Master Your Finances Kurt Baker with Ted Simpson – Transcript

Written by on October 15, 2022

0:00:00.0 ANNOUNCER: The financial views and opinions expressed by the host and guest on this program do not necessarily reflect the viewpoints of 107.7 The Bronc, Rider University or Certified Wealth Management and Investment. The material discussed is not designed to provide the listeners with individual financial, legal or tax advice.
0:00:26.6 ANNOUNCER: It’s time to grow your bank as 107.7 The Bronc presents Master Your Finances with Kurt Baker, a certified financial planner professional with Certified Wealth Management and Investment. Kurt and his team of financial guests will help you turn those singles into seas of green and plan your financial future accordingly. Now, here is your money managing host for the hour, Kurt Baker.
0:00:53.3 Kurt Baker: Do you know the common challenges that local businesses’ owners face? Are you aware of the strategies used by forward-thinking business leaders to solve problems and make better decisions? Ted Simpson, President and certified TAB facilitator is here to help you develop your own personal vision with simple worksheets with over 30 years of experience working with hundreds of business leaders and their teams to bring new products to market, exploit competitive advantage, strengthen employee engagement and ultimately improve their bottom line. He’ll give you the peace of mind that you are making informed decisions and that your business efforts are aligned with your best future self.
0:01:31.2 Kurt Baker: Wow, that’s awesome, man. I know I’ve been a business owner my whole life pretty much, I worked for somebody else for 13 months, and I know one of the thing that’s very interesting to me is as a business owner, especially as the owner, it’s like it’s lonely at the top, kind of thing, so you’re kinda by yourself, which is interesting. So I know we’re gonna get into that in a little bit, but… And this is kind of important for business owners to have ways to help educate themselves and things like that. So if I guess first of all, explain to us what is TAB, and what does that mean? I know that my mother used to drink it, I’m sure that’s not what it is since I went away. But explain to us what that is and why it’s important and how it came to be, and then how you came to be connected with it.
0:02:09.0 Ted Simpson: Sure. So that was a lot of words, right? And there was a lot of big words that, as you’re reading it. For me working with business owners comes down to two things, ’cause I’m a business owner myself. So it’s, [A], am I successful at what I wanna be successful at? Am I good at it? And the second thing is, am I enjoying it? So for me, it starts with that. And so then you asked me like, “How does TAB play into this with business owners?” So a couple of different ways. First of all, we do business coaching, and so what’s business coaching? It’s helping business owners develop plans and realize their plans, again, to be successful for what they wanna be successful with. And that’s an important part of it.
0:02:58.2 Ted Simpson: And it has a secondary part too though, is we team up business owners into what we call peer advisory boards. So picture this, like if you’re a big business, you might have a board of directors, or you might not even have a board of directors, but you have a very big leadership team, you have somebody that’s really good at marketing, you have somebody that’s really good at sales, you have somebody that takes care of your IT, you have somebody that is great with people, the HR person. Well, if you’re a business that doesn’t have all those resources, like you said, you find yourself sitting by yourself trying to come up with these plans.
0:03:37.6 Ted Simpson: And some are great at it. Of course, you are. But we find it much more efficient, effective if you’re able to team up with other people, like-minded people, forward-thinking people that might have experienced the same things that you’re working on, right? So picture this in a world, “Hey, I’m a business person and it’s time for me to update my computer system.” So I can go and shop around, which I would do, but wouldn’t it be great to talk to a couple of different other business owners that might have just done the same thing and benefit from their research? So that’s what it’s all about. I call it the one-two punch. Why is that important?
0:04:19.0 Ted Simpson: Well, one, you need to have a plan. And it’s good to have a thought partner for that aspect of your work. But then so many people have plans and they sit on the shelf. So part of what this peer advisory board does is it holds you accountable, just like a board of directors, you share your plans, that’s all part of it, but also you benefit from that board’s wisdom, but at the end of the day, you’re accountable. So it’s kind of like a long-winded answer to what you asked me, Kurtis.
0:04:55.9 Kurt Baker: No, that’s awesome. So yeah, no, accountability, I think is huge. I know when I go to the gym, I need instructors telling me what to do or a coach telling me what to do, ’cause they hold me accountable. They say, “Do so many reps and such and such,” and you go, “Okay.” Well, if I’m at home, I might do it, if I’m in front of somebody who’s keeping track of what I’m doing, they’re like, “Oh, you know, gotta push you a little harder.” Well, this, I guess I can see how this is kind of the same thing, especially when you’re around other like-minded people and you’re…
0:05:24.2 Kurt Baker: One thing that I’ve always seen is that the teacher always becomes the beneficiary, the best student, so they tend to… I know that when you teach somebody, when you go out in front of somebody and teach them, the questions that they ask and the responses that you have to give them makes you think. So you actually learn a lot by going through this. So I’m taking your example of like the computer guy. So you’re changing your computer system, and so when you have to go back through and kind of explain to somebody what you’re doing, why you did it, you’re actually walking right back through that process yourself, and they’re gonna ask you questions that maybe you didn’t even think of.
0:05:56.5 Kurt Baker: So you’re like, “Oh shoot, you’re right, I really should have added that and maybe we do need to do that over here.” So you could actually improve that system, maybe you just installed by tweaking it a little bit through the questions that your peer is gonna ask you because their situation might be a little bit different, like their setup, how their employees are set up, maybe they’re not remote, maybe you’re more remote, who knows what the case is? But I’ve found that when you start doing this with other people, you end up… You get these questions and you’re like, “Where did that come from?” You didn’t think of it. And now you’re gonna have to respond to that, “Oh wow, that actually might apply to my situation. I didn’t really think of that before.”
0:06:32.9 Ted Simpson: Yeah, that’s a great point. And it’s one of those things that when people get into TAB, the organization, that they think it’s a lot of times like… Typically it’s… For me, like three things I look for in my world, [A], I wanna like the person, but my problem is I like everybody. So that’s part of the…
0:06:53.1 Kurt Baker: You have to narrow it down very much, then. Okay.
0:06:54.2 Ted Simpson: Yeah, but no, it’s true. There’s certain things ’cause it’s a pretty intimate relationship, and the second thing is I have to be able to help them. Some people have some things. I’ll give you an example. I had somebody call me the other week and their issue was they weren’t getting paid. And so that, “Okay, let’s talk a little bit.” It turns out they were working for a subcontractor who was working for the City of New York. So that’s one of those things that that’s really hard.
0:07:24.9 Kurt Baker: You don’t know the mayor, you can’t just call him up and say, “Dude.” [laughter]
0:07:28.5 Ted Simpson: Right. But if they wanted a plan to diversify their customer base, that would be something we would work on. And then the third thing would be, they really need to want to help themselves. And so you hit on this, they’ll come into these TAB meetings thinking like it’s solely for them for a certain purpose. What we do is… Well, I’ll tell you. Here’s how our meeting would work. So a flow would be like this. They come into the meeting and they have an issue, something that that month is on their mind, it could be personal even, just something that they’re working to tackle. So I would kick off the meeting and we kinda do like a check-in. So it’s important to make sure that everybody’s checked in and that you’re fully present for the meeting. You’re kind of like, “How is your business going? How are you doing personally?”
0:08:17.3 Kurt Baker: Right. That’s interesting you throw the personal side in, which obviously is very important. I just think that’s interesting to bring that up, ’cause I find that personally to be very important, frankly.
0:08:24.9 Ted Simpson: Right, ’cause you might have some things on your mind.
0:08:26.2 Kurt Baker: It affects everything. Absolutely.
0:08:28.1 Ted Simpson: Like you’re there, but you’re not.
0:08:29.9 Kurt Baker: Right, right.
0:08:30.7 Ted Simpson: So we wanna get that off the table right away. And then I’ll go around the room and we’ll go in order of who got there first. That’s pretty scientific. [laughter]
0:08:40.3 Kurt Baker: Okay, first come first serve, right?
0:08:42.0 Ted Simpson: And so you present an issue, right? And so the way we present the issue is like a brief description of the issue, and it’s important to me because… And then I’d be interested to know what you’ve done about it so far. And then what is it that you’re looking for here? We’re here together. What kind of help do you want? Then we’ll go around the room. And this is the hard part for me. Everybody gets to ask a question. Because you wanna make sure that you understand their point of view, ’cause you’re just introduced to this issue. So I’m going around and people can ask clarifying questions. Now, what happens a lot of times because people really wanna help, they’ll be like disguise advice in a clarifying question and be like, “Wow, have you tried this?” So actually what I want them to do the first go round is just to make sure everybody understands the point of view. And then we’ll go around the room, and people based on their experience or whatever will give some advice.
0:09:40.7 Ted Simpson: And the job of the person that’s asking for advice at this point is just to take in the advice. In marketing we say like input is a gift, and let’s just take that input, absorb it. There’s no right or wrong at this point. You’re just absorbing things. And then I’ll take some notes too. And then I’ll ask that person like, “Hey, what are you gonna do about it? You got some really good input here, tell me one thing that you’re gonna do between the next time we meet. How are you gonna take this input?” And then we’ll record it. I’ve never had a time where somebody didn’t get really good input that they wanted to use. Sometimes it was just clarifying what they already knew, but it was really good to get some other thoughts, sometimes it was just prioritizing things, but the point is, we will note it. And you say it aloud, your intention. And then what happens it goes to the next person.
0:10:36.8 Ted Simpson: So now the next person becomes the one seeking advice, and I just sought advice and now I’m giving advice. So that’s what we do, we go around that way. At the end of the meeting, we kinda do a wrap-up. “What was the best takeaway for everybody?” Just remind everybody what they’re gonna do. And then between that meeting and the next, because the thing that can go wrong is like… You’ve been to these things where “This was a great idea,” and then I go back to the office and life happens. Right?
0:11:06.6 Kurt Baker: Right, absolutely.
0:11:06.9 Ted Simpson: And so now life is happening, and so what this is a little different is, is now I’m gonna visit you. Sometimes I’d say ghosts of Christmas, past, present, future. Now I’m ghost of Christmas present, I’ll come in, remind you that this is what we said we’re gonna do, it was important to you, and then we’ll collaborate on what you’re gonna do about it. But again, remember I also have this overall plan that I’m working with you on. So, [A], I am keeping you on track of your current plan collectively, but then we’re making sure that we’re slotting this in because it was important to you. And then at the next meeting, you’re fully cycle.
0:11:43.4 Ted Simpson: Again, remember I said to check in, “How are you doing?” Well, part of that check-in is like, “Hey, here’s how I’m doing with last month’s input.” And then the team is like, “Awesome, good job.” Now, life… There’ll be times, like once or twice like, “Hey look, I didn’t get to it.” So you get a fun pass. But if you missed that once or twice, it’s not so much like… The team’s not gonna let you go. They’ll be like, “Hey, you know what, you said you’re gonna do this. I got up in the morning to make something happen. Let’s move it along.”
0:12:17.7 Kurt Baker: Awesome, man. Yeah, that’s great. We’re gonna definitely go over that again. We’re gonna take a quick break. You’re listening to Master Your Finances. We’ll be right back.
0:12:29.2 ANNOUNCER: Yeah, you’ve got loads of money, but it’s all about how you manage it. Let’s get back to learning how to grow your green with Kurt Baker of Certified Wealth Management and Investment only on Master Your Finances.
0:12:44.2 Kurt Baker: Welcome back. You’re listening to Master Your Finance. I’m here with Ted Simpson of the… Is a TAB facilitator. And we were kinda going through one of the means, and one of the things that I’ve noticed that you talked about was is the first go around when the questions are being asked. You wanna make sure they don’t give any kind of advice, which I think is interesting, ’cause that’s one of the things that I’ve always been trying to focus on personally, is listening before you try to respond. And so I think that’s great how you get the whole group to really do the listening to the person that has the issue, let that kinda vet out. And then you go into the response side.
0:13:18.4 Kurt Baker: So I think that’s a great point that you made there, is that many times we’ll jump in. I know my wife’s accused me of this, you jump to the answer before the question is finished, and a lot of times you’re gonna be wrong on your answer ’cause you didn’t get the whole question, right? You didn’t really get to understand what the whole question was. And so I’m definitely guilty of that. So I definitely I connected with that big time. And then the other part was the giving advice and getting advice, sometimes the benefit, as I said, is that sometimes you benefit just from giving the advice to somebody, you actually learn a little bit about what you did, ’cause now they give you feedback on what your thought process is.
0:13:53.4 Kurt Baker: And then the accountability, which is to me is key, because I think we’ve all been to these workshops, these seminars and things, they got all kinds of great information. One of the things I have a problem with, is you come out with almost too much information, ’cause you gotta break it into what are the actual steps I can really take? Which piece is the most important? “Here’s what I’m gonna do next, next, next.” Now maybe there’s 10 things I need to do, but I gotta start with one or two or three, I can’t do all 10 at once. So you gotta figure out which one’s the best one to go. So you’re kinda really focusing on what’s gonna actually get you there and which are the most important things. That’s what I kinda saw. And then you wrap it up, and then you…
0:14:27.7 Kurt Baker: So this one part you said, you’re coming around, do you literally knock on the door and say, “Hey dude, I’m here. What are you doing? Let me check you out”? Or you call him on the phone? I wanna make sure I clarify that, [laughter] ’cause then you’re holding him accountable. “So okay, so I left the meeting, I got my plan. Here’s a couple of things I promise I’m gonna do before we meet again.” And then Ted comes in, he’s gonna be right on your shoulder, sitting there right on the shoulder and say, “Hey,” whisper in your ear, “is this getting done or what?” [laughter]
0:14:56.7 Ted Simpson: Great. I’ll take a step back for a second. So why would somebody join this in the first place? So you would join something like this, typically people have a couple of different things that you’d be wrestling with. Like if you think about business, you’re running a business, you have people, people could be an issue. It could be your employees, it could be your partners. So I see both of those. It could be money, it could be your cash flow, we talked a little bit about, it could be about your sales growth, it could be like, “I don’t have a plan.” It could be like, I’m like, “I do the same thing every year, and I’m looking, sir, for some new thinking.” Or it could also be like, “I don’t have a North Star. I’m here, I’m doing my thing, but I’m not sure where I’m going.” And then the one that is, people don’t think as much about is like exiting the business. And what we don’t wanna see there is like, “I wanna exit like three months from now.” ‘Cause that’s like…
0:16:01.8 Kurt Baker: That’s a little quick.
0:16:02.6 Ted Simpson: Right. [laughter] So it means you didn’t really think through what you really want for your business and you didn’t prepare your business for that. So okay, then we got that, and then you say, “Okay, yeah, I really wanna work on one of these things.” And so, like I said, it’s a two-part, one is the one-to-one working on plans together. And so what you said, “Now I left that meeting and I have my things,” well, I’ve already got that arranged. So we have monthly… The rhythm is this. There’s a monthly one-to-one where we’re sitting down and we’re working on, [A], plans going forward, but also we’re working on the inputs that we got from the board meeting. Then once a month too we have the board meeting. Now, we talked about the board meeting is all about being accountable, but the other thing that’s so important about that board meeting is that it’s not at your place. Can we safeguard that?
0:16:52.9 Ted Simpson: Because you gotta be away from your business because now you’re not working in your business, now you’re working on your business. It’s a really big distinction, and it’s something that a lot of times you just need to experience it before you truly understand it. So that’s really key and critical, I’ll say. And then throughout the month, so this has been going on for a long time, so there’s a lot of tools that a lot of big companies use to plan. There’s a lot of tools that I used to work with in my big company days, about developing strategy, holding people accountable and building company values and cultures, like examples of that. So we give them access to those tools, and part of my job is to make sure that that I’m facilitating the use of those tools in a way that’s helping them think more strategically and helping them drive to an end, to a means, to goals that are important to them.
0:17:57.2 Kurt Baker: So yes, you have a lot happening here. So what are typically the size of them? We’ve got companies that are everything from, somebody just started their company six months ago to somebody that’s been maybe running a large construction firm, maybe has a couple 100 employees running around all over the place doing things. So does this fit all types of businesses, or is there kind of a sweet spot of where this kinda fits in as far as the size business? ‘Cause you’ve got a lot of good advice here, and it sounds like what you’re doing is you’re kind of upscaling this into the large company infrastructure, but maybe for a little bit smaller entities, right?
0:18:35.0 Ted Simpson: Yeah, exactly. So thanks for asking that question. So let’s say a typical business that would come into TAB, anywhere between a half a million dollars to up to 20 million, there are some that might be $30 million, $40 million, so there’s a big range there, and they might have from one employee to 25-40 employees. That would be on the larger side. And you asked about, did they just start off in business or they’ve been in business a while? Typically, they’d be… I’d want them to have been in business for a couple of years, because you gotta get some bruises, some experience, so if you’re gonna sit on a board, I wanna make sure that you’re able to give feedback based on some experience, ’cause it’s a two-way street. The other thing about that is, I find that the issues that you run into change as you mature as a business. So when you’re starting off your business, the most important thing is I need some customers, so I gotta grow, I gotta grow, and so I gotta grow, right? Right?
0:19:40.8 Kurt Baker: …
0:19:44.5 Ted Simpson: And then now I start to grow and then it’s like, “Oh, my gosh, I don’t have any time for anything. I’m so busy. I can’t do this. I need to do that.” And so this time management becomes something that’s important to them. Then they start to get a little bigger and it’s like, “Oh, my gosh, I have more people. And I’m not sure that they’re all being directed and all their auras are going in the same direction.” So now I’m really interested in my culture and my values and making sure that that’s squared away. And then I even get bigger and it’s like, “Alright, now what about my systems, and am I organised correctly? Am I getting the most out of everybody?” So, hey, that’s not all the issues, but let’s just say that that’s examples of what some business owners might be confronted with as they get larger.
0:20:32.9 Kurt Baker: Yeah. One of the things I picked out of here right away was that, is that, as you’re growing and you start getting very successful, you end up doing a lot more of the tasks you shouldn’t be doing, so now you have to hand that off. Now you have to hand that off. You have to assign that to others and then be able to give them responsibility and take accountability for that. And so that sounds like that might be a big part. Well, how do you train those people and how do you get those things off your plate so you can actually work on your business? Because you can become overwhelmed and not be necessarily working efficiently and you actually don’t enjoy it anymore. And I think you pointed out one of the main factors, “Are you enjoying your business?”
0:21:08.8 Kurt Baker: And I think one of the things that happens to business owners if they’re not careful is you can go from really loving what you’re doing and why you actually started this business to really becoming a little bit overwhelmed. And I think this is where some instruction outside people looking at what you’re doing, ’cause you’re kind of in the fight, so to speak. And if somebody is standing on the side of the ring saying, “Hey man, you really shouldn’t be doing that because that’s not the highest and best use of your time,” well, you can actually hand that off to somebody or you can hand it off to another company or do something with it. Are these the kind of things that you’ll talk about what? So what… Yeah.
0:21:39.4 Ted Simpson: Totally. Yeah. That is probably… Two things that are like the hardest, I’d say, for folks is for a lot, it’s… One is that first hire. Like, “How should I organise that? Who am I looking for?” And the other is, “Now am I doing the right things?” And I’ll give you an example. For large companies… This is how large companies work. Growing up in a large company, what they do is, is you start off as an individual contributor and you learn your skillsets and whatever function you’re in. And then you become a manager and then you’re working through other people. And then what they do is they just… They give you too much. You cannot do it. You won’t be able to do it, and so what it does is it forces somebody in that role to learn how to delegate. It’s just the law of survival. You’ll never be able to do it. And that’s what big companies are testing your leadership.
0:22:38.2 Ted Simpson: And it’s not like you think my experience in life, and that’s part of why I got into this, is, “I did it all wrong.” I got into… Started work and I’m like, “Wow, I’m pretty smart, I can just out-think people,” and then like, “Oh, wow. I’ll just outwork people.” And then you can’t and then you just get frustrated. And so for me I was like, “Wow, wouldn’t it be great if I’ve figured this out ahead of time is how to create an inspiring vision and help people understand how to get there?” Then that becomes interesting for people. And now I’m getting a team together and we’re moving in the same direction. And to your point, delegation is one of the top things. Having your team aligned to what you wanna get, understand what you want, have the capabilities to do it, and you having the peace of mind that will get done, that’s big. It’s really big for us.
0:23:28.1 Kurt Baker: Absolutely. We’re gonna take another quick break. You’re listening to Master Your Finances. We’ll be right back.
0:23:31.5 ANNOUNCER: We’re not just doing this for money. We’re doing it for a shit load of money! If you want to learn how to make and manage that kind of money, turn the volume up as we get back to Master Your Finances with Kurt Baker of Certified Wealth Management and Investment.
0:23:43.4 Kurt Baker: Welcome back. You’re listening to Master Your Finances. I’m here with Ted Simpson. And we’re talking about getting kind of… I think the big part I’m taking away from this is this is allowing people to work more on… You hear this term all the time: Work on your business instead of in your business. But if you’re a business owner, to you, that’s kind of a fantasy. Look, I get up in the morning, I’m living, breathing my business like 24/7. It’s being success… Especially when it becomes successful, you’re just overwhelmed because you have all this business coming in, you’re trying to process it, you’re trying to get it out, you’re trying to serve your clients, you’re trying to do everything you can do, and so it’s hard to step back from that and say, “Well, wait a minute. If I step back… ” Of course, that you feel like the revenue is gonna go down, ’cause I’m not there to do everything. But if you do it correctly, you step back, you actually can increase the revenue, ’cause now you’re actually delegating, you’re actually becoming more efficient, and now you can actually spend more time on the visionary side of it.
0:24:33.2 Kurt Baker: And then one of the things I heard earlier on when we were talking is that, one, is you just sit down and you talk about the plan. And I think that’s key because a lot of us get… We get into this process where we could say, “This is the way we’ve always done it. It works. Let’s just keep doing it.” But there may be better ways, if you’ve had your business, especially 5, 10, 15, 20 years, a lot has happened, a lot has happened out there that can maybe improve it that what didn’t may not even existed when you started the business, you may have never thought of it. So how do you start this planning process and how do you just walk people through this? Let’s start from the very beginning. Let’s say I come in, I wanna join TAB, I join TAB. What happens now? What do we do now to get started?
0:25:09.2 Ted Simpson: Cool, thanks. So it’s this. So you came in because there was something on your mind. And so it starts off with this understanding yourself. And we really don’t spend a lot of time on that as people, like really not enough time. And so our coaching style’s more about helping you find your North Star. It’s not one of these, like I’m gonna come and say, “How many emails did you do this week? How many… Why did you do that many emails?” It’s more about, “What do you wanna do? What’s important to you?” But it has to start off with, “Where are you now?”
0:25:47.8 Ted Simpson: So the first thing you would do with my organization is some benchmarking, [A], on your business, so your business itself. Let’s look at that. You have different parts of your business. Like you’re trying to get people to know about your company. You’re trying to get people to buy from your company, you gotta get people to pay you, you gotta make sure you pay your employees, you gotta get good employees, all those type of things. So we start off with a business diagnostics. And so this is the first eye opener for people because everybody says, “Well, my business is different, my business is different.”
0:26:25.6 Ted Simpson: Well, right, it is different, like 15% of your business is different. If you’re a contractor and you do landscaping, well, yeah, you need to understand how to do good landscape, but you’re still gonna get money from people, you still gotta sell to people, you need to pay people, you gotta do with your computer systems, all that kind of stuff, people have those things. So 85% of your business is pretty much the same. Now where strategy gets in is like which one of those things is really important to you? So we start with a diagnostics. So it’s… Okay, we’ll take a look at marketing, for instance, it’s a real pragmatic approach, like, “Okay, I have a marketing plan,” check, good. “I have a marketing plan and it’s based on some kind of external analysis,” check. You make it to the next level. “My marketing plan is external analysis and takes into account my internal capabilities,” check, you’re good with that one. “My marketing plan does all those things and my people actually know what I’m trying to do, and it’s embedded in their plans.”
0:27:26.9 Ted Simpson: You get where I’m coming from? So it’s like these different levels of like, you have to answer yes to the first one, yes to the second one, and if you get it to level four, let’s just say, I think you’re pretty good at that, like we’d say it’s pretty good. And because this organization that I’m in, TAB, has about 4000 members around the world, I can take your business type, so if you’re a contractor, I can compare that to other contractors in our organization and say, “Hey, you know what, you’re scaling pretty well here versus the others,” or “This is something you might wanna improve on.” So it starts off with that. And there’s about nine different elements. And we do this benchmarking. And then we decide what is important to you, ’cause you’re not gonna be great at everything. Right. Because there’s only a few of you.
0:28:16.8 Ted Simpson: So that’s kind of a business diagnostics. But I would argue even more importantly, we start with you. And so we do a personality assessment. And what that is is kind of like how the world kind of perceives you. So that’s one element of it. Like are you the person that stands up when there’s a problem? Are you the person that is always wanting to tell people about what happened this weekend?
0:28:44.4 Kurt Baker: Now do I analyze myself? How do you… I already talked to my friends about this. I’m a little nervous about that. [laughter]
0:28:49.5 Ted Simpson: You know what’s interesting? [laughter] It’s so weird, Kurt.
0:28:54.6 Kurt Baker: Yeah. How do you get me to admit what I really am like?
0:28:56.9 Ted Simpson: So, it’s a 20-minute test. It’s 20 minutes and you just… My suggestion to them is always, “Don’t take more than 20 minutes, just take 20 minutes and then answer how you feel.” And it’s gonna take a look at your personality based on how people see you, how you handle problems, how you influence people, how you react to your environment, these type of things kind of give people a feel of what you’re all about. I give you just one example just so you can see what I’m talking about.
0:29:27.7 Kurt Baker: Sure.
0:29:28.0 Ted Simpson: Like the first thing about, how do you handle problems? If you’re the person that stands up and say, “We gotta fix this, we gotta… ” Well, that means that you’re pretty much high on the scale of that one, and that’s important to you to know because that type of person, when things go wrong, I might get a little grumpy with others.
0:29:47.5 Kurt Baker: Just a little. Just a little. [laughter] “What’s wrong with everybody out there? I know what the answer is, fix it. [laughter] Come on, do it.” [laughter]
0:29:55.0 Ted Simpson: So that’s self-awareness. And the crazy thing is…
0:29:57.9 Kurt Baker: ‘Cause everybody… Does everybody honest about… I’m just curious about how much honesty you get out of this, because I know not everybody is that self-aware about necessarily where they are in that type of a situation, they’re like, “Oh no, I’m collaborating. I’m telling them what I wanna do and they go do it.” That’s not really collaborating. [laughter]
0:30:15.6 Ted Simpson: No. And that’s the thing, is they’re not. So this is… A lot of times that’s a blind spot for them. That’s just one example. The way the world sees you a lot of times is a blind spot, and there’s a whole bunch of studies about that, that whole self-awareness, emotional intelligence side of things, but…
0:30:37.6 Kurt Baker: So, do you uncover some of that within this test? Are you uncovering some of this maybe I’m missing? ‘Cause I’m analyzing, I’m just curious, I’m analyzing myself a little bit. So, are you kind of reading between the line and say “Well, based on how you answered all this, I think maybe you need to work on this area?”
0:30:50.7 Ted Simpson: Most of the time. Well, again, thanks, because it’s what you do with it. Most of the time, first is you have some people who are like, “I don’t wanna take that test.”
0:30:58.3 Kurt Baker: Yeah, sure.
0:31:00.4 Ted Simpson: And then they’re like, “Oh, nobody’s gonna… No one really understands me after that.” And so what I do is I go over it with them. I’ve never had a time where they haven’t been like, “Oh my gosh, how do you know that about me?” What I have asked them to do is, “You know what, give it to your spouse and let your spouse look at it.”
0:31:19.2 Kurt Baker: Oh there you go, there’s an honest response.
0:31:20.6 Ted Simpson: That’s what I really wanna know, how do they see you?
0:31:22.0 Kurt Baker: You get the real story now.
0:31:24.1 Ted Simpson: Right?
0:31:24.2 Kurt Baker: [laughter] There you go.
0:31:25.9 Ted Simpson: So that’s kind of like… That’s the first step.
0:31:27.6 Kurt Baker: They’re cheating, that’s like cheating. [laughter]
0:31:31.6 Ted Simpson: For me, it’s the ones that are reluctant, I’m like, “You know what, you’re reluctant you’re gonna… ” And if they say no, then we rip the whole thing up. But I never had to do that.
0:31:40.3 Kurt Baker: Okay, good.
0:31:41.1 Ted Simpson: And then to your point is like, okay, now based on that, that’s how the world sees me, but also in that same test is what motivates me.
0:31:50.3 Kurt Baker: Ah, that’s important.
0:31:51.4 Ted Simpson: And that’s super important. And I’ll just give you just one example because there’s about seven different factors, but one would be learning, like how I learn. And some people want to learn everything, that’s like… I have a daughter like that. When you go to a museum with her, she reads every single sign, like you can’t get through it ’cause she’s really fascinated.
0:32:12.8 Kurt Baker: I could take a long time.
0:32:13.8 Ted Simpson: Right? But there’s people like that.
0:32:16.1 Kurt Baker: Oh, sure.
0:32:17.4 Ted Simpson: People like me I’m like, “Yeah, it’s kind of cool, go,” but if I need to run it for work, I will. So that’s like one thing. There’s other things about how you… Are you motivated by giving back to the world or are you motivated by more personal motivations, like for myself? And why those things are pretty important for a business person is, [A], it’s tapping into your values, what’s important to you, because remember, we’re trying to get to your North Star. And the second thing is, how do you use this to get better? And so one of the ways you use that tool to get better is we outlined a couple of things. Like, okay, based on your profile, there’s always pros and cons. There’s no right answer, right? There’s pros and cons for everything. This type of profile you’re gonna have an issue with, you’re gonna want to talk to everybody. So we should come up with a strategy of how to limit that. You might close your door, we might do things. So everything we do is about improving. So that would be, [A], we talked about your business diagnostics; [B], we talked about understanding yourself.
0:33:27.4 Kurt Baker: So a little bit of what I’m taking away from this is, if I learn more about myself, ’cause don’t they say like, “Hire people to do the things that you don’t want to or don’t like to do, or can’t do as well?” And so wouldn’t this help a little bit with saying, “Okay, when I’m out looking for maybe a new employee or a new person to kind of help me a little bit, or even looking at my existing employee base, maybe I can better optimize them by understanding better what I actually do well and the things that I probably shouldn’t be doing?” The understanding of my own personality, like where I kind of am and what’s driving me, would that kind of get me to focus a little bit more on what I should actually be doing every day?
0:34:04.4 Ted Simpson: Totally. You’re getting it.
0:34:07.3 Kurt Baker: I’m listening, man. I’m trying to listen. I’m reading the museum placards. That’s what I’m doing. [laughter]
0:34:13.8 Ted Simpson: I wanna say on that point, like what we’ll say a lot of times is, what do you love to do? What are you good at? And how important is that to your business? That’s another way I would frame what you were just saying.
0:34:24.6 Kurt Baker: Okay. Awesome, man. We’re gonna take another quick break. You’re listening to Master Your Finances. We’ll be right back.
0:34:29.5 ANNOUNCER: Do you want to prevent this from happening to you? And it’s gone, it’s all gone. Listen closely as we now return to Master Your Finances with Kurt Baker of Certified Wealth Management and Investment.
0:34:45.5 Kurt Baker: Welcome back. You’re listening to Master Your Finances. I am here with Ted Simpson and we’re talking about business planning and I guess assessing your own personality, which is great. So once I understand what I want to do, I’m trying to find my North Star. So how do I get my vision? You talked about that a while ago. So how do I get this vision? ‘Cause we really wanna work on our business instead of in the business, right? And that’s a common problem that almost all business owners have. We constantly get dragged into the day to day of what we’re doing, but you really need to step back. I like the fact that you go offsite. This is kind of almost like a mini retreat ’cause you’re not in your actual office. And so working on… So how do I set up the vision and what’s that process for us?
0:35:23.5 Ted Simpson: So yeah, and that’s right on the front end of the process. And so there’s two sides of this. When I talk about vision, there’s your personal vision, like what you want as a person and then there’s the business version. And the visual that I always put for people is like, think of a bicycle, right? Your personal vision is the front wheel. That’s who you are, that’s what you want out of life. And your business, if I’m a business owner, that vision’s the back wheel, that’s supposed to be following it. What happens in life? People start their business, like you just explained it so well, all of a sudden it’s going and I got in it for a reason and then all of a sudden everything else is happening. So how do you knock people out of that? Well, first is like tapping into what you really want in life. And there’s a couple of different areas, I won’t get into everything, but there’s these elements of fulfillment in life.
0:36:22.7 Ted Simpson: Like there’s this element of family, there’s an element of friends, there’s an element of your health, there’s an element of your personal development, there’s an element of community, there’s part of it is like how much I make in life, how much do I bring into the family? So when we sit down with business owners, we look at these things, and you can visualize this on a wheel almost. It’s visually on a wheel. And so the physical exercise is I go around the wheel with them. I’m like, “Okay, let’s talk about like health and wellbeing. Your health, how are you doing on that? 1 to 10, where do you stand on that?” And then they’ll kind of give a ranking and then I’ll ask curious questions like, “What would a 10 be like for you? Just curious, what would that be? What would that look like for you?” Because it needs to be coming to your forefront, your front of your brain. You wanna bring it out there.
0:37:15.8 Kurt Baker: Yep. Yep.
0:37:16.5 Ted Simpson: And we’ll go around the wheel that way, and it’ll take some time. And then I’ll say, “All right, what kind of… When we were talking about these things, what was like… Where did you feel it?” Sometimes when certain things, like let’s just say for me right now, like one of those things on the wheel would be exiting the business, that would be like, “How am I gonna retire? What am I gonna do that?” “For me, that’s not like really my thing right now,” like, “All right, I’ll go right past that.” But for some, I’ll go through, for everybody, like, what are the most important things? And what I’m always trying to dig into is who do you want to be? When you walk into a room, what do you want people to say about you when you leave? What is that? Is this person like a really cool family person? Is this person a really great visionary? Is this person somebody that gives back a lot? Is this somebody that’s just a really good worker? So that’s who you are. And I always start there. Then the second thing is what do you want to do? Like this is five years from now, how do you want to be spending your time? Do you wanna be spending in your office? Some do, most don’t.
0:38:32.9 Ted Simpson: Do you want to be spending it with your family? Think about it. Do you want to be traveling? Do you wanna be reading? Do you wanna be talking to people? Do you want to be taking classes? Those type of things. And then the final thing is, what do you want to have? Usually everybody wants to talk about what they want to have. Like, “I wanna have a beach house, I wanna have a car.” My point is, “Okay, that’s great. Be specific though.” Where is this? Let’s visualize this thing. So when you’re having a bad day, that becomes your visual, right?
0:39:05.7 Kurt Baker: That’s where you see like the sailboat sitting on the side of the desk or whatever? [laughter]
0:39:08.3 Ted Simpson: Yeah.
0:39:11.9 Kurt Baker: “I’m gonna buy that sailboat next year.” [laughter]
0:39:14.5 Ted Simpson: No, yeah. And that’s what you want. When you’re having that day, we all have ’em, that’s where you go.
0:39:19.6 Kurt Baker: Oh, absolutely.
0:39:20.5 Ted Simpson: Yeah. So, that’s kind of like the visioning exercise, and then what we’ll do there, like, now you and I kind of went through it, let’s just pretend, now you share that with your board, because remember, your board is an intimate group of folks that you’re sharing things with. So, I didn’t mention that. Obviously there’s a non-disclosure agreement to be on a board.
0:39:43.3 Kurt Baker: I would hope so.
0:39:43.4 Ted Simpson: ‘Cause you’re talking about these things. But you’re talking about numbers, you’re talking about what you want to be. So the board really gets to know you. And I’ll tell you why it’s important. Like, there’ll be a case where somebody has an opportunity, everybody has opportunities, like, “Wow, I can do this.” And that will be something they’ll bring to the board, and the board will know your vision, they’ll know about you, and they’ll say, “Hey, Kurtis, you know what I don’t understand, when you told us about what you want in five years, it included being with your family and traveling and reading, what it didn’t include is working more.” Like, what it didn’t include was making another million dollars. It didn’t include that. So I just want to be clear. Is this like Mr. Right now? Or is this something that really fits into your plan? So that’s the power of having a vision, sharing it with your board and keeping you on track. All of us.
0:40:39.3 Kurt Baker: Yeah, that’s amazing. I mean, the thing I thought about here was like, what do you wanna be known for? Like what do people want to… Like when they think of you and who are you? What are you all about? And so one thing that flashed through my brain is what you’re doing. I remember they had this exercise where they’d sneak kids, like people sit down and write their own obituary. Like when you’re gone, what do you want people to say about you? Like when you’re gone, what did you do? How did you do it? And things like that. And it sounds like a silly exercise, but if you really think about it, it’s actually pretty powerful, right? ‘Cause most people when you hear the story all the time, on their death beds, do they ever say, “I wish I’d spent more time at work?” That’s pretty rare.
0:41:14.6 Kurt Baker: And so successful business owners sometimes they get a little bit too successful, sometimes they have to say, I’m not saying make less money, I’m just saying they get too stuck in the business where they need to say, “Well, I’m doing all this because I want to give all this stuff to my family.” You hear that all the time, right? “I wanna be able to provide, take care of them.” Well, you’re already past that point. You’re already doing really well. Now maybe it’s time to think about, “Oh wait, wait a minute. Maybe I need to rethink about what I’m doing. I’ve far exceeded that ‘I’m taking care of my family aspect.'” Now, maybe back off and really think about what is it really you want to do with your life? I mean, how do you want to enjoy your life? Spend it with the… Usually it’s spend more time with your family, right? Or your kids, your grandkids, your dog, whatever it is. Just get out there. Or travel. I hear that people wanna travel more. So take the time off, do that.
0:42:00.1 Kurt Baker: And you can still operate the business. That’s the beauty is nowadays with technology and you have people that are assigned these tasks, you can still operate the business at a very high successful level. I just remember reading an article once saying, “The least stressful job of like a Fortune 500 company is the CEO, because they know how to delegate out all the stress.” [laughter] I don’t know if that’s true or not, but I mean, it actually, if you think about it, like ’cause they’re the visionary, they’re the ones that get out and talk about where the company’s going, any of the actual tasks, they have somebody managing that. They have lots of people managing that. So, I just thought that was kind of interesting and I’m like, that actually makes a little bit of sense. And I’ve never been a CEO of Fortune 500 company, so I don’t know if that’s really true or not, but it actually makes a little bit of sense. If you’re able to delegate it often to good processes, then they handle the actual administrative of the business. So anyway, those are the things that kind of came to my mind when you were kind of describing all this, ’cause this is really important stuff.
0:42:54.8 Ted Simpson: One of the thing I’ll ask them, like two things, like people always say, can you leave the business for two weeks and it still runs? That’s fine. But for me it’s like, will it grow? Like will it thrive without you? Like to me that’s the litmus test if you’re really organized that way. So yeah, that’s an excellent point, Kurtis.
0:43:16.1 Kurt Baker: So, what are some steps they take? Once they get this vision, what do I do next? Now I have to…
0:43:20.0 Ted Simpson: Yeah. So now I got my vision, I got that now, now what’s important, I develop my business vision. So some have it, most don’t. And that’s more of like, something you’re proud of, something your stakeholders would be proud of. The folks that you sell to, that’s something that you would share with them, that’s something you would share with your employees, and it’s what you’re all about, it’s what your business is all about, what it delivers at the end of the day, what you’re known for. Then the next step, just because I’ll just accelerate this. You got that, then to me, it’s your values. ‘Cause your values really become your brand. Like I have a small business and it’s a small group that are doing it, so your values are just so important. We work with them on that. Like, what is it? What is it that’s important to them? And that would be something that when folks tell me they’re grumpy with an employee, I’m like, “Well, are you guys all aligned on your values? Like, do you really understand that? And is it meaningful?” So those values, then they obviously become that’s your culture and that’s your brand.
0:44:26.2 Ted Simpson: So then we work on that part of it. Like, “Okay, let’s look at your business. What makes you different? Like really you’re a smaller business, what makes you different? Let’s really think about this. What makes you stand out? Who are the people that you want to know you? Who are the people that you want to like you? Who are the people that are trying to take business away from you? And why do you stand out? What makes you different?” And then we get into this like, what’s important? What’s important to you as a business? What are the key things that you gotta accomplish? Cut through all the clutter, your critical success factors. Like that’s the things if you jump out of an airplane, the chute’s got open. So then we get into that…
0:45:11.6 Kurt Baker: Hopefully.
0:45:12.6 Ted Simpson: Right?
0:45:12.7 Kurt Baker: That would be beneficial.
0:45:15.8 Ted Simpson: And then we get right into the planning, Kurtis, then it’s business planning. And it’s business planning and then tools to make sure that you’re on track.
0:45:25.5 Kurt Baker: That’s just awesome, man. You’ve taken through a lot of stuff here. So it’s the alternative board, right? So how do they connect if they’re interested in more about this? Is there a website or something?
0:45:34.8 Ted Simpson: Yeah. It’s really easy.
0:45:35.8 Kurt Baker: Or just search?
0:45:37.1 Ted Simpson: No, it’s
0:45:43.3 Kurt Baker: Cool.
0:45:44.7 Ted Simpson: Yeah.
0:45:45.4 Kurt Baker: All right, Ted, that’s been awesome. We learned a lot about how to put your plan together, work on your business instead of in your business, and you take those steps, and I have to advocate, I love coaching and I love… This is where it’s at is my personal opinion after being in business for almost 40 years. So thank you, Ted. I appreciate you spending a little time with us. You’re listening to Master Your Finance. Have a great day.
0:46:06.8 ANNOUNCER: That’s all for today’s episode of Master Your Finances. Missed Kurt Baker’s biggest money managing tip or even a full episode? Head on over to or Look for Master Your Finances on Anchor, Spotify or anywhere you get your podcasts. We’ll see you next time only on 107.7 The Bronc.

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