Compaq Employee #104 Turned Keynote Speaker Karen Walker on How to Create Scalable and Replicable Systems
On today's show we interview compacts employee number one four yes the massive company compact their fourth employee of all time karen walk on today's show karen walker shares with us how to deliver in the short term mm-hmm while creating scalable and repeatable systems built for the long-term karen walker also shares with us had a had a simultaneously create these systems while while dealing with the day to day drama of being a business leader or business owner throughout her career karen has worked for giant brands such as amazon ben and jerry's pfizer ibm and many others. What is it gentlemen without any further ado my interview with karen walker. Klemm shows rose. Don't need a celebrity narrator to introduce this show. This show too may eight kids co created by two different women women thirteen multimillion dollar businesses ladies and gentlemen welcome to thrive time shaw the nine and yes yes yes and yes thrived nation on today's show we are are interviewing employees number one four of compact the incredible ms karen walker welcome onto the show. How are you man. I am very well and pretty excited to they here. Thanks well. Hey you had massive success and i know all of our listeners are going to start googling karen walker right now. It always happens so in out there searching for you. They're gonna find the massive success. I'd love to start off at the beginning or the very beginning of your your your background. Tell us how you grew up in. What was life like for you growing up as a kid absolutely i. I'd like to address what they're gonna fight when they go karen walker if i may <hes> so karen walker is one of the characters on will and grace and imbibed a lot of vitamin d. v. so just know that that is not me home. I am the caron walker who's a consultant and and <hes> and author and speaker <hes> so how i grew up. I grew up in west texas. <hes> which meant i grew up with oil and sand and friday night lights football so literally the friday night lights high school was my high school football team and that was that was the environment that i grew up in and it actually turned out got to be a pretty good place because it was a smallish town of about one hundred thousand people and <hes> it it was a it was a good place to grow up <hes> but i got a lot of lessons from my parents who were had a father who was an engineer and a mother. Who's a nurse. I'm the oldest of four and pretty much was told. I could be whatever i wanted to a. B. as long as i didn't go into the oilfield that was the only time they told me no and <hes> as well as having to stop playing football in the third grade so those turned out to be pretty anyways wise counsel for my parents. Did you want to go into the field. Well what i yes i did not. Was it like a dream that i had to go on but fails but when i was in college getting my engineering degree definitely interviewed with oil companies <hes> and sadly was told because i was a a woman i couldn't go to work <hes> from some of them told me that <hes> but then my parents also discouraged me from <hes> from pursuing it and it turned out i am a much better fit for tech back and so that that turned out all right now i'd love to share with the listeners about your educational background ultimately led to your success so <hes> what what kind of schooling did you have. After high school yes i was really good in math and science and so in my father was engineer and so i went into a into engineering <hes> i got a degree in engineering from texas a. and m. and <hes> i i never really used much with that in terms of sort of the formal engineering portion of it but what i got out of it that has been so amazingly useful to me in ways. I didn't comprehend i is it taught me how to think in a way that's sort of disciplined and logical <hes> that has has been very very helpful to me in my career. <hes> am after my graduation from there. We'll talk about my work in a bit but i'm also did some <hes> n._b._a. Studies <hes> and university of houston <hes> which i got about halfway through and then i had the big job at compaq and and didn't finish and then i did some additional studies at columbia university during my time at new york. I'd like to ask you about learning how to think. I've heard a lot of people a lot of great guests. We've had on the show wolfgang puck and yourself herself and we've had the founder of ritz carlton so many people talk about hey. This particular education taught me how to think. Could you explain what it means because you're obviously good that thinking you you know what you're doing. Just for someone who's average listener is an average listener is an entrepreneur or they want to be. What does it mean to be disciplined. Kupuna thinker in your mind yeah so for me i in this has been a sort of a lifelong process of flirting this but but starting with just understanding that there are many different perspectives variables about any situation that you're looking at and having a way to sort of sort out the wheat from the chef jap in that that case and then being being able to make sure that you have done all that you can do to minimize the blind spots and there are there ways to do that in engineering where you have a safety factor she might double your answer by two or five or ten <hes> to make sure you have enough safety built in but in in the rest of the world when you're making a decision <hes> just making sure that you have diversity of opinion making input into your decision <hes> that you're clear about what success looks like a decision that you're making. You're clear that it's an important enough decision for you to be spending time on it <hes> and that you have <hes> you have done enough to make sure one more time that you have you have minimize those blind spots because i think that's the thing for most entrepreneurs and business people. Pull it that we're most afraid because if we know about an issue we'll deal with it. It's the stuff we don't know about that. That's scary. That is wisdom right. Don't put that on a shirt probably take that whole paragraph sure. I'll tell you why can't wait to transcribe this now. Now your story before joining compaq. I wanna talk about your your story leading up to joining compaq. Oh how how did you get into compaq. How are you able to join that organization right place right time and i'm just knocking on wood here because that was that was amazing. I went to work for a big fortune. One hundred company at the time is texas instruments. <hes> which is where the three founders of compaq were also working and i was very fortunate. I was working on a big project. We were building a new a new facility in the houston area. He and i notice these people that i thought a lot of leaving the organization. I didn't know what they were making. There was a the head and announced announced any product yet. There was a lawsuit between texas instruments and <hes> the startup company about poaching employees so they could call you all very secret and and i really thought a lot of these people who are leaving in it just made me really curious now. My mother thought i was crazy because this company but he takes instruments. I'd gotten a promotion like every six months. I was managing people always making a good salary. It was very solid and secure and i left there go to work for something that no one ever heard of that didn't have a product announced yet <hes> and in startups you know back in the day. We're not like today where there are many and <hes> we know a lot of people were startups. It was a rare thing particularly in houston texas during that time but i went over i interviewed <hes> we all thought that compact instead of making this breakthrough portable computer without perhaps they were making hard drives that deficient division that the group came out of the startup founders and i said i don't think i can do this job. I think you're gonna need someone who can build a clean room for you and they said oh no no no no you can do history please come and so i went and it was it was based on the on the people that were there and not on the product and heart heart. I now glad that i did so you left a secure job with texas instruments to go to a startup and you were employee number one one oh four in my understanding standing i as i tried to really research dive into your background is you you did well there and and you actually at one point had to go ask for twenty five million dollars. I'm from venture capitalists. Which was a huge today today's money. That's that's a lot of money. But what what year was this yeah so i. I was a compact for fourteen years so i will say that asking for twenty five million dollars. Might i ask they just got they just went up from there <hes> but yeah it was twenty five years old <hes> compaq at a board meeting <hes> our our funders are major funders. Were seven rosen capital out of new york. <hes> <hes> then rosen in particular her and you know i was really nervous but we needed money because we were growing leaps and bounds and we had to have facility so my job i was vice president of operating services which it was all the physical infrastructure the organization and so my job was to get far enough ahead of the curve to make sure that we had factories to produce and and we had distribution centers to distribute from and that we had <hes> office space to house all the people being hired and let me just say we were hiring hundreds more people every month than we had forecast so not hundreds of people are definitely that but hundreds more than forecast and so i had they get pretty good with dealing with ambiguity and big flexible <hes> and making plans for for exceeding our growth but then always having to have plans for what if we don't so we anyway had this meeting and i had a twenty five million-dollar ask for our first set of own facilities and i the board was running late and so i was pacing the hallways and finally they let me in and i walked in and and ben rosen who oh i was just a little in awe of <hes> head is sitting at the back of the room with his shoes off and his feet up on the on the board table and just leaned back back in israel acts to seek to be and i thought well if he set relaxed. I should take a cue from that so i did. I made my pitch <hes> at some point been said karen you got you got the deal right. You can stop talking now so i gave him. The thumbs up and i left in wouldn't had a glass of champagne. Now you remember what year it was that you ask for the twenty five hundred dollars this. Let's see. I don't compaq eighty two. Oh so probably eighty four somewhere in there we'll have this thing called the inflation calculator which i have dialed in right now. I just want to throw out this number eight ninety four hundred million a million dollars was a lotta money but in today's money that'd be like asking for sixty million dollars of course i mean that's a that's a lot i mean before you got the yes. How nervous were you nervous at all. How nervous were you what was going through your mind. I was completely nervous. Just completely nervous not i mean not so much for my cell but because i knew how important this this project was and that it was important that i convey bat and convey the the logic behind why we needed it and how we're going to put the money could use now. I understand that you actually at approximately the age of twenty five. You're able to grow a team to around three hundred people present accurate. That's what i'm <hes> i started. I started growing my team. I started out as a party of one as every everything compaq did <hes> <hes> but i did grow my organization to around three hundred people worldwide and then i had thousands of contractors consultants <hes> working globally for me and and <hes> you know it was amazing to put together a team like that in fact when i left compaq it was the hardest thing about leaving was leaving this amazing team that i put together <hes> and part of that was that i got lucky with my hires but a big part of it was that compact was a magnet right. We were growing really fast. We were getting a reputation. This is a good place to work and by the way being a good place to work was one of the one of the values of the founders and so we were a good place to work <hes> but we had a lot of players we were having a lot of getting traction and a lot of success and so <hes> for people who were fairly risk tolerant <hes> <hes> it was it was a good place to be <hes> and so it wasn't so hard to hire people it was sometimes hard to hire the right people <hes> and so getting clear about what were those competencies that were most important and you know i was really young and i didn't have a lot of experience and so i didn't know all this stuff. No i know a lot more about it now than i than i did then but but understanding that <hes> you can't just hire to fill a seat no matter how urgent is that you get someone in that seat so that you can stop doing the things you can do the other things you need to be doing <hes> so although tempting don't ever hire just to fill the seat <hes> and a higher for competencies beyond beyond technical and that then remember i just you know i was an engineer so i was heavy into achievement through who technical competency but things like you know having a bias for action or being really comfortable with ambiguity which i mentioned earlier or you know most importantly in in many cases is just what your interpersonal skills and how can you work with the team and how can you influence others and how can you make decisions based on different perspectives effectives not just yours so there was a lot of learning that went on around that talked to me about being able to deal with ambiguity. What do you mean by that yeah so for for many people and for myself when i was younger i thought there was one right answer and that we should just get to the right answer and then get on with things and <hes> when you're growing really fast in particular there are there are many right answers some better than others but there's often no one right answer. There are just some that are more directionally correct. I'll say and you have to deal with ambiguity because you don't have answers to all the questions. There's too many moving parts. There's too much exchange going on and so the the best you can do is to create us system or a process that that looks at those things and you for me as as in many ways. This is sometimes just intuitive but till to look at those things and sarah. What is what is most important. What can i get answers to. How can i go about doing that and to be comfortable with not having everything nail down when you make the decision and sometimes they're big decision. You're making <hes> but i i do think that's something that anyone in an organization. Who's a who's. A senior manager has to be comfortable and competent at the bias for action. I've learned conrad hilton had a phenomenal phenomenal autobiography read. His book have read ted turner's biography. I am ted autobiography and so many autobiographies andrew carnegie. I've read recently. I was reading and to get ready to interview. Mrs carly fiorina interview reader read her book this bias for action you hear it over and over again. Can you hammer home with that means to you yeah yeah. It means that <hes> my preference to do something right. Let's blitz. I'm a problem solver by nature. It's the one thing that i can't not do is solve a problem problem <hes> and like. I'm sure you've heard this time and time again. When that's a string if you overuse it it's a weakness and so <hes> you know the the bias for action is do something. Don't wait but make sure this thing. You're doing needs to be done so i say that's the that's the two who sides at the bias for action coin that is good that is man andrew we once we transcribe this year. I'm gonna a massive attempt. Maybe and i'll put it on tents now because we're outta space on the shirt. Now get up to ten or something okay so we're so we're we're moving on now. You have written a book called no dumbing down which is the no nonsense guide for c._e._o.'s. What inspired you to write this book yeah so the book is a it's a primer really for ceos on organization organization growth and it really is focused at at senior leaders. I hadn't intended to write a book. <hes> i waited clearly sometime. After i left compact before i wrote it so it's not it's not strictly a compact book. Although the the strategies that are in there are definitely what i learned from compaq and then over the last two decades of consulting assaulting <hes> i've really seen a handful of things that make the most difference in the quickest time to organizations that are growing and basically lee these are things that are supporting the external growth so this is not about finding your product market fit. It's it's actor the big bang of finding that product market fit bit when things explode and you're trying to keep up what is it. That's most important to do internally so that you really can deliver on those promises that you made to your customer. Ktar on this book is filled with so many knowledge bombs and i know the listeners are gonna go out there and purchase a copy of this book as soon as possible maybe even now in fact but but for the listeners out there that haven't yet looked it up or haven't yet picked up a copy. What are a few of the teaching moments in the book. Maybe just a couple to give us kind of a a sneak peek as to what kind of things we're gonna find this book. Oh sure so one thing is this idea of dumbing down the title strategy so <hes> dumbing down is what i think of is teamwork as usual and we see it over and over again in organizations where we want teams because we need teams to to get things done and both functional cross functional parts of the organization but people bring these amazing individual contributors skills the things that made us successful successful in the first place and they try to play ply those same skills to the team and there's some overlap but they are not the same skills you can't you can't can't just be a room full of individual contributors in get the value out of teamwork and so what happens is you know the people show up with really good intent can't and the complex don't get resolved or there's a mismatch of skills or misaligned priorities or resources or and and over time then you're a player's begin to look at the team more like a tar pit because they can't work to their potential there and eventually they'll leave the team and or leave the company vinnie and it happens because teams can only perform at the lowest performing members level so right so you have dumbed down to that to that level and it's not always effective rarely that it's the lowest performing team was fault. You know maybe they didn't have the skills. They were shouldn't have been placed on the team. Maybe they have different set of priorities that they were given. That's different from everybody else on the team but you have to you have to watch for that and and office politics ticks can come into play right where people don't come in and work with each other in a way that you would hope that they would now okay i in your book. You wrote this notable notable quotable. You wrote an emphasis on the short term and the urgent at the expense of the long and the nurturing of scalable replicable double success. I know that i grew up with a classy word word. Highly educated person would say without without any money and so my first company i started was a company called d._j. Connection which ultimately became the nation's largest wedding entertainment company still around the day but i sold it exited move on but that particular company karen i had i had to to book wedding wedding brides every every weekend forty of them eighty of them and we can before i sold it. We were doing like eighty weddings every week and four thousand a yod god bless you and i remember i'd bring on these people and and they were joined my team a lot of highly educated people. They'd say here's the deal. We need to focus on the long term not urgent and i. I know i know but meanwhile we need to make payroll. Hey roll this week and then over time. I realized you kind of have to do. Both you have to focus on the urgent. Pay the bills sell something while focus on making being scalable solutions. What i see now is a consultant and as a podcast host. I see so many entrepreneurs that were doing what i did when i first started and they're exclusively focusing on urgent urgent myopic things and they never look up at the long view. Can you talk about how we get out of doom loop if i'm a c._e._o. Or leader out there and i keep making urgent decisions because that's it's all i started. The company was with a sense of urgency but now that sense of urgency is killing the long term you talk about how we get a doom loop of just focusing on urgent myopic things yeah yeah well. We'll said that you have to do both right but what what happens is a clearly an organization well. We'll suck as much time from us you will oh give it doesn't matter if it's your organization or someone else's but if you're in an organization that organization will take as much from usual give particularly if it's in growth mode and and and we can't spend our days running from meeting to meeting playing whack a mole you remember the komo games do very good whack-a-mole bow. Ah yes all right so that's that's what i see many <hes> senior leaders and organizations in fact many people and organisations doing all day. They just run from meeting to meeting whacking moles which feels pretty good right. We're solving a problem and then there's another mall that pops up someplace else and we're not to do that and we run into that but we never step back or we do it. Rarely you know maybe it's the annual strategy retreat to sort of look at the bigger the bigger game and i think it's it's critically important in fact it's one of the most important things that senior leaders are are hired for is to take the long view to look at the bigger picture. Only senior leaders really can do that because they are compensated for the whole not just for their individual functions they have accessed information that other people the organization don't have and they can see things coming from the outside if they'll put their heads up long enough to do it and so my what i work with with my clients on is just making sure that you found for yourself and for your team. What's the rhythm that works for you and for some people it's like okay. If i can book an hour a week to sort sort of think about the long-term great i can do that for other people and this is true for myself as well. I have to think about this. <hes> paul graham's maker versus versus manager days talked about that. I have not talked about on the show but i do read the paul graham essays and i like them a lot. Yes so this you have to avoid avoid the really high cost of task switching which isn't so you don't ever task switch but you don't wanna do it any more often than you have to and so so <hes> for me and certainly some of my clients it's like okay. Take a day and dedicate that to the big picture. Take another day dedicate that to dealing with things that have to be done today. Maybe you can't take a day. Take a half a day figure it out figure out how to do this once a month. It's not enough to do it. Once a year. Things are changing into fast in the industry. Things are changing fast in the world for that so many of my clients we take <hes> a day a quarter and we take the senior team off site eight and we are at what happened. What are we expecting to happen. What actually happened and what has changed that might impact our plans going forward and you know one. One day at a quarter is not too much time to be spending on the big picture now. This is a i can i if i can't. I wanna share with you. What i see a lot of clients we we you work with executives and high level business owners and i work with a lot of small business owners and this is what i need to find small business fifty employees or less came so fifty employees or less and this is what i see small business owners doing before we can help them. They will be mentally meeting with you at say but they're mentally really not present there physically with you in the meeting but they're not mentally present because they're responding to somebody who just complained about their product on google immediately and then somebody who just complained about their product on amazon and then somebody who just told them they love their product on amazon and then somebody who just said we really love your product facebook and they live in this urgent reactionaries zone and so it got me looking into it and researching and according to psychology today the average american now is has has over ninety one interruptions per day from smartphone and a typical workday. What advice would you have for entrepreneurs out do that push notifications on their phone and they're sitting there day wack doing the whack a mole but with social media and e mails text messages and personal calls at work all day just distraction distraction distraction. What advice would you have for the entrepreneurs out there. Yes i have a a couple of pieces of advice and the first thing is languaging. Which is we get. The average american allows ninety one interruptions per day. We have choices this about how we use our time. We do not have to get ninety one interruptions a day from our smartphones and and hey i get it you know i have. I have my devices all right here. Can i did turn them off for this. <hes> this this time with you <hes> but it's really easy to just react to the little dings when they happen and you have to you have to realize i said you have to make highest and best use of your time and <hes> and you only time so one resource who can't make more of <hes> so being sort of crystal clear about what that highest invest i uses so you have to take control your calendar. I'd say that's the first thing because if you don't someone else will and you have to schedule time when you were going to be able to react in time when you're not if you are a small small to medium business owner and you find yourself needing to be reactive all the time. What are those things that you can put a process in place to deal. You'll read so that you don't have to deal with it this. This is how you scale. This is how you go. I think about this continuum from st seat of the pants to standard operating process right and so often with a startup it's all seat of the pants and with sort of a grownup company. It's all standard operating process and you don't want to be stuck at either end you. You want to be able to respond or whatever the situation is. You're dealing with so think of that. As a continuum you can go back and forth on. It's not really just the age of your company but but find those things that you can put a process in place for so that you could pri yourself up to deal with these bigger more important issues that have to be dealt with which doesn't mean that it's going to be a walk in the park mark. If you're if you're running a business in your work in thirty two hours a week. You're probably not listening to this podcast but let's continue on start up to grown up and finding finding the place <hes> where whatever the problem is you're facing even if it is just responding to reviews of your product <hes> where where's that need to be on that continuum and does it need to be reacted to right away or can you get a process in place you know karen i was doing some cyber stalking view in the most positive way the most positive sense of talking and i discovered that you have been invited to do consulting with brands such as amazon. I thought to myself who's that i've never heard of amazon and so i read the next instead i._b._m. And i'm going who's that never heard of that. One pfizer nope nope never heard of them. Ben and jerry's could know the point is you're working with some big companies. I mean fortune. Five hundred firms is a reach out to you for results. What kind of stuff do you do. When you sit down with executive. Just kind of give us a teaser kind of stuff. Do you do for to help the executives out there that you're your coaching in helping to mentor oh sure so. I must say that i do work with fortune five hundred companies. I also work with inc five eight hundred companies <hes> and i work. I have a number of startups that i've worked with. I i like a first time c._e._o. Who just got her series a funding that i i've recently the <hes> the coaching with but when i sit down with a with a c._e._o. Typically you know the first questions are either. What made you take my call or. Why did you contact me. I want to really understand their objectives and i often have to push them for what's working right. It's really easy for somebody to tell you all this stuff. That's not working in my organization nation but usually it's haywar growing really fast. I don't know what i need to be doing with my time. I don't know i need to have my staff. I don't know what i need to bring people on and i don't know when when what process put into place so it's it really is this time of sort of stepping back and looking at the bigger picture as we were discussing discussing earlier about the organization and how to make sure that there's alignment internally i think about this sort of optimizing for the whole rather than maximizing some ising anyone function because it's really easy for parts of the organization to get out of alignment and when you do that you're not being very efficient. There's my industrial astro engineering coming back up but it's really helping the organization be more efficient and so that takes the form of coaching the c._e._o. Or senior leader that brings me in typically also working with that senior team to make sure that they're aligned because if they're not you can imagine what it's like in the rest of the organization <hes> and then <hes> over time as the organization grows. I'll i'll often also morph into <hes> sort of developing a next generation of leader because as the organization grows that first i hear needs to be taking on new responsibilities and someone else has to pick up work. They were doing before drew. I wanna make sure right now because this is this is an accountability thing here we have to we got the e book of cairns at iba version of karen book but yeah we need to purchase physical tangible copy on amazon right now. Who who are we to not. Leave her a positive review because it's a good read and i know the listeners out. There carrying are gonna go. Check it out no dumbing down a no nonsense guide for c._e._o. C._e._o.'s organization organization of on organizational growth but i wanna ask you my final three questions here. We go if you're out there sitting down with an entrepreneur c._e._o. A business owner and they ask you. How should i organize the first four hours of my name and let's say they just want to know specifically. You know they just want to know karen if you could make the perfect schedule schedule i'm a c._e._o. I'm a business owner. What advice would you have on how you managed hundreds of people thousands over the world. How would you recommend the entrepreneurs would organize is the first four hours of their day. And what time do you think they should be waking up. Well this very ability i will. I'll give you some journal advice and i'll tell you what i do so so i believe that the first four hours of your day starting your day off right starts the night before so to be to be clear. I keep using this word clarity. It's very important about what the most important things are to be spending your time on the next day and that means reviewing reviewing calendar the day before to make sure that things things that are on there still need to be on there <hes> and then <hes> in the morning. I think it's really important <hes> at least for me. I try to wake up with the sun so i'm not waking up with an alarm clock doc. I try not to have a lot of interactions and calls for singing in the morning. I will if i got somebody in a very different time zone and you know that happens but my my my normal process is to wake up wake up with the sun. <hes> spent some time sort of getting getting grounded in my life so that might look like meditation. My look like yoga. It might look like a walk <hes> typically. Jim is held for later in the day <hes> but just just something that gets me me grounded <hes> and then <hes> doing a a really brief check of sort of news and email and whatever that is then spending those first couple of hours on the big stuff that you i need to do when your mind is not cluttered <hes> that can be called with other people but that should be on big topics i this is this is not the time of day to go through the three hundred emails that came in overnight. Just do a quick quick smidgen of work there and then move on to something bigger and more important. You are a person who's very well read their certain book a book for that made a big impact on you. Is there a certain book that you read where that really helped change or frame the way that you managed those hundreds of hundreds of employees and those thousands over the world. This is the hardest question you've asked me. If we were on video radio. You would see a wall of books behind me. I have many books so i can. I can. I give you two books i for me. I mean you're the guru you you all right so one book that really made a difference as a book called dialogue by william isaacs and the premise here is that that often often when we're having conversation with people we just fall into debate so we we fall into debate about who's right and who's wrong and often we're trying to compete and come out on top because we're all competitive achievement oriented people and in his mom was all about how to get into dialogue to you can sort of suspend that position shut and you can understand where the person's coming from now do we have time or need dialogue on every single conversation we have. We do not but when you need it you need you. We need to have the skill set so i'm a big fan of the dialogue book <hes> i would say another book business book <hes> maybe <hes> there's a book called the elements of power by terry bacon that i'm a big fan of <hes> because i didn't realize very cheap motivated. I have pretty low power needs and i didn't realize there were many different kinds of power in an organization and he lays them all out really well. There's a self assessment of sort of see. I'd only wear your your strengths and <music>. <hes> development needs in terms of power but also for your job what might be the most important power to focus on now. This is my final. No question and i always comes across some people kind of misunderstand the initial i've said so. It's not meant to trick you into something here. Steve jobs always wore the same thing everyday. I tend where the same thing everyday paul graham. He referenced earlier tends to not carry a phone ever impossible. Mark zuckerberg were the same thing all the time. There's so many idiosyncrasies of top performance and i am curious as to do you have an idiosyncrasy. Do you have something that you do like a superpower. Maybe something that people might say that's weird karen that you would wouldn't mind of sharing that you believe that allows you to get more things done or to have more success or to be more intentional. What kind of idiosyncrasy do you have a positive help. You sure it's not my clothing. I i had that sorted out. I have have a personal shopper bergdorf goodman and she figures out for me and she's amazing but what i my superpower that thing that gives me my superpower is that i do a silent tation retreat for a week twice a year yup i go contemplate my navel with a lot of other people who are doing the same thing and <hes> it's it's amazing the first a couple of days i'm sitting in my cushion and i'm sort of drumming my fingers and thinking i have too many things to do. Why am i doing this again and by the third day that all goes away and the clarity already of my mind when i when i lied those retreats is incredible <hes> so that's i have. I'm told by my clients assertive calm calming presence and that that superpower comes from my meditation traits do you go into the woods to do this. You go on and on mountain top or you go. What are you going to a local dive bar. Where do you have these silent retreat. I know the listeners are curious yeah so they could be done anywhere. I sit with a zen group out of new york been meditating with for very long time decades and we are currently meeting on the hudson river. There's a retreat center and actually an old <hes> kachin capuchin monks called garrison institute. That's phenomenal <hes> and then in the summertime. That's for the winter retreat and then in the summertime. We try a variety different places. Wow okay see that right there. That's the kind of stuff stuff he will go. I did not know that well thrive nation. I encourage you. <hes> i encourage you can still speak verbally before i begin my silent retreat in just a moment here i encourage you go by no dumbing down. Get the book a no nonsense guide for ceos on organizational growth in karen. Thank you so much for being on the show. I really enjoyed it. Thanks for being so prepared dr nation. If you're out there today and you feel like you just are struggling to work on on the business while treading water and working in the business you are not alone and i encourage you to take advantage of this opportunity to book your tickets to our next in-person and thrive time show workshop because at the workshop you can meet people out there just like you who've been diligently applying the principles we teach on a daily daily and weekly basis and they're growing their companies. They're getting better not not overnight but they're getting better to percents a week three percent of week. One percent of week and these people now have a built multi million dollar companies. You're going to meet people out there just like you. The kind of sick freaks who wake up at six in the morning five in the morning every single day to work on their business and then they go out there nine to five work in their business. You're going to meet people that have created massive time freedom and financial freedom as a result of diligently implementing the the systems and processes that we teach here on a daily basis and encourage you and to let you know that this is real and some that you can in actually do i would encourage you to listen to the following testimonials from real people just like you who implemented the systems while going to thrive drive time show dot com so listen to these testimonials what will chicken out thrived show dot com and then click on the conference's button because when you click on the conference's button here you're gonna find over a thousand additional testimonials delivered via video. You're gonna find thousands of reviews from itunes to google to. You're gonna find in real people out there just like you and you can hear what they had to say about their experience. Attending the in person thrive time show workshop but let's listen to this next testimonial is is a game changer now dr brick talk to me about since you worked with tim the last one year and a half two years year year over year. What kind the changes have you made. And how has it impacted your overall profitability or growth. I'm happy to report the december of two thousand eighteen. We had our highest grossing month so so. I'm super excited about that ever ever. You know what that deserves. Dr wreck celebrating a sales record here on new year new you. How is it possible. He's a diligent doer. So what kind of practical changes have you made. Oh man <hes> well. We had to look our price structure. So you know we have to be honest with the value in what it costs to deliver services and we can't continue to give away services <hes> you know for free or or losing money on them and so that was one of the big steps we also had to get rid of toxic employees. He's <hes> or or even contractors. In our case the massage therapist <hes> are self-employed contractors <hes> but little warning about therapists by the the only difference between the rapist and a therapist is a space to think about it okay back to you reminds me sean connery on saturday night live right now okay so other changes. You've made this year. What other changes you made. Your was nonexistent on <hes> on our s._e._o. Zeo literally was is non-existent. You may have if you put my name in exactly spelled correctly. You might have found me on like twenty pages back got it but now you got all the content all the tags reviews so that all started from scratch and we now have <hes> like two hundred fifty seven reviews and we're climbing <hes> the google search engine each day. I was doing a search for you. Was it yesterday and i think you were over to fifty and he pulled up real quick mhm to fifty seven hundred fifty seven google reviews and so are you are you having people are finding you online now. Yes and that's that's a nice new thing. You know people come in and like hey. Hey i saw you reviews. Are you having ten percent more than last year twenty percent. What are you up <hes>. We're we're up so if fluctuates a little bit but but i mean literally from i'm like a year and a half ago to now. We're up double double now. Have you have you have you changed or improved your sales scripting acting or your sales processes and we have yeah we vary <hes> intensely went over a lot of <hes> scripting and things <hes> but then also we do <hes> we do have have a no brainer offer yeah and so the conversion aspect of that to go from hey this is all free to i expect you to pay me at some point. <hes> getting in a better conversion script for me to work from <hes> has also been very helpful and then you from an h._r. Perspective hiring people <hes>. I'm not going to put words in your mouth but most people most clients we've worked with most doctors worked with before business owners before they come into our program have a hard time finding good people <hes> and then after they're in the program ram. That's usually not a problem anymore right. Is that the case with you or you gonna finding people or have you changed your recruitment process just before starting working with tim <hes> we had to we had some change up in some you know some people left on their own accord and got we're about to have that conversation anyway so it worked out <hes> nice timing <hes> but <hes> yes we've brought on some great people <hes> in the last year and <hes> and now we're operating from a totally different way of thinking what about that with not being held captive and a hostage in my own office and how do you feel now i mean how do you and your wife does. Does it feel better. Do you feel have more pride about the business. Now that you're more profitable difference in her is to really yeah. I've been a doctor for the last fifteen years but <hes> you know to be a successful doctors kind of a little better like tangible action steps like give me a task to do today that i can. I can put my hands to work. Y'all doing that but i mean i i had to borrow money from family members that <hes> big shot to your dad i o u <hes> but <hes> yeah i mean it was tough on my wife. She's a schoolteacher and we were. We were living paycheck to paycheck every month. <hes> trying to rob peter to pay paul all got it and not fun not fun at all and your doctor your tractor yes embarrasses. My name is elizabeth walker. I'm from tulsa oklahoma. I own a business nook and cranny home keeping l._l._c. I heard about the drive time conference on the radio show. I was looking to learn pretty much anything. There is to learn learn about business. I'm a new business owner less than a year so i really needed to know everything about everything i have learned how to implement systems from hiring sue the actual day-to-day systems and the company. I liked that the workshop gave tangible systems systems but it was very entertaining and interacting plays presentation style was energetic. It was exciting. It gave me hope that there's actually a lot of success still to me none of my business but the atmosphere was energizing and figuring nothing boring about it was absolutely exciting while we're not sitting in chairs grouped gift altogether and huddled looking at powerpoint so whole time we were in a nice comfortable area we she had plenty to drink. We get up and move around if we needed to. We could interact with each other. People are missing out on concrete examples walls of how to run their day to day business very simple things and maybe that's the biggest thing i've learned inside. This can be simple and i think that's what they're missing out on. <hes> it's the smartest thing you could ever do. <hes> you know but i always warn people before more i i. I've actually sent people over but you have to sell out you have to believe and and when you do you will see amazing things that it it's it's it's been a game changer really has and i recommend it everybody. I mean everybody needs it. I don't care i mean there needs to be a a- an employee coach to be honest with you <hes> so i it's it's an amazing journey. I'm gonna let you have the final word on this but i will just say we have a coach's meeting every single day with all the business coaches and that coaches meeting starts typically at six a._m. On tuesday wednesday and thursday every every tuesday wednesday late thursday at six a._m. And on mondays it's at seventy trend the purpose of that kevin is to have winds of the week to we start off the meeting eating by sharing wins and he would eat client that had a big win. We want to share in their success. The second is if a client is stuck or they're unable to execute or get something done we want to as a team as a family as a coaching program to discuss where the client stuck and figure out the best plan to help them get unstuck and that's twi and each each of those meetings and i also helped make all the paths for all the clients and eric has had nothing but great things to say about. You and i hope i want to ask you this before. Tehrik the final word. Is your wife a fan of eric. I mean is your wife happier. Now i mean is he really making your wife crazy now. How are how are things going. Now is is your wife a fan dan of the coaching program she. She's a one hundred percent fan on coaching program. <hes> actually worked in the coaching program for about a week until i fired her <hes>. I learned real quick. That's just we're gonna keep a church and state separated. Eh well so you. It's real it's real we're keeping the church and the families separated and so with that but is she happy overall like me by one one percent or oh no. I'd say <hes> i'd say at least fifty percent. Yes yes miss lewis me with no of course no no yeah yeah yeah yeah. He's an <hes> <hes> gino. It's just simple things you know. I'm able to <hes> as she puts. It communicate better now because i'm not thinking about this other stuff and you know i it. It's it's good stuff. Chop you have the final word my friend give us. A capstone thought about coaching kevin lewis and what that experience has been like for you and what makes kevin so awesome. Kevin is a prototype pro-child wherever you poster child for stoicism so he's a guy who will come in and say give me a big win man. What's going on this week this last week for u._s._a. Landed a two point two million dollar job and i'm like yeah and he's like just another day and then they'll come in and say i got a competitor the out of state trying to come in and steal my people or whatever and just another day so i don't have to worry about. Hey we get lost in the weeds and the coaches meetings. It's all action on hey. What do we need to do here some meetings as we call up and he's like hey man. I'm rock and roll in you good. You need anything from me. No you good yet. We're gonna go some meetings. We get into some weeds about expanding meetings. Where kevin has had an the employees. You had a competitor. Try to steal your employees. All kinds of stuff yeah in. I do too every week right. Kevin is not a burning fire every week. Oh every week kevin stoic so he's able to push through right. The lows are not low. The highs are not too high even keel and so it's very easy to focused based on those key performance indicators and actually just like he said earlier make sure the business is going in the right direction and when the business is going in the right direction and you're accomplishing your own goals with your family. It's a fun fun time so we have a good time when we meet and we just make sure that things are happening the way they need to happen kevin pretty out there who's listening in green country that wants to have a roof put on their commercial building or or their residential property. How can they get a hold of you. What's your what's your website and really why should people call you what it's <hes> luis dot com and if they want a company that's going to be honest and do a good job and <hes> we're the company to call <hes> we put her. I put my family name on the business. I hind slum fake name. We are one hundred percent the real deal not a bunch of sales guys trying to sell a bunch of stuff. We are a roofing company. Do that's all we do is roofing and tribe nation. I've i've worked with a lot of roofing companies who've done a thirteen point assessment with them and it is rare to find a roofing company that we would even approve to coach. I want you to do this. We go through the assessment and probably eighty percent of the time. We say it was not a good fit. Kevin's evans is a great guy grinder. He stands behind his program. He puts his name on the website on the business on the marketing trucks on everything. Check him out today. That's louis roofing louis roofing dot com and kevin. I appreciate you taking time out of your day away from your family and your business to share your story here on the podcast cast and radio show hope. You have an awesome day my friend all right. Thank you awesome day to take care. What's up thrive nation here here with roy oy. We have a little bit of news for you guys. It's a now what may thirty first and twenty one. You've been close for twenty minutes right now june's. Let's run the numbers for mehlis code. One to eight thirty seven was last year to date one or two eight thirty seven this year. Last year was sixty thousand six sixty so well. I'll the ways of the put. The number of new customers that we've had is up four hundred eleven in percent over last year we are jared jennifer johnson we own platinum pest inland and are located in also oklahoma and we have been working with thrive for business this cutting for almost a year now so what we wanted just wanna share some wins with you guys <hes> that by working with dr <hes> first of all. I'm world top page of google now. Okay okay <hes>. I just want to let you know what type accomplishment. This is our competition organ term annex. They're both one point three billion dollar companies. They both have two to three thousand pages does the content. I'm attached our website sort of basically go from virtually nonexistent on google up on the top page is really saying something but let's come by being diligent into the systems that the threat has be by being consistent and diligent on do a podcast and stay on top of those podcasts really help we've enough on with listening ranking there with google and also we've been trying to get google reviews asking our customers for reviews and now we're the the highest rated and most reviewed pets company in the tulsa area and that's really helped with our conversion rate and the number of new customers that we've had is up four hundred eleven percent over last year three million. How much are we up four hundred and eleven percent so four hundred and eleven percent were up with with our new cosmo confusing right so not only do we have more customers calling in able to close those deals at a much higher rate than we were before right now are closing great is about eighty five percent and that's largely due to a for salt lake or google reviews that we've gotten people really see that our customers are happy but also we have a script that we follow and so on customers call in. They get all the information that they need. That script has been refined time and time again. It wasn't a one and done deal we it it was a system that we that we followed with thriving in the refining process and that has obviously on the four hundred eleven percent shows that that that system works so here's a big one for you so last week alone are booking percentage was ninety one percent. Well actually booked more deals morning customers last year than we did the first five months minds or i'm sorry the for more deals last week that we did the first five months of last year from before we worked with right so again we both more deals last week in in the first five months of last year that's incredible but the reason why we have that success by implementing the systems that thrive is taught us and helped us out with some of those systems that we've implemented our group interviews that way. We've really been able to come up with a really great team. <hes> we've created an implemented checklists. Everything gets done and it gets done right. We it creates. Accountability rails make sure that everything gets done properly a bolt out in the field and also in our office and also doing the podcast jared had mentioned that has really really contributed to our success but that mike is the diligence jason and consistency and doing those in that system has really really been a blessing in our lives and also an you know. It's really shown that we've gotten a success front following the systems so before working with rive. We're basically stuck really no new growth <hes> with our with our business <hes> we're. We're in a rut and we know the last three years our customer base. It pretty much stayed the same. We weren't shrinking but we weren't really growing either so we we're really know where to go what to do. I had to get out this rumour in <hes> but dry helped us with that. You know that they implement those systems that they cost systems. They taught us the knowledge that we needed in order order to succeed now. It's been a grind absolutely it's been a grind this last year <hes> but we're in those fruits <hes> front from that hard work and diligent effort bet that we're able to put into them out so again again we were in riot bribed helped us get out of that right <hes> and <hes> and if you're thinking about i'm working with right quick thinking about and just do it now do the action and and you'll get the results we'll take our work and discipline <hes> but but <hes> but that's what it's gonna taken order to in order to succeed so i would just want to give a big shout out to thrive a big. Thank you out. It wouldn't be where we were now without l. thrive nation. This is your day your time your opportunity to create the life life that you want. You can decide to thrive you. Don't have to just survive book your tickets today to attend our next in-person thrive time show the workshop simply by going to thrive time show dot com to thrive time show dot com and click on the conference's button and find the date that works out best for you every two months we do an in person thrive time show workshop money's klay clark like two in each and every show with a boot because i do too the.