08 Mar Brant Phillips Show 10: How to Thrive in Business
Welcome everybody to today’s show. Today, we’re going to talk about how to thrive in business. Let me just say that I’m not a big fan of the word thrive. It’s like the word epic. It’s a little bit overused, a little bit overplayed and I’m just not a big fan of it. I’m using it to title this podcast about how to thrive. I’m going to tell you that what I’m going to lay out in here, there’s going to be a very straightforward no BS approach. In this podcast are the ingredients of how to create a business that thrives.
I recently heard Gary Vaynerchuk say that it’s never a bad time to start a business unless you’re starting a mediocre business of course. There’s never a bad time. There’s never a bad time and I don’t care what the economy is like to start a business if you’re going to be committed to what I’m going to lay out today and if you’re going to have and do the things I’m going to lay out. Because I’ll tell you that, when I started my construction company, this is about two and a half years after I’d been investing. I’d done about 20-25 deals and I decided to start my construction company because I had already built the systems, I had full-time project manager, I had people who began asking me to provide construction services was how that came about.
When I look back on it, I saw this chart a couple of years ago. When I started my construction business, the consumer index in terms of where the economy was at, it was in March of 2009 was at its absolute lowest point. I remember my dad saying and this is when real estate was like the plague. Real estate was on fire burning to the ground. That’s when I was buying as much as I ever have. My dad, I remember him saying, he was like, “You’re going to start a construction company now?” It goes to my point, it goes to Gary Vaynerchuk’s point. It’s like it is never a bad time to start a business unless you’re starting a mediocre business. What we’re going to talk about today is going to help you to launch your business or to improve and grow your business by using some of these fundamentals that we’re going to cover.
Let’s start with number one. It all starts with your vision. You have to have a well-defined, crystal clear vision in your mind, on paper of what it is that you’re setting out to accomplish. If you do not have this, don’t even start. For real, don’t even start. If you’re already running a business and you’re not even sure what your vision is, maybe you fell into this big drift, it’s like you don’t really have an end game in mind of what you’re doing, just stop. Stop and get that vision clear, very, very clear.
The Book of Proverbs it says, “My brothers will perish from a lack of vision,” or something like that. You will perish, you will perish, you will cease to exist or your business will cease to exist from your lack of vision. Start, if you don’t have that, just start to get clear on this. Just ask yourself this very simple question. This is what I ask my coaching students right from the very beginning. I probably ask them this 100 times in the course of our coaching and mentoring with them. It’s a very simple question yet we need to ask ourselves this question over and over and over again because the answer changes sometimes drastically, sometimes minor little tweaks but the question simply is what do I want? What do I want? That is the question for you my friend is what do you want from your business? What is your vision? If you don’t have it, get clear on it.
The second thing that we’re going to talk about on how to thrive as a business owner is properly applying speed and time, because as we know time is money. The business world is like a shark tank and the slow fish are going to get gobbled up or at least get less deals in the real estate world. The action’s going to come to the ones who swim the fastest. We have to look at the day and the age that we live in with technology, with social media, with all of the tools and the resources that we have in today’s day and age. We have to acknowledge that speed to market and the time that it takes us to get things done is absolutely critical, absolutely critical.
A successful mindset is the mindset that you’re not going to delay the process of getting things done. That you are going to work your ass off and do whatever is needed. Maybe that just means employing the proper team and resources to get things done. Don’t put off till tomorrow what you can have done today because what you get done today is going to determine your results tomorrow and the next day and the next day.
Regarding this conversation around speed, speed to market, really building your team, having knowledgeable people that are available in-house really makes a difference. As a matter of fact, as I’m recording this podcast, I’m in the Philippines in Makati which is very close to Manila. I’m in the Philippines because we’re setting up our back office support team. Many of you know I’ve been outsourcing labor, virtual assistants, virtual staffing. I actually began using VAs 10 years ago my first year in business on a very, very limited capacity back then. Over the years, it’s just slowly and steadily increased, increased, increased to where we run a very large portion of our business with virtual staffing, with people from other countries.
There’s several reasons why we do this. One is for the cost of labor for the task that they do. I’m not going to get into all the tasks that they do but they do a lot. Amazingly they do a lot of the inner workings of our business. They’re absolutely a critical piece. That part is of course money. There’s incredible cost savings with outsourcing labor. If any of you have questions about this, feel free to hit me up. You can email me at brantphillips.com and I’ll be glad to share with you some insights and things like that.
We’re actually opening up this, our office in the Philippines to support our businesses but then we are also opening up, we’re going to have X amount of, a certain amount of virtual assistants here that we are going to provide services for, outsourcing services for other entrepreneurs through our new company that we’re launching and called realmarketingresults.com.
The other reason that I even began outsourcing and then one of the reasons that outsourcing is so critical is because of the speed factor. When we’re in the United States and we’re working during the day and things are getting done and that’s all fine, well and great. We get a lot done with our teams and with our employees and our staffing in the US but what is really, really cool is that whenever we shut down for the day, that’s when our outsourcing labor kicks in. There is like a two to three hour window, an overlap where we’re wrapping up for the day, my employees in the US are wrapping up for the day but they’re all working with their virtual assistant, put a recap on the day so they can close out things for them and put other things in motion while they go home. See?
While they’ve created output and efforts and work throughout the day, those efforts are continuing through this outsourcing labor that we have and this resource through virtual assistants. It’s just simply that the faster that you can put things to market, deals get done, more work gets done. That’s why all of my US employees have their own VA, their own virtual assistant for them because of the speed factor. It’s absolutely critical.
I also want to throw in about making mistakes, making mistakes. You’ve probably heard me say, “Fail forward fast.” This is something one of my mentors has been reinforcing lately. It’s like fail forward fast. What does that mean? I believe the faster that you make mistakes, the quicker that you’re going to be able to learn from them and improve what you’re doing, the better that you’re going to be, the quicker that you’re going to get results, the more deals that you’re going to do.
What does failing forward mean? To me, that means that you’re not just going out and making a bunch of stupid mistakes. You’re making mistakes, you are taking educated guesses, you’re doing due diligence on the deals that you do and the business decisions that you make knowing that sometimes things aren’t going to work out, conditions are going to change and things are going to happen but you’re failing and that’s okay because that’s how we learn. The more that we fail the more that we will actually win and get ahead. It’s counterintuitive but for those of you who are like full blood entrepreneurs, you get it. I know you get it. Those of you who are dabbling, I know this thought of failure is scary to you. You just have to trust me if you want to be an entrepreneur. You have to realize that that’s part of this game. I just wanted to throw that in there.
One of the other ingredients, one of the things that we need in order to thrive is that we got to be able to do more with less, be able to do more with less. One, we just talked about time and ways that if you’re working a job you can utilize, even though you have a limited amount of time, you can do more with others.
Right now I want to talk about money though, doing more with less. The mantra right now if you’re just starting out and you’re like when I started out and I had no money. I was buying that first house using a credit card, is that the mantra is lean and mean. Let’s face it, the mantra may be lean and mean for a very long time. Guess what? That is a very, very powerful mindset that can serve you for a very long time. I still have it ingrained in my mind to run lean and mean.
I don’t always but I have it ingrained in my mindset because when I started out, it was one of the things that I attribute a lot of my success to was I had to figure out ways to do more with less. I was working a full-time job, wife, children, all these responsibilities. In order to create the results that I wanted, I had to figure out how to do more with less. I didn’t have any money. Like I said I bought that first house with a credit card and I had to figure out how to leverage deals. I had to do more with less. This is a very, very powerful mindset because the more efficient that you are managing your finances and bootlegging things that have to get done, this is the how mindset. You will tell yourself like, “How can I get it done versus I can’t get it done.”
The only other thing I want to say about this right now is that when resources are limited and time is of the essence, the companies that are going to thrive are the ones that master the skill of doing more with less. They’re not going to say they can’t. They’re just going to ask how.
Also, I want to say that don’t make the mistake of being cheap. Don’t make the mistake of being cheap. Become efficient in being lean and mean but only on things that won’t jeopardize hitting your targets. I’m not saying that you do a Walmart rehab in a Nimah Market’s neighborhood. That’s not smart. I’ll just say that again. It’s like be lean and mean, be lean and mean but don’t jeopardize hitting your target. You use common sense and good judgment. Common sense and good judgement, common sense and good judgement. Good Lord, when I was in the police academy, this will always be stuck in my mind because it’s written across the wall and one of my instructors used to say it all the time, “When you’re making a decision just use common sense and good judgement.” Doing more with less, running lean and mean is absolutely critical.
All right. Another factor that you’re going to need in order to thrive in business is you’re going to have to get social. You’re going to have to get social. No, I’m not saying you’re going to have to take a bunch of selfies, do a bunch of Facebook live videos or anything like that but you certainly might. I’m going to go back to and how I built my business in the beginning was by networking my ass off quite frankly for the first couple of years. Trust me, I’m not a socialite at all. I’m not. You can look at my personality profiles. I’ve had several of them done and it’s just not me.
In the beginning, I networked. I was at networking events, real estate events, entrepreneur events, whatever I could find, wherever I could go and find that I could go to help sharpen the saw, meet other investors, maybe find deals, I was there. I did this for the first two years consistently. If not every week, multiple events I would go to every month. It feels like looking back like I was going almost every week to some type of event. This is just another fundamental for your startup success.
Building a successful business is going to require building a successful team, a powerful team. The only way that you’re going to do that is getting out there and shaking hands and meeting people and getting in conversations and feeling the vibes, other people that are going to be able to help you and support you. People that you feel like you can create win-win situations with and relationships and just get into that because several of the relationships that I made going back 10 years are people that I still do business with to this day. Just make this commitment that you’re going to get social and you’re going to start networking and get out there so you can begin building your team.
All right. Another critical factor, and this revolves around the word discipline. One of my mentors, he uses the word discipline. Every time we meet and get together, the word discipline comes up in our conversations. The bottom line is that discipline leads to dollars, discipline leads to dollars. What kind of discipline are we talking about? Not only the discipline required to do the work involved because we know that great businesses are built by doing those little things every single day, doing the little things every single day, every damn day, doing those little things. The discipline to do your work, the discipline to say yes when you know you need to say yes and when you know when you need to do something. Also, the discipline to say no. Having the discipline to say no.
My mentor mainly references this about whenever deals come to his desk and he’s presented with a lot of opportunities. He’s been presented with thousands of opportunities over the years. He really points to a large percentage of his success by just saying no. He got really clear on the business that he was creating, on his formula, the numbers that he uses. When deals come across his desk that meet those numbers, he says yes. If they’re outside that formula, those metrics, he says no. Same thing with me. I’ve got my formula for my deals and my businesses. That’s what we say yes to and that’s what we say no to.
This discipline ties back to doing the work because the more disciplined that you are in your marketing efforts, guess what? It’s easier to say no because you have more opportunities so that whenever you say yes, it’s a crystal clear yes. It’s an overwhelming like this meets all of our numbers. It’s not just a yes, it’s a hell yes so that everything else is an easy no.
Discipline starts with self-control but I would say that your discipline is really grounded in your vision and your commitment to carry it out because when you’ve got that strong vision that we talked about in the beginning, when you’ve got that strong vision and you’re really committed to carrying it out, then you’re automatically, your discipline’s going to kick in whenever you’re veering from something that’s not putting you in alignment with hitting that target, with carrying out that vision, your instincts are naturally going to say, “Hey. Hey, I need to shut this down. I need to have the discipline to say no because that’s not drawing me closer to this target, to this vision.” If you’re really committed, that discipline’s going to come just more naturally to you.
I’ll tell you this, and to some of you, this is going to sting a little bit. For some of you, this is going to sting just a little bit my friends. I mean it in love and you know that. If you find yourself being undisciplined from taking the actions you know will create success, you may want to take a hard look in the mirror at this point because guess what? Guess what? If you’re drifting and you’re being undisciplined from the actions that you know will create success, you better watch out.
Hey, this is Brant. I hope you’re enjoying today’s show. If you’re in a place in your life or your business where you just feel stuck or you just don’t know what actions to take to help you get unstuck or on to the path to creating the results you truly desire, please take a few minutes and go to my website, brantphillips.com. There are some really valuable resources and information that may be able to help you out. If you’re interested in really speeding up results with the help of a coach or mentor and adding true accountability and guidance to your life and business, please reach out to me from my website as well at brantphillips.com or going directly to www.brantphillips.com/coaching. Now, let’s get back to the show.
Because most likely if you’re looking in the mirror and you really get eye-to-eye with yourself, you’re not really committed to that result. This is where you got to, like your come to Jesus moment. You got to get real with yourself. Is this what you really want and it’s what you’re really committed to? If it’s not, you need to create a new vision. You need to create a new commitment that you will hold yourself and allow others to hold you accountable to because this is really where discipline comes in and it should be somewhat natural when we’re truly committed to that vision. I really hope you get that. This is a strong, strong point.
It leads in well to the next thing is like you just have to want it bad. To create success, to create a business that thrives, let’s just face it. It’s not freaking easy, it’s just not. If it was, everyone would do it and we know that everyone is not. We know that nine out of 10 businesses fail. You just have to want it really, really badly because I will tell you, for those of you starting out, listen to what I have to say. For those of you who are already in the game of being an entrepreneur in business and real estate investing, you already know that, what I’m about to say, you already know this. You got to want it bad because look, the market, the universe, whatever you want to call it is going to test your ass. You are going to get tested. If you don’t want it bad enough, guess what? Boom, game over.
Strong determination is always necessary in order for you to create success. Determination has got to be there. Here’s the thing, going back to the market, the universe throwing tests at us which is going to happen, but guess what my friends? This is the silver lining, with the test, with the obstacles, with the challenges, with the setbacks when we fail, this is when we learn the most about ourselves. During this, this is where we learn about how determined we are when we are tested. This is where we can extract the greatest lessons about ourselves and about business and how we will ultimately move our business further ahead is through this test. When we get to the other side, boom, growth occurs. The business takes monumental steps forward whenever we get through some of these trials. You just have to take me for my word with that.
Here’s another one. Be willing to change, be willing to change. One of the biggest reasons I’ve seen a lot of businesses and investors go out of business has been their unwillingness to change to shifting economies and really I would say moving targets, shifting opportunities because there’s always opportunities in the marketplace but those opportunities shift. They move, they look a little bit different, they’re not what they were before. It doesn’t mean that they’re not there. It just means that they’ve transformed into something else.
Opportunity is basically like a chameleon. Opportunity, I like that. Opportunity is like a chameleon. It’s always there but it changes its colors. Sometimes it’s really hard to see. If we don’t have the mindset of being willing to change, then guess what? We’re not going to see that chameleon whenever it changes its colors. I’m really liking this metaphor by the way that I just thought of. We’ve got to realize that opportunity is always there, it’s always there. It is like the chameleon. It is like the lizard who changes its colors. It’s always there but it’s more difficult to see at certain times unless we are really dialed in and tuned in and willing to change, because a lot of entrepreneurs come in and they are a one-trick pony. They’re a one-trick pony.
I was reading a book the other day and it was talking about Kodak. It was talking about how Kodak is worth billions and billions of dollars but whenever the writing was on the wall that hey, things are shifting in the photography industry, Kodak began making some changes. I believe they’re one of the first companies to introduce the digital camera. They began to make some changes but then they went back, they want back to their comfort zone. They went back to being the one-trick pony and they released some cameras, a new product line that was basically just like the old line. They dug their heels into the sand and guess what happened? A few years later they were bankrupt. They were bankrupt. That is not how to thrive in business.
The best entrepreneurs, the best investors are always willing to adapt to new technologies, to new markets and your willingness to adapt to change is going to be one of your abilities, is going to grant you the ability to have some of your biggest breakthroughs and some of your biggest successes. I’ll tell you that whenever I began investing, I began as a, I’m not even going to say investing, when I did begin investing at this time but is really as I began as an entrepreneur. How I began as an entrepreneur was investing in real estate. I was only investing in rental property.
Around two, two and a half years later, that’s when I began flipping houses. Around that same time also, I’d really built up really good systems in my construction side of things and how we managed our projects with my project manager and things like that to where another opportunity came up which was the construction business. Really for me and this is my path just discovered what I really love doing is starting businesses and launching businesses and just being a serial entrepreneur. They all happen to be in the real estate arena, in the real estate investing arena.
I’ll tell you, there were times whenever the investing times were difficult. My construction business has been a savior at times. Just that ability to see other opportunities. I’ll tell you, there were a lot of investors going out of business when things got really, really difficult to secure financing. This happened my second year in investing. My second year that I was an investor, I’d already began seeing guys go out of business and talking to them and talking to others, there was this excuse, there was this story was that I couldn’t do it. I’m sorry. I just couldn’t get the financing, it’s too hard, the banks aren’t lending anymore, blah, blah, blah, excuse, excuse, excuse, story, story, story.
I had the same thoughts come into my mind I’m not going to lie. After I was told by the banks that I couldn’t get any more loans, there was times where I thought, “Oh crap, I’m done. What do I do? I can’t do this anymore.” Then I just began asking myself like, “How? How can I continue to invest? How can I continue to do this?” I began forming partnerships and I began forming partnerships. Then ultimately began raising private money just because I was willing to change and adapt. That really leads into the next ingredient that you need to be able to thrive in business, to thrive with your investments.
You have to have the ability to raise capital. You have to have the ability to raise capital. This is what Robert Kiyosaki has called the number one skill of an entrepreneur. The ability to raise capital, cash flow, this is the blood of any business. This means that if you don’t have the ability to raise capital, if you don’t have the ability to generate cash flow that you’re not going to stay in business. You need to really look at raising capital as, if you’re the business owner as really one of your primary duties and responsibilities.
One of the big things that I always enforce to my students, my coaching students is it’s like the ABC, is always be closing. In this business, you should always be marketing, marketing for deals and always be raising capital. You’re always looking for deals and you’re always looking for dollars. Just having that mindset, having that mindset is going to help you to thrive because I’ll tell you that if you’re not consistently marketing for deals and you’re not consistently marketing for dollars, for capital, you probably don’t have a business. This is something that you need to have, just period. Ingrain it into your mind if you want to thrive.
Here’s another one. Here’s another one. I’m going to call this unwavering faith. Just having that belief that you are going to succeed when things get dark. Whenever you are stepping out to take some risks, and we talked about this earlier, that sometimes you’re just going to have to have some faith. You are going to have to crawl out on to that tree branch with a saw blade and cut the branch off from the tree and have faith that the tree is going to fall to the ground and you’re going to be completely fine.
Sometimes it’s like this is really scary. Trust me, look, I get it. I’ve taken the risks. I’ve been there and I’ve done that but I know that every business’ success revolves around our ability to take these educated formulated risks. You’re going to have to begin to wire yourself and wire your faith to be prepared to take these risks. They say that the greater the risk, the greater the reward. I get that. There’s truth to that. You just back it up. You back up your faith and you back up the piece that you’re going to generate with inside just by doing the due diligence, by what we talked about earlier, by being disciplined to create your deal flow, create opportunities so that whenever you’re saying yes to something it means these numbers have worked out great. The numbers look great so it’s easier to have this faith and step out but we just know that things happen in business and so that’s okay.
For those of you once again that are risk adverse, you really have to trust your due diligence and I would say trust your instincts. Trust your due diligence and trust your instincts and rest assured the longer you stay in this game, the more deals that you do, the more risks that you take, the easier it’s going to get. The easier it’s going to get. I’ve heard it said before that experience leads to instincts. Your experience leads to instincts. The more that you do it, I will tell you that the easier it gets.
We talked a little bit about doing less with more earlier. I want to talk about how to master your time management. I know that in the beginning, especially in the beginning but even just on the day-to-day basis of building a successful business that there is a mountain, a mountain of stuff to do every single day. There’s a mountain of stuff to do. We’ll say there’s an unlimited amount of things that we have to do and there’s a limited amount of time to do these things within. There’s a limited amount of help and resources. I’ve already given you some strategies about how to leverage other people and virtual assistants and things like that to get more done.
What I also want to tell you about mastering time management is that you have to learn how to say no more. You have to know what to do and not only what to do, when to do it, how to prioritize it but what not to do. You’re going to have to learn to delegate and you’re going to have to learn to outsource but you’re also going to have to learn to be a gatekeeper of opportunity, become a gatekeeper of opportunity because everything that you say yes to is going to open up your gate of responsibilities, of work, it’s going to tie up your resources, it’s going to tie up your team, your capital that you’ve raised etcetera, etcetera.
I’m not saying that you don’t open the gate, absolutely that you do but also realize that in the world of time management, in the world of opportunity that every time you say yes to a new opportunity, it means that you’re going to have to say no to other opportunities. Make sure that when you say yes to something that it’s an opportunity and a deal that you’re excited about because trust me my friends, I’ve said yes to some opportunities that have absolutely sucked the life and money out of my business for certain periods of time. It’s drained the energy of my team because of the headache that it became and the time it zapped from us etcetera, etcetera. Know when to say yes and know when to say no. That’s all I’m going to say about that.
The last thing I’m going to say here is you just got to execute. We can plan, plan, plan, plan, plan and planning is essential, planning is essential but you got to execute. You can have the vision. You can have the dream. You can lay out the plan. You can raise the capital. You can create the deal flow. You can do everything that we talked about but you just got to execute. If you’re not executing, just forget about it. You got to know, and part of executing is knowing your strengths, knowing your weaknesses and building an execution plan. Figuring out how to get things done on a day in and day out basis.
I’ll also say that for those of you that are really committed to creating a long-term business that will not only last for years but for decades is that figuring out a way, creating your execution plan that is sustainable. It’s sustainable over time. It’s sustainable with new employees that you can plug and play. You can put new people in place and just finding others to help execute this plan. Filling the gap for your weakness so that you can just accentuate your strengths and the things that you do the best. You got to execute which is this final piece to how to thrive in business.
That is it my friends. I hope you got a lot of value from today and I hope you will take action on it. If you got value, I’d love some comments and five star rating type stuff. This is my shameless plug to get some love on the iTunes. That’s it. That’s it. I think that’s all I’ve got. Hey, I appreciate you. I appreciate you for listening. That’s it. Go out, take action and create results. Go out and create results in your life and your business. You can do it my friends.