Recovering CPA, Carey Rome Shares How Your Daily Habits Will Ultimately Determine the Level of Your Success

Show Notes

On today’s show, the entrepreneur, author and recovering certified public accountant, Carey Rome shares about the power of creating daily proactive habits and routines, the importance of watering the seed, how to design a 12-month roadmap for your small business growth and more.

  1. Yes, Yes and Yes! On today’s show we are interviewing a guest who is an entrepreneur, author, investor and founder of Cyprus Resources. He’s developed a simple and highly actionable 12-month roadmap for small businesses which he used while consulting for Fortune 1000 companies. Carey Rome, welcome onto the Thrivetime Show, how are you sir?!
  2. Carey, you’ve achieved massive success throughout your career, but I would love to start at the bottom and at the very beginning of your career. Carey, what was your childhood like and what impact did that have on your view of entrepreneurship?
  3. Carey, you’ve chosen to describe yourself as a recovering CPA, what did the process of becoming a CPA look like and where did you go to school?
  4. Carey, how would you describe what you now do on a professional and a daily basis?
    1. I work with CEOs and executives and help them put their vision to work.
    2. I work with them to identify what they want to accomplish.
    3. Then I create a 12 month plan to get them to their goals.
    4. A dream without a deadline is just a dream. A goal is a dream with a deadline.
  5. Arthur Andersen
    1. 88,000 people lost their jobs in 2002 for something that the company did not do.
    2. I cared so much about this situation because so many people were wrong and the whole situation was wrong.
  6. Carey Rome, when did you first have the idea to start Cypress Resources?
    1. I was working for another company. There was a company called health south
    2. They had 300 consultants working on a problem for 3 years.
    3. When I started, I rented my friends work closet for $400 and it was just me.
    4. I started and am still in Bermingham.
    5. When my day would start off on the wrong foot, I would go back and restart my day. I am a huge fan of the stories that you tell yourself. You can take things and turn them into positive things.
    6. Day 1 you sit in the chair, you don’t have a salary and you get a burn in your gut. You have to make it. There are no other options.
    7. I was never trained to be a sales person. All of the sudden, I had to sell. Rejection starts to stack up and you don’t have a clear message as to what you can do for them when you are just starting up.
    8. I would have people meet me and like me but not feel like there is any value coming out of the relationship.
    9. When it’s just you, you can’t blame anyone. All of the results are on you.
  7. How did you get over that initial fear of rejection?
    1. I still struggle with it. No one likes rejection.
    2. I find myself behind the desk and that is not my place.
  8. Carey, you started recording a podcast called, The Caged Vision Podcast. When did you decide to start recording this podcast and how many have you recorded up to this point?
    1. This is my second run at podcasting. My first one was recommend for me to do by the author of Duct Tape Marketing.
    2. I want to, with this podcast, uncage people’s vision.
    3. If you have something that you love but it just isn’t working because you don’t have systems, we help you accomplish it.
  9. Carey Rome, Episode #48 of your podcast is called, 5 Habits to Keep Your Vision Alive…what was this podcast all about and why should all of our listeners go and check it out?
    1. Step 1 – Have a consistent place where you write the idea down
    2. Step 2 – Build on that idea
    3. Step 3 – Do a little math
      1. There is revenue
      2. There is the cost to generate revenue
      3. Most people don’t see the math, they just see the revenue.
      4. Doing a little math helps you see the price point that a customer is willing to pay you.
  10. Carey, Episode #39 of your podcast in particular really resonated with me, it’s called, “Own It! Coaching Employees to Own Their Work.” What is this podcast all about?
    1. If you desire your team to own their work, you can’t just tell them to “own it”
    2. They don’t have the experience and the history with the company
    3. You have to help them think critically through the challenges that you want them to accomplish.
  11. Carey Rome, Episode #34 of your podcast is called, “Setting Clear Expectations.” What is this podcast all about?
    1. This happens with executives. They decide to unveil their master plan to the team and it is a great moment of relief for them because they get this huge weight off of their chest.
    2. The team has no idea where you are heading. They have not been in your mind. You have to show them how to get there and the path to go to get where you have landed. If you don’t do this, they will lose trust.
    3. Tell the team where their part is played.
    4. Tell them where they are going, give them what they need and help them make quality decisions.
  12. Carey, on Episode #26, you talk about “How to Help Your Team Think Critically.” Why is this so important?
    1. Your team will just start doing. They will just grab and start running.
    2. I love to ask the team “What is the problem that we solve?”
    3. Most business leaders think that their teams know this.
    4. Then ask your team “Who do we solve this for?”
    5. Then ask them “Is the problem we solve big enough?”
    6. This will cause them to understand that there is more they can do.
  13. Carey Rome, you come across as a person who chooses to be very intentional with your time, what do the first four hours of your typical work day look like and what time do you typically wake up?
    1. I wake up at 4:30 AM
    2. I drink a glass of water
    3. Have a snack
    4. Drink coffee
    5. I sit down and write a Linkedin Post about putting your vision to work
    6. Then I use the John Lee Dumas Journal and I write in that
    7. I write down my 5 goals for the day every day
      1. Where will I be when I am 80?
    8. P90X3 with a weighted vest and shorts
      1. I listen to podcasts while I workout
    9. Breakfast
    10. Bring my daughter to school
    11. Head to the office
    12. Meet with the team and set the stage of the day.
  14. Carey, you come across as a very educated person. What 2 or 3 books would you recommend for all of the readers of the Thrive Nation to read and why?
    1. The Power of Habit – Charles Duhigg
    2. Creativity Inc – Ed Catmull
    3. Building a Story Brand – Donald Miller
    4. The Hard Thing About Hard Things – Ben Horowitz
    5. Die Empty – Todd Henry
    6. Lead With a Story – Paul Smith
    7. Decisive – Dan & Chip Heath
    8. Think Fast and Slow – Daniel Kahneman
    9. Rework – Jeff Goins
  15. Now Carey Rome, you are a man who tends to dress very well. What is your approach to fashion and dressing well
Business Coach | Ask Clay & Z Anything

Audio Transcription


On today’s show, the entrepreneur, author and recovering certified public accountant carey Rome sheriff’s about the power of creating daily proactive habits and routines, the importance of watering the seed, how to design a 12 month roadmap for your small business and much, much more. But he’s a gentlemen carey Rome is a former CPA. He knows a lot about accounting and a lot about entrepreneurship and I am fired up to have him on today’s show because you are going to learn a lot. Whoa. Wow. There, there, there appears to be some saxophone to background. In fact, I choose to believe that the saxophone was queued up just for Carey rome. He’s the man with the 12 month plan and he’s a bona fide entrepreneur. For sure. Ladies and gentleman, without any further ado, I introduce to you Carey Rome.

Yes, yes, yes and yes. Thrive nation. Today’s show, we are interviewing a guest who’s an entrepreneur author, investor and the founder of Cypress resources. He’s developed this very actionable 12-month roadmap for small businesses, which he used wall consult. Well why? He’s, which is used while consulting for fortune 1000 companies. Mr Carey Rome. Welcome on to the thrive time show. How are you sir?

I’m doing great. Thanks for the introduction. It’s great to be here

now. Cary, you have achieved some serious, uh, success throughout your career, but I would love it if you could start off at the beginning and at the very bottom of your career, so to speak. What was your, what was your childhood like and, and how did that, uh, you know, impact the way that you think today and your decision to become an entrepreneur?

That’s a great question. I think, I think, you know, you mentioned that, um, you, you started out with a lot of success. I think it’s all relative. I think I just always look at a, I feel like I’ve always, always challenging myself and I just, if I change something, I just mark up the next goal. And just keep, you know, I don’t celebrate, well I guess it is a good way to say it, but if we go all the way back, I think that, um, it, it started with when I was younger and, um, you know, my mother probably probably just focused in and maybe a little bit of a, maybe a dreamer or someone that was a visionary, but really someone that just, um, thought about big things. And I think she really encouraged that and said, you know, you can do, you can do that. It’s the classic, you can do whatever you want or you need to apply yourself, but you can do whatever you want. Don’t limit yourself. And I took that and just ran with it. And, um, and, and ever since I was little, um, I just always looked at things and, and, and never wanted to be limited by an opportunity I love, I love the idea of unlimited potential and that’s what I sort of, that’s what I get. That’s what I get drawn to. That’s what I love to focus on.

So how would you describe, I mean, I’ve heard you describe yourself as a, as a recovering CPA, what did the process, how would you describe the process of becoming a CPA? What did that look like in, in, and where did you go to school?

Yeah, so that’s a great question. Again, I, uh, you know, I am, I’m, I say recovering CPA because, um, I’m probably not the ideal CPA. I, I’ve got a CPA because I had an uncle that recommended I get an accounting degree. If I wanted to open up and open a business that’s he thought, you know, accounting was a great sort of foundation for me. And so that’s what I did. And I got my degree. It started out at Lsu, finished up at Louisiana Tech. But, um, as I, as I got the, uh, the accounting degree and then started to apply that degree in public accounting, what I loved about that was, had nothing to do with accounting, really. It has everything to do with business. I would walk in and I would learn about a new business and I would just absorb and learn. And that just luck.

I love, I guess, I guess I would sort of quick on the uptake and learning about business. Oh, the unfortunate thing is going to have to go and do some accounting, but, um, but I loved new getting, getting visibility into new and different businesses and, but you know, even if he didn’t, even though I’m not not your ideal CPA and it’s not, it’s not really what I was meant to do. It’s a great foundation. It is a fabulous spam foundation if you want to, if you want to run a business. So I, I don’t, I’m glad that I received the advice. Um, I probably stayed in public accounting a little too long, but hey, listen, it’s, it’s all, it all happens for a reason, right?

You know, I, I want to, uh, uh, pick your brain on this. I do agree. It all happens for a reason. I want to pick your brain on this. So many entrepreneurs that I have coached one on one really shy away from the numbers, but yet the numbers tell the story and the numbers are like the dashboard of the business. So, let me just give an example. At elephant in the room, our chain of men’s grooming lounges, we have three locations that we own. And uh, we have two franchises. One that just opened a, or one that’s just opening in one that just opened a approximately six months ago in Oklahoma City. And the guys come in to get their haircut. Now that the membership model, uh, you pay a membership model there so you could go in, carey rome and get your hair cut once a month for a set fee or an unlimited amount of times for a certain fee, you know, and at the end of the day, I as the owner pay myself approximately $2 per haircut to dollars per haircut.

So if I pay myself $2 per haircut and I want to pay myself $8,000 a month, we have to do, you know, 4,000 haircut. But I think a lot of business owners, I remember working with this bakery years ago, Carey Rome and I’d love to get your take on this. She had a bakery and I’m doing the math and I said, how much is your lease? And she said approximately 5,000 a month. Okay, what’s your top selling product? I said, she says cupcakes. I said, how much money do you make per cupcake? She says, about 50 cents. And I said, okay, how much is your overhead for your staff? She tells me that number. I ended up and carry her hard costs to be in business for about 12,000 a month. Now of your hard costs are 12,000 a month and you only make 50 cents per cupcake. I’m not a, I’m no a Nostradamus here, but I believe you have to sell 24,000 cupcakes, uh, to break in. And at the time she only had the capacity to sell it for thousand cupcakes. Can you talk about the importance of doing the math before you start a business?

Wow. I think, I think there’s a, there’s an idea and they’ll, you know, I’m big on don’t squash the vision, your vision for what you want to create. Uh, don’t, don’t squash it too early on, but then there is that reality check, you know, along the way that is math, but it’s just purely, okay. Um, is this vision, can I make it a reality and does the customer even want this and are they willing to buy it from me? And if so, can I make money doing it? I mean that’s just basic questions. I think what a lot of people, a lot of organizations do, a lot of companies do is they look at revenue and they don’t look at gross profit. And so if you look at, you know, go to the cupcake example and you know there might be a cupcake that people love.

It is the favorite cupcake. It is just amazing. It gets him in the door, but it is very labor intensive and it takes some sort of special ingredient gradients. And so therefore you have a very, very low gross profit margin on that cupcake. Well, the fact that people love it really is irrelevant. I mean you, you should still do that to get them in the door, but you don’t want to build that capacity. Having said that, there’s probably another product that you want to make sure that you pushed. It is a lower mode where it’s got a nice margin in it and that’s sort of your staple. And so I think you will don’t think through how, what am I building too and how can I make margin and in bolt on to a business that has a stable margin that keeps me sustainable and then I can grow in bolt on to that versus just selling anything and getting caught up in the idea of the sale and not caught up in the idea of being able to sustain that sale.

Where do you see most people get it wrong with their accounting as small business people?

How clay, I am so out of the accounting Lucy days and I don’t really consult on accounting. I think you already said it. They don’t look at it. They don’t, they don’t really look at the numbers and um, that, that would be, I would be my guess. You know, it w we don’t want to, we don’t really want to look at numbers unless they’re good and if they’re good, do, if you don’t know what you’re looking at, do you really know what you’re looking at when they’re bad and how to turn it around. So I think, um, probably just avoiding it would be my guess.

No, you certainly are not, uh, avoiding your, your, your current career. I mean, you’re going all in your businesses growing. There’s so many great things happening for you right now. How would you describe what you now do on a, on a professional and daily basis?

Uh, yeah, I love, love, love working with CEOs, founders and getting their vision out of their head into a plan and then walking alongside their team to execute. I love, uh, I love the leadership qualities of growth and innovation. And I know there are other leadership qualities that, that people are drawn to. For me, I am drawn to who’s going to make it grow and who’s going to keep innovating so things don’t get stale and, and we get past. So I love working with that sort of a leader. Now you, we might describe them as a driver, as an achiever, but for those people, I love to get that vision out of their head and and oftentimes when I say out of their head, they told the story, they think about it, they can’t, they really, they, they cannot stop thinking about business. The hard part is effectively communicating that in a way that your team knows their part and that’s what we specialize in.

Get it out, get it out of a PowerPoint deck or get it out of someone’s head, put it into a plan where your team knows their part and then we just start running with it. I just started a new client that is their thought clearly in the growth category. So let me, let me pause there. And you know, if someone’s in the growth category, they know they’ve already figured out exactly what their target customer wants and that yes, there’s some innovation they’ll continue to do. But innovation is not the primary driver for growth this week. We know what we know it works. We had to pour gasoline on it. That type of client. It’s fabulous because when you lay out a, we’ve got to formalize this. We’ve got to build this out, we’ve got to, we’ve got to build these capability because when you pour gas on this thing, you’ve got something that works.

We got to go. They, they love growing something that already works. If you flip to the other side, um, in innovation that’s a leader that it’s, they, they been growing and maybe that growth trajectory, is it starting to plateau at touch and they know we have to continue to innovate. It’s a bit of a different challenge because, because they know if we don’t keep innovating where we were a leader, we will, we will get caught up too and then pass. We have to continue to press the hard part. As, as organizations get bigger and bigger and bigger, they get bloated and things get complex and innovation becomes harder. So it’s a little bit of a different challenge. But I’ll, but I love both challenges.

Let’s say that I agree with you because I do, I do certainly agree with what you just said. I just want to make it very, very real for the listeners in front of me could really, really practical and, and I know that’s your heart too. So, uh, let me just a hammer home. An example. There’s one insurance agency that I used to work with years ago and they had a, they had about, if you can picture it, a team of approximately five people Carey Rome and one guy who we, we, we made an organizational chart, made a workflow, I’m like a white board and we identified this guy, your job, the of all call them employee number one, your job is to make 200 outbound calls every eight hours. Bottom line to former customers because it’s like not a former clients that have a policy in effect.

Somebody who’s a current client that we haven’t talked to in awhile. Your job is to call 200 of them per day and to set an appointment to meet with them to make sure their coverages are in effect, uh, and making sure that they have the right, the right coverages in place. Now, employee number two, your job is to call these leads. People who have filled out a form saying that they are interested in insurance quotes, they want to get a competitive quote. Your job is to call, make 200 calls a day to those leads. Employee number one you call tutored calls a day to current clients who we haven’t met with in awhile. Employee number three, you’re doing all the paperwork. Okay? Employee number four, you’re just meeting with people face to face and employee number five, you’re managing this whole chaos. Your job is to do that.

And when we went in and clarified what every person was supposed to do, it was like magic because I mean the production changes that happen in like a two week period of time. They went from selling, you know, 25 policies a week to well over a hundred policies a week within less than a month. No new scripts, no new website, no knew. There wasn’t a lot of new tangible items. It was just getting everybody on the same page. Can you share an example, and I certainly don’t expect you to share the a client’s name or anything, but could you share an example of a, of a business or an industry where you’ve been able to go in there and help, gave everybody the, the right roles, the right goals, the right key performance indicators and help them grow?

Yeah. So I’ve got one that’s 113 year old company and um, and they meet so and so. Now we’re talking about a company that has done things that have worked for a really long time and now their front new found themselves in a spot where they’d have to innovate because it’s no longer working. And uh, we came in and we started a year ago with them and we mapped out something that was completely different then than anything that they’d done. And 113 years. But guess what? It’s what the target customer was asking for. So there prior business, they had been, they got the other competitors had caught up and even pass them and they’ve, they had turned what was the premium offering into a commodity. And so now they’re fighting just to, to stay above water. But the target customer needs something different and they’re hearing this, but because they had their lenses and they were only looking through the lens of the old organization, they couldn’t see the opportunity. And so we, we, we, we shifted the focus. We shifted the strategy. We re, we mapped it out and literally I talked to the president of that company this morning. His birthday was yesterday. I talked to him this morning and we were talking about the progress and he said, we have made tremendous progress. It feels slow for some, and it as the leader, it feels slow. Yeah. But he said, we’ve done more in the last 12 months than we did in the last 12 years.

Oh, come on. That’s awesome. That is awesome.

It’s so awesome. I love it. Because you’re looking at an organization that was just getting squeezed to go back to margin. They’re just getting squeezed, they’re getting squeezed, they’re getting squeezed. When, when, when, when things get, when, when you’re offering starts to get turned into a commodity, it doesn’t mean do more of it. It means finding more efficient way to deliver it and then you better innovate.

Well, you know, you are a guy who innovated your whole, whole career, your whole career. I would love to, to go back and talk about your time at Arthur Anderson and then, and then when you had the idea, when did you first have the idea to start cypress resources? So let’s go back to Arthur Anderson and tell us about Arthur Anderson working there. What was your time like there and what, what ultimately happened?

Yeah, so a guy’s such a great culture, Arthur Anderson Lady, you know, got it. I really got exposure to some fabulous companies. Um, some of your listeners may know the story that Arthur Anderson got caught up and the Enron scandal, um, which later the Justice Department came back and said, hey, we wrongfully indicted you. And, but it was too little, too late for Arthur Anderson at that time. Um, I was up for manager, never needed to be a manager, should have been a manager, probably was not going to make manager. It just was not in the car. It’s not who I am. So when, when all of that happened, I got thrust into industry and I just said, listen, I was in an 88,000 person company that within six months was gone. I can’t do that anymore. Now is the time to go and, and, and, and get a seat at the table, whatever that means.

But putting my neck on the line. So I took a reduced salary and took some equity in a company that I, uh, that I sort of quickly figured out when I started, was more of a turnaround. And it was, um, then it was a healthy company that I was joining, but I learned a tremendous amount. Um, and then made one more short pit stop and then an o five, I decided I’m going to start cypress resources and I want to go in and I want to help executives, um, fix problems and I’m going to bring a swat team. Then I’m going to go in and I’m going to architect the solution for them, for that business leader. And then I’m going to bring a swat team in and man, we’re going to, we’re going to clean that mess up and then we’re going to go to the next one.

And for five years I used, I did that business model and you know, as a CPA, I should have known better that that’s not very sustainable business model. It’s a nice revenue model, meaning people will pay good money to make a problem go away. However, when you fix that problem, the likelihood that they have that same problem, uh, next year and they’re still in business the year after that, it’s pretty low, which means I’m always chasing new problems and new customers. So about five years in, that’s some great advice from a gentleman named Harlan San. He’s now the president of Cleveland State University. Um, and he said, Kerry, I worked on a project for him at Uab and we finished ahead of schedule under budget. I felt great about the project and he said, Carey Rome, listen, I would not have hired you if I didn’t think you could have done and delivered what you did. But that’s not the hard part now clay,

I thought that I, it’s sliced bread. I mean, I, I thought, listen, what else do you want from me man? And we, we, I finished ahead of schedule and under budget. And what he told me that day is as an executive, you just fought one battle for me. And, and we weren’t right? But as an executive 12 and 18 months ago, I’m on an island and I don’t have anybody to help me think through all the things that I need to do and how I’m going to push it through the organization and how I’m going to pace your organization and who in the organization and best to to leave what you said, you’re missing an advisory service. So that day I went back to my office and I sketched out what is now a system we called addicts, which means you go God in Latin and it’s now software and it’s a complete system that we use to do just what I talked about. Get that vision out of your head 12 and 18 months before it’s actually in motion and then build it out for the team sees it and they know their part and they can jump in and drive

you. You, you, you seem like you have a great clarity about what you are doing now and what you’re, how you’re growing companies over there at Cypress. But I feel like when you started there had to have been a time where you were scrambling around looking for your initial first 10 customers. You know, maybe you got a hundred customers. I don’t, I dunno. How did you get over that initial fear of rejection when starting the company and how did you go about getting those first 10 clients?

Oh clay. I remember someone telling me, it was actually my CPA that did that, did my taxes and he said, now when you start, when you, when you sit down in that chair, you’re going to get a burn in your belly.


Uh, that you probably have never felt before. And I was thinking, what is he talking about? Well, the first day, and I’m starting, I, I rented a, a closet from an attorney friend that’s some attorneys have and there where they’re really nice office and they have a work closet. Why rented his work life? I probably, it’s about the size of a business conference room table, but a small conference rate, green table at that. But that’s what I read. And I stopped by Starbucks on the way and I’m walking up the steps and I trip and I still my coffee. Oh all over the steps. And I said, my first day is not going to start out like this. I turned around and drove back to Starbucks, got a new cup of coffee. But when I said, yeah, but clay, when I sat down did that belly burn did not.

And I thought, what is this? And what it is is just the, oh my gosh, it’s real. I’m here. And, and literally the only thing that I am going to do today is to try to find somebody to have a conversation just so I can kill them. What I’m doing, why I started. And I just started networking. I, I, you know, as a, you know, as an accountant and then as a CPA, I had worked, I didn’t, wasn’t in business development, so I didn’t really know anything but coffee, lunch, repeat that was business development for me. It did by everybody. Coffee and buy everybody lunch and have conversations with them. And um, and so I just, I just network and I just, uh, you know, by the grace of God, I had some great connections and, and, and I’m a natural networker and some things came through for me, had some early wins and uh, and then we’re off to the races and gosh, it’s been 14 years. And Man, let me tell you what, when clay, when, when, when fall of Oh eight and the financial crisis hit, if, if it weren’t for two projects that we were really deep into that the client just really couldn’t pull the plug on. I don’t think, I don’t think cypress resources would be around, no, because I would call on people and they would say, man, I don’t have, I don’t have any work, but I’ll tell you what. If you know anybody who, who’s hiring, I’m worried about my job.

I was doing favors for people helping them network. They were more concerned about their jobs. It was, no, it was, it was, it got lean. It got lean. But when it got Lynn, I got linked. We, we just, you know, it’s the, the entrepreneur journey. The journey is, you know, when there’s not enough money to pay people, guess who doesn’t get paid first. You and it’s, you know, I’ve had that conversation, honey, we’re not taking any money home for the rest of the year. What do you mean? Well, I mean, we better find some good beans and rice recipes because it’s going to be lean. And other had some fabulous years where I just felt like, you know, I was tripping over money and I think the, the important thing, and I listened to something and a podcast the other day and it said, you know, um, you know, I won’t get this exactly right, but essentially it was, um, there are lows and your highs and there are highs and your lows. You just need to recognize them. Meaning when you’re, when you’re hitting it, when you’re at your highest, there’s probably some things that you’re not thinking about. You’re not anticipating and, and, and they’re probably, if you need to be listening for those lows when you’re at your high, but when you’re at your low, when everything, when things just don’t feel like they’re going the right way, there’s a lesson there. There’s something that is going to turn around. There’s something there. You just got to listen for it.

I think that the stoic mindset, the ability to maximize the up emotions and minimize the down emotions, the ability to, uh, you know, maximize the positive feelings and, and minimize the negative feelings is very important to learn as an entrepreneur. Is this something you work with your clients on or is that something that you just kind of through Osmosis they pick up from you were, or do you ever do, does does discuss that when working with your clients at Cypress resources?

Yeah, I try to be positive and encouraging and, and let them know that, you know, this is, this is you can’t, you can’t cast a vision and then, uh, not forecast a way and a path and, and, and followed the direction of the path and be consistent or you change. You’re not going to get, I gotta to get there and there’s going to be ups and downs and I’m with you along the way. Part of the conversation, there’s been through conversations. There’s things where, wow, that’s a curve ball we didn’t expect. Okay. Yeah. How do we handle it? It’s not, oh my gosh, you know, we did something wrong. I love to build transparency with all of my clients who had built all this portal and everybody who has that we work with has access to any of the information in the client portal. Yeah.

Uh, meaning within that company, right? Meaning if I have a conversation with you and you have a coworker, I’m, I really want that coworker doe. If they want to invest the time to learn about our conversation, love nothing more if you them to be part of that because we’re all driving toward the same thing. And I think when you get in those tough spots, I’m just really working hard to avoid the silos of void, the kingdom building of avoid. I mean, you know, all of the bureaucracy because that limits growth and you can’t, one thing that we, that we know when you go to grow, when you go to innovate, you’re going to make a plan and then that plan is not going to be right because it’s based on the functions. And after day one you start to learn where your assumptions were wrong and the game is to tweak and refine and tweak and refine and constantly do that and create a process where you’re constantly listening and you’re constantly learning and you’re doing it all through the Lens. Are we customer? You get that right? And it’s going to work out.

No. Carey Rome you have a podcast that you did do you produce and uh, I do, I encourage all the listeners to go out there and check it out. Can you share if the listeners, what the name of your podcast is?

Yeah, it’s called caged vision and clay. I was, I’m a big audible God. Meaning I am an auditory learner and I just love listening to books. But I was actually reading this book and I wish I had the name of the book. I wish you could grab it. Anyway, it did something to the effect of, it’s talking about an executive that said there, uh, the vision, their vision was caged. Hmm. And I thought, oh my gosh, that’s it. That is it. That is the struggle. That is what Harlem and was telling me is that that’s his struggle was I’ve got to get this out and I’ve got to lay it out in the piece. And when, when we build out our system and we show it to an exact t, their shoulders just did it just go down and they relax. Oh my God, I can see it so clearly now. And so the cage division podcast is all about, it’s encouragement and confidence around taking that vision that you have, whether you’re the CEO or you work at a company and you’re 26 years old and you have something that you want to do one day. It’s how to grow that. How did mature that and how did not give up on that vision?

You know, you, you on episode 39 you talk about, you give one tip for not losing your vision that you, you talk about owning it, coaching employees to own their work and you can easily lose your vision when you ask your employees to do something and they don’t do it. And I see a lot of entrepreneurs lose the steam, lose momentum every time that they asked her team to do something then and then they don’t do it. They didn’t say, well, does it have to do it myself? Can you share with us about the importance of owning it and coaching your employees to own their work? What, what? What does that mean?

Yeah. So when our system, we, the first part is getting it out of that, that leader head and, and making it clear, and then we actually map it through the organization to the individual that’s going to earn. So they’re going to own a piece of that strategy. So let’s start with the highest level. You’ve got the CEO and you’ve got it. The organizations 12 month objective is to do, do this one thing. And I’m big on a one one thing. What’s the one thing that we’re going to accomplish in the next 12 months? Now, why don’t we start with one thing? Because as you break it down into the organization, it becomes about 15 different things, right? So at the highest level we’ve got to start with something pretty simple that everybody can get but is very sophisticated and discipline and focus. It’s going to drive the organization forward.

And then we just simply break that into three key results. Some people may have heard that is um, objectives and key results. Okay? Ours. Um, so you just break that one objective and the three key results. Sometimes we interchange that with goals. And then more than likely those three key results are going to map to someone in your company and they’re going to map to someone with a very specific capabilities. So for example, if the, if one of the key results that you need to achieve is better financial performance, okay, that’s going to naturally map to the CFO. So now what is a key result to the organization just slides over and it’s the objective for the CFO. And now the CFO just repeats the same process, break that into three key results and then map that to the, to the level below them. And that’s how you map it down.

Now when I’m two levels below the CEO and I clearly know my part, yeah, I clearly have a 12 month plan that is directly tied through my CFO to the CEO and the company. That’s, that’s accountability. That’s the ownership. Because the CFO saying, hey, I need clay. I need you. I need you in order to deliver my key result and tell the CEO that our group is on point. I clay, I need you to own this piece. Can you earn it? Yeah. Okay, how are we going to get there? And it’s just a conversation. It’s laying it out in a very logical way. Stress testing the plan. You push it down and roll it back up and continue the process. So that’s, that’s how we create ownership.

That leads me to a episode 34 of your podcast where you talked about setting clear expectations. I think a lot of employees, a lot of people who have jobs, uh, one, I think there’s a huge problem. People don’t know what’s expected of them. They don’t know, should I make a hundred outbound calls today or seven, should I make a thousand cookies today? Or 15. Ah, yeah. Should I, what time should I be? A lot of bosses say, well, I just, you know, just, just get it done. I see a lot of small business owners telling your people, just get her done, come on, get it done. And then everyone has their own different idea of what those expectations are. So I see that as a problem and I also see people who do clearly know what they’re supposed to do. Just choosing not to do it. Well let, let, let’s cut it. Get into that. Where do most bosses get it wrong when it comes to setting clear expectations?

Well, I think he, I think you’ve sort of, you’re really honed in on, uh, when, when you lay something out and it’s big picture and you say, get her done or just, you know, hey, you know, I’ve done my part, I laid, I cast the vision that that’s not helping your employees, that’s not helping your employees. I think ideally what we work towards is, I want to get it out of your head and then I don’t want to map it through to the organization. And then your job as the leader is not to walk away and think everything’s done. I, the best scenario is that you push things down to the organization, through the organization, and then you create a feedback loop and a listening channel where they come back to you to make sure that they’re making informed quality decisions. That’s what you want from them, informed quality decisions.

But you can’t do that by just throwing it over the fence and saying, I’ll check in with you in three months. So I think it’s important to make sure that, that you create that listening. Let him know that I care enough to know how you interpreted what I said we need to do and I really critical you are so important to the process. I need to hear from you because you’re there, you’re boots on the ground, you’re getting things done and I need to make, I need to help you. The best way I can help you is by making informed quality decisions. So let’s do that together.

What if the employee clearly knows what to do and they choose not to do it?

Hmm. I think you started looking for a new employee. I mean, if, if they’re just choosing not to participate in growth or innovation or they’re just participating, not to do, I mean, I, I would have a conversation conversation with an employee and try to understand what’s going on, but, uh, you know, it, that’s going to be a short road.

That right there. We should let that sit in for a second. Let that simmer. You’re saying if somebody refuses to do their job and they clearly know what to do, that’s a short road we’re moving on. Okay. That, that I just want to make sure we’re getting that out there. Now you, you carry it and you’ve got a lot going on. Do you have a pretty successful consulting business? You have a podcast that you, you keep updated. Um, you’re an intentional guide. So I’d like to ask you on what did the first four hours of your typical day look like and what time do you typically wake up?

Oh, clay, I wake up at four 30. Got It. And, and I, um, drink a little coffee, uh, work. Uh, typically I do a linkedin post virtually every day and I write about growth and innovation qualities around

why do you do that everyday? Like what, why do you do a linkedin post every day?

Um, well I want to have a continued consistent drip and a consistent message that is not, um, that, that, that I wanna I wanna I wanna somehow whether someone’s, if they never become a client, I want them to feel like, Hey, I need to, I need to go and follow what Carrie is saying because I can learn something today. And I consumed so much content through podcasts and audio books that, uh, you know, I think I would be doing an injustice if I then didn’t turn around and try to you and try to, you know, do this, do you pay it back or pay it forward rather. Right. And so the way I do that is just in a, in a linkedin post, and I’ve had people, I just started it to, to, uh, to just have that constant drip. And I’ve had great feedback. I’ve had people say, hey, you need to, I love your, your, they’re short, they’re concise, they’re to the point. And there’s always a big takeaway. You need to create a, a CEO coffee table book. And I said, well perfect, I’ll do that. And so maybe that’s a 20, 20 initiative.

So you then get up at four. You do your four 30 at four 30, you drink a glass of water, you have a little, uh, coffee action. Yeah. Sit Down and you do the linkedin post. What do you do next?

I work out, I do P90x at home. It’s, um, I’ve been doing it for five years. I wish Tony Horton would come out with [inaudible] because I’m getting a little tired P90x three. But I do feel that he acts in a shower derived my youngest daughter to school and then they start the day.

Hmm. So you, you, you do this every day, five days a week or seven days a week?

No, I do it, I do it five days a week. I sleep in a little bit on Saturday and Sunday. Um, but I, I typically, you know, I listen, my hobby is work. Got It. I just, I, I love to work. I love to listen and learn about business. And if I, and if you see me walking around, I’ve got earbuds and I’m not being rude. I’m trying to learn more about business that I’m trying my best to turn around and apply it to your business. I mean that’s, I just, that’s my hobby. And so, uh, my weekends look a little bit different. I just shifted back a little bit and of course, and try to maximize family times as much as the can.

Right now you, you, uh, I understand that you use the John Lee Dumas journalism this, is that correct? Am I, am I wrong there? Yeah, yeah,

I do know. I do. Yeah. I, you know, one good thing about that journal, I have two things. So I have a notebook everyday and then I write down in my notebook and I start in the back of the notebook. I write down my five goals and I do that every single day. And I start from the back and, and then, and then I work in h workday. I create a new page. And so that’s meeting in the middle. So what, where I’m working and where I say I want to go, it’s sort of, uh, uh, it’s conceptually that there, that’s meeting in the middle. And so that’s, that’s one thing that I write down. But then, uh, the John Lee Dumas, I go and I take his journal and I write it down. One of the things that I love about that journal is it starts with what are you grateful for?

And Man, I didn’t tell you what I didn’t, I didn’t think about what I was grateful for for a long time. I just didn’t, I just started, I just started working. It’s a great exercise. It’s a great thing to do. And then you plan out your day and organizing. And I take a picture of that, uh, that page. And I referenced that you had referenced that picture on my phone several times throughout the day, just so I don’t have to carry. Um, I love that because it gives me, it gives me focus and it’s a hundred day goal setting, you know, sort of journaling tool and a, I find that grateful. I man, I find it great. I’ve, I’ve probably, I’m probably on my fourth or fifth one I would say

really? So you, you use, okay. So that, that is one one a book that you’ve purchased. It’s, it’s a John Lee Dumas Journal. We’ve had John, uh, John Lee Dumas on the, our podcast and he’s had me on his podcast. So big fans of John Lee Dumas. Now, could you, as we wrap up today’s show, I want to respect your time, but what are two or three books that you would recommend for all of our listeners out there? Because our leaders are, our listeners out there are big readers and they love to just devour books. Tell us about it.

Okay. Favorite Book of all time is the power of habit with the power of habit. Um, it is a fabulous book if, um, if, if you are, if you want to achieve more, if you’ve got a vision that you want to, you just, you just, you just want to do things and see things different for your life. It’s such a simple book that talks about the small things, the small shifts that you can do that have powerful impact. So powerful. The power of habit is fabulous. There’s a great book that’s relatively new for me by Scott Belsky called the messy middle.

I don’t know. Heard of it.

So good.

Now are you, are you a, a big Ben Horowitz fan?

Um, no,

the, I was just curious.

I’m not a fan. I just got, I’m, it’s not on my radar.

The, uh, have you read the book the hard thing about hard things?

Oh yes, I have.

I’ll just say that book is at hand. Isn’t that book crazy? Well, maybe, um, the hard thing about hard things, the one I’m thinking of has been Horowitz, the guy who started a Opsware. Yeah. Have you read that? Correct?

Yes. That’s a great book.

Yeah. And I, I can you talk to us about the importance of doing the hard things first?

Oh my gosh. I think you can procrastinate and delay and um, you know, that’s why I get up and workout in the mornings. That’s why I start my linkedin post and the mornings. If I, if I waited to work out, I would not make it six days a week. There we go. Hey, if I waited to write a post things I would walk in the door and things are going to happen. I’m going to respond to things. I’m not going to get things out. Part of that routine you asked about routine for me. Yeah. That’s about getting your head right. That’s about organizing yourself and settling into the day before you start the day.

Do you believe, I believe this. I believe that the, your routine, the routine that you put in your calendar and routine that Elvar listeners are putting in their calendar right now, how you design your day is the single most important action step everyone could take out there. Do your, your routine will determine your results. Do you agree with that?

Absolutely. Absolutely. You know, that’s, it’s really what you’re saying is the power of habit. You know, what are the habits that you’re creating and, and, and yeah, sure. Routine it will determine if things don’t happen to you. They haven’t because of you. So what are the small thing that you are doing to make sure that where you want, where you want to go happened because of your actions,

not tea. Do you, do you believe that your habits, your daily habits will ultimately determine the level of success you achieve?

I do. And I heard someone say, oh, on a, on a podcast. He said, you just got to keep your trying likes trying. And it’s so simple. And when you are in the midst of things, when you’re in the midst of the storm, you just have to keep your trying legs trying. I think when when you set yourself in up in a way and you do things in a disciplined way and you feel like he set the right habits, it, it will pay off. It will absolutely pay off. You just need to keep your trying legs dry,

my friend, you have blown my mind multiple times. Is there a final word of wisdom you want to give to the thrive nation out there? If you could get a big billboard, uh, give her, give everybody out there a t shirt that said a phrase and I spit the phrase or a nice headline or what’s the one advice you’d give all of our listeners out there today?

Well, of the sea water, the seed. If you got a seed of a vision for where you want to go, water that seed, invest in that. And, and if you don’t have the seed, maybe you need to look at the ground from which you’re drawing out your ideas. I mean if there, there is a spot for you where you can grow, you got to find the right ground and you’ve got to water it. You just don’t say you want something and, and not be willing to water it. Now, my oldest daughter, she is, she’s got to starting to get it to be in 10th grade and she’s got the opportunity to take an elective and she wanted to not take an elective. And my wife was encouraging me to take a business class. I don’t want, I don’t want to take a business class. I want, I want some free time.

And so, you know, of course she 14 and my wife that broke into a fight and I’m so I said, let’s go get, let’s go get, let’s go get some ice one, let’s just get away. And so I talked to her and I said, listen, I’m okay with you not taking elected. I’m not okay with you saying that one day you want to own it, a business and not investing in yourself starting today. So where the likelihood of your successful in that business, you’re going to grow because of the action you take today. So don’t be lazy. I’m okay with you not taking, just don’t tell me that you want to achieve something and you’re not willing to invest in water. That seed.

Kara, you are you. I’ll tell you what, I could interview you for three weeks in a row, my friend, but I’m going to have to look that out because you have a big on night plan. Do you have things going on and I want to respect your time, but thank you so much for being on today’s show and I hope you have a blessed rest of your day

play. Thank you. I enjoyed it. We’ll chat soon.

Are you take care of, I would encourage you to sit down today before we wrap up today’s podcast and in think about your daily routine. Is your daily routine producing the level of success that you’re seeking? What time are you waking up every day? What time are you working out every day? What time are you fill in the blank because there’s so many things we want to do with our life. We have goals for our faith and our family, our finances or bitterness and friendship and our fun and I think it is so important that we all schedule time to design the life that we want. I think it’s just so important to do that every day. And then design that schedule, make that daily routine and once you develop that daily schedule, you put it into the schedule. Whatever you want to do with your life goals for your faith, for your family, for your finance is for your fitness, for your friendship and your fun.

You’ve got to break it all down into daily action steps and those go into your calendar and have it there in your calendar. You have to honor your calendar and keep those promises you make to yourself. Do what’s in your calendar and pretty soon that that that daily calendar becomes a habit, it becomes a routine and you’re, you are going to experience unbelievable success if you will just be disciplined enough to be intentional about designing your schedule. So it ask you again today, what is in your schedule? Design that schedule today and we like to end each and every show with a boom and now without

father Ed do,

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