Episode 106 – Why Would You Do That

Episode 106 – Why Would You Do That

By mick | July 7, 2022

Episode 106 – Why Would You Do That |

Good morning, and how art though this morning? This is episode 106.

And what we're talking about in this here episode is what the bloody hell are you doing this for?

Why are you doing this? Running a business is hard. Quite often there's little free time.

There's constant money stress. Sounding good so far, isn't it? There's a ton of responsibility, if you've got looking after clients, looking after team members, all of that sort of stuff.

There's a heap of sacrifice, et cetera, et cetera. I could go on and on and I will, later on. The thing is you can have a whole lot more free time. You can get rid of the money stress.

You can be in a place where there is no more money pressure, but one thing needs to change. And that's what we're gonna be unpacking in this episode.

Also, Katie is going to be sharing her ideas on this as well.

No Steph today, but Katie's definitely with us. So what have you got for us today, Katie?

Katie: Today, I'm gonna talk about why running a building business is bloody hard and what I do with my clients to make it much, much easier, check it out.

Mick: Looking forward to hearing from Katie's perspective, because one of the things that I know for sure and certain is that money stress, which is what Katie specializes in is eliminating that and making your business profitable, money stress makes everything else worse, like it just amplifies the consequences and the emotions around every other bloody problem that you've got in life and in business.

Get rid of the money stress, one, a lot of these other problems seem to either disappear or at least the emotion around them seems to lessen somewhat.

Now, if this is your first Builders Business Success Podcast, what you may know or what you may not know is the Builders Business Success Podcast is a construction business podcast or a building business podcast.

And I would love to be your construction business coach or your builders coach. And one of the things that I always say at the start and I didn't prepare it earlier this time, it was back on a shelf, is grab yourself a copy of this here book.

Even though I wrote it, I still think it's really, really good. There's a lot of good stuff in it. And I must admit, none of them are my ideas.

Like I haven't had an original idea ever. And this is just gathering information over the last three-plus decades and putting it into a system, a process that really works exceptionally well with a building business or a trade-based business.

So grab yourself a copy of that. Here is a QR code that you can scan. A bit difficult if you're watching this on your phone, but if you're watching it on a computer, you can go and take a photo of that, scan it, and it'll take it to the place where you can grab a copy of it.

The New Book!

There will be a link in the description if you're watching the replay, but if you're watching this live and we do have some people watching us live, there's a link in the chat that you can go click on, and that will take it away and get yourself a copy.

We've got Shannon. Talking about books, Shannon is a budding author. So I've got some good news for you, Shannon. I had a conversation with somebody this morning and I'm looking forward to sharing that information with you. We've got Mick Church is with us. He's been away.

He's gonna be away again next weekend, I believe sailing in the Paper Tiger Nationals. We'll see how he goes there. But Mike Church, Mick Church is the most sought after plumber in the Channel region. He loves being promoted that way. Tim is also here. Tim's a new face on the scene in the ToolShed and he's joined us in Blueprint I believe. So looking forward to meeting Tim. Welcome to the podcast.

Transcription of the show!

So what are the common problems I hear all of the time? 'Cause I do get to talk to lots of builders, not just the ones in BBB, in Builders Business Blackbelt or the Blueprint program, although we talk to them regularly. We talk to the Blackbelt mob every day, pretty much, and Blueprint once a week.

So there's lots of conversations, but I also talk to builders that aren't in any of those groups and other trade-based businesses that aren't in any of those groups and there are some very, very common issues.

And before I get started too much, if you guys who are watching us live, jump into the chat at any stage and let us know if you've got any questions, any comments, any contributions to what we're talking about, really appreciate it.

So the common problems I hear is, "Busy," like "there's just no time." That is a very, very common one. Absolutely flat out, "Don't have time for this. Don't have time for that." Something else that is disturbing yet far too common is the amount of trades-based businesses, building businesses that have a tax debt.

Now that just shouldn't ever, ever, ever happen and there are ways to fix it and avoid it in the future. Another common problem is or a common comment is "I haven't had a holiday in a long time."

And if they have had a holiday, like some builders have hot regular holidays, it might be at Christmas time or maybe take a week here and there and school holidays or whatever, but when we start to get into the experience of the holiday, they're constantly thinking about what's happening back at the ranch.

So very rarely do you get that constant or consistent worry-free time where you're away and you just don't need to worry about anything and you can just switch off and really, really enjoy it.

And of course the big one is cash flow problems. Now, in this episode, you might wonder why I just spent a whole lot of time outlining those problems 'cause I'm not gonna address any of them.

I'm gonna address something that I think is much bigger that will have an impact on all of those things. But when I say I'm not gonna address those things, I believe Katie is going to at least address the whole profit scenario.

And as I mentioned at the top of the show, man, if you can get a handle on that one and make that one go away, if you can get that money stress one to go away, lots of other problems just disappear or the intensity of the other problems in other areas of business and life at least reduce in their intensity.

So I'm looking forward to this. Let's hear what Katie's got to say about this whole thing about money stress, and profit in a trades-based business.

Katie: My name's Katie Crismale-Marshall. I'm the author of "Profit First for Tradies," the founder of Profit First for Tradies and the founder of Efficient Tradie Bookkeeping. I specialize in working with trades businesses and builders to become permanently profitable.

Now, becoming permanently profitable in your business is absolutely possible, even though you're probably sitting there thinking, yeah, right. Let me tell you about how I achieved that when I work with my clients.

So firstly, business is tough. I'm not saying that it isn't, but the reason why we went into business was probably something along the lines of, we didn't wanna work for somebody else or we wanted the flexibility.

We wanted to be able to take holidays or spend time with family. There were things that we wanted that being an employee couldn't give us. What I find happens is though, we get into business a few years and all of those things that we had gone into business because of are not there.

Does that mean that we need to close our business down and go work for somebody? In some instances, yes, that's the best option, but for most of us, if you're like me, I could never go work for somebody else again.

I love the flexibility that my business gives me and I take that flexibility with all the ups and downs, the good and the bad, but what I've done over the course of the last 10 years in business now is worked on my business.

So I run my business, my business doesn't run me. And that's the biggest problem that I see in building businesses, trades-based businesses, is the business is running you. The business is telling you when you can take a wage, when you can make a profit, when you can have a holiday and we wanna turn that around.

And what I'm gonna do is tell you three tips today that will help get you started on making sure that you can run the business profitably and stop having the business run you.

So the first thing that you need to do is you need to know your numbers. Now, I know you are an amazing trade, whatever that is that you have, and you're exceptional at that. Otherwise you couldn't be in business.

But the problem I see is most people either ignore or hand off their financials to somebody else and don't get involved. Now, I'm not saying that you need to be involved in the day-to-day bookkeeping of your business, absolutely not.

But what I am saying is that you need to have an understanding of what your numbers are telling you, because your numbers will tell you the story of your business and numbers do not lie.

So the first thing I want you to do is make sure that your bookkeeping process, your bookkeeper, whether that's an internal bookkeeper or an external bookkeeper, make sure that that bookkeeping process is as easy and simple and as efficient as possible. Now you're probably thinking, how the hell do I know that?

The easiest thing for you to do is write a list of all the things that bother you when it comes to the bookkeeping.

So whether it is that you don't really know where you're at, or you're not sure when the information is going to get to you, or you're not sure if you're up to date, whatever it may be, it will be very different for everybody.

You might have two things on that list, you might have 22 things on that list, but write a list of all the things that are annoying about your bookkeeping. And then that is your list to go to your bookkeeper and say, Hey, these things are not quite working for me.

What can we do together to improve on those? And that is absolutely gonna help you know where to start and give you bookkeeper an idea of what's not working for you, because often they're doing their job a particular way and they don't even realize that it's not working for you.

So write the list, have a chat to bookkeeper. The second thing that I want you to do is make sure that you schedule time in your calendar when you sit down and look at the numbers of your business.

Now, if you're like me, and looking at a profit and loss and a balance sheet is one of the most boring things that you can do.

Now, I've worked in finance and in numbers all my life and I find those reports not very exciting, which is why I love Profit First so much because I can look at my bank accounts and know specifically, I've got X amount of dollars in each of the different bank accounts for each different purpose.

How much do I owe for my beds? How much do I owe for my expenses? And I can quickly see, I've got 10,000 in my bank account for my operating expenses but I've got $12,000 worth of bills here, shit, I need to do something.

And then that's your indicator to take the next step and work on the business, not just waiting until the bank accounts run dry, and then you've still got bills left over.

No, listen to what your business is telling you, and then take the steps to improve that. Now you may not be the person who is actually doing the steps to improve it, but you need to be the one who is identifying what's not working. You may do that alongside of your bookkeeper.

You may do that alongside your Profit First coach, which is what I do with a lot of clients. You don't have to do it all yourself because I'm sure when you went into business, you didn't go into business to be sitting down and looking at the numbers all the time.

So again, we wanna make this process as simple and efficient as possible.

And the third thing I want you to do after you've reviewed your bookkeeping, you've gone through and scheduled some time and you've started to have a look at your numbers every week, the third thing I want you to do is start thinking about your goals of your business.

Now, for many of you, you might have had thought about your goals when you started business.

What I find is lots of people never review them and they just get very vague and old and useless. And what I want you to do is sit down and work out what your goals are of your business. So a bit of a recalibration of your business. Why am I in business? What do I want out of the business? Do I want to work four days a week?

Do I want to have 12 weeks holidays? Do I want to turn over $2 million? Do I want to have a team of 20? Do I wanna have a team of two? What do you want your business to look like? And I want you to just start jotting down on a piece of paper or in a document, whatever works best for you.

I want you to have a look at what you actually want out of your business, because we really need to remember what we want to sometimes remind us why the hell we went into business because business can be tough, but it doesn't have to be.

Now, if this is something you would like to chat further about, please feel free to reach out to me. I'm happy to have a conversation with you and share my checklists and my resources with you to make this easier.

Mick: I encourage you to do that because everything she said there just so resonated with how I think about things.

One of the things that she talks about is knowing your numbers and it's like this dashboard.

And then the last things that she spoke about is the goals for your business. And that's what I wanna expand about in today's episode, is not even just the goals for the business that she was talking about, like, what does your business want to look like? And that is so important.

Don't get me wrong, we will talk about that as well, how this all comes together, but we need to be looking even past the business.

That's going to be the real key to this. And if you are looking at your numbers, which very, very few small business owners do, the questions that cannot be answered in so many of our conversations is "What is your net profit percentage of your turnover?" Some people don't even know what their turnover is.

People do not know the figure that it costs them to keep the doors open for one day.

They don't know those sorts of bits of information. You need to know those numbers, but then to do something with those numbers, you need to have an objective.

And when we ask a builder, "What do you want financially from your business? What are the financial goals for your business?" they talk about being able to pay the bills and that the answer is some sort of conceptual thing.

That's not the right bloody answer. The right answer is a figure. I want this figure for myself. It's not about turnover. It's about how much you get to keep. I remember talking to a guy somewhere over in, oh, no, it was in Sydney.

There was another conversation, a fellow in Western Australia, but in Sydney and it was a business of, believe it or not, a boutique-building business, but it was turning over 20 million a year.

And the guy was barely making a wage, massively stressed. And it was just another example that turnover doesn't matter.

That shouldn't be the thing that you're completely focused on, building up turnover.

You hear it so many times, that the builders say, "To get this amount of profit, I'm going to need to increase my turnover." Almost every time that happens, when turnover increases, profit goes down.

But getting back to what Katie was saying, yes, you need to know what your numbers are, but you need to know what they are in relation into what you're trying to achieve.

There's no point just seeing what's in the bank account, and so on and so forth.

You've got to have an objective, and what makes all of this stuff easier. And earlier on in this episode, I was talking about what are the common things I hear, such as, "Busy, no time, tax debt, no holidays.

Can't stop thinking about it when you're on holidays, cash flow problems," all that sort of stuff.

And I said I wasn't going to talk about any of that, but even though we're not gonna talk about those things in particular, particular, particular, there is something that makes fixing all of those things easier. And that is a purpose, a reason.

And I'm gonna unpack that in a little bit, but the reason why a reason or a purpose or a cause is so important to help you build the business that you want is because we have this amazing thing in our brains, that there is a part of your brain called the reticular activating system and it's kinda like a periscope on a submarine.

I dunno whether that's a good analogy or not, but it's what I'm going with. But there's lots of things going on in the world and when you're looking through a periscope, you can't see everything that's going on in the world.

You just see what you're focusing the periscope on. And we all have this reticular activating system. It is one of the most powerful goal-achieving mechanisms that we have at our disposal and very few people use it effectively.

It's just sitting there wasting its time getting information about crap, stuff that really isn't important or even getting focused on stuff that we don't want. That's the saying, "Whatever you focus on, you get. Whatever you think about mostly you get," because of this reticular activating system.

So an example of that might be, if you like a certain car and you've just bought a certain model of car, all of a sudden you see a whole lot more of them on the road after you've bought one.

 Now the situation is that, that you might be an influencer.

You might think you're an influencer and a trendsetter and everyone else found that you got one of those cars.

So they went and bought one too, 'cause I wanted to be just like you, highly unlikely. All it is is the reticular activating system starting to allow you to notice things that you have told your reticular activating system that you're interested in.

So it gives you the evidence. The reason we have this reticular activating system is because there is so much going on, we can't take notice of everything. If we took notice of everything, our brains would explode.

So the reticular activating system's job is to focus us in on the things that we're interested in. Now, it can be used for good, but it also can be used for evil. And most people I find use it for a bit of evil.

And what I mean by that is that they think about their limitations or they focus on things that they can't have, or there's a lack of this, or a scarcity of that. And so the reticular activating system's job is, right, let's focus in on what we've been told to find.

If your belief is that all of your customers are price-driven, what your reticular activating system will do is focus in on the evidence that will support that belief and it's this self-fulfilling prophecy. See, I told you.

There's another example. There's another example. There's another example. What if we focused it on something that we wanted? Now, it starts to be powerful.

So we're talking about all of these things that we want. And you can start off by focusing on the things that you want personally, it's not selfish.

We had a fantastic couple of days up on the Gold Coast the week before last. And one of the conversations that we had as a group that there was somebody in the group that was pretty upset that their goals were selfish.

It was about how much money they wanted to earn and how much time they wanted to have for themselves.

And some other people in the group were talking about building a $1 million home and giving it away to somebody worthy or working with foster kids. There was some amazing shit being talked about, unpacked, and is becoming reality as we speak on this podcast.

And so somebody, they felt bad that their goals were focused on themselves rather than focused out there and helping other people. And what we all discovered is this is a process. This is a process, and you've gotta look after you first.

So initially your goals will be focused on yourself and they should be because you've gotta look after yourself first. We talked about this in previous episodes. You've gotta put your own oxygen mask on first.

You've gotta look after yourself mentally. You've gotta look after yourself emotionally. You've gotta look after yourself financially. You've gotta look after yourself physically. You've gotta look after yourself.

Otherwise you have no use to anybody else. In fact, you start to be a drain on other people. Like if you're constantly whinging and moaning about stuff because you're just negative about everything, that drags the energy out of the people around you. You're not helping anybody.

If you're sick all of the time, you're not helping anybody. You become an impost on your family members and your loved ones if you're constantly ill. You gotta look after yourself first.

So there is nothing wrong with this at all. It is just part of the process. So you need to build your business around looking after you first, because you cannot look after anybody else and everybody else in any way, if you aren't looking after you. So that's what we discovered in our intensive.

I just noticed that Hugh has joined us and Matt is here as well, so good day.

When you then are looking after yourself, when you have eased the financial tension on yourself, when you have eased the time tension on yourself, when you've got more free time, when you're not under pressure time-wise or financially, now you can start to work on putting things out there that will look after other people and giving back, which is incredibly fulfilling. It is absolutely amazing.

And having your own business is the best platform possible to be able to build that time, freedom, and that financial freedom to be able to help others.

So of course you can set goals to overcome all of these things we talked about, about being busy, about having a tax debt, and not having time for holidays and having cash flow problems.

You can set goals for those, but what makes more sense and what will help you in the future is having a bigger goal. And if you haven't got that big goal yet, don't worry about that.

It will come to you once you start to set goals to overcome the initial problems that you've got, but we need to have something bigger at some stage. When you start to look after yourself, you must have that bigger purpose.

And the thing is the goals that we're talking about, to become less busy, so have more time, freedom, to get rid of the financial pressure, which is debt and cash flow, tax debt, other debt, cash flow problems, not having the time to relax on a holiday, all of those sorts of things, the secret to creating goals that we're finding in Blackbelt particularly is it's really hard to do on your own.

It's so hard to sit there with your sheet of paper and work out what's going on.

What makes it so much easier is discussing it in a like-minded group.

Now, you're in one. You are in the ToolShed. There's a bunch of people listening right now that are in Blackbelt or Blueprint. But if you're not in either of those, you are in the ToolShed and you can put posts up. You can pose questions. You can put your own polls up. You can even create your own events in the ToolShed, if you wanted to.

You could get people together and start having a round table conversation about everybody's goals and start to contribute. We do that all the time in Blackbelt.

We did it a couple of times in this last intensive. And some of the goals that people were unpacking were just huge.

But what we found is when you discuss it with like-minded people and start to unpack what needs to be done and what's in the way and what the issues are and hurdles and what have you, the collective focus on this with a small group can be so powerful that you will see your way clear to be able to accomplish this in a fraction of the time that you initially thought.

And often it went from not possible, to possible, to probable, to I'm gonna be able to get this done in a few weeks. Like it is amazing when you start to discuss this stuff.

So I'm challenging you in the ToolShed, and particularly the people in BR Blueprint and Blackbelt to begin to discuss your goals, your causes, your objectives, your purposes in the ToolShed to get more experience, more eyes, more ideas onto your objective, but also to inspire others to do the same, because it's gonna make a powerful, powerful environment when we can be comfortable and confident talking about these sorts of things.

And just before we bug out of this, I want to just quickly unpack the difference between a goal and a just cause. A goal has an end and a just cause doesn't. It can be a massive big goal.

In Simon Sinek's book, "The Infinite Game," he talks about the moonshot versus a just cause. And the moonshot is, it was a massive goal when the President of the United States says, "We will be on the moon in this decade," blah, blah, blah, and they were, but then they accomplished it.

They went there and it was done. Thank you very much. Now what? And we've gotta have goals, but what is even better is having a just cause. And that is something that's really going to be left…

 It's going to be around long after you have gone and people will be contributing to that cause long after you have gone, but you can have goals that focus you on things that can allow you to contribute to your cause.

So having both is absolutely fantastic. And I would recommend reading "The Infinite Game." It's a fantastic book and it will shift your thinking on what your business really is.

And one of the things that I would love for you to get by reading this book is understanding that what game you're in.

Are you in a finite game that has a score and a win and loss? Because you'll hear people talking about that, when it comes to business, they won the job and all of this sort of stuff. Whereas when you're part of an infinite game, your purpose every day is to contribute to your cause, your purpose.

And what that means is every day you get to feel fulfilled if you're playing a different game.

The bottom line is, you'll know this when you read the book, that business is not a finite game, it's an infinite game.

And the beauty of an infinite game is, as I said, you can feel fulfillment every single day. You can feel good because you contributed every single day.

But if you're paying a finite game or thinking that you're playing a finite game when you're actually in an infinite game, which you are, you'll get into this win/lose stuff, and sometimes you'll win, but often you'll lose and you don't need to experience that. You don't need to have that win/lose mentality with your business.

It can all be about contribution. And when you get clear on your goals, look after yourself first, and then start to think, how can I start to support others? You will understand what I mean, that every single day, you'll be able to have that fulfillment.

So if you wanna talk about any of this sort of stuff, you wanna get into a conversation, as I said, you can put some posts in there.

You can reach out to me in the chat. You can go to this place here, where it says, Get Personal Help in The Builders ToolShed.

That'll just take you to a form so we can learn a little bit about you, and then we get in a conversation and we can find out where you are and what you're struggling with, or figure out how we can help you, point you towards resources that are gonna help you with those initial goals, to look after yourself, and then perhaps move on to some of these bigger just-cause focuses.

So to wrap this up, I have a question for you, and I want you to put it in the comments section if you're watching the replay here.
If you're watching it live, I'd love for you to put this in a post in the ToolShed.

Just jump into the ToolShed and tell us your thoughts: what is the main thing that always seems to get in the way of having the business you want?

What is the main thing that always gets in the way or seems to get in the way of having the business that you want? I want you to put that in the comments section if you're watching the replay.

If you're watching this live, I want you just to jump into the ToolShed and answer that question: what's the main thing that always seems to get in the way of having the business that you want?

So I hope this got you thinking. I hope this started to get the brain box working a bit and how you can look at your business on a day-to-day basis a little differently.

In the chat, if you're watching live, there is a link in the chat that says Join The Builders ToolShed. I'd love you to copy that link and put it on your phone, put it on your computer, put it wherever you can store it.

And I want you to start to send that link out to other builders and other trades-based businesses, other subcontractors, what have you, to get them into this here, ToolShed, and start to join in these conversations because the more builders and the more subcontractors, potentially even suppliers that can hear this stuff and we can start to have conversations about the challenges in the building industry, the sooner we can fix it, and it needs fixing folks.

There is some pretty horrible things happening right now. I've said it before, but just in Victoria in the last bit over 12 months, over 350 builders have gone broke. There was another big one in Victoria went under the other day.

On the news I just saw flashing on one of those news ribbony things yesterday that four other building companies look like they're about to go under, bigger ones.

So we need to be doing something. This doesn't have to be like this, and you are the master of your own destiny.

So it's up to you to do this, but we need to start to get the word out and I need your help to do that.

So please grab that link and please start to invite people into this ToolShed so we can start to have these conversations and get into some chats with some people to give them some resources.

Hugh is saying, "Just saw an article saying almost 4,000 insolvencies in '21-'22." So I haven't seen that one, Hugh's seen that one, but like, wow, that's massive.

And I dunno whether that's just in the building industry or whether it's small business all over the country, but these problems are very, very common in all businesses. And if we can have conversations about it, we can fix them.

Just before we get out, I just wanna make a quick advertisement about a room that we've created in the ToolShed so anybody can go into this room and join in the conversations. And it is about conversations or Life in Construction conversations is what it's actually called.

And every Sunday evening, Scotty Carson, who's just an amazing human being creates a space for anyone and everyone who wants to talk about and unpack some of the challenges that they're having 'cause sometimes just being able to talk about it makes you feel significantly better.

It's not about coming up with solutions all the time. It's about creating a safe space to be able to talk about those things.

And I know in Builders Business Blackbelt, we're consistently having more and more of a commitment and a focus on looking after people's mental and emotional health because it's the foundation of success.

Until and unless you're right, your business never will be because you can't look after everybody else. That's what we've spoken about throughout this episode. And so we're creating spaces to help you.

So jump in there. It's in the Events. Just go to Events and find it. Life in Construction conversations, click it, RSVP to it. If you've got any things that you might wanna talk about, bang them in the comments and join in those conversations and start to talk about those things that maybe are a little bit hard to talk about.

But once you talk about 'em, bring 'em out into the open, and understand that you're not the only one, I think you'll feel a whole lot better about it and you'll be able to move forward.

So that is it for this episode of the Builders Business Success Podcast. Gone over time. Gee, you wouldn't read about that. I hope it was valuable. Love to hear your comments about it.

Please jump in the comments if you're watching the replay and tell us what is the main thing that always seems to get in the way of having the business that you want so it can get into conversations about helping you to get that business that you want.

So that's it. I'll talk to you again next week. Have a great week. I'm out, bye for now.