015: Are You Being Stolen From?

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Here with Shannon today! Talking about her work as an accounting analyst and chief finance officer and what she’s seen in record keeping and also dealing with employees.

Biggest Mistake

The biggest mistake people make is not doing things in a timely manner and then they hurry along at the end and put things in the wrong places. People are generally very stressed and they make bad decisions when they're stressed.

How to handle it differently: each day, identify the 3-5 most important things done first.

Another Huge Mistake

The next mistake people make is misclassifying expenses by the business owner or an employee. If something, like a piece of equipment has a long life it needs to be amortized, not expensed, for example. 

Some people may do this intentionally. That’s fraud, and Shannon says she sees most of these people get caught. People lost their jobs and some had jail time.

Sometimes people say there’s assets when there are not. They might be trying to keep something on the books when the money was used for something else, or to hide that someone is removing money from the business.

Be Aware of Fraud and Prevent It

If you employ people, you need to watch for things like this. You need to be aware. If you’re blind to it, not paying attention, in a lot of cases you’re asking to be stolen from.

You need checks and balances

For example you don’t want the same person opening the mail AND making deposits, if at all possible. Separate the responsibilities—and be especially careful with cash. Cash has legs.

Restaurant owners deal with a lot of theft. Food, cash, and equipment! Scott has had a restaurant where an employee unscrewed the espresso machine and walked off with it.

As an employer keeping good records is your way of finding out if your employees are trustworthy or untrustworthy. Reagan said: trust but verify.

Online resources

Quickbooks is one of the easiest ways to keep track of your books for business owners. One way this can add additional peace of mind is that importing your statements directly from credit cards and accounts eliminates the possibility of transcription errors, another way people can hide missing money.

With computer systems another thing to think about is to take account management seriously. For example, don’t give someone the ability to add transactions and delete them.

Managing staff

If you do have staff, you should make sure they are taking some time off. This way abnormalities may show up while they’re away. You may have thought they were such a dedicated employee, working almost everyday, but it turned out they were stealing from you.

Again, we’re not saying all of your employees are stealing from you, but when it comes to really zealous, good workers, there are two camps: the truly great people and then the people who make themselves irreplaceable for the power of feeling irreplaceable (and leaving you in the lurch if things don’t go their way).

Most people, when they start to take things, it’s because they feel entitled or disgruntled—and it might not be anything wrong that you did. It may have started with their parents or old friends.

Some preventative measures you can take:

- Basic and intermediate training phases are important

- Revisiting basics often eliminates excuses for not following procedures

- Having ability to change people up prevents over dependance on one person

Fences make good neighbors. You need to set correct boundaries with your employees and they will be good employees.

A big thanks to Shannon for joining us today!

014: Money and Taxes (Part 1)

GET YOUR FINANCE QUESTIONS ANSWERED

I will be the first person to tell you that money management doesn’t come naturally to me. I’ve had to learn a lot of hacks to make my brain work with it.

The first thing you’ve got to do with your money is pretend 10% of it doesn’t exist. Most people don’t have the underlying discipline to leave money alone. This is not money that has a purpose. This is leverage you have over money itself. This is money to let you know that you control the money, it doesn’t control you.

Eventually you may put the money into property or low risk stocks, but still pretending it doesn’t exist. This isn’t savings, this isn’t anything. This is leverage you have over money and it teaches you that you have the discipline to control your own money.

I did seminars with Russ Yarnell who used to tear up $100 bills just to show that he didn’t have an emotional connection to it.

It’s so important to get control of your money.

When you’re panicked you can fight, flee, or freeze. People do this with money all the time because they have a huge amount of emotions about money.
You don’t want emotional connections with money.

Also, you want to be in conversations with an accountant or an attorney as a business owner. The different ways you can organize your business may cost or save you tons of money when it comes to taxes and there’s no way to know which is best without talking to someone who really knows what they’re talking about.

You want to be a step ahead of your money and how money works in your business.

...Listen to the episode ↑ for more.

011: Break the Patterns of Procrastination and Overwhelm

Even though "productivity tips" and "how to stop procrastination" is covered exhaustively, I keep getting requests to cover it. There certainly are steps you can take, but the most important thing to do is to break your pattern of becoming overwhelmed. That's what we're going to talk about so you can sit back and think about some of the things you may be subconsciously doing that are getting in the way of your success. We sabotage ourselves by falling into the same old habit cycles over and over. Let's get into it!

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008: Create Loyal Customers and Avoid Bad Clients

Leadership issues have truly morphed. Here is a start on the landscape.

The Problem

(solution list at end of article)

In the training world we have a new and serious issue. That issue is many of the adults who train with business consultants have not finished forming their own identity as teenagers. To make the point, look at photos from the 1940s of people graduating high school vs. 2016.

The result is that they have no loyalty to the adult teams that assist them. They have a need to compete with their own trainers, leaders and teams. The phenomena has grown to the point where thousands of identical products are created, thousands of identical books are created, and the companies and businesses eat themselves from within.

Of course, there is also a major issue with folks who are loyal to a fault. That is not the focus of this discussion.

Your mission could be to train these people to grow up- or your mission could be to keep a successful team focused on progress. These two goals are very conflicted outcomes.

The Inner Business Fix

Your goal is to weed out the ones who will go sideways early, focus your energy on the ones who are mature enough to experience intra-dependent loyalty (as opposed to dependence) and build a customer base, employee team or excellent learning culture.

Your early sign of trouble will be irrational levels of anger or stress when the client or employee is dealing with the rest of the group. It will seem as though they are furious that things aren't going faster- when you test their actual understanding of the material, or the politics of the moment- they will be found wanting. The inaccuracy will be coupled with extreme belief that everyone is lucky they are there. Gratitude for what they are getting from the process will be missing entirely.

In a pre-2000 world most interactions and relationships lasted about 3 years.

The first truth to accept is that no matter what the relationship with employees, students, or companies—they are going to be temporary 90% or more of the time.

Some think it's smart therefore to keep business success secrets to yourself. The issue with that approach is your own mind will eventually burn out on the activity. The whole thing will work better if there is a fresh approach.

Next—accept that many who have not formed an identity will simply borrow yours- whether it is your company, your business model—they will simply change a couple things and truly believe they have invented a brand new wheel. In the modern world you must accept this.

Here are there rationalizations in their head.

  1. I am more organized.
  2. My values and beliefs are better so I am
  3. more ethical.
  4. They were old anyway.
  5. I can't have my customers think I get stuff
  6. from anywhere else.
  7. If I don't break off there isn't enough
  8. money or resources.
  9. They made someone mad. (often missing the
  10. judgement on the part of the senior leader)

Sadly, they eventually get horrible loyalty from their own clients and employees as they are paranoid of the behavior they themselves are guilty of...

The next piece of reality to accept is that many of these clients and employees will need to sabotage or degrade what they have received. This is only about 10% of the total group with whom you deal

The participants' memory will change as they apply what they have learned. That memory will eventually write the contributors out of the picture. This type takes what they learn and expatriate to a new team to be one up—it never occurs to them that they are damaging the group they were in—because they never felt they were a part of that group.

Your Solution

Testimonials

Get testimonials and documentation of what your colleagues or customers have received from dealing with your company often and early. This assists the person to be open about gratitude. It postpones the rationalizing process.

Double Down

When seeing the agenda within employees, double down on the direction they seem to want to go. Anticipate their want and need. Send them in the desired direction (unless they are paying to train-to grow out of a negative pattern).

Unique Training Methods

Use unique training methods that eliminate the,"I've seen this all before" mentality. Get the person responding to new environments and new material that is emotionally stimulating and intellectually new.

Know When To Be Clear...

If they are employees for whom you are paying a wage—make absolutely clear cut, step by step manuals for what is expected of the worker. This is in contrast with the seminar teaching environment where too much clarity robs discovery and excitement. Employees: Clear up front. Seminar and student experience: Clear at back end (in stages) for discovery and interest.

Mastery Before Improvisation

Rules+Experience= Wise Improvisation. In the beginning of a relationship, formally focus on the rules and structure. When the learner has shown mastery of the process, only then begin to encourage changing things up. Discipline of the process, then innovation. Many will try to jump ahead. This is a leadership test.

If the leader allows the employees or students to have a close boundary, those who are rules oriented and literal will begin to judge the leader through the concepts that are expected of the employee.

There will be a sense of injustice that the two are not at the same place in the process. Allow boundaries to fall only if you want the person to move on.

Audition Employees

Pre-hire testing and pre-sales testing need to happen. Interviewing and resume reading are no longer a real way to hire. It is no way to screen clients either. You need to have the prospect do some type of skills testing before the relationship begins. This can take many forms—but in the modern world you may want to think of it as a job audition instead of just an interview. You may also think of taking customers in the same way.

Don't Waste Time on Bad Relationships

If you need new employees or clients, go get them. DON'T DWELL ON ANY ONE EMPLOYEE OR CLIENT!

007: What Employees and Managers Can Do When People Are Calling In Sick

Question: In businesses where employees frequently call in sick and everyone else has to pick up the slack, what can managers and other employees do to fix the culture?

Bluntly, the employees who are not the problem are best off pretending the problem doesn't exist. That's in their best interest. They can of course use social pressure to try and change things but that can go sideways quickly.

Managers need to do the fundamentals well: documenting, being direct, and so on. But in this episode we'll get into the number one thing that will stop employees from behaving in this way. It's not what you'd think.


Limited Time Pre-Release (85% off) access to the digital Intensive Entrepreneurship Bootcamp is now available. Please request an invite. Only 100 seats available. Learn the skills and mindsets that will dramatically improve your business success and quality of your personal life.

Free Giveaway for business owners: William Norton's "Primary Objective," A novel and guide to Neuro-linguistic programing that educates and entertains to drive home the teaching.

Click to Download Primary Objective

"Primary Objective" can be read broadly by business leaders as an introduction to neuro-linguistic programming before they join an NLP course to learn the concepts in full. The concepts in this book will lead you to think differently about the way you talk to your employees and the way you structure negotiations and other important business interactions—including sales.

006: Overcoming Fear of Advertising

Rely too heavily on word of mouth? Do you get results, but struggle to get clients?

We'll get into why it's so important to learn to advertise, why word of mouth isn't always your friend, and how being embarrassed actually led me into an excellent consulting relationship that changed my business in ways I didn't expect.

Great listener question from Tracy in today's episode:

My biggest challenge is definitely not having the belief in myself to advertise. I always shy away from social media (I am actually trying to master Facebook as I answer this) and there is a self-doubt that always holds me back. I have taken two of your courses, and many others. that When I leave said courses, I actually believe I can use the approaches taught to expand my business, but when I get home, it all disappears. I always seem to fall back into the same old routine. Word of mouth was always my biggest promotor, but five years ago, I moved regions and it has been very difficult not knowing anyone and finding new clients. My clients succeed when I work with them, however, I just struggle to get them.

We talk a lot about the foundations you need in advertising. I recommend How To Write A Good Advertisement by Victor Schwab to get the fundamentals.


How to Write a Good Advertisement, by Victor Schwab — This is an excellent book that teaches all about what goes into writing a great ad. You'll learn the basics, see examples, and really have a head start on doing this right.

100 Advertising Headlines and Why They Work — A list (also by Victor Schwab) of headlines and what's great about them. Check this out in conjunction with the book.

How to Finally Overcome Your Fear of Selling — Once you've listened to episode 005 on selling, this is another great resource to start thinking about what's going on with your fear of selling.

005: How Experts Sell Without Feeling Sleazy

This is the last episode in our Entrepreneurship Bootcamp series. From here on out the podcast will be all about your questions.

Submit your questions here so we can get you an answer to the specific issues you're dealing with as an entrepreneur.

In this episode we'll get into a question almost everyone faces: How do I sell without feeling sleazy? Everyone has had bad experiences with salespeople and we fear that we will come off like that. But when you see your role as teaching how to make a good buying decision (with excellent products and services) then you'll make more sales and feel like you're helping—because you will be.

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004: Time Management Through Mood Management (Not Life Hacks)

Have a difficult challenge? Submit a question for the podcast.

There's no way to manage time. It's going. You can't stop it. The real issue is that when you're working for yourself sometimes you "just don't feel like it." Imagine a 3 year old pouting—sometimes that really how we act once we become our own bosses... except we're acting out against ourselves.

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001: 8 Core Entrepreneurial Beliefs and Mantras

Take a moment and think about your future. Imagine the life you want to live and imagine the successful business (or businesses) you’ll create. This episode is part of our Entrepreneurial Bootcamp series. It’s designed to equip you with mantras that will help you install the beliefs that lead toward success as an entrepreneur.

Your core beliefs need to be aligned with success or they’ll take you down the wrong path. So listen to the episode and then go to TheBusinessSurvivalGuide.com to download the PDF of the mantras. Print them out and put them everywhere!

In future episodes I’ll be answering your questions directly. Go to TheBusinessSurvivalGuide.com to submit your question. Or find me on Facebook or anywhere as AskScottMcFall.