Imagine this: you’re going to the movies and you walk up to the stand to buy your ticket.
You get to the booth and you see George Clooney standing behind the counter, wearing a little bow tie and vest, ready to take your order.
There’s something wrong with that picture, right?
You don’t expect George fucking Clooney to be selling movie tickets!
Just like you don’t expect Ray Kroc to be flipping burgers at McDonald’s or Steve Jobs to be selling iPhones at the Apple Store.
If you notice one thing about these thought leader entrepreneurs, it’s this: they removed themselves from working in their business so that they could work on their business.
And they did this by setting up their business so there’s scale and structure so that they can hand it off to the next person, and leave it.
How I Left Fit Body Boot Camp
Back in 2014, I did everything for Fit Body Boot Camp.
I ran the Facebook ads. I wrote the creative for the Entrepreneur Magazine ads. I was even the guy trying to sell prospects franchises, and then once they bought one, I was the guy coaching them on how to run it.
I was it.
That Summer, I had an anxiety attack so bad it felt like I was having a heart attack. I wound up in the hospital because I was so overwhelmed.
If you want a ticket into the hospital, all you gotta do is everything in your business, all the time.
So here’s what I did – I stepped back and thought “Is this how Subway and McDonald’s and Anytime Fitness is running their franchise?”
A lot of entrepreneurs make objections for why they can’t leave their business.
They say “I’ve got clients who’ll be mad if they don’t see me. I can’t get out of there. No one does it as good as me. I don’t have the money to leave.”
I know, because these are the same objections I told myself before I had that anxiety attack.
You need to stop making objections and start outsourcing the work you don’t need to be doing.
Over at my Fit Body Boot Camp HQ, I have a team of 38 people who are servicing our franchisees, selling my coaching programs, writing content, doing the marketing and branding, all that stuff that I don’t need to be doing.
If you’re asking yourself “Where do I begin?”, first you need to figure out what the lowest common thing you’re doing right now is so that you can hire someone else to do it for you.
Outsource Your Lowest Common Work
I knew there were people out there who could run Facebook ads better than me. So I tightened the belt for a couple of months and outsourced the marketing.
I got more qualified leads, sold to more people, and all of a sudden I could afford the traffic buyer.
As that funnel kept growing, I was able to find another closer. I pulled myself out of the selling, and eventually pulled myself out of operations so I could focus on coaching.
And even if you don’t have a lot of money and you’re coming from a “mom and pop” business, you can still create a system and outsource it to others. Your income will gradually grow, and th more it grows, the more people you can hire.
The biggest reasons we fail to scale our business is not because we need money, it’s because we’re too lazy to create a process to hand to someone else.
So we just keep doing it ourselves until we wind up in a hospital bed.
Document a System
Once you document the process and systems you go through to run your business, all you have to do is hand it off to the next guy.
Most people think the documentation process is boring and tedious, but I’ve found a shortcut.
Hire someone on a temporary basis with crazy attention to detail, have them hang out with you for an entire week, and have them record every call or email you do.
Before you know it, it’s all documented. You can throw it in a 3 ring binder and hand it off.
Tell yourself right now “I will never do so and so in my business ever again!”
You’re gonna outsource those duties and create a system. And pretty soon, you’ll see how much time, energy, and money you’re saving.
Once you get yourself out, you’ll be able to scale your business, make more money, have more freedom, and spend more time with your friends and family.
Now, I do the work that’s in my zone of genius. And I have more fun doing it.
I love being the face of my brand, and I love sharing a message of passion and purpose. This is work I could do all day.
I’m actually working more hours when you think about it, but it’s work that doesn’t exhaust me or stress me out because it’s within my zone of genius.
The Power of Being a Leader
Being a strong leader is crucial when you’re removing yourself from the business. Your team is going to look to you to have the system in place so that they can run your business while you’re not there.
I was just reading a book (truth be told, I’ve read it three times) by Jocko Willink, a Navy Seal, called Extreme Ownership.
He talks about how in BUDS (basic underwater demolition seal training), there’s a team of seven guys in each boat, with a total of six teams.
Team 2 kept winning, and Team 6 kept failing.
So they decided to switch the leaders up – they gave Team 6 the Team 2 leader, and Team 2’s leader to Team 6.
On the next race, Team 2 wins, and Team 6 comes into second place.
A strong leader went into a weak environment, and the changes were drastic.
What this experiment taught is, there are no weak team members, only weak leaders.
If there’s 2 things I can tell you about being a leader it’s this: be decisive, and do the hard work.
Leadership is always the problem, and leadership is always the solution.
Check out Craig and I talk about all of this and more here