The founder of Hello Process, Matt Daniell, is here not only to share his experience in the value of processes in scaling, but also a story of outright theft going on right under the nose of the accounting department of one of the biggest American railways. Listen right here:
Matt Daniell Interview On The Importance of Processes In Scaling: Show Notes
Humans Will Game, as I said in another podcast…and Matt has stories to share about what founders ought to be doing instead of fighting fires and trying to tackle everything themselves.
If your business is at under $500K ARR, you should speak with Matt about Hello Process. If you’re above that figure, especially at the $2million ARR mark or greater, talk to us at Cold Star Tech about the Red Team Experience.
Jason Kanigan 0:01
We are here for another lean and mean episode. Yes, it’s mean because the cutting truth is here. You may not like to hear what we have to say. But it is the truth about scaling your tech business. If you want to do better, you have to do things differently than you were before. We are here with Matt Daniell, founder of Hello Process–which I love, because, “Hello Process!”–that’s a central core thing to what we do. Thanks for being here, Matt.
Matt Daniell 0:28
Yeah, thanks for having me. Jason. That’s exactly the reason I created it. Because a lot of us run blind without a process. And all of a sudden, we realize we need one.
Jason Kanigan 0:35
That’s right. So tell me about your business and what problem that you’re solving. What’s the core thing?
Matt Daniell 0:42
So I primarily service third party Amazon sellers at the moment. So these guys they bought into a business opportunity, it is a super legitimate opportunity. I’ve seen sellers make $7 million a month. And this is a real business opportunity. But they have no idea where they’re headed as a business, they get it and they want to start making money and they start selling things, then all of a sudden, they get buried in work. And that’s that’s basically where I come in. And that was my story for a long time. You know, one point, you know, the first six months of my business, I launched 79 different products and got buried and I get out from under it. And so I started building processes around it. Instantly, once I got employees working for me that we’re really implementing, at a high level, my workload went down three to four hours a day overnight, and I never looked back. And you know, the income continued to go up. And that changed my life. So that’s why I started doing processes. And so people end up needing processes, they end up needing my services, whenever they basically don’t have enough time in the day to complete the work that they have. And they get super frustrated that they can’t just put their foot on the gas pedal and continue, you know, increasing the revenues year or actually month over month. It’s really what happens. And so they find me it really doesn’t take a lot of explanation because they’re already experiencing a lot of pain.
Jason Kanigan 1:53
That’s great. That is a great indicator right there. So if you’re feeling all these stoplights and exhaustion, and overwhelm, and your calendar’s too full, and I’ve been there,
Matt Daniell 2:04
We’ve all been there, right?
Jason Kanigan 2:06
Yeah, it’s time to talk to Matt here. Don’t talk to me. Not yet. After you talk to Matt, then come and talk to me. Because you can probably need some help with those processes that he helps you figure out. Okay, now, I’ve talked with Matt a little bit before. And I really like how sharp he is. He is a no BS kind of guy. And in fact, even going through the little kind of back and forth we do to set up this episode, he was one of just two guests who stopped me in my tracks and said, No, no, wait a minute, what about this, this, this? And this literally went through every question, because he is asking great questions about “What does this mean? Why are we doing this?”, right? Not just blindly accepting whatever is put in front of him. So I think that’s very valuable. Okay, what kinds of tasks should founders not be doing as they’re scaling?
Matt Daniell 2:56
Well, you know, that’s–it’s funny I get asked that question a lot. The simple way to answer it, if you can put a dollar amount on this task, that is something that is less than you’re worth, that is something you should get rid of. But people don’t understand what they’re worth. That’s the problem. And so let me just give an example, customer service, anything that’s not going to make you money that you have to do probably doesn’t have a super high dollar per hour assigned to it. So that needs to go first. Anything that’s easy, you can explain to somebody, it’s easy to explain, easy to understand. And it’s 10, 15, 20, maybe $30 an hour, maybe up to $100 an hour, it’s worth your time and effort and energy to get it off your plate. Because the end of the day as the CEO, which you should be, and you’re the you’re the marketing expert, you’re you’re a lot of things when you start your company, but you’re bringing in the money, you should eventually be making $1,000 an hour for what you do, easy. And this is not like pie in the sky. This is not 10 years from now, this is really in the next six months. And if you’re not, you’ve got to look at why. You’re probably too busy doing things that are never going to pay you 1000 bucks an hour. And while you do those things, the opportunity costs are high, because you can never get to $1,000 an hour when you fill your calendar and your day up with $10 an hour tasks.
Jason Kanigan 4:07
Makes sense. I love how you brought up the question behind the question, which is not what tasks should people be doing. But you know, what, what is the measuring tool? What do we use as a dividing line for Okay, somebody else should be doing this. Now, how do you help? Do you help founders who are having trouble letting go and delegating?
Matt Daniell 4:31
Well, sometimes it does take a quick kick in the balls. So I’ll just be honest with you, I do have, you know, male and female clients. But at the end of the day, I’m real. And so part of the part of my job when I bring a client on is to coach them through this, this process, because it is a process of letting go of control. You still you still exert your control, and, you know, with quality assurance and stuff like that, but it’s a big, big transition from doing everything to feeling like you, you are the one that knows everything, you’re the best one to do this work, right? We’ve been there. It’s like, oh, if I give it away they’re not going to do it as good. Well, you have to understand that maybe that’s true, it probably isn’t. But what if it is? What’s the worst that’s gonna happen? You’re still going to grow your company, because companies aren’t grown on perfection, they’re grown on output. And it takes a little bit to get, you know, clients to understand that. But after they understand the value of letting it go, and when you making them do it a few times, and you know, the world didn’t cave in, and their business didn’t implode now, now they can they can get the hang of this. Now they see that, oh, I have more time in the day. You know, somebody can do this 85% as good as me sometimes. And a lot of cases, they can do it better than me. [Yeah] It’s a really awesome surprise when people get in, get into it, to find that other people are better suited to certain things [Right] than they are. Because, I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty much an invalid in a lot of areas in my life. Because I’m really good at certain things and I’m really bad at others, and I don’t want to be good at, you know, things that aren’t gonna pay me very well. And, you know, the cool thing is, there’s somebody in this world right now that loves to do that thing you don’t want to do. Like accounting for one, I hate it. I don’t want to deal with it. I don’t want to touch it, right? There’s people that get up and they just love it. They, they just think they get happy thinking about numbers.
Jason Kanigan 6:12
Right, right. And I’ll add my own experience to that where I just didn’t want to delegate anything, because I felt my clients hired me for the weird makeup that I’ve got, you know, and my unique solving problem ability, whatnot perspective. And, well, once I started to let go of that, and kind of–you write down the 11 secret herbs and spices that make you do and get the output you get, right. But you give that to somebody else and say, okay, apply what you do through this filter, this lens, and they will come up with 115% better solution than you a lot of the time. And let me tell you the first time you experience that, it is a delight. It is like, Whoa, wow, wow.
Matt Daniell 6:53
“I never knew that existed before!”
Jason Kanigan 6:56
In the last business that I ran I had a co-founder. And we brought on an Operations Director because because she came to us. And just like it was like opening a folder for–branded mini courses was what it was–co-branded mini courses, for us to expand our knowledge and kind of brand it with somebody else’s who was compatible, and expand our market share that way with great lead magnets, right. And she had like this whole five page process, just pu-ching! there it is. And I was like, I don’t have to make that thing that is so awesome. What else can she make [Yeah!] for us, right? So it was a very easy decision to bring her on board. So great. I know from, again, from talking with you before that you have a history of working in the railway industry. And that I imagine is a very–I’ve wanted to work in it myself. So I’m a sucker for it. With my operations management background, I really wanted to be a transportation management trainee in the in the late 90s, where you get on board trains and you literally ride around everywhere for like six months to a year doing all the jobs. And it’s it’s kind of a high C in the DISC profile culture, right, where stuff has to be done in a certain order, or else something horrible is going to happen, somebody’s gonna get rolled over, or–
Matt Daniell 8:18
Yeah and there’s no tolerance for deviation either for that, because the stakes are so so much higher when you’re in the railroad industry. There’s no band– there’s a saying there’s no band aids on the railroad.
Jason Kanigan 8:27
Right. And I mean, when it happens, when something bad happens, it’s a news story, right? These 18 cars fell over and flooded fuel oil or something into the local water supply or something. [Yeah, totally] You have to be super careful. So tell us a little bit about that as a training ground for just experiences that you were involved with, stuff bouncing off you, I guess. And–
Matt Daniell 8:51
Yeah, so you know, as far as the DISC profile–I’m glad you brought up–see I, as far as C goes, I think that’s my last one in the DISC profile. I’m high D, high I. Like they’re both–depending on what month I take this thing D’s higher or I’s higher. You know, one point I was 100% D, which is not a good place to be. Because when you’re a driver, you just really just kind of frustrate your employees. But one of the things I learned though, from the railroad environment is that you have to be a driver. If you want things done, especially in transportation, you can’t necessarily outsource or automate that to a lot of degree. Like you can outsource it. But you can’t automate it. Because there has to be somebody touching things at every step, you know, every time it moves. And so I actually have a very kind of weird history with the railroad. I mean, I worked in I think it was nine different departments. I started counting one day I was like, it’s, it’s, it’s at least a, I don’t know, this last one counted, because I was only there for like, a couple hours. But anyway,
Jason Kanigan 9:47
Ha! “This isn’t for me!”
Matt Daniell 9:49
Yeah. So I would pretty much excel at most of the stuff until I got hit with the job that I didn’t. And it just dawned on me, and one day that, you know, I’m a high D, I’m a high I and they need a C. Like, I didn’t understand what that was at the time. But I just knew that I wasn’t what they wanted. And I’m an entrepreneur. And so that’s why I eventually left but I was there for almost 14 years. And it was a great learning experience, because you learn about processes and stuff, which–the railroad’s kind of weird. They don’t actually have everything written down. Like if it’s the safety book and outside if you’re in the field they have everything written down. Because they can’t take anything to chance. Because like you said, anything happens man, somebody really probably like they’re not gonna have a bad day, they’re going to be in the hospital if they’re lucky, you know, so the more but inside the office, they didn’t have manuals. I had to go create my own, was always doing that. I was always just trying to figure out a way I can shortcut my involvement and things that needed the need that C because compliant people can do things over and over and over and over again and be happy. I can’t. Right? [Right.] So one of the so I learned about your, your Red Team Experience. And I was laughing because when I was working on the railroad, I worked in one at one point, the Freight Claims Department. So this guy that was a few offices down, he dealt with salvage. And so what happens, a railcar spills over and you know, you’re the owner of that of those goods. And you know the railroads like, Oh, I’m so sorry for your loss. Here’s a check. I hope it makes you happy. Right? And then they take those goods and then they you know, they salvage it. They try to, you know, sell to the highest bidder.
Jason Kanigan 11:12
Okay, so I’m sure there’s an insurance agency in there somehow too.
Matt Daniell 11:18
Well they were self self-insured. [Ah, OK.] It’s cheaper that way. I don’t know why. But it is right. When you have that much money they only make $30 million a single day right. So they they can afford that. So the guy was in charge of salvage. I mean, I knew the guy worked in the gym with the guy–I mean nobody had any idea that he was literally telling, you know, these these vendors that were buying railroad property, they were giving them his bank account, and not the company’s bank account for years. And nobody caught it. And all of a sudden, Jerry wasn’t at work. One day, Jerry was in jail. And it was on the news. It is something like a quarter million dollars. And although we were like, Dude, come on hindsight, it makes sense, because he had three different brand new cars in the past six months. And he’s only making like, $65,000 a year. I mean, come on now. Like, [Right] How’s this possible?
Jason Kanigan 12:08
You kind of need to control yourself there. It’s like those, those mafia movies where they do the big heist and then somebody’s got to go out and blow their their take on [Yeah] crazy things. Furs and cars and stuff like that.
Matt Daniell 12:23
So when I when I saw your Red Team Experience, I started laughing ’cause I was like, Dude, this is 100% true. There’s always somebody there that’s going to game the system, always somebody that’s going to, if there’s an opportunity for them to get by with stealing something, somebody will take it at some point.
Jason Kanigan 12:38
Yes, I think I feel like I should grow a mustache, a cop mustache to help the imagery there. But boy, there are scams going on all the time, you would think in that situation that the matching principal would come in, and the accounting department and eventually they would go, Wow, goods at value of salvage goods is going out of the company. And we’re not going receiving anything in exchange for it, right. But I guess there’s so much going on that nobody can look at every single transaction, or even a category of transactions, I guess.
Matt Daniell 13:10
I mean, think about this, when it gets so big, I mean, $30 million a day, every single day coming in, there’s a lot of transactions going on. And I mean, so I actually worked in the in one of the billing departments at some point. And it’s like, dude, I don’t even know how to keep track of this stuff, right? It’s insane. The amount of complexity when you get when you get big.
Jason Kanigan 13:29
So even accounting departments can use some process design and some feedback loops. Is there anything that you have to share? I mean, feedback loops in in my life have been the bane of my existence. Like, I know, as you grow a company, what can happen when a task is assigned to somebody, and there might even be a due date and you know that something should be happening. But then something crashes and it’s, it’s two weeks before you find out about it, and you go, What’s wrong, we’re smart people right? We should have figured this out. Is there anything that you have learned that you could share? Or is it just Hey, man, this is a struggle.
Matt Daniell 14:09
Well, this is a struggle as you know, and the struggle is very real. My feedback loops that I like, you know, my company–now, granted, my company’s always probably going to be coined a “small company” by the SBA–you know, the end of the day feedback loops, if you really want to be, I think, super effective need to happen very often. So we basically have meetings every every week. But we have meetings every day, they’re short meetings, I like I like to know what’s going on. What’s happening in your world today, that I can help you with? If you know, so I know before the deadline that something’s going wrong, or that you don’t feel comfortable, like with your piece of it, or somebody, somewhere has probably seen the warning signs, you know, I can’t think of everything, you can’t think of everything. But feedback loops are important. But also on top of that, though, I think was a really key things that is, is having, you know, personality traits that you’re hiring for, like Creative Problem Solvers, and people that are paying attention to details. Because what happens in a lot of big companies is they hire technicians that are good at their job, because they can do that job. But then they put them in a role where that’s not their core function anymore. Their core function’s now to manage people and to make sure that other things get done, but they’re still kind of narrowly focused. And if everybody is narrowly focused on their, their tiny slice of the pie, they can’t see, you know, the other things, the big warning lights, and so that’s one of the things that I like to do. You know, one things I also teach people is, you know, I don’t care what you do in my company, when I’m hiring you for, if you don’t have creative problem solving, even if your job is like a high C, you’re just doing the same thing over and over again, you don’t get into my company just because I just, I can’t be the one to think for you. Right? You need people that can think for themselves and solve problems. And hopefully, hopefully, I you know, you’re not the smartest guy in the room and the smartest guy in the team.
Jason Kanigan 15:52
I think a lot of founders would like to retain that ego superiority of being the smartest guy in the room. And I enjoy giving that up. I’m not a dumb guy. But I enjoy having somebody else around who’s smarter, who just maybe doesn’t want to lead, right? Or doesn’t, doesn’t want to be a founder, and loves your idea and wants–maybe a good COO, right? Who wants to expand on that idea for you, and help you grow it and blow air into the balloon and expand it in ways that you can’t think of. For those who haven’t heard of SCRUM, I want to really quickly cover that. It’s like a kind of a daily meeting where the group, the team, is meeting and then you come in, not as the boss in a way, but it’s like, Hey, guys, what resources do you not have that I could provide? And what major red lights maybe have you seen that I could help make green again. Are there are there any other things you’d like to add to that quick little description?
Matt Daniell 16:47
No, I mean, that’s, that’s pretty much it. But there’s also on the flip side, when when they’re in those meetings, your employees are in those meetings, especially if they’re new, they, they see you differently. You’re not really authoritarian, right, you are there to help. And that helps your relationship with your employees, it helps, in my experience, it helps get the most out of them, because they feel more loyal to you because you’re helpful.
Jason Kanigan 17:06
Right. And they’re, they’re creating the goals basically, like you, you, as the captain of the ship have said, Okay, we’re going to Hawaii, but exactly how we get there and get around this storm in the middle of the ocean right now, that’s up to you guys. Right?
Matt Daniell 17:19
Well, yeah. And so. But I’ll tell you this, I you know, because I’m not a high C, it’s probably the lowest thing, I have a really hard time following directions.
I’m not a SCRUM purist. I take what I really love about it. And then so a lot of times, I’m telling people like, All right, we’re going to Hawaii: here’s how I think we’re gonna get there. Right? You tell me if this you know, if you come up with anything else I want to know.
Jason Kanigan 17:43
Right? And I’m yeah, I’m happy to incorporate that. [Totally] As you grow, as your client’s company grows, Matt, the the day to day activities that they’re doing are different. They’re stepping back from a frontline approach. So they’re getting less of that frontline data, right? What do they keep their fingers on the pulse of every day? What do they really need to be looking at? And how do you manage that so that they don’t get too abstracted away? Because we see this a lot in big corporations, right? I mean, I’ve been for the last 10 years, I’ve been talking to Vice President of Business Development for organizations who are supposedly in charge of the sales team. But that’s way down there. And they’ll flat out tell me, I have no idea what the day to day problems those guys face are.
Matt Daniell 18:32
Right, right. Um, for me, I think one of the solutions is having a dashboard, that makes sense, because I mean, you have, you have two challenges, right? At the very extreme on one end, you know, when you’re not used to giving away work, you don’t want to do it. And then when you start to like to do it, you can go to the opposite extreme. And I’ve been on both where now I’m abdicating my responsibility, I’m completely blindly trusting you that you’re going to take care of everything, right. And then all of a sudden, I find out, we’re not making any money, because my accountant told me right, because which is too late. And so dashboards, that makes sense, the most important metrics you want to look at, they need to be updated, you know, at least every week, I mean, if not more than that, and so you need be looking at that. And so the dashboard, basically, you’ve heard the saying, and I, it’s actually more of a cliche now, but it’s still 100% true, you can’t manage what you can’t measure. And so you just need to measure what is important for your company, and, you know, in our case, and the people that I deal with, we have, we have products that are out there, that they’ll there’s they have certain number of sales every day, they have certain number of visitors and eyeballs on those products on those listings, you know, each keyword is ranked a certain number. And so we can we look at that if it if sales drop we look at, well, why is that? Why is it happening? Are we getting less eyeballs on the listing? Did the rankings drop? If so, now, we know what we can do. But if we don’t have those metrics written down, and have somebody checking them, and then, you know, putting them in a place where I could check them and the business owner could check them, you know, whenever we need? Man this ship is not going to be gonna be going for very long, right? In the right direction.
Jason Kanigan 20:01
It’s not going to get to Hawaii.
Matt Daniell 20:03
No, definitely not.
Jason Kanigan 20:04
We just talked about something that I hope everybody noticed. If you look at just revenue or sales, you’re probably too late. You want to look at leading indicators. And
Matt, have you been able to find a dashboard software that you like? Or do you make a custom one every time in Excel or some other program?
Matt Daniell 20:28
Well, in our industry, there’s a couple that are imperfect, but work, you know, you know, like, okay, , where so people don’t really feel the need to go create a dashboard. I already have one for my company, and I, you know, I offer my clients, hey, we’ll make this for you if you need to. And at the end of the day, it’s going to be a manual thing, my dashboard, because it’s quite more, it’s got more numbers, and more more things I want to pay attention to than the traditional approach where, you know, you can go paid software, that’s what I like to use, what most people are, like, Hey, I’m spending $97 a month on the software, it gives me enough. It gives me the same data, but it’s, you know, I have to go and kind of, you know, look at it a little bit differently, but it’s fine. [Okay.] So anyway, the idea is, you know, again, it’s one of the things I love about business, you don’t have to have the perfect software, you don’t have to have the perfect plan, you don’t have to have the perfect people or perfect anything as long as you are doing the right things, more often than not, you’re going to succeed at least most of the time, right. And so as long as you have a dashboard is working, that you’re seeing the most important things and you you, you understand what’s really going on in your business. And so one of the things that I add that you can’t find in other software’s is like, I want to know how many returns we’re getting, because we sell physical products, I wonder how many returns were getting and why are people returning it. So some of these are signs and I’ll be like, create this report and check this information, but also to reach out and ask people because what they told Amazon and what the reality is, might be two different things. And I want to hear from them what it is because when Amazon tells me there’s a problem with my listing and my product, it’s normally because they shut it down for a temporary amount of time. I don’t want to know that something’s wrong with it when Amazon does. I want to know, like, ahead of time. So– [Before.] Exactly. And I went to other customers, what kind of problems that people are experiencing that we’re dealing with customer service on what you know, so we can, you know, maybe avoid those problems in the future. And, you know, I want to keep my handle at least at least my hand or my, you know, my company I’m focused on, okay, let’s, let’s stay close to the customer. Because they’re the ones that matter. Well, you know, things change in an instant. But if we, if we know what the customers really want, that we’re not delivering next time we go order that product, we can we can add that thing or we can change our process, we can change our approach.
Jason Kanigan 22:30
Right. Yeah ’cause your problem might be up in the supply chain.
Matt Daniell 22:33
Jason Kanigan 22:34
You don’t know yet. It’s–the stuff’s arriving in the box. And it looks great. But it’s broken inside. [Totally.] It’s interesting, what you brought up about what they said to Amazon is not necessarily what they say to you. And that really matches up with what we find when we’re doing process engineering projects. I’ll send an agent out and they’ll start documenting what’s going on, interviewing people, and what they tell you, the item goes from station A to station B to station C is not what actually happens. When you track the thing, it goes directly from A to C and it really needs to go through B but it’s not convenient. Like the person doesn’t even want to walk into that office, let’s say, and so they just bypass it. What–why do you think that is, that what they tell you is different from what they tell Amazon?
Matt Daniell 23:25
Because at the end of the day, people do what they’re incentivized to do whether they’re an employee or a customer, and people are going to game the system, right? And so Amazon only has so many options and they don’t care about the the comment you can have open ended comments but they don’t read them and they don’t really care. They might read them but there’s nothing that you know suggested they actually care about that. And so of the drop down which of those is going to get the customer a free return whether or not warranted a free return, right? “Item is defective.”
Jason Kanigan 23:55
Matt Daniell 23:56
Well why is this is item “defective?”
Jason Kanigan 23:57
An interesting sort of Dan Ariely, Predictably Irrational thing that you just brought up there. The choices Amazon has designed into the drop down or the form or whatever for complaining limit your responses right because it’s gotta go in one of these six buckets or something like that right and it–
Matt Daniell 24:15
Sometimes it’s like hey I don’t like the color I’m sorry I thought it was a different color but hey Amazon I’m gonna have to pay seven bucks to return it so it’s “defective.”
Jason Kanigan 24:21
Right: it’s blue instead of red so it’s defective.
Matt Daniell 24:27
Which you know actually and that works out for me because one of the things I negotiate with suppliers is that if I you know they got to pay me for every unit that’s defective so on the report you know hey I can prove it these are defective so give me some money for this.
Jason Kanigan 24:39
Right. In ecommerce as you grow, and I know ’cause in different podcasts that that I run with my ex co founder we interviewed a high level ecommerce guy and funding–working capital–came up as a huge problem because you’re buying six months ahead of time let’s say or, right, like the orders for Christmas need to have been placed now, right, or two months ago, you know, May, June, right, of this year and that. Do you get into working capital at all?
Matt Daniell 25:11
Well you know a little bit but not much, because at the end of the day, you know, if you’re resourceful enough to have a business that’s successful enough to, you know, warrant, you know, having processes and employees, you probably are resourceful enough to find capital. Because never in the history of selling online or starting a business, basically the world, hasn’t been easier to access capital at least if you’re selling on Amazon and so when I started I actually my business partner he funded his half the business with his IRA so he took some money out for that, and I had zero percent interest credit cards and I have you know it’s so you can I mean you can conceivably have a quarter million dollars on on zero percent interest credit cards because you have good credit. Now another ones in that situation that’s my situation but Amazon if you’re successful and you’re you know you’re getting paid that they’re paying every month they’ll offer you a loan.
Jason Kanigan 25:56
Nice! Okay. I have not sold in Amazon.
Matt Daniell 26:01
So that that kind of you know if you’re paying attention and you’re not really afraid of debt–I know a lot of people are in debt obviously it’s terrible on the personal side but how are you gonna avoid it on the business side right?
Jason Kanigan 26:11
No, other people’s money is
a big moneymaker for–if you’ve got a proven business model, right? [Yeah.] Shouldn’t go into debt if you haven’t got a proven business model.
Matt Daniell 26:21
Yeah. So I have people that get on the phone with me for a strategy session, or like, you have access to, you know, hundred thousand dollars in capital. And I’m like, timeout, buddy, hold on. Let’s just make sure that you’re going to be able to utilize this so you can pay it back. And I was like, What are you doing right now? And they tell me, I’m like, all right, this is why you know, and I gave them you know, suggestions, hey, this, let’s take maybe five of that. And let’s, let’s prove that you can do this to yourself and to me, and then when you feel comfortable, now, you can go borrow money from somebody else.
Jason Kanigan 26:48
Okay. Is there is there a size level of revenue point that you find people should be approaching you at? Before that, maybe it’s just not ready yet?
Matt Daniell 26:57
Well, well, you know, it’s I’m still trying to fill it out. Because everybody’s a little different. When I hit 30, 40, $50,000
a month I’m like I’m tired of doing this crap. Let me just get somebody. My pain threshold for that is low; again, I’m not a high C and then there’s other you know, I’ve most of my clients are million dollar sellers. They’re million dollars to four to five.
And you know what’s amazing on Amazon, because there’s leverage built in with using their warehouses and not having to actually touch product, you can literally work from your laptop, there’s a lot of leverage built in, you can conceivably–it’s very rare but you can build a you know a business up to $4 million dollars by yourself. I have one, one client that did that. But the problem is you can’t manage it. So in her case, $4 million came in but she was negative $200,000 by the end of the year. She actually lost money and so you know, that’s a terrible situation to be in so I you know, if soon as you feel the pain because at the end of the day let’s address this: what a lot of people think, and I don’t know where this lie originated, I think it’s, you know, the internet marketing world somewhere, you have this belief, a lot of people do, that more money is going to equal more freedom at some point, right? Like, all of a sudden, you’re going to match to be able to buy your time. Well, technically, you can, you got to learn the skills to be able to do that. So more money, more sales doesn’t equal more freedom: what really equals more freedom is having more time. So you can, you can solve that equation right now. I mean, if you have enough money to pay, you know, $600 a month for somebody, you you can solve that now. And you can start getting in the habit of, you know, I’m gonna, I’m going to now steer the ship more effectively, because someone’s going to handle most of the mediocre things in my business, right, those tasks. And that’s how you solve the more money equals more freedom. You know, the thing is, you cannot grow if you don’t have the freedom anyway. So I think and and on that note, any business especially an ecom business, always has cash flow limitations. When are you going to pay yourself? Like are you gonna work to do so what I did the first years I worked like, all the time, I got paid nothing. [Yeah] I don’t see I don’t teach people do that. Because I looking back I’m like, I wish I would have taken something. And, you know, as long as you can afford, you know, 300, 400, $600,
you can get somebody that’s, that’s good enough to help free you up to help you steer the ship, which means you’re going to get better results in the long run and get to the point where you going to start taking more money faster. So I you know, basically, I just say whenever you’re frustrated, start to look, you know it at hiring and when you do hire, just start with the things that are frustrating. The easiest thing to get rid of is the stuff that’s well the easiest thing to explain to somebody right? Yeah.
Jason Kanigan 29:37
Last question. Best business book for tech founders? Who are about to run into the bumpy road of scaling.
Matt Daniell 29:44
Oh my goodness. There’s I’ve read so many Um, well, I you know, man you’re gonna try to narrow me down to one, aren’t you.
Jason Kanigan 29:54
Give two or three if you want. Sure.
Matt Daniell 29:56
Traction is is is phenomenal. All right Traction, you have to have to read Traction.
Jason Kanigan 30:02
Matt Daniell 30:03
But I’ll tell you what really made a big difference to me. So I understand Traction. Traction is about how you you know, get processes and make things work for for building a team. But if you don’t have a team you know, there’s a lot of things you can screw up and you go try to build a team. If you’re like me, when I started I was a high D, hi driver. I just drove people crazy.
Jason Kanigan 30:20
Yeah, ’cause you’ll change direction.
Matt Daniell 30:22
All the time!
Jason Kanigan 30:22
This morning: Hi, new initiative. Let’s let’s unpack this now. Oh, wait. It’s Wednesday. Now we’re going to do this.
Matt Daniell 30:30
Yeah. And so understanding that you know, you need people, you need the good people like not, you don’t need somebody that can come in and push buttons. You can find those anywhere. You need somebody that’s a critical thinker. That’s a Creative Problem Solver above everything else. Because no matter what industry you’re in, things are changing, right. I recommend Hiring For Attitude. That book literally changed my life because that was the last piece that actually got right. I would hire people and my mentality is I’m gonna hire a bunch and find the one that works right. Oh, Hiring For Attitude helps you at least have a process in place so you have better odds but the one that really changed how I deal with people was Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink. I live that. I mean that one’s good for anything. But if you apply that to your business, I can’t, you’ll never be the same. Never be the same. I mean once the one time–this was before I even read the book, this is one of the reasons I like it is because I already have a sense of this in me. But you know, had a business partner, I came home, this was before, I was able to come home from my corporate job and our sales were like $1,000 more than they were the day previous right and the day close the previous, we’re at $1,000 more, it’s only five o’clock and I’m like, well, things are going really good today. But then I thought, Oh crap, there’s a problem. And I dug into it and one of our one of our VAs gave away you know, for a customer service issue gave somebody a free coupon to get a replacement but that coupon was showing on the listing. Somebody came to listing, they were able to see oh and get this for free and I think was like 800 units or something I don’t know a lot of a lot of units that eventually went out because of that and I was upset because one of the things that I told this person in the very beginning was hey we’re not going to make this mistake: if you ever make this mistake because I’ve addressed this already, you’re fired. My business partner was like you are not firing this guy. That’s your fault and I’m like no it’s not my fault I told him. And he’s like no no, you let it happen: it’s your fault. And it was a very painful it was crucial conversations you have with your business partner where, you know, you’re not happy. [Yeah] But he was right [Had ’em.] Yup. But he was right. Because what I did is I realized, I mean, if I was if I were to, you know, blame the guy for making a mistake, which is human and never taking responsibility that I let it happen, then I’d still have that same problem reoccurring in my business I’d have to keep going over you know,
But I fixed that process.
Jason Kanigan 32:43
Somehow there could have been a process to make that coupon expire after an hour or delete itself after one use or something. [There’s something] Have somebody check the listing every hour or something to make sure that [Totally and so I] it looks the right way.
Matt Daniell 32:58
Yeah, I put something in place and that literally has not happened again, and it won’t. And it won’t. [Awesome. Well, Matt–] That’s the power of Extreme Ownership. When you understand that everything that’s it’s that happens is is basically your fault, good or bad. It actually puts you in control. It puts you in a in a seat of power to change.
Jason Kanigan 33:15
Right. Responsibility leads to control. Well this has been Matt Daniell from Hello process. Great name. Love it. And if you are looking to expand your business, upgrade, and stop plateauing, stop overwhelm, especially with your calendar and that you should be talking to Matt. Thanks for being here today, Matt.
Matt Daniell 33:37
Thank you, Jason, for having me.