Sharp Skills

Set Up, Organize Up, Show up, Follow Up

What has to occur for things to be accomplished? Think about a medical operation. If someone is going to have an operation, a number of things have to occur for that operation to happen. People have to take the time to make that surgery happen. Administrators need to pick a time, a date, and a hospital. The patient and clinic need to first work together to plan the surgery.

Next comes organization – the patient is going to be there at 10 o’clock, the operating room has to be prepared, the right doctor has to be there, the right staff needs to be there, the right equipment needs to be prepared and in the correct place. Next, people have to show up. The most important person that has to be there is the surgeon. The patient needs to be there, too, as well as the nurses and other supporting staff. Then, the surgery itself happens. After the operation is completed, there is the follow up. The patient goes into the recovery room for a period of time. Then, they take certain steps, do exercises, eat good foods, and follow the doctor’s orders so that they can make a full recovery.

The question that needs to be answered before any of this can be accomplished is: who is going to do what? Who is going to complete each task? If you look at the most successful people in the world, you will discover that they all fall into one of these four categories.

The 1st category is the set up. Somebody has to set everything up. Whether it be a business meeting, teaching a class, participating in an athletic event, or performing surgery, it takes a lot of work behind the scenes to lead up to an event or experience to happen.

The 2nd category is organization. Again it takes a great deal of work mostly done behind the scenes to ensure the event and experience takes placed as planned.

The 3rd category is the show-up people. These are the specialists. The surgeon who shows up to the hospital before the surgery, prepares for the surgery, and then performs it. The financial advisor, who shows up for the meeting, guides and educates his client. The athlete who steps foot in the arena, and then competes. These are the “performers” and without them the event or experience does not take place. These are the ones that the entire operation is built around and rightfully so. They are also the ones that usually get paid the most and the ones that are in the spotlight.

The 4th and final category is the follow up. Once the event or experience ends, a host of activities need to occur to wind down the event and to begin making and preparing the next steps for future opportunities.

When Frank Sinatra was performing, his job was to sing because he was the performer. Frank wasn’t selling tickets. He wasn’t moving the piano into the orchestra hall. He wasn’t showing people to their seats. There was an entire crew of people doing that for him. They all had assigned jobs in one of the previous 4 categories. All of these people working together -including Frank Sinatra – made his shows successful.

The most successful people build models by recognizing that their job is to show up and to repeat that job over and over again. Next, they recognize that they need to build an environment and an infrastructure and organize the people around them to make sure that they are always in a place where they can succeed.

A pilot’s job is to fly the plane. You’re not going to see a pilot checking in luggage because that’s not a good use of his or her time. You’re not going to see a surgeon scrubbing down the operating room after an operation. That’s not a good use of his or her time. You’re not going to see Frank Sinatra breaking down the orchestra hall and loading the equipment into the truck to haul to the next concert. You’re not going to see a financial advisor spend 20 minutes going through forms with a client after the meeting. You’re not going to see a dentist taking x-rays. For all of these examples, all 4 steps need to be done – people from all 4 categories need to do their jobs.

Prosperous people know what their job is. They show up and do their job and only their job. They focus on their specialties. That ties back to what we covered a few chapters ago -learning a lot about a little and doing a lot of it. In short, devote 10 hours a day to your profession and do things that align with your skill set or passion.

Let’s say you want to start a business. At first, you are going to have to do a lot of things yourself, but in order for your business to grow and become fruitful, you will have to hire enough people and divide the work up among your employees. Then, you will be able to give your employees smaller tasks so that you can concentrate on larger tasks that will help get the business off the ground. You have to learn what activities generate the highest revenue, and then focus on those activities. You have to divest your business, divest your opportunities, and pay people to do it. This is a leap of faith, of course, but once you do it, you feel liberated because you have more time to do things that will generate more revenue and grow the business.

When it comes to hiring help, sooner is better. In my world, I encounter so many advisors who struggle with hiring a support person. They need the help because they spend too much time filling out paperwork when they could be prospecting, acquiring new clients, or meeting with new clients. However, they don’t want to pay someone $15 an hour. After some guidance and encouragement from me, they finally hire that full-time support person. A year later, these advisors typically say, “I wish I hadn’t waited as long as I did. What a priceless investment.”

It is all about leaps of faith. There are times when you just have to take a leap of faith if you really believe in yourself and what you want to accomplish. You need to prioritize your time.

In our firm, we have financial advisors who are 6 months into their career and they are hiring staff. They might go out and hire an intern for 10 hours a week. They make the investment to pay that intern $10 an hour. So that’s $100 a week and $400 a month that this advisor pays their intern, but they have created an extra week for themselves because they have freed up 40 hours. If you have 40 extra hours to be productive in your revenue generating activities, I think the return of $400 is going to be a lot better when you get your money back. That is 40 extra hours of introducing your services to new people.