Got employees or partners causing you headaches?

Train them or fire them– don’t tolerate them, as Brad Lea has taught me.

No need to complain or argue.

Don’t attempt to justify your value– or worse, lower your prices.

The clients that pay you the least expect the most– so you can imagine the expectations of folks who pay you nothing.

If you have employees quit on you, perhaps you were to late in firing them.

Consider who is solving problems for you or creating problems for you– the former are team members and the latter should be clients.

Don’t allow employees to get confused into thinking that they’re clients– else you’ll go down the toilet quickly from massive costs, direct and indirect.

My biggest mistakes have been in hiring people who aren’t ready to drive results nor are ready to train to the level of proficiency necessary.

When they fail, don’t blame them– it’s your fault for having hired them.

Don’t loan them money and don’t make performance exceptions, lest the others notice and believe they are exempt, too.

This is the brutal truth of being a business owner– agency, manufacturer, or otherwise– family and friends are different.

Stay tuned for what I’ve learned in growing and operating my business, as our Agency Management Course.

I don’t claim to know everything, but at least you can learn from my many mistakes, plus what has worked splendidly well.

Are you in?

The CEO of American Airlines told me that managers are either loved or productive, but rarely both.

You see, it’s easy to be loved as a boss– don’t hold people accountable. Constantly praise, skipping the hard conversations. Let deadlines slip.

It’s medium hard to be an effective boss, since it means you have to be willing to crack the whip and rid the team of parasites. Not everyone will love you when you have to deliver.

The super rare boss is both loved and effective. Studies show that less than 1% of managers are able to pull this off.

The key to their success is instilling a CULTURE so strong that weak performers don’t even make it into the company.

While the problem creators demand your attention, resist the urge to oil the squeaky wheel. Focus your time disproportionately on the high performers.

By definition, that means you cannot be spending all your time on the troublemakers, no matter how much noise or drama they cause.

Your team clearly sees when these rebels get away with their behavior, which is why your culture is defined by what you’re willing to tolerate.

Loved, productive, or both….

Which of these 3 manager types are you?

What your boss will never tell you.

You’re either creating problems for her or that you’re solving problems for her.

And this is the key to advancing– whether your boss is your employer, client, customer, teacher, or parent (yes, all these are bosses).

I’ve had some incredible mentors over my career– and some spectacular failures, too.

But when I messed up and got feedback on how to improve, I could never imagine talking back to my mentor– to show disrespect when he was going out of his way to help me.

Could you imagine having the balls to say that to the CEO of American Airlines?

Maybe I’m an old-fashioned fuddy-duddy– hey kids- get off my lawn!

But everything good I’ve gotten has been from a boss or mentor who has opened doors for me that they didn’t have to.

I’m not a slave groveling for mercy, but I’m also not a 20 year who knows it all.

By showing my boss/client/mentor that I’m someone who comes in to take care of problems before they even happen, even if it’s not “my fault”, they breathe a sigh of relief when I’m around.

As opposed to being worried that something will blow up in their face, that they will have to intervene, or that they’d have to deal with righteous young anger.

The more you take care of your client/boss/mentor, the greater opportunities they will open for you.

Over time, this grows into something incredible– and it’s the #1 reason for everything good that’s happened for me.

Not because I’m smarter, harder-working, or “better” than anyone.

Have you tried this tactic with your boss? And if you’re a boss, how do you deal with people who are creating problems versus solving problems?

Level UP.

Here’s the internal note I sent team members, discussing big changes at BlitzMetrics.

What do you think?


It’s time for all of us and the company to LEVEL UP!

Some of you will be excited by these changes, since you’ll be rewarded for your diligence.

Others may be dismayed, because they will have to dramatically increase their performance or leave— even if they have been comfortable getting away with doing the same thing for years without consequences.

We are moving to a P&L model next month, where qualified team leads will run their businesses using BlitzMetrics as a support platform. They will have dedicated team members to serve clients, while using shared services and support— training, finance, legal, marketing, technology, and HR.

This situation will create stark accountability, so the people who have been hiding, but aren’t delivering clear client value, need to improve or leave— since the client won’t want to pay for that, and the team lead won’t want that cost against their P&L.

Most of you will make a lot more money this way and have more freedom. You’ll see some people go from Level 2 to Level 6 in a couple months because of initiative, while others may be stuck at their current level or even be downgraded, since their actual performance doesn’t warrant the level they are at.

Imagine that you can get a piece of the profit that you generate!

After running the P&L model for a few months, we will then switch to piecemeal payment, moving away from the hourly system. The hourly system rewards people for taking longer and wasting time. The task-based model, complemented by reviews, pays people what they are actually worth, which can be over $100 a hour for many of us if we focus on results.

Internal team members who are building systems are exempt from this model, since engineering, finance, and certain parts of marketing are not client-specific. They will be on salary plus bonus.

For people to earn their way to be internal, which is Level 6+, they must still prove themselves capable as INTRAPRENEURS, else they are not qualified to be building systems or teaching others how to do something they’ve not done themselves.

In other words, we must all first demonstrate we can achieve client success before we have earned the privilege of building systems, no matter how eager we may be to teach or believe that gravity doesn’t apply to us.

Put your own oxygen mask on first— #LDT.

This shift creates a huge opportunity for everyone to level up, since we need strong team leads that can run their businesses without operations or even me needing to chase.

There are more than enough clients and team lead slots to go around, not counting the new clients and partners about to come on.

So we are all learning how to do new tasks, doing tasks to generate income for everyone, and then teaching others how to do.

We’ve been working on systems that will make this operation possible, much like Uber and FancyHands with their supply and demand systems- except we train and mentor where they don’t.

The deals with ADU, Escape Fitness, DigitalMarketer, Affiliate Institute, LightSpeed VT, and others will pull in thousands of new specialists and businesses into our system- and these folks will need team leads to guide them.

With strong team leads in place, handling everything Level 6 and below, I can focus on the Level 7+ items that you’re all counting on me to deliver.

If you’re not ready for this change, you should say something now, so you don’t let down the rest of us- not fair to everyone when a few people don’t do their part. It’s the “weakest link” where a couple people can wreck it for everyone.

Some people may take things personally, instead of seeing that they need to improve their performance and that a few of us are willing to help, even if uncomfortable— most companies don’t have the patience.

We’ve all worked so hard together to get to this point, and we’re about to enjoy the launch of these new systems in the next few months!

Think about what this means and discuss with your team lead.

Set The Example

I’m not feeling motivated today, so I’m not doing any work.

And if others aren’t working hard, then neither do I.

It’s my manager’s job to constantly praise me and my work, even when I’m clearly messing up.

Besides, I’m not being paid enough for what I do.


That was my attitude when I first joined a team over 20 years ago.

I made a lousy $36,500 a year while working 80 hours a week. That’s $9 an hour.

I was managing people who made $250/hour.

And running projects with multi-million dollar budgets that were making the company a lot of money.

I worked harder than everyone else around me, as far as I could see. And I believed those other people didn’t do much, at least from my point of view.

I was defensive and entitled, blaming other people for my issues instead of owning up and taking charge.

It’s not until you become a manager yourself that you learn how ridiculous your behavior was when you were younger.

For my entrepreneur and manager friends– my empathy is to you, since I understand how much time you spend helping your people, even if they don’t appreciate it now.

Keep on going, since a few of these eager, smart, immature young adults will blossom into incredible leaders– and you’ll look back on those moments with gratitude.

Set the example by getting the job done, even if those around you aren’t or are full of excuses.