left. 

Doesn't the scare you?

It should. 

Imagine if it didn't.

We always here people say...

"I wish I had more time."

"I need more hours in the day."

Well, we know that's never going to happen. 

And two, I'm quite confident that if we had more time we would fill with it with the same things we do now. 

Parkinson's Law. 

In short, work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.

If you have 40 hours to do something, it will take you 40 hours. 

If you have 50 hours to do that same thing, it will take you 50 hours. 

But I digress.

Last night my wife, Megan, and I sat on the couch flipping through my sons, Kaden, baby book. 

As she cried (men don't cry, right?), we looked at pictures of the day he was born, pictures of each month's milestone, and memories of his first year. 

On Sunday Kaden will turn one. 

This last year has flown by, just like I'm sure every year will, as I always hear from those who have kids that are my age. 

We can't stop time, but we can determine its use. 

Since Kaden was born, my priorities have shifted.

He is the reason I have to say no to the guy that e-mails me and "just wants to pick my brain for 5 minutes."

He's the reason the reason I write this e-mail at 530am every morning and the reason I work so hard when no one is watching, aiming to create my ideal business. 

Time with Kaden. 

Time. 

We can't stop it, but we can determine its use. 

More time with your loved ones, more time to make an impact, and more time to leave a legacy. 

Remember, your business is just a vehicle that helps you get there. 

If you're spending all your time in the business, and not allowing any time to be with those you love, do things you enjoy, and live life, what's the point. 

Time. 

We can't stop it, but we can determine its use. 

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling

The 3 M's of Small Business Marketing...

Do you get annoyed when you don't get the response you expected when marketing? 

Keep in mind the three m's...right message, right moment, and right medium. 

I hear a lot of frustrations from small business owners about not getting any responses from their marketing. 

You can look at a few different ways. 

Was it the right message?

The right message is a message that resonates and talks to your customer. 

A message is about clearly stating here's what I'm about and here's why you should choose me. 

If the customer doesn't resonate with the message they are not going to respond. 

Was it the right moment?

You've heard all those crazy statistics like it takes 7-10 times for someone to see your message before they buy. 

That's true, but it also has the be the right moment. 

I'm probably not going to respond to a barber shop message until my hair needs cut. 

Your job is to make sure I see the message at the right moment. 

The tricky part? 

You can't always know the right moment, so you always have to be marketing. 

Was it the right medium?

If you're a restaurant you can be all over Instagram showing off pictures of your delicious entrees. 

That may be the right medium. 

If you're selling geriatric services to the elderly I'm not sure if Instagram would be right medium. 

You have to be on the right medium, which is the one your customer is on. 

Follow the three M's of marketing and it will attract more customers, and grow your business. 

Always Be Marketing. 

All marketing is just being on the right medium, at the right moment, with the right message. 

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling 

The Art of Fulfillment...

The ultimate goal?

It's not to make more money or have a six-figure business. 

The ultimate goal for all of us...

To feel fulfilled.

Any goal you have...

Money, fitness, relationship, any goal...

Ultimately, you will never be happy with it until you feel fulfilled. 

Achieving a goal is science, it's a calculation. 

Sell this much, make this much. 

Save this much each month and I'll have this much money. 

Eat this many calories and workout this many times and I'll weigh this much. 

It's science. 

What I want to focus on today is the art of fulfillment. 

We all have six human needs. 

It doesn't matter who you are, what you do, or what your goals are, we all have six needs. 

These come from Tony Robbins, and I've been spending a lot more time with these lately. 

As we check more boxes, as we hit our goals, as we set new goals, constantly raising the bar, why sometimes do we not feel fulfilled?

We don't have the six needs. 

What are they?

1. Certainty

In some aspects of life, you need to have certainty. 

You need to be certain that you'll have a roof over your head. 

You need to be certain you won't get hurt, you won't get bored, or you'll be able to do something without pain. 

In your business, you took a risk, but there was always some form of certainty, and subconsciously, you make decisions every day to have more certainty. 

2. Variety

To counter certainty, we need variety. 

 We want the surprises that we want. 

We like to have spice in our life. 

Each of us is different in the level or type of variety, but we all need variety. 

There's some excitement as a business owner to not having everyday be the same, to have surprises pop up, or troubleshooting problems. 

As much as we crave certainty, we equally crave variety. 

3. Significance

We all want to feel important, we want to feel unique. 

We want to know that what we do matters. 

We want to be the hero. 

We want to be in control, valued, and know that what we're doing right now is important. 

It's the small things like getting your name highlighted, or getting an award. 

It's the recognition, the appreciation, and the gratitude. 

We all want to feel significant. 

4. Connection & Love

It could be a relationship, it could be a community, or it could be the connection with nature. 

As humans, we need to give love, feel love, and be connected. 

It's why our strongest piece at Spurling Fitness is not the workouts, not the equipment, but the community. 

People feel safe, they feel connected, and to some extent, they feel loved. 

How do you build connection into your business?

...into your life?

5.  Grow

This is where the real magic happens. 

Tony believes that everyone has the first four. 

You don't survive if you don't have the first four. 

They may not be as developed as you would like, but to some extent you have them. 

The real magic is in these last two. 

Grow or die. 

We want to get better, we want to develop, we want challenges, we want new opportunities. 

We want to be able to progress in business, and in life. 

The drive to grow and develop is in all of us, you just need to find it. 

6. Contribute

Life is about giving. 

The happiest people in the world are not the people with the biggest businesses, the biggest houses, or the most money, they are the people that have given the most. 

It's not about me, it's about we. 

Whether that's in giving back to your community, raising a family, or any other form of contribution, we all want to give back. 

The six human needs. 

We all need them, we all have them. 

However, like anything else, there are ones that we need to develop more.

Ultimately, it's these six things, not a number on the profit and loss statement that leave us fulfilled. 

1% Better. 

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling