Team building for dummies

Daniel KeltnerTeam BuildingLeave a Comment

The only thing in your way to Income Automation is you.

This week, I want to teach a concept from the Gary Keller book, “The One Thing”. In Gary’s book, he talks about how we are pulled in many directions every single day. We water ourselves down and don’t do anything well. “Jacks of all trades, masters of none”. Gary teaches us to focus your energy on doing one thing very well as the smart income boosting alternative.


How involved do you think Lebron James is in the marketing of his brand? Not much. He does one thing really well – playing basketball. As long as he practices his one thing, every day, things seem to fall in place for him.

Back to us and reality:

Most of make a living by doing one thing better than most people. My “One Thing” was to create a high-volume / home selling system via a team. That’s what I sold to large banks and institutions that had that need.

Our team consisted of several tasks and missions. It wasn’t possible to build a team/system that relied on ME to be a “bottleneck” between our clients and the rest of my team. The team had to be efficient, effective and autonomous.

To start however, I had to do as much as I could to generate enough work that I just couldn’t handle it anymore.

Then I had to build a team to handle all the work (one person at a time). We did not have much work/clients/leads at first, but we had just enough to keep an assistant busy and learning. As I was able to hand off more and more tasks, it freed me up to chase bigger and better clients.

We landed those clients as well as branched out into other areas, but it would have not been possible to grow without the assistance and support of my team.

Getting Started and Building YOUR Team:

You have to think about all of the things you know. (Known-Knowns as Donald Rumsfeld calls them).

Here is an example of the planning that goes into it. We have to make a few assumptions as well based on very educated guesses.

Here were my known-knowns.

  1. I knew there was enough transactions existing in the market for us to fight over.
  2. I knew that if we over delivered and serviced people very well, we would get referrals and word of mouth marketing. Know what they want too.
  3. Lastly, I knew that if I increased my presence and could get in front of prospective customers (asset managers) we would get more business that way.

Here were my assumptions.

  1. If we could do 5 sales every month, we could pay all staffing costs and expenses. (We averaged 25 sales per month for 7 years)
  2. If we could maintain this for more than a year, I could eventually write myself out of the day-to-day business and leave it to my staff. (This one actually took me closer to 5 years – due to my own fault and shortcomings, *sigh* If I only knew then what I know now.
  3. If I could get down to working a few hours a week, I could start another location or another business. (We did both)

We want to own the business, not be a CEO slave to it. The one thing that pops up over and over again is that if we are to succeed we must do one thing really well. The goal is to build a business and get out of being a CEO.

We must be good at building a team or become good at building a team.

I can appreciate that not every one wants the responsibility or tasks of building a huge multinational global powerhouse corporation. I used to want that as a kid and now I don’t. I learned that it involves sacrifices that I don’t want to make.

I personally think a good team size is one where you can have a team that generates your income goals and requires you to work as little as you desire.

For practical purposes, I am going to assume you need to make $84,000 per year (I will explain later why, promise). A team of 3 should help you easily accomplish this goal.

The 3 Person Team.

Hire #1. Personal Assistant – Cost $12,000 plus performance bonuses. Ideally 10% of net profit etc. (Note: $12k is if you outsource, if you are against outsourcing, you can hire within the states for about $30k total cost)

This first person you hire is your delegation training wheels. We could write a book on this topic, but the long and short of it is this. You need to practice delegation everyday if you are going to build a winning team. The sooner you start the better.

For this hire, you are going to delegate to them every possible thing that you can. So much of your day is routine, mundane tasks if you think about it. You are far too important to be even thinking of $20< per hour work. Really. You will want to get it to a point where tasks are just a blip (a one to three second email/voicemail forward away from being complete) to you. Not a 5 minute to 5 hour piece of minutia that you have to deal with.

Our job is to get things to a point where our person is too busy to handle anything else competently. Once we get to that point, we can start to line them up their own assistant. It’s like playing that Jenga game (sp?). When you get nervous about putting one more task on their desk out of fear it will all come tumbling down, its time to hire again.

Qualifications: They need to be able, reliable and have a positive attitude. 99.9% of the time, I hire solely based on attitude. High skill people are expensive to hire and hard to keep. They have options out there and they will make you feel it. I would rather build up a “good attitude” person from scratch.

Hires 1-3 need to be value hires as your money will be tight. You are already sacrificing your income at this point to “bring people on”. It’s not like they are making you money YET.

One thing to watch for on your first hire is their ability to manage people. You don’t want to be falling into this role of being a full time manager. You have enough, high income producing things to focus on outside of being a professional babysitter. Remember your “One thing”. We want people who can help us manage our growth down the road.

Thinking ahead to when you have a team, your new job should be getting and keeping customers happy. A team is pointless to have if you don’t have the business to keep them busy.

Hire #2. Assistant to your Assistant – Cost $10,000-$12,000 plus performance bonuses. Ideally 5-10% of net profit etc.

Hire #2 is going to be easier as your current personal assistant is going to help get them “up to speed”. You will work with them as well, but you can at least let your current assistant buffer that process for you. This way you don’t have to start from scratch. Ie. Teaching them what a “Ranch” house is, or what we do here etc. etc.

Hire #3. Assistant to you and the company – Cost $10,000-12,000 plus performance bonuses. Ideally 5-10% of net profit etc.

The purpose of this hire is going to be solving the new problems that arise in your operation. As you expand, manage and make more money there are going to be a whole new set of problems to solve. Mainly, financial reporting related.

I would recommend training hire#3 on financial reporting / bookkeeping and filling in any gaps left at your company. Also, hopefully by this time, you have become more involved and creative with your marketing. Your new hire#3 can also assist you in this area.

See figure (A) for an example of what I have just described in our 3 member team setup. My chart also displays how you could expand on your first few hires.

In closing: In order to survive it costs me personally about $7,000.00 per month X 12 months totaling $84,000.00

Cars$1,000.00Payments, Insurance, Gas
Health$1,000.00Family of 4
Food$1,000.00Family of 4
Vacations$500.002 p/year, 7 days, 3k each. Fam of 4
Savings$0.00Let’s be real, who saves?

Question. How much do I need to make per hour to earn $7,000.00 per/month working 40 hours per week?

Answer: $43.75 per hour.

Question. How much do I need to make per hour to earn $7,000.00 per/month while only working 20 hours per week?

Answer: $87.50 per hour. Name me some W2 jobs that pay this wage. Great incentive to start building your team today!

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