How To Do What You Want, When You Want: Build Teams
There's a way to achieve financial freedom. Here's the secret.
In today’s issue, I’m going to share with you how I’m able to golf multiple days per week while running five companies.
Now, I realize golf may not be your thing.
Insert whatever it is you love to do, that brings you joy and peace of mind.
Unlimited shopping with no budget? Gardening? Fishing on your very own boat
None of those things sound appealing to me.
In fact, as I just sat down to type this, my wife scolded me for watching the Cleveland Browns and Guardians play on Sunday instead of shopping for some new trendy clothes for our leadership conference this weekend. (I’ll literally do anything to not do that.)
I feel that as adults, we don’t play enough. When I was a kid, God did I love to play. It was all that I did, all day every day, and that’s when I was living my best life.
There are two and only two ingredients to figure out how to have the highly sought-after lifestyle of doing whatever you want, when you want, with who you want, with no budget constraints:
- People at work
- Money at work
We hit on #2 quite a bit in one of my previous newsletters, but that’s a long game. It takes quite a while to accumulate enough capital to produce enough passive cash flow so you can quit your job or remove yourself from day-to-day operations in your business and be financially free.
It’s not like building teams is easy, either. The great part about building teams is the people. The bad part about building teams, well, is the people.
But it’s a heck of a lot quicker path to the kind of lifestyle you crave.
Find a Great Business Partner
My friend and partner in self-storage, Shawn, is on the cusp of hitting a billion dollar company.
I texted him a couple weeks back and said, “Wow Shawn, that’s crazy to think you founded a billion dollar company. I can’t imagine that level of success. Amazing and inspiring! What would you say was your #1 key to this?”
His response: “Thanks man. Find great partners”.
Shawn’s words, although short and concise, drove the point home.
The first part of building an effective team is to find a great partner.
Didn’t the legend Dave Ramsey once say, “Partners are like sinking ships”?
I disagree 100%. There are many areas of life in which partnerships work, and many in which they don’t.
Marriage is the main partnership approach that many of us go with to live a happier life. And yes, certainly many do NOT work out. About 50% of them. But that’s not stopping humans from partnering together in life, is it?
Because 50% of them still do work out.
Personally, I’ve been single and I’ve been married, and although marriage can be difficult, it’s typically from my own stupid decisions or habits. Overall, I’m much happier married than not.
When I started my second company, High Return Real Estate, just prior to that I was doing pretty well in real estate. I made $300,000 my first year part-time, from my home office.
But I quickly realized that by working by myself, I was making 100%, yes, but of a small pie! It was going to be a long slog to grow the company, and I could work much better with a team and a mastermind alliance.
And that decision took me from okay to GREAT faster than ever.
Napoleon Hill, the author of the classic, “Think & Grow Rich,” says that this is one of the most important aspects of building large wealth.
Here’s what he has to say about teams:
Power is essential for success in the accumulation of money. Plans are inert and useless, without sufficient power to translate them into action. Power may be defined as “organized and intelligently directed knowledge”.
Power refers to organized effort, sufficient to enable an individual to transmute desire into its monetary equivalent.
He goes on to explain how critical a group of people working together is to build success. He calls it the Mastermind Principle, which is defined as, “Coordination of knowledge and effort, in a spirit of harmony between two or more people, for the attainment of a definite purpose”.
And here’s the kicker: “No individual will have great power without a properly chosen mastermind group”.
When I brought in my business partner, Shecky, who was at the time offering digital marketing consulting for my first business, my health and nutrition direct sales company, I knew that I’d be giving up 50% of the equity.But 50% of a much larger pie was better than 100% of the tiny miniscule one.
And more than that, I knew from previous success that when you put two or more minds working closely together through shared goals and a vision, that the chances for success didn’t go up twice as much.
They go up 10x.
What Makes A Partnership Work?
I believe the most critical part to a long-term mutually beneficial partnership is having shared values.
Our shared values are work ethic, persistence, honesty, integrity, and handling conflict by simply doing the right thing, just to name a few.
When adversity strikes (and strike it will!), your shared values will be what get you through.
When our company was at the end of just its first year, we had a major setback: Our partner supplier was doing some very shady things, including not rehabbing properties he was funded to do, and then even worse, he was paying out fake rents to our investors, thereby incentivizing them to buy more.
You see, C-class property is abundant with tenants that don’t pay their rent. If they do pay, often it’s not on time. Supplier dude would send rent checks on time, paid in full, on every property our clients owned, causing the returns to look much stronger than they actually were.
Once the rug was pulled out from under him and we got a good look behind the curtain, we were in for a tough slog. It was only together that we were able to stay in the fight, work through the challenges, and rectify the situation.
We worked extremely hard to make it right for our investors, including fronting money for rehabs, sourcing new contractors, sourcing new property management companies, and a long list of things we were not paid to do.
Now imagine what would happen if Shecky’s values were strictly profit-centric? We would have been pulling against each other, and ultimately we would have disbanded and dissolved our company. Not to mention, we also would have had to bear the losses individually.
But because our primary shared value was always doing the right thing, no matter what the cost, then we were able to stay united as a partnership, solve the problems, lose a bunch of money, but ultimately gain something much greater.
The internal satisfaction of knowing we did right by people still drives us to this day, and to know that we went above and beyond the call of duty has also helped us respect one another better.
And now, we are being blessed for our partnership working through difficulty, with our shared values intact. In the past four months, we’ve made over $400,000, and things are really looking up.
We are being rewarded for our unwavering commitment to our shared values.
Let me give you another example.
Last year, I started a new crypto mining operation with Adam, a tech genius. We both brought entirely different skill sets to the table. He’s a technical wizard, and I’m great at raising capital, sales, and decent at marketing, although there are days I question myself.
Partnerships are really strong when both bring different assets to the table that complement each other. Partnerships are even stronger with this, plus shared values.
When we launched the operation, we kept it small to start. We brought on 5 investors, and our projection had us plugging in our machines and mining bitcoin by February 2022. Well, that didn’t go to plan.
So many of the parts we needed were caught in the supply chain debacle brought on by China’s hyper restrictive COVID policy, and the backlog created by our world governments shutting down production to stop the spread.
What saved us? Again, Adam and my shared values.
We waived our management fee for life for our investors, because we were not able to deliver on expectations. Did we have to go to this extreme? No, but we both place our clients’ interests above our wallet’s.
We both believe that by doing the right thing, or even beyond the right thing, that we’ll build more goodwill, more trust, more confidence in us, and over the long haul, we’ll be vastly rewarded.
But mostly, we do good even without expecting to receive good.
How To Find The Right Partners
“Okay Jack, but how do I know whom to trust?”
I wish I could give you some magical answer or a step-by-step blueprint.
But I’m no magician, I’m afraid.
What I could do is give you some examples of how I’ve done it, and this may trigger some ideas for you.
My Partner In Life
My most important partnership, my wife, was actually an introduction from a friend of a friend. I was a year out of college, and we drove up to Michigan State University where Jason was interested in seeing one of his past girlfriends: My future wife, Kara.
After waiting in line at the popular bar for two hours, in the freezing cold with line cutters swarming like mosquitoes on a hot humid summer evening, we had a couple beers, then grew tired of the crowd and headed to solve the late night hangriness. I found myself eating super greasy pizza at 2 am with this beautiful, tan girl sitting across from me, laughing at my jokes. 22 years later, she’s still laughing at my pillow talk as we drift off to sleep.
My Partner In Health
I met Chris in the gym. He was in great shape, and I was looking for a trainer for a fitness challenge I was about to start.
My Partners At Work
I have 4 primary partners in my direct sales business. Lisa, my first partner, came in through a satisfied customer referral. One of my client’s, Ben, dropped one hundred pounds on my program, and people started noticing. It was a chain of 4 referrals that led to an introduction.
I met Rick originally at his home poker game he hosted monthly, which he somehow got lucky and kept knocking me out with inferior play. It was from there I invited him to join my BNI group (Business Network International), where local business owners work together to pass referrals.
I met Jena and Kyle through someone who was trying to sell me radio advertising. I asked her if she knew anyone young, fit, and hungry for success and more income.
Shawn, my partner in self-storage, I met in Cabo standing in the hotel check in line. We both forgot our passports, and while my wife and I missed our flight, he was a baller and got a private plane to bring his passport to him in Canada.
Adam, my bitcoin mining partner, I met when I hired him to build a database and website system to house our body transformation challenge program in my health and fitness business
Shecky, my real estate partner, as mentioned, was my digital marketing coach. He was looking for a big-ticket item to sell, so when I approached him to partner in real estate, it checked all the boxes on his whiteboard hanging in his office. He had created a vision for where he wanted to head next, and I came in with an offer that he couldn’t refuse.
What do all of these scenarios have in common?
Robert Kiyosaki said it best in his classic, “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” (should be required reading in school, in my opinion. Instead, we read the Grapes of Wrath):
“The wealthy build networks. Everyone else looks for work.”
Networking is building relationships.
And the key to building effective relationships? Be interested, not interesting.
Most people love to talk about themselves. It’s literally their favorite subject. People don’t really care what you know, until they know that you care about them. Being genuinely interested in what’s happening in other people’s lives is the key to building effective relationships.
I think your intentions are what’s most important.
Your goal with a partnership has to include your belief that by working with you, their life will be better. You’ve got to want in your heart for them to be blessed, to increase financially, to have success because they’re working with you.
If you’re thinking about how you’re going to benefit, and what’s best for you, then that will always rise up through your words and actions. You simply cannot hide what’s in your heart. It will always come to the surface.
“Whatsoever a man thinketh in his heart, so is he”, says James Allen in his “As a Man Thinketh”.
This is why anytime someone in my business brings in a new recruit, I always tell them that you don’t really know what that person is made of until about a year in. Their true colors will eventually come out. In the first few months, the excitement and “honeymoon” can cover things up.
If I’m focused on getting mine, on lack, on selfish pursuits, then my partners will inevitably pick up on that, and deep down they will know I care more about my own success than theirs.
If you want a truly successful long term sustainable partnership, you will have to put their goals and dreams as a top priority.
What Qualities Are You Looking For?
In online marketing, one of the keys to success that’s commonly trained is to develop your ideal customer qualities, what’s also called an Avatar.
An Avatar is a made up character that has the demographics and character traits that you desire to work with.
Back in 2010, boy was I stuck in my business. I was working extremely hard, but I wasn’t going anywhere. I wasn’t at all enjoying working with the team I had at that time, but all I was doing seemed to attract the same type of people over and over again. People who wouldn’t do what I instructed them to do, who lacked disciplines, who weren’t hungry to learn. They thought they knew it all.
One day at a leadership conference, my friend Heather made an off-handed comment that honestly changed my life. She said, “I don’t ever partner with anyone that I don’t want to be friends with.” When I pressed her why, she said, “I want to enjoy my business. I want my business partners to go shopping with me. I just want to love who I’m around all the time.”
That floored me, because that had not been my approach to team building. I was taking on anyone and everyone regardless of their qualities.
That was when my wife and I sat down and just started dreaming. We were dreaming about the kind of people we wanted to work with. We mapped out what these future business partners would be like. Once we came up with our list, we started putting it out there. I would imagine what it would be like to have partners that truly inspired me. To have people I could pour into and mentor that were teachable.
I started asking people if they could give me an introduction to this type of person:
Young, hungry for success, teachable, hard-working, self-starter, team player, sarcastic, competitive, and values physical fitness.
It wasn’t that long after that, not even six weeks, at the drinking fountain in the gym where I met Chris! He checked off all of those qualities.
And then a few months later, the radio sales rep walks in pitching me on radio ads, and I told her who I was looking for. She said, “Oh you just described Jena.”
The partnership with both Chris and Jena is approaching a decade, and has greatly blessed my life. More than that, our family’s lives.
And best of all, their lives are better, in every possible way.
- Great partners are the key to building a successful business, which is the fastest way to build passive income.
- Shared values are the key to long term, sustainable partnerships. Misalignment will bring destruction during adversity.
- Networking is the key to finding great partners. Always remember, “The wealthy build networks, everyone else looks for work”.
- Be intentional about who you want to partner with, including clarity around their qualities and characteristics.
- Draw up your ideal partner avatar, and then speak it and ask for it. Be patient.
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