Ep #02: Top 3 Reasons Entrepreneurs Are Burnt Out And How To Fix It: Part 2
In this episode, Dr. Nick and Dr. Nicole tackle the dreaded “D” word that every burnt out entrepreneur fears. They walk you through delegation as a leader: which tasks to take off your plate, who to lean on, and how your business can thrive with this approach. Hear about Dr. Nicole’s personal AHA moment which turned their business on it’s head… for the better. The duo will teach actionable items to implement for a successful delegation roll-out to get you out of the burn out rut.
“You can grow when still you’re keeping everything to yourself and NOT delegating but you will hit a plateau 100%” -Dr. Nicole
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Noteworthy Time Stamps:
1:39 The dreaded little word to beat your burn out
2:49 Dr. Nick’s analogy of burn out
4:55 How the number of employees affects how your business
6:11 ScalingUp & Dr. Nicole’s aha moment
8:04 How values contribute to your burn out
11:33 The 3 reasons why you’re not delegating
17:35 Helicopter bosses
20:10 Hierarchy in your business & department visionaries
22:06 How to lovingly have the hard conversation
25:35 Scoreboard for measurement
30:15 How to incorporate & revisit
LISTEN TO THE FULL EPISODE
This is the Integrative Entrepreneur Podcast, where it’s not what you do, but how you do it. This is a podcast for entrepreneurs, brought to you by entrepreneurs. We have been building a multi-million dollar healthcare business for over 10 years, and we have weaved together some of the best information for the people that are doing the best work in the business.
This includes Dr. Dimartini, who is a master in human behavior, to Verne Harnish, who has created the methodology of scaling up that has scaled many, many of the best businesses that we all know of. We want you to not only have a business that you love but also a life that you love.
Welcome back. We have part two of burnout. Burnout, unfortunately, is such a huge part of entrepreneurship. It really shouldn’t be if they gave us better tools. But our last episode, we really focused on burnout and how it has to do with really focusing on things that are sucking your energy. These are things that are classified as non-revenue generating activities that drain our energy, keep us from being super focused and clear on the big picture.
Today, we’re really focusing on the dreaded little word, delegation. I say the dreaded little word, because for the most part, when it comes to entrepreneurs, business owners is that we’ve created something. We created something that is our little baby, and we created it from the ground up. And it’s very hard to let go pieces of it. It’s very difficult for us to wrap our head around the idea that anyone could do it as good as us, or care about the business as much as we do.
And this keeps us trapped and it’s doable. It’s doable for a while. You can grow when you’re still keeping everything to yourself and not delegating, but you will hit a plateau. 100% is you will cap out and you will feel so discouraged and disempowered, and feel like, “I don’t know what to do. I don’t know how to get past this obstacle.”
It brings me to, I don’t know, where it’s the person that has sticks and they’re spinning plates on it, and they’re running around literally spinning and spinning plates and spinning plates, until they can’t spin anymore. And then all of a sudden, all the plates fall. It’s like you can grow by doing a lot yourself, but eventually you had a capacity, and also at the same time, because you’re spreading your energy so far out to so many different plates, you’re really not giving the true energy to the plates that’s going to, A, serve you, fill you up, and also help the business the most.
You’re not necessarily staying in your zone of genius and it’s not realistic that you’re going to only work in your zone of genius in the very beginning of having a business. But that should be the goal, the goal to get to a place that you have the right people in the right seats, so that you can really focus on being the CEO and the visionary of your company. And this was something that it took a long time for myself personally to realize, because both Dr. Nick and myself, we have an integrative medicine practice. We are the doctors.
When we created this business, we didn’t realize what it would grow to be. And we’re very grateful that we were just so dedicated to our mission to continue to help people. And we just kept realizing how much we didn’t know, and how much was out there that could further help people in their health journey.
Our practice not necessarily just grew with people, but it grew with technology, and it grew with different therapies, and it just grew, grew, grew, grew, grew, but it was always based on the mission. And then the huge issue was you grow and when you’re at five, six, even seven employees, things are still very comfortable. And usually there’s decent communication and things are flowing and you don’t need tons of systems and automation.
And then you just hit this point. And some people it’s eight employees, some people it’s 10 employees, but it’s in that window. And you’re just like, “Oh crap. When did everything change? Because, now I feel like everything’s falling apart.”
And like you said before, it should be the goal to be able to put yourself into that zone of excellence, to be able to start delegating those things. But it really, that needs to be one of the goals. And from any goal, you break it down into micro goals. You have a strategic plan to be able to get there. As we start, we’re wearing all these hats, we’re wearing all these boxes of the flow chart of maintaining and growing the business.
But we have these certain like, “Once we get to this level of collections and blah, blah, blah, then it’s like I get to take this hat off, and somebody else starts wearing the hat.” It needs to be, part one where you have that block scheduling everything laid out. It has to be laid out to be able to allow you to start serving yourself more and more as the business grows, not less and less.
But I think even preliminary to that is a lot of entrepreneurs don’t have tools for, to plan for the bigger vision. And that’s really where scaling up comes in because when I filled out their functional accountability chart, the functional accountability chart it’s your organizational chart. It’s, who’s doing what in your company? Who is the CEO? Who is the chief of operations? Who’s chief of marketing? Who’s marketing director? Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.
And when you fill that out, it is a massive eye-opener because sometimes you, as the business owner, you’re in 50%, maybe even 75% or more of those boxes. And you just have to understand is you could be Superman, Superwoman, and be so multi-talented, and be a hard worker, and all the good stuff, but it’s not sustainable. It’s not sustainable for your mental health, and it’s definitely not sustainable if your goal is to scale and grow your company.
You have to understand is that it leads to being able to use tools that create a roadmap. We fill this out and then we realize that you’re in more than 50% of the boxes is that now what is box number one that you want to get filled? Because you hate doing it, or it’s an energy sucker, or it takes you 10 times longer than the average person, because it’s not your zone of genius. And these are things that you just don’t know what you don’t know. And once you start to use these exercises, it’s just these massive light bulb moments, and you’re like, “Whoa, no wonder why I’m burnt out.”
Every time I talk, I’m probably going to talk about values and we all-
Those are important.
Values are like thumbprints. We all have different values. And when you look at values, it’s a hierarchy of what’s least important to most important to yourself. And that can change slightly as we go through life. But for the most part, it stays pretty consistent. Like Dr. Nicole said, it’s like we want to remove those activities that’s connected with our lowest values, because that’s literally wasting our energy, draining us, but we’re also not productive in it.
And what I love about this is that understanding that for your specific value to maintain equanimity, I’m not going to go too much into the energy, but one of the foundational laws of energy is that energy is always balanced. And one of the things with values is that there’s always an equal and opposite reaction. For your set of values, there’s someone in the world that has the equal and opposite set of values to maintain balance within the energetic realms of values.
And understanding this, pretty much it’s somebody loves to do what you hate to do. They’re going to be amazing at it. Whatever you don’t like to do, literally hire somebody because they’re going to be so much more productive. That’s going to allow your business to make so much more money. Don’t waste your time doing things that you hate, give it to somebody that’s going to love to do those things.
100%. I want to get into the top three reasons why you’re not delegating. Prior to that, I just want to say that we’ve been there. And I think that that’s really important because there’s a lot of coaches out there that haven’t walked the walk, and it took many, many times of burnout before I was at such an all time low that I had to make a change. I had to make a change. I’m saying that on purpose, I had to.
Because there was no way that I was going to be able to keep doing it, because I was losing my health, my sanity, and so much more. I really just didn’t even have a life anymore. I was in a toxic relationship with our business, and that’s the best way that I can phrase it. I remember specifically reading a chapter by Keith Cunningham, and it was the five things that you can not delegate as a CEO.
And there was another chapter on being an operator, and pretty much saying that, “You created a job for yourself. You didn’t create a business.” And I just had tears because I was like, “Oh my gosh. I’m sitting here thinking that I’m a business owner, I’m an entrepreneur and I’m not. I am an operator. I am an employee to a business that is running my life. I want you guys to know is, you can get out of that toxic relationship, but you have to have someone show you what you can not see.
And when it comes to the fact that you’re holding on to everything that you’re micromanaging, even the people that you have, or you’re not willing to give up certain things, or you just continue to work harder, harder, longer hours, it’s because you have some major obstacles. And that brings us to the three reasons why you’re not delegating.
Number one is lack of trust. And we’re going to get more into this, but lack of trust really comes down to the idea that you don’t think anybody can do it better than you. But as Dr. Nick just said is [crosstalk 00:11:43] we think you’re all wonderful, but you’re not great at everything. And there’s definitely people that are out there that are going to be good at the things that don’t really light you up.
I still have to tell Dr. Nicole that sometimes.
I’m good at a good amount of things. Number one, lack of trust. Number two, this is a really hard one to swallow, not having the right people in the right seats, doing things right. This is something that we dive pretty deep into. As we take people through our deep dive diagnostics, our triple D as we call it, but it has to be evaluated. And that was really when I hit that ultimate burnout, and I decided to make a change. And I decided to stop being the operator, and to truly be the CEO of the company.
That was the first question that I was faced with. And it was a really hard question because there were family members that worked for us. There were friends that worked for us. There were a couple of individuals with … As the question was posed, “Would you enthusiatically rehire these individuals?” And unfortunately the answer was no for a few of them.
And it’s a hard thing because it’s what you have to do for the business. But at the same time, what I realized is that if that’s the way that I feel, I don’t care how good I am as an actress, that person knows that. That person knows that they’re probably capped out for growth in the company. They know that they’re not excelling at their job. They know that they’re not an A player. It’s impossible for them to not know if your answer to the question is no, I would not enthusiastically rehire them.
In a way you can tie it back to trust as well. It’s like trust how they’re going to be able to do their job. But jumping back to one of the things we talked about in part one, is it’s not what you do, but how you do it is so important. And there needs to be a fair exchange. It’s like yourself, you have to be literally filled up as much as you’re filling up the business and serving the business. There needs to be that fair exchange between you being served, your employee being served, as well as the business being served.
Because somebody can do their job, but if they’re either, “being selfish” in a negative way, that selfish isn’t always a bad thing. But if somebody is being selfish more than they’re actually giving as well, then it’s not a fair exchange. It’s not fair for the business. That’s a big part with trust as well. And not to dive too far off, but one of the amazing books that both Dr. Nicole and I love by John Maxwell, The 5 Levels of Leadership. With that, he goes through and he shows where you are as a leader. And part of delegating is about being a leader, and being able to create other leaders in your company, so that they can create other leaders. It’s not always about you having to be the one.
I think that that’s huge. And I will say is that I thought that that was my job. I thought it was my job to be the go-to person for everything. I’m forgetting what book that I read, but it was specifically discussing … It wasn’t a Jim Collins book, but it was discussing visionary companies and game-changing companies. The first chapter of the book, they went through a couple of different scenarios of CEOs, and how they were being misperceived by their team, then they named it.
The one that I resonated with was giving too much value. And it’s like, in my mind, the fact that I was so readily available, but also so involved with every department was because I thought I was giving value. I thought I was giving value by helping the marketing team, and helping the operations team. And I’m not. I was disempowering all of these individuals. I was not allowing them to reach their full potential as leaders. And there was so much that I was doing that was inhibiting their growth.
And when I remember when we went away, we went away for over a week, and the office just crushed it. And I came back and everyone had this air of confidence, and they’re just like, “Things are awesome.” And I was assuming we had to put a fire out, and they were like, “No, everything is good.” I’m just like, “Oh.” I’m like, “Do you guys want us to not come back? I don’t know.” This went really well.
When you’re doing that, it’s like, “Are you coming from the add value? Or are you coming from the try to save from doing something wrong?
Well, exactly. And I think in my mind it was adding value, but I’m sure that that’s really what it was. It was-
Unconsciously, you’re probably trying to make sure that no fires were started. You’re the overseer of everything.
I think I was just trying to be a major safety net to everything.
And when we do that, it’s like … When you think about it, it’s like those were the parents that we call like it’s-
Helicopter parents. It’s like the-
… helicopter parent … It’s literally a helicopter boss. It’s the same thing. And whether you’re a helicopter boss or a helicopter parent, what we’re doing is we’re disempowering “our employees, our kids.” And we’re disempowering them by not giving them the chance to have that self-growth, self-accountability. Literally, it’s when we give somebody freedom to have the chance to fail, there’s no like, “This is a huge thing.” I don’t use fail or success in my vocabulary because I don’t believe in either of them, honestly.
Failure for me, you can only fail if you don’t learn from it. If you don’t take an action from it. And then success, I don’t think I will ever be successful because once you achieve success, there’s no other growth. It’s just downwards. I’m always going to continue to grow and yeah, I will mess up. I’ll screw up. There’ll be pain things, but it’s not going to be a failure because I’m going to learn from that, get back up, and then evolve forward.
And that’s going to be … We did a webinar a while back that was called Evolve or Die. Yes, it was very intense title, but it got most people’s attention. And we’re actually going to break that webinar down into a four-part podcast series, because we talked a lot about that. And it’s really not a matter of thinking that a failure is just the end-all, be-all, or it’s going to create such an obstacle that you can’t get past it.
There’s always going to be ups and downs, and they’re just there to teach the lesson that you haven’t learned already. You have to be able to know that, and it’s not expecting the worst, but it’s being prepared for anything.
And that sets a strong foundation to be able to move on to that next level. Because if we don’t have those “painful mishaps,” we could call failures if we didn’t learn from them, it’s growth isn’t a straight line. It’s we grow, then we go plateau, we tend to go downwards a little bit and go back up. Honestly, it’s like if you look at the stock market, it’s very similar to that. It’s just growth isn’t a straight line. We need these resets to be able to set a strong foundation, to be able to build upon again.
100%. We’ve talked about lack of trust. We talked about not having the right people in the right seats. The other one of why you’re not delegating is lack of systems and accountability. And this is something that takes a bit more time, but you can’t create systems and accountability if you don’t have the right people in the right seats, and if you don’t trust the people that you have. You have to take this as a hierarchy, is creating that trust so that you have the ability to know that there are other people that can do the job, and they might actually be able to do it better than you.
And that you also give your people the ability to be the visionary within their department, especially if they’re on your executive team or they’re classified as a chief of some department. You also want to give them the ability to create vision, create strategy. But once you have that built into your culture, that you have trust, that you want people to be self-starters, you want individuals to create solutions and not always come to their higher ups, looking for a solution to be provided, these are things that can be embedded in your culture.
But if you are someone that you feel like you have a significant amount of pain points in your business, or you feel like you’re capped out on your growth, you have to also look at your team. And do you have a team of A players? Do you have B players? Do you have C players? And understanding that you get what you tolerate. And it’s a hard truth, especially if you have friends and family that are on your team, but you have to understand is not saying anything, is actually harmful to them.
Because like I said before, is if you feel that they are not a good fit or not excelling in their position, it’s inevitable that they feel that they’re not valued, or they feel like they’re an under-performer. And being able to have a honest, transparent, and loving conversation with that individual and say, “I really want to give you the opportunity to release you back into the workforce, so that you can find something that you really like, and really enjoy, that you really are excelling in,” that you’re actually doing them a huge favor by having that conversation.
It’s definitely not being fearful of it, and just knowing that you’re doing what’s best for the company, but you’re also doing what’s best for that person.
And you can’t do what’s best for the company without doing best for that person. And the great thing is literally everything works in cycles. It’s like that last part of really looking at accountability. If you set up the right structures and systems for tracking that accountability, that’s going to go back and build trust. It’s not going to build your trust on your employees, but it’s also going to build the employees trust with you, because they know that they’re actually meeting the targets that you want them to be meet.
And if they’re not, then it’s an easy conversation. It’s not an emotional conversation. It’s an objective conversation of saying, “Hey, what’s going on? You’re not holding yourself accountable. And if you’re not holding yourself accountable, that’s probably because you’re really not into your work.” You have to go through and going back to values. It’s like, “What are you doing throughout your day that’s not serving yourself?”
And then it’s like Dr. Nicole said. It’s like maybe moving somebody around to a different position, or one of the hard things that I’ve learned, and I actually said this to a mentor last year. One of my mentors, he asked what was one of the biggest learnings that I had. And I don’t want to come off the wrong way, but I go, “Fire fast and hire slow.” And people outside are not entrepreneurs or even some are entrepreneurs, they can judge turnover.
And I would say, “It’s not what you do, but how you do it.” And it’s like turnover can be a great thing because when you have somebody that’s in your business, that’s not serving the business, they’re a toxin to your business. They’re a toxicity. And just like the human body, we don’t remove that toxicity.
But to everyone they interact with.
Just like the human body, if we don’t remove that toxicity out, it’s going to start affecting other systems. It’s fire fast if you can’t put them in a position that’s going to serve themselves, where they can serve the business. If that can’t happen, then you have to lovingly set them free back into the world, so that they can serve themselves and serve somebody else’s business, or start their own business. It’s really coming back to that trust with the accountability that each one serves the other.
And I want to circle back to what you said with accountability, because I know that for a while, we really didn’t know how to hold our team accountable, especially when individuals were not in a position that was directly generating revenue. In our brick and mortar integrative medicine practice, we have an interesting structure because we have certain doctors and certain practitioners that take on new patients and then create programs, and work with that patient.
But then throughout the duration of the program, there’s usually different therapies, and those therapies are fulfilled by other employees. Those employees are doing a lot of amazing fulfillment, but they’re not directly creating sales. They’re not taking sales calls. They’re not creating a program for a patient. They’re just strictly there to provide the services for the program that was created by one of the practitioners.
When you’re setting goals for your business, and you’re saying, “Hey, we want to get to this goal.” There are going to be certain individuals that are in admin positions that are like, “I don’t know how I contribute to that goal.” And when you don’t have accountability, you don’t have a scoreboard. You would never stay at a football game if the scoreboard went down, and you didn’t know the score. You be like, “Well, what’s the point? There’s no reason to stay, because the entire reason we’re here is to see who wins and who loses.”
Many of you are running your businesses with out accountability, because there is no scoreboard and nobody knows necessarily what they’re responsible for. They also don’t know what their day-to-day responsibilities, how does that contribute to the bottom line? How does that contribute to the revenue goals? How does that contribute to the overall growth of the business?
We had to get very, very micro level to find the exact KPIs for each and every position in our business, because what I wanted for my team is for them to be able to quantitatively answer, “Did I have an amazing day? Or did I have an amazing week?” How are they going to know if they had an amazing day or an amazing week? What are the specific measurements that are the most important for the position that contribute to the overall growth and scale of the company?
And in one of our positions, it’s really a matter of how many people that came in with a bad day left smiling. That is one of their contributions, that comes back to customer service, that comes back to retention. It’s not a woo-woo weird thing is if you do not have happy customers, you are not getting referrals. You don’t have a business that is built on organic. Now you have to funnel a lot more money to pay the advertising.
Or if you don’t have the opportunity to do paid advertising on platforms like Google, Facebook, what would happen to your business? I really encourage you to start focusing on the client, because the client is going to then create more clients for you. What are these specific key performance indicators for each and every one of your employees, that contribute to the things that drive revenue? Which is employee happiness, customer happiness, customer feedback being positive. What are these individuals responsible for? And that accountability is going to completely transform your business.
When we combine that with burnout, it’s like burnout usually comes from top-down. It’s like the CEO, the executives, they’re managing probably improperly. It’s going to lead to that burnout, which is going to stress the employees out, which is going to lead to that crappy poor customer service. Having the accountability, looking at the KPIs, all that, but to avoid the burnout, you’re always going to be serving yourself. It’s looking at every single, and we go through every single one of our employees we have.
And they have really a conscious of what their highest values are, what’s most important to them. One of the things we can do to make sure that they’re serving themselves is to take each KPI, and actually link that to how achieving that KPI is actually building them up, growing them, making them literally have more energy at the end of the day, then at the beginning.
And this is a beautiful, easy, easy thing to be able to do, because literally you want somebody coming into your business to literally serve themselves. Because if they’re serving themselves, it’s just a win-win situation and the business is going to grow. It’s going to thrive, and everybody is “happy.” We all have bad days, but it’s like looking at a bad day versus where you’re talking about, “Did you win the day? Did you win the week?” Be able to have a really those key performance indicators to be able to look at so that we can evaluate.
And if we have a couple of bad days in a row, we need to look at that. Either us personally, we may have changed and we have to address that, because if what’s most important to us is change, we’re going to need to reevaluate how those KPIs are serving us now.
100%. And for those of you listening, there’s going to be certain pearls that you take away that you’re like, “I can implement this on my own.” But number one is, it’s okay if you can’t do it all on your own. Number two is, this stuff takes time and it’s also necessary to revisit things. It’s necessary to revisit your personal core values every couple of months, every year, at least, to revisit the core values of your company that dictate your culture, to revisit your key performance indicators and your systems of your business, to revisit do you have the right people in the right seats doing things right?
These are all things that are a consistent and constant evolution and it takes strategy and it takes experience. When we’re working with people through the Integrative Growth Institute, number one is that we focus on actually doing diagnostics on your business. We’re figuring out where are the kinks in the chain that are causing you to feel that you’re stuck? Or causing you to feel that your company is not growing? Or your culture is not in a good place? Or you have high turnover or whatever it is?
Because very often we think we have an idea of what the problem is, but all you really know is the pain point. And you don’t really know what the root cause of the problem is. It’s interesting because this is what we live and breathe in the integrative medicine piece. But this is something that has just resonated so much when it comes to businesses and entrepreneurship, is that you have to figure out what the root cause is, because then that dictates the roadmap of where to start, and what needs the most attention.
And actually in our private program, we work with both the CEO and the entire leadership team. And we take them through a variety of different assessments that dictate how well they’re working together, how well they’re communicating, but also their own human design. Who are they as a leader from a biological standpoint? How are they programmed? And what is their leadership style? What are their core values? And how do those core values tie to their day-to-day tasks and the mission of the company?
When you are able to fine-tune all of these things, that’s when you really see the magic happen, and you almost feel like there’s this effortless positive change overnight. It’s just like, “Oh, that’s all I had to do, was get my team working together better, and communicating better, and now we just doubled our revenue. Oh, cool. I wish I knew that a while ago.”
It’s pretty crazy. It’s complex but it’s so simple, because literally every single pain point you could easily argue that it’s just a breakdown in communication. Even on our doctorate integrative medicine side of things, it’s easily seen that, when we have pain within the physical body, it’s just a breakdown of communication from one system to the other. And a beautiful aspect is taking that understanding that all systems affect every other system, where it’s the same thing in business.
Every system of business affects every other system of business. Be able to get crystal clear on the foundation, and work through that, and have proper communication through connecting the values of the business, through the values of the executives, through the management team, all the way down to every single employee. And we even take that one step further. We have very, very small cap group that we work with doing it this way, but we’ll even take this concept and work with family members of the executive team.
Because we know that really the health, and what we’re bringing the energy into our business is so greatly affected just by our personal lives. Be able to work on the physical health of each individual executive as well as family members, so that we know that we’ve all done it. We have a high, high coming from business. It was amazing day, when we get home and literally our spouse just slams us, bringing us back down. It’s the world.
I love to talk about energy and balance, and we’ll get more into it later. But it’s about understanding the dynamic of business, and of your personal relationships, and making them both work for you, that you can serve yourself, have an amazing life, and have that amazing life both in business as well as in personal life. Because life really isn’t worth living if you’re crushing business, but you come home and it sucks.
It’s really about taking these concepts, and growing the individual, growing the entrepreneur, just to be the best version of themselves, so that they can actually have, and be able to teach, and allow others to be the best version of themselves as well.
100%. And as we wrap up, I just want to say, burnout is a choice. And I chose not to trust my team, I chose to be in control and make sure that I knew everything that was going on in the business. I chose to continually step out of my zone of genius. I chose to be burnt out. I chose to work the hundred-hour-weeks, because that’s what you have to do to succeed. I really just encourage you to take the blinders off, and to know that working more hours and essentially just running yourself into the ground is not what’s going to get you ahead.
It’s all about strategy. Like Dr. Nick said, it’s not about what you do, it’s about how you do it. Definitely hop on a call with our team if you want to learn a little bit more about the Growth Institute, and how it is transforming the lives of entrepreneurs through an integrative lens. Check it out because I really can’t tell you how valuable it is, and how it’s changed our lives.
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