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Nov. 17, 2022

188. 7 Steps to Getting Out of the Day-to-Day Weeds of Your Business with Jeff Davis

How to build & grow dramatically more scalable businesses with more freedom to focus on bigger impact and pursue your passions in life.

How to build & grow dramatically more scalable businesses with more freedom to focus on bigger impact and pursue your passions in life.



Entrepreneur Jeff Davis went from working every night and every weekend with 80+ hour work weeks 

to traveling for 2 years with his family, seeing 29 countries - all while growing his business.

He attributes making that life changing leap from being stuck in the day to day weeds to being able to travel and focus on the vision to doing 7 particular things.

When any other entrepreneurs go through these same 7 steps, they also build dramatically more scalable businesses, they start growing their companies with more freedom to focus on the bigger impact things and they're also able to pursue other passions in their lives.





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A lot of times we were overly optimistic to our own detriment, where we're a little bit too much guns blazing, we're a little too confident. We haven't done quite enough risk mitigation, because that same optimism that makes us go for it is pushed too far and it becomes a liability.



Welcome, everybody. Today I'm excited to have Jeff Davis with us to talk about the seven steps to getting out of the day to day weeds of your business. Thanks so much for joining us today, Jeff.


Yeah, I'm excited to be here.


So Jeff is an entrepreneur. He went from working every night and every weekend with 80 plus hour work weeks, to traveling for two years with his family, seeing 29 countries, all while growing his business. He attributes making that life changing leap from being stuck in the day to day weeds of his business, to being able to travel and focus, to doing seven particular things. So, Jeff, thank you so much for joining us. First, just if you wouldn't mind sharing a little bit about your story, the 80 hours work weeks, and then what changed for you that you were able to pivot to such a desirable and enjoyable lifestyle?


Yeah, thank you for asking. I'm a lifelong entrepreneur. I was that kid that was always trying to make stuff into some kind of a business, like, forever. In college, I was in skateboarding, and I started a skateboard company called calling skate shops around America in between my classes and in 2003. Back in those days, I love drawing stuff, like drawing pictures. But I was always entrepreneurial, so it became a matter of how can I make a business drawing stuff? I don't want to be a starving artist. I was wanting to make some kind of company. And so I started a company doing medical legal trial presentations, like visual presentations for lawyers. I started locally out of a little 500 square foot studio apartment. It was apartment eleven four on my business card that put suite eleven four to make it look like a thing. It was just me, but I'd go and pitch and say we and our and the whole thing. And over the next eleven years I ended up growing that company from just me in a little studio apartment and my boxers to working with law firms in about 40 states around the country featured in Fortune Inc.


CNN Money, and then was able to sell the company. But along the way there, especially a few years into it, I was working my ass off. I was working every night, like you said, every weekend, doing everything it takes to try to pull this thing off and try to make it work. I didn't know what I didn't know yet before the sun came up in this little tiny I was in the studio. But then I got a little office down the street that I could walk to and I'd get there before the sun came up. And then I'd work till dinner, go home, eat, change, take off my suit and tie, and then I'd go back to the office after my staff left and I'd go till 200 in the morning, like every night. Just again and again and again weekend, all day Saturday, all day Sunday. I couldn't imagine even taking a whole day off. I couldn't even imagine going home for dinner. And then that was it for the night. Little by little, getting more and more burned out, more and more anxiety, more and more emotional fatigue. And then finally my wife and I had our first baby.


I became a dad and I knew I didn't want to be like, yay, look at our revenue and I'm a crappy dad. You know, the kids are all getting into trouble because, you know, parents weren't around, didn't care. It was all about the business. I did not want that. At the hospital when the baby was born, the next morning I slept in a chair next to my wife. And the next morning I said, I got to go to the office just for a second. Went in there, this employee's got a question. This employees got a question. I was stupid enough to open my inbox while I was over there. This was a long time ago, so it wasn't like I could pull my phone out in the hospital and get things done back in those days to go there. And it turned into hours. And as I mentioned, we were being featured in Fortune. CNN Inc. Quoted me and all stuff. And I was in my early 30s back in the days, and I had guns blazing. I felt like a champ. Except that day I felt like the biggest loser in the world going back to the hospital.


And I told my wife, I'm going to figure this out because as I said, I didn't want to be high fiving myself on the revenue, but I'm a loser in the husband and dad category.


Yeah, there's a couple of things of course I think all of us have done the apartment and sweet thing, speaking in the Royal, we're going to do this, we're going to do that. It's one of us. When you start out, and I know when we first had our first child, it brings so many I can't speak for females. I know as a male raised in the Western culture, the idea of the provider and that we're supposed to do everything and get everything, at least financially. And then, of course, there's other things that the women are supposed to take care of. Everything, I mean, on both sides, I think, can be really unrealistic expectations, but so much pressure for me, in a similar way, I was so out of balance and the intentions were there. The idea of, okay, well, this is great, but all those retention and all that hard work still weren't translating. And I don't know if you felt this, but I kind of always felt that sense of, honey, it's about to happen. I feel this next deal, this next thing, this next project, and meanwhile, just watch her go from this to, like, still there, still sticking up.


Wow. So how did you shift that? Because that's a place a lot of people, frankly, never leave. And certainly going back to being an employee is not a failure. But at least as an entrepreneur, it's like, okay, gosh, I didn't make this work. A lot of people then have to go back to a job or whatever it is.


Yeah. And keep in mind in my particular scenario, with the degree I had and some of the skill sets that I had, I knew I could just stop and get a job making way more, you know, like way, way more than I was just giving myself enough money to not die, just enough so that I didn't die. Little apartment, ramen noodles, like the classic, everything is cheap as could be. I mean, I remember this is kind of a crazy one. The weekend that our baby was born, I used to park my car in this lot down we lived in this high rise downtown and where I parked my car and going back from the hospital, and both of my windows in my car were smashed in. And I always thought it was funny that I had how long ago it was. I had the cassette tape seven Habits. The highly effective people sitting there like, oh, that's weird. The people that broken my card didn't want to listen to the Seven habits of how the effect that they left that behind. But at the time, I was like, how am I going to pay for these windows?


It was like that because I was all in. Like, every penny went into the business. I mean, I would eat ramen noodles and then pay like, $4,000 cash for some equipment. You know, I remember just buying equipment that costs thousands of dollars all cash, and then eating the cheapest meals for the next few months or the month leading up to it. Luckily, my wife believed in the vision and she was, I'd say, like, ride or die, like all in with me. She supported me. I did talk to her and tell her, I'm going to come home feeling beat up. Some days my confidence is going to be gone. I'm going to feel like I lost ten times and I just need you to build me up. Build me up. If I'm starting to lose confidence, I need you to believe it and keep me up and that sort of thing. When I was gone, every night, every weekend, she's just sitting there by herself in her place. Every night and every weekend. After a couple of years, I could tell that it was starting to get like, when does this start to be awesome again?


And I didn't want to be celebrating revenue with wife number seven. That didn't seem like winning either on a mission to keep it the same original wife. So that was a big part of it, was that believing in the vision and like you said, you have to be optimistic, so you're always so sure that the next thing is going to work and it's going to be good. A lot of times we were overly optimistic to our own detriment, where we're a little bit too much gunsplazing, we're a little too confident, we haven't done quite enough risk mitigation, because that same optimism that makes us go for it is pushed too far and it becomes a liability.


Yeah, absolutely. I heard something that the rapper 50 Cent said recently. There was something that I thought was brilliant. I was watching a TikTok and I'm figuring they're going to be talking about specific rap or something, whatever, and he said something about making it. He said, you don't make it. And I don't know if this is truth, but it was just an interesting point of view. He said, from what he's seen of other performers and whatnot, and just in business, he's like, you don't make it when you think you're ready. He says, what seems to happen is you think you're ready. And you're like, I'm ready. He says, and then there's this period where you actually, at least mechanically, are ready, but you're not confidence ready. You're not ready to withstand other people not believing in you. You're not ready for the success that's going to come because people are going to talk about you good and bad and this and I said, So you actually need to go through this period where mechanically you're ready, but emotionally, psychologically, you actually need to dealt some thicker skin and be ready and SaaS. And then usually it's a little bit after that, six months, a year, whatever, you still keep grinding, you still keep doing your thing when you technically kind of were ready and maybe a couple of people see you as ready, but it doesn't come to later.


And in my experience, I've just found so many times where I thought I was ready for something and the market wasn't ready for me. And then at other times, because of my background, similar like, to you, somebody would pick on this one thing, well, what do you do? This. And, like, okay. And it was always a challenge for me to it sounds like you did a slightly different thing than I did. I would then almost pause my dream thing and go, okay, I'm going to go over here and make some money, and go back and forth to it. And there's pros and cons to that. It helps you not eat ramen for two years straight, but then, of course, you don't necessarily get there as quickly. What did you do? What would you say that shifted? Was it the insight? Because it sounds like your intentions were always there. And this is the thing that I think a lot of entrepreneurs struggle with, is we think, okay, well, at least a lot of the books say, work hard, look to do good things, and things are going to work out. And that's almost like saying, marry somebody you like, be nice to them, and the marriage will end up being happy.


And in a generic sense, there's truth to that, but there's also greater depth to that of things that you didn't anticipate, things that maybe take more what did it take for you to shift that generic, solid intention to yes, I want to be a great dad. I want to be a good husband. I want to provide a low, I want to do good things for people. How were you able to shift that into something that was more along the lines of what you were aiming for and promising and then how did that pivot into than being able to travel? Was that quick? Was it longer?


No, it wasn't quick at all. It was at times painful. At times it got worse. It was like a laboratory. I was trying this and then, oh, God, no, that made it worse. I tried this. Oh, no, now I'm burning cash even faster. I tried this thing and like, oh God, now I have even more stress. Now there's even more pressure. Now I have even less money in the bank now. It was like one thing after the next. It was like explosions going off left and right, and it was like, set these things up, and then that would implode. And I was like, oh, let's try it this way. And that's why I'm so passionate about what I do now, is because all these years of hindsight and all those experiments and all those lessons learned through the experience and from seeking counsel really smart people and learning from other people and all this stuff combined. I think if you're a nice person and you experience a lot of pain, you get pleasure out of knowing you could help somebody else avoid that same pain that you experienced. It was really painful at times where there's so much weight, so much pressure working so many hours that I'd wake up in the middle of the night, you could just feel like pouring in, like, oh, my God, that's right.


Payrolls this Thursday. And I've got to get, like, this much more cash in from past work to COVID it and all that stuff. Because one of the ways to get yourself out of doing all this stuff is by paying other people to do stuff, and then you got to have enough money to do that. So it's all the stuff. But for me, it was just realizing my wife was starting to get at that point where she's made the sacrifices for years and now I'm a dad and I've got this actual kid that I'm either going to be around or not be around. It's not like talking about Monday anymore. And at the same time, I just felt like beyond burnt out. I'm starting to get, like, reflux in my throat and all these medically I started I had one day I was, like, driving, and my vision started getting all funky. It was just, like, extreme pressure for a lot of long periods of time. And so I became fanatical about, I'm going to figure this out. That's it. I'm going to figure this out. And I know a lot of people where I'm from, I was like, I'm just going to get a hat, pull it down, get a notepad, a pen.


I'm going to drive out of town, like, 55 minutes out of town, and just go somewhere where I can just sit there and just think, like, how do I do this? How do I figure out how do I build a business that doesn't require me working every night and every weekend? It's so entrenched in all the details. And I sat there in this hotel and I just spent hours and hours and hours. It was amazing for me to just be disconnected and telling my staff, I'm not coming in. I'm going to go do some planning. I need to get a good way just to think and write ideas down. And so I did, and I started planning out my attack for how I was going to do it. Subsequently, years later, I started doing that every year, that same thing, and thinking certain things and writing out certain things. Years later, I ended up putting on this. I rented a ballroom and see if any other entrepreneurs wanted to spend a whole day doing the same kind of thing together and ended up starting this event called Plan the Attacks. Now, like, literally entrepreneurs, and to give us flying from all over America, we'll have, say, 200 fellow lunatics from all over the country in a ballroom together for the entire day planning out our attacks.


It's pretty awesome. I set off on that path and it didn't happen overnight. It wasn't like, Monday, I'm buying plane tickets for another country. It began that journey.


Awesome. Thank you. Yeah. I think one of the things that's so interesting to me is how, as entrepreneurs, there's so many variables that we can work on. We can make more money, we could have more free time, we could buy cool stuff, we could travel, we could have time, flexibility. And yet I find different people sometimes will focus on one because that was the one they needed. They needed more freedom, they needed more money, they needed whatever it was. And we'll almost forget about the other ones. And I find as much as it feels like we're being intentional about what we want to create, at least for me, there's a whole different level or higher level of intentionality as you get into it more. I think when my wife and I were just she's from Peru and I was born in Canada, grew up in the US. So we would be going back and forth to Peru for a few months at a time. And I just remember saying, you know, if we accumulate a little bit of debt during this time, it will be okay. And we did. And the funny thing was, I just think about, what if we don't accumulate that?


Like, what if I just held that intention? So it was almost like and I wouldn't call it low personal self esteem. I don't even know if I'd even call it low business selfesteem, but it was something that in some way, I wasn't going for exactly what I wanted. I was almost like, negotiating, if I give up this, can I get that? As opposed to, no, I'm going after all that. And I might still not get it, but darn it, I'm at least going to go after it all at once. It sounds like what you're doing when you do this, what you did the first time, and what you now help other people with is something more along the lines of looking at the big picture. So what dimensions do you all look at? Personal life? Physical fitness? Or is it just business or is it more of a bigger picture?


Yeah, it's everything. It's holistic. I've run into people that came to that came to plan the attack, and like, a couple of months later, they, like, lost £40 because of an exercise that we did that help them get clarity or like, they see, like, how important something is or whatever, which is not a Jenny Craig conference. But I'm like, that's awesome. We've had people decide to not be business partners that plan the attack because it gave more clarity on what's important and what the big picture is and what their top objectives really are and stuff like that. But no, it's for the business. But it's also designing the kind of lifestyle that you want as a business leader at the same time, during the event. Everybody in the event gets a calendar of the next year. It's in December every year. So when you're ending, next year is about to start. Everybody does the hardest thing for an entrepreneur to do, actually sit still for an entire day. But we give them a binder with like 80 pages of stuff that we go through all day together and one of them is a calendar of the next year.


And we literally take a few minutes right there on the spot and everybody picks out when they're going to go somewhere disconnect, take a week, two weeks off or whatever. So now they can actually see, all right, that means I have this many months to actually plan towards that because if you're just busy doing what you do, making what you make, selling what you sell, it's real hard to do that. And I have had entrepreneurs call me. One time entrepreneur called me and said, hey, I just wanted to let you know I'm at the airport, I'm about to go on my first vacation in seven years with my wife because I planned it out at Planning Attack. That's freaking awesome.


That's awesome.


To me that's like the most gratifying is an entrepreneur that joins one of our twelve mavens groups and hasn't taken a vacation in like five years and then within the first few months they're going on their first legit vacation. Not like with their laptop by the pool but like they're actually on vacation.


Yeah. It's so interesting how and also definitely the thing you mentioned about Ian Ramen and dropping 4000 on it will invest so much on our hopes, our dreams. It takes money to make money and sometimes it does. Sometimes it just takes intelligence and effort and the money is not even necessary. Variable question for you. This is slightly off topic, but I think it's so relevant based on what you saw your wife be able to do and you mentioned and first of all I thought it was so great that you're able to ask her for what you needed. Hey honey, my confidence is going to take a hit. I'm going to need to be built back up. What advice would you or do you think she would give somebody who is going to be a spouse, a partner of an entrepreneur in the sense of, okay, here's what it can be like and without putting a broad brush and saying, well, sit over there and just wait because of course that's not really realistic. But what would you say that she did? Or what advice would you give somebody to say, look, if you're about to start this, at least be aware of this and if you're not up for this then and if you want to keep your marriage or partnership or whatever you want to call it together, then maybe you're not ready for this.


What was she able to do and how are you able to communicate in that way.


Yeah, I think a lot of it was that she was glass half full, not glass half empty. She didn't complain about the hours I was putting in. She was grateful for them. She understood that it was going to take time. She was just appreciative of it and she knew going into it, I started the business while we were engaged. When I proposed to her, I barely could afford anything. I remember I bought a dozen roses the day I proposed and was like, how much are these roses? She definitely wasn't doing it for the money, but she knew it was going to take time. She believed in it. She stayed positive. She didn't complain. I'm lucky that that's all I know. But I would imagine if she was always trying to tell me to just get another job and to quit, it would have been like ten times harder. And it gets into your head too, that you start having that doubt. Then you start instead of selling your thing with confidence, you're like, you wouldn't want to buy this, would you? You got that voice in your head. But I think a lot of times the couples never have that conversation about it saying, I need here's what I need, like, I can do this, I can always get a job, but I need to go all in together and understand, maybe skip the fancy dinners for a while.


I literally bought a big giant TV because I was like, we're not going out anywhere for a long time. It's going to be a lot of movies at home, so let's just get a really nice big TV. And I did and we loved it. We had a lot of great movie nights together that we love and we just stayed that way.


Yeah, I know, my parents always tell me about that. So my parents are from the islands, from Trinidad and Tobago and they went to Canada and my dad went to study and my mom was there with them and my sister was born there, I was born there. And what I thought that was so relevant though, and my mom always tells me that, she's like, look, we had a vision. We knew we wanted something better. They were already in the top class financially in Trinidad in that time. My dad was an athlete and his dad was entrepreneurial. He's already well connected, but he wanted to grow, he wanted to develop, but they said, okay, we're going for five years. And so kind of like we said, there was this vision of, okay, we're going to do it for this amount of time and then we're going to check in. I think that's the part that I found with my wife at times. And she'll hold me to things too sometimes. Like, oh no, wait, remember you did that last time and that didn't work. Okay, but working together and to say, okay, this is our plan, and for X amount of time, we're going to give up these things.


We're not giving them up forever. And in your case, like you said, once our first child came, then that very much shifted the dynamic, the timing. It shifted a lot of things, but the constant communication I've not always loved what she's had to tell me. It's not always been, I mean, she can be my biggest fan and still say, wait, remember you did that two or three times already. That didn't work. Or wait.




I'm not sure, and that's not easy, but I think that's almost not the price is not the word. But I've come to realize too, over the years how unbelievably wise my wife is about who I am, what I can handle, what I can't.


It's an outside perspective, right? You can't see and golf against your own backswing. And when you're in the picture, sometimes you don't see it here the way they do. They hear you complaining about things you don't even realize that you complained about. My wife has made suggestions that I was like, I don't know. And then six months, a year later, I finally try it and it was like, damn, why didn't I do that, like, a year ago? That kind of stuff happens all the time.


So what would you tell them? A person who is saying, okay, right now, as you and I are talking, it's April, so it's even going to be eight months, even to one of your events comes up again, specifically the game plan. But in general, a person says, okay, you know what? I want to start redefining things. I want to start moving in a different direction, and I don't want to wait for a rock bottom moment. I don't want to wait until my wife's at the door, my husband's at the door leaving me. I don't want to wait till I'm back. I just want better. It doesn't have to be horrible. I can be in a good place, but I want better. What would you suggest? What's that first step a person can take that is realistic? You mentioned entrepreneurs, how difficult it is for us to get away for a period of time for the person. Let's take that person who's working 60, 70, 80 hours a week and they're feeling overwhelmed. What would you tell that person as far as what they can do and what's the payoff for that and what's the cost of them perhaps not doing some sort of that intervention of taking the time like you did, or what would you tell that person?


Yeah, I would say first, don't try to go from like, working every night, every weekend, to all of a sudden you're doing a four hour work week in a week or two and getting frustrated because it's not working that fast. Because it doesn't go that fast. But my goal was to go to like a 40. Hours, work week, like to work a full day, five days a week. That was like, my goal. And then I did that, and then it was like, now I want to not work Fridays anymore. Maybe once a month, maybe one Friday a month that I don't do it. And then I got to that, and I was like, maybe I just don't do Fridays at all anymore. And then I did that. And then at the point that I sold my company, I was literally only doing one day a week in that company. Like, not working from home the other four days, like, doing other things the other four days. I came in there one day a week, and that was it. But that was like, very gradual period. But to answer your question, the first thing they could do, I would suggest doing what I did where I physically disconnected and I just started getting everything out of my head and writing out a plan.


Like write out a plan, not hopes and things you want and just kind of different ideas. But what is your plan? Let me show it to me. Where's your plan? A detailed, written measurable plan for what you're going to do first and then second and then third.


Yeah, I think so many people underestimate the power of that because there's this sense of, I don't know, the plan might not be right. And I think about when I've done sales coach with people, what I've learned from many mentors and I share the same thing, is, look, it's not whether or not the plan is accurate. You're going to implement a plan and in some sort of time, 30 days, 60 days, 90 days a week, you're going to get a feedback loop. And even if you get the plan 50% right, you're going to then, okay, next time I'll get it 60% right or 55% right or whatever. But that reward, that comes from working the plan. And yes, eventually you'll perhaps get it best, but it's kind of like that idea where people don't want to work out until they find out the exact best workouts. Now start working out, start exercising, and you'll learn your own sort of rhythm, your own thing. And I think that's something that people perhaps don't give as much credit to and share a little bit, if you don't mind. Something that I found that has been very helpful for me is, you know, you've heard this stain, or maybe you've heard it I've heard it that the average millionaire has seven streams of income, and people kind of don't know what kind of that looks like.


In my case, I'm not yet a millionaire. I'm not yet making a millionaire, but I have multiple streams of income. And what I found is, for example, my software business. I grew it, and then it reached a certain point to where it was that whole diminishing returns thing where I could run it in about 6 hours a week and I'd make X amount. And X was good. The hourly income was really good. If I really hustled to grow it, it didn't grow a whole lot more. If I gave it a lot less attention, it didn't shrink a lot that much. And so it was that thing of, okay, so I'm going to maintain this. I honor it. It might not be the most exciting thing in the world for me, but I'm helping people, I'm doing a good thing and obviously it's providing for me. It's allowing me to then dabble on. In my case, I do more of my dabbling towards the later part of my week. How were you then? You mentioned you got your business to one day and you were doing other things. This is something I think people miss, that it's possible to do something like that.


So how were you able to do that? And then do you set goals for that? Do you try to then take a business and then eventually master to a point where you can run it in less time? And then how does that play out and how does that perhaps allow you to play and do other different things without going into crazy work hours?


Yeah, and I think it depends on one what the intent of the entrepreneur is. Is it to design a lifestyle business? Do you want to build and scale a company that you have this big exit at the end? The sellable business, do you like operating? And that's where you just kind of want to be in it and not even lead it and kind of create this job that you like. It depends on what the person wants. There's not like a one size fits all answer for everybody. As I say, there's as many ways to be an entrepreneur as there are entrepreneurs. That part depends on what you want. For me, it was about building a business that I could sell. I knew that the less that I was involved in the business, the more I'm going to be able to sell it for on top. So it's like a win win. You don't need much more motivation to know that the less you do in your business, the more money you can get for that business if and when you want to sell it anyway. So that was like a holy crap moment when I learned that lesson.


I've always just started businesses around things that I was passionate about. If I really liked it, I'm already kind of thinking like, how could that be a thing that is a business? I've never done a business that I mean, just me personally, I've never done a business that was just purely just like a financial decision. It was something that I was into.


Yeah. And then as far as to follow up the part of them person start creating their plan, how would you suggest somebody start that process of let's say they're realizing perhaps they are not having as much time with their family or just a personal time or life or they're overwhelmed or they're stressed. I know in my case at times I wasn't playing beach football. That's a big one for me, that specific activity. For some reason I won't run for more than about 30ft but I'll chase a ball in the sand in 90 degree weather for 5 hours at a time. Everyone's got to cut their own thing. But that was something that I needed to do and for years I thought I was being brilliant bite. I'm gonna put that aside. I'm so tough. I'm going to be an entrepreneur, a dad, work from home, just see my wife, my kid and me, which was horrible recipe by the way. Just don't do that. But how does a person then start doing that again from a standpoint of family or balance? How would you suggest that?


How do they transition to having that more time? Yeah, I mean I would say like the first thing is what we were talking about actually disconnecting. It doesn't have to be any kind of fancy tool like literally a pad of paper and a pen, but writing out what you want, how you think you can do it, what's taking up your time, all that kind of stuff. And then saving your money so that you can get other people to help because that's a big part of it is pretty much you're buying freedom by bringing in other people that can help do other aspects of the business. Starting with the cheapest to replace you stuff. Especially these days you can get freelancers to do something practically free by US terms people in other countries, but build a support team and then ultimately a leadership team like second level leaders that can take on more and more higher and higher up aspects of the business. And then you want to be able to be as skilled as possible at delegating the things that you're doing to those other people so that you I mean taking the time to become a master of delegation, it's an art but it's also a science.


There's specific things that you should do, say, ask as you are, delegating things to other people or else these are all painful lessons that I've learned when things explode in my face. I wasted a lot of money. I get super angry, frustrated. What the hell? Why is this taking so long? I learned it's almost always my fault. It's systematizing your processes. So every business has systems and processes. It's just a lot of times it's just in different people's heads how you do it or how they do the different things. But it's actually documenting all that stuff as if you were going to start selling franchises of your business. Even if that's not anything you want to do at all, but actually documenting even if it's just you. Even if you're a one person army and you're doing everything yourself, documenting it all, as if you are going to start bringing other people to follow the instructions. Here's the checklist for this. Here's a video capture of walking you through how we do this. Here's a process map for the way that we do this, you know what I mean? So that it can be cloned and repeated over and over again.


People like, here's how you respond to this. Here's the way you follow these four steps every time we do this kind of thing.


Absolutely. Thank you. And one of the things that I find a lot of people do so you're in the field of helping people develop and grow. I'm in that field and I just had found at times it depends if the person's read your not a coaching investment can sound ludicrous. It can sound like the biggest bargain in the world, depending on where you're at. And I sometimes tell people, look, if you won't read my $10 book, please don't sign up for my $10,000 coaching program because there's no magic in you adding a few zeroes and still sitting there like this waiting for some magic to happen. For the person that says, you and I both know a lot of people like this. And we've both been at this stage where you can't yet perhaps afford that $10,000, $25,000 Mastermind where you know, okay, the coaching is going to be great. The people are going to be great. I know they're going to help me. And you're like, okay, but I'm not there yet. What would you tell that person to prepare themselves and to start moving towards to where then they can say, okay, yeah, I remember having a goal to join Dan Sullivan's strategic coach program and I wasn't yet making six figures and I wasn't yet doing it.


And that was even a process for me to get there. How would you tell somebody that, let's say maybe even looks at your stuff and says, gosh, I'd love to do that, I'd love to do the full deal, but man, I can't afford the full Mastermind or whatever it is. How do you tell that person to get started in a way where they at least know they can make confident or make progress, feel confident about what they're doing and realistically be setting themselves up to eventually, perhaps evolve into I.


Think a lot of times they're not really realistically looking at the opportunity cost of not doing those sort of things. Like if they have these big ideas, big picture thing that they know they'd make so much more money if they had enough time to do so. You're not doing that thing. You don't have that money coming in. And then if you had other people, like hearing what you're trying to do and giving you suggestions and ideas and removing the bottlenecks and all the obstacles that are preventing that from happening? What is that worth to or you have this idea that you're sure is a great idea that you don't get any other outside counsel for, and then it ends up being a losing thing where you lose a bunch. Of money, it didn't work out. And then you think, like, man, if I had just mentioned that to a few other smart entrepreneurs, and a couple of them pointed out exactly what did happen and said, yeah, but why don't you do this first? Then I've lost six figures on an idea that I was sure was a great idea. What's his name slipping me right now.


He wrote A great business book called The Road less Stupid. Keith Cunningham. And he points out that if you think about your biggest financial losses in your entire professional career, the most painful ones, where you went when you burn through the most money, they all seem like great ideas, but they're almost always you had just your one voice when you made those decisions. And he always points out that when you have other wise people having thoughtful conversations about it, it mitigates the risk, it uncovers faulty assumptions. And if you could just unwind some of those decisions by going in a time machine and having those conversations and not doing like, what would that have been worth? But a lot of times people just don't know how to get out of their own way, honestly. They're just thinking too small minded. It's always funny to me if somebody says they don't have the time or they can't afford it without even knowing really anything about the group. And in my mind, I always think it's like, oh, that's too bad because the group is Elon Musk, Richard Branson, Mark Zuckerberg. You're too busy, though, so too bad.


But a lot of times it's just kind of a small money thing where they're just always going to probably stay in their own way.


Yeah, I remember one of the things I had read it was just one of the first books I read on consulting 27 years when I first started. And the author just basically said and I've heard this echoed in different areas. Like, look, if you're for the most part a responsible person in the work that you do, and then you decide to start a business, chances are you going to be responsible. And if you're the most part irresponsible, starting a business isn't going to fix that. Same thing goes for parenting, athletics, exercise, so many different parts of life. And I've just found, to your point, I think the opportunity costs. People are so not aware of those. And admittedly, there are sometimes people say, wait, I want to be in this $25,000 Master. I'm like, Dude, maybe do a 5001 first so you can introduce a Mastermind. So sometimes it depends. But to your point, there's sometimes people and they're, you know, gosh, and I'm not against paid advertising. But when paid advertising is not done thoroughly, by definition, even the person that sells you would have to say, well, yeah, that's kind of you're throwing away money.


So you watch how often people are throwing away so much money, but they won't put it into coaching. And you almost want to go back to and say, okay, well, what's the most valuable asset here? The goose is you're. The goose that lays the golden egg, hopefully some sort of egg. And if you're not invested in you, but you're investing in paid advertising that's so ethereal and so literally is gone in a week or that cost per click ad is gone. If you won't yet first invest in you, it just feels like you're almost well, you're devaluing yourself, I think, as an entrepreneur, but you're also never developing yourself. So even if it works, even if it works, so to speak, for a day now, it's like a pet rock. Like, okay, it's going to work for a year and then it's going to be gone. And here you are and you've never grown, you've never shifted versus the opposite, which we all know. If you take that talented entrepreneur and say, okay, we pulled this business from you, go start something else.


Warren Buffett, arguably the greatest investor of all time, he says the greatest investment you can make is in yourself. That's the best investment that you could make because that investment in yourself then helps you think more resourcefully, more innovatively, more confidently, all these different things that then that turns into a different machine plowing down the road for all the other stuff. That's where all stems from. When I think about my most successful friends, and I have a lot of successful friends, I think about my most successful friends, meaning their companies are like multiple hundreds of millions a year in annual revenue. It's not necessarily like they read the best business books or went to the best colleges or had the big best head starts every case. They all just had a certain belief system, confidence and expectation, which they came from investing in themselves and developing themselves and surrounding themselves with other people like that and all these kinds of things all together.


Awesome. Thank you so Jeff, thank you so much. There's so many different pieces we've unpacked today, and I know a lot of people, as they listen to this, are going to want to get to know a little bit more about what you're doing and how to connect with you. And of course we're going to put all the links in there, but share a little bit about where can people connect with you and how can they perhaps get started on learning more about what you do and even start their own journey.


Yeah, we have a community of entrepreneurs and CEOs called twelve mavens. Twelve either spelled out or the number one two Either way, but it's good timing what we're talking about because we know that there are so many entrepreneurs that don't, I guess, invest in themselves enough. They'll pay for this or pay for this, but not in their own continuing education and development, self development as a business leader. So we've been working on super affordable, like anybody could do it from a start up to 100 million dollar company. Anybody could afford to do this. A new way of leveraging other entrepreneurs that we've been working on that's coming out really soon so that will be available. And then we have sort of an in between thing. And then we have CEOs that meet together in the smaller, more intimate groups and serve as each other's confidential. Think of any board, monthly mastermind group meetings that we do our annual event. They can reach me on LinkedIn. Jeff Davis on LinkedIn. Jeff at twelve., my email mentioned this podcast, so I'll know who you are if you hit me up out of the blue.


Awesome. Thank you so much. And for those of you all listening, I always do my best. I really do the best I can to screen people, to make sure I'm bringing people to you that are doing this and living this sort of work. And I'm just so grateful to have you come out and share what you're doing because I see what you're doing. And this is the sort of stuff that I think people need. More Mitch Creasey, better balance, better family, better life. And there's no reason to not enjoy the process. Most of us. If you're an entrepreneur, at some point you're working your butt off. And maybe you're always working your butt off, but it can still be enjoyable. So I hope people realize that, yes.


If you're starting a business or something, it takes hard work. There's just no way around it. You're starting a business when you're going from zero to a thing and transacting, it takes hard work. I always tell people, Four Hour Work Week is a great book, but just keep it on the shelf in that start up phase. But then you do want to start carving out the kind of life that you want. One of my favorite quotes is actually from Bono. The singer is the world is more malleable than you think. And it's waiting for you to forget the exact wording but essentially bend it into shape. And I literally remind myself of that every single day that it is more malleable than you think. I've seen it enough times and enough ways to know that that is true.


Wow. And if anybody could say that he's one of the people, that definitely could say that with authority.




Thank you so much, Jeff. And for all of you listening, check out Jeff's stuff. Look deeper. Take that time, make time to create not just that whole, but that game plan. What is it you're going to do? And as always, I look forward to helping you impact more people and make more money and less time. Do what you do best so you can better enjoy your family, your friends and your life. Thanks so much for listening.


Jeff DavisProfile Photo

Jeff Davis

Founder/CEO of Twelve Mavens

Entrepreneur Jeff Davis went from working every night and every weekend with 80+ hour work weeks to traveling for 2 years with his family, seeing 29 countries - all while growing his business.

He attributes making that life changing leap from being stuck in the day to day weeds to being able to travel and focus on the vision to doing 7 particular things.

When any other entrepreneurs go through these same 7 steps, they also build dramatically more scalable businesses, they start growing their companies with more freedom to focus on the bigger impact things and they're also able to pursue other passions in their lives.

Your podcast listeners well get the opportunity to hear the founder and Chairman of a national community of entrepreneurs and CEOs pull back the curtain on 7 steps to getting out of the day to weeds of any business - so your audience can focus on the parts of their business that they love, that they are best at and that would make a much bigger impact.