For many financial advisory firm owners, growth is often the primary goal in the early years of launching a business. However, at a certain point, initial business growth goals will have been met, leaving the business owner at a crossroads of deciding where to take the business next – should they maintain the firm’s current size or continue the growth trajectory and adapt to the firm’s growing needs to bring on more clients? Even though the business may be doing well, deciding to grow past a certain point can bring on a whole new set of challenges, as with an expanding business, the capacity for advisors and other employees becomes more limited and can strain the firm’s resources. Some advisors, though, may choose not to continue growing the business further, and this choice will inevitably involve the challenging task of saying “no” to future growth opportunities.
In our 104th episode of Kitces & Carl, Michael Kitces and client communication expert Carl Richards discuss how financial advisors can recognize and define what ‘enough’ growth looks like for their firm and how to create limits to help them say “no” to future opportunities that may create unwanted strain on the business.
Advisory firm owners can start by assessing how growth would impact themselves, their employees, and the firm. Typically, growing a firm involves adding more responsibilities, which can create more procedures and processes and requires time, staff capacity, and resources across the firm. To handle these additional responsibilities and projects, firm owners often have to decide whether to delegate tasks, automate them, save them for later, or refuse them altogether. And for many advisors who choose to keep their teams smaller and are not interested in hiring and training more employees, determining when to reject new opportunities and how to communicate their choice can be key to finding and maintaining their desired balance. This is because some advisors may not want to take on new clients and additional projects that may overload staff and take away time that could otherwise be spent on keeping current clients happy. Whatever the constraints may be, understanding when – and why – to stop growing can help advisors learn how to say no to unnecessary opportunities that may cause unwanted growth and strain on the firm, staff, and resources.
Ultimately, the key point is that while saying no to growth can feel scary (because we sometimes tend to fear that not continuously striving for growth and staying busy will somehow lead to inevitable failure), protecting the time, capacity, and resources of the firm by turning down unnecessary opportunities can be the best thing for the firm whose goals don’t involve growth. And by defining – and honoring! – the firm’s constraints, the process of intentionally declining these opportunities can become easier and more efficient (e.g., through automated processes and templates to respond to such opportunities). Over time, respecting the constraints of the firm can help the firm owner and the team make better choices and even open up new opportunities that are more relevant to the firm’s future direction, offering a positive impact on the overall goals of the business!
***Editor's Note: Can't get enough of Kitces & Carl? Neither can we, which is why we've released it as a podcast as well! Check it out on all the usual podcast platforms, including Apple Podcasts (iTunes), Spotify, and Stitcher.
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Kitces & Carl Podcast Transcript
Michael: Greetings, Carl.
Carl: Well, hello, Michael. How are you?
Michael: I'm doing well. How are you?
Carl: I'm great.
Michael: By the time this is going live, we are kicking off the new year of 2023. So, any big New Year's goals, resolutions coming up in the year?
Carl: More time in the mountains.
Michael: More time in the mountains. That's part of your overall... I forget, I need the statement of financial purpose again. So, time with...
Carl: Time with my family, mainly outside.
Michael: Time with my family, mainly outside. So, you are amping up the mainly outside time?
Carl: Yeah. I'm just… the only reason that came about is that we just got a good storm here really early. I've already skied twice, it's November 3rd, I think and the mountains look beautiful and I need more time in them. So, how about you, what's your intention? I'm going to use intention. What's your intention for the new year?
Michael: We're in full-on growth mode on the Kitces.com end of things. New courses coming out, summits are ramping up, doing the IAR CE as all the states are rolling out new CE requirements. So, I think will be a very growth-y year for us with just lots of stuff we've been doing with the advisor community that I think we're just trying to keep ramping up this year.
Carl: That is amazing, man.
Why It’s Important To Understand When To Delegate Tasks [01:46]
Michael: So, it's an interesting theme to me, and even the juxtaposition of my 2023 focus and your 2023 focus. So, I'm finding myself having a conversation more with some… say like a subset of advisors that, "Look, when we launch advisory firms it sucks for everyone in the first few years. It's awful for everyone. Eventually, well, you get a little ways in, you get some clients going, and you're at the like...it's not good enough to be good, but it's too good to quit. You go a little bit further and you get back to some reasonable income goals, or where you wanted to be, or you got back to where you were before your change into financial planning; grow a little further, and the money starts getting pretty good. And then, there's this crossroads moment that happens where it starts getting really busy and you have to start making some decisions around like, "Am I going to start hiring people and managing people and growing and scaling up my firm? Am I just going to kind of say it's good, this is good enough, I'm making good money I can accomplish my financial goals and I'm going to hang out here?"
And there's this thing, phenomenon, trend that I'm observing that I'm seeing more and more advisors that get to that point. I mean, mathematically it's kind of an inevitable reality if you accumulate clients in a relationship-based model with really, really high retention rates. Eventually, you're going to get to a pretty good number. And just the economics of the advice business, not to supplant everyone's goals out there, but pretty much anyone anywhere can save and accumulate for a very meaningful retirement, put their kids through college and do all the "traditional" financial goals by being a really high-income successful solo advisor. You can check most of the classic financial boxes. But, you know, big but, that means if you get to the point where you've got enough to make your goals work, you would stop because you're there. You've sown the seeds, it's time to harvest now.
And I find advisors just by and large, I think it's something about how goal-oriented we tend to be in building our businesses in the first place. Nobody seems to know how to stop growing. We spend a lot of time figuring out how to grow, and how to grow well, and how to grow efficiently, what are the best marketing tactics to grow, and all this stuff we've talked about on some prior episodes. No one knows how to not grow when they get to the point that it would be financially okay to not grow, like you made your goals. Instead, what I see basically everyone doing, they make their goals, they pursue their goals, they achieve their goals, and then they reset the goalposts, and they do it to themselves indefinitely. We see our clients do it, that's how you get on the good old hedonic treadmill and the clients who make more than enough money to retire and they never retire. And the number of advisors I've seen that will wax eloquently about all the crazy clients that they've seen that made more than enough money to retire and don't retire, and then they hit their points in their practice at the same thing. And they do the same thing, they can't stop.
And so, maybe I'm mischaracterizing what's going on in your world because I know you are doing some cool business stuff and there are some cool new things that you're launching and building as well. But, you know, just my goals are like here's the summits and the courses and the new IAR CE offering that we're going to be ramping up at our platform. That's my thing, I'm very growth-y, I'll own that. And your growth goal, at least your growth goal for 2023, is more days outdoors in the mountains.
Carl: I didn't actually realize I was setting myself up for this conversation. This is perfect.
Michael: So, I feel like I need a lesson, and we all need a lesson in how have you gotten to this place of ‘not growth’? Or maybe that's my words and that's not accurate and you don't think that's a good way to frame it, but how do you not grow?
Carl: Well, okay. So, I don't actually have a... That's super interesting. I think there's an assumption being made here that by me saying more time in the mountains means I'm not growing. And that's an assumption I've had to work really hard on because it's actually not true. The more time I spend in the mountains, the more my business grows.
Michael: Because it clears your head and clears your space so then you come down from the mountains with new ideas that have to be implemented?
Carl: So, I know that doesn't work if your job is to... I could make the argument around like, okay, for any knowledge worker, I think time outside is important. Whatever, that's fine. We all know that little meditation, good night's sleep, you know, whatever. None of us would debate that. But for me, the more clear I get, and this would definitely be a sidetrack so let's not go here for a long time, but the more clear I get about what I can uniquely do, the only thing I can do. And one of my favorite stories of this is one of my good friends, Dr. Dave. Last time we talked about Dr. Terry, this time we talk about Dr. Dave.
And Dr. Dave, I remember he was my neighbor and he was also a client of mine, one of my best friends. And we did a lot of crazy outdoor things together. So, I was getting hurt occasionally. And I remember one time he had to sew my head up, and we went up to the emergency room and we went in the back door. He was an emergency doctor, we went in the back door and we walk in and everybody who saw him was high-fiving him, he had a nickname, which I won't share with you just to keep his confidentiality, but let's just say Dr. Dave, they're high-fiving him, the admin staff, the other doctors. I asked him, "What's going on?" And he said, and I mean this is kind of a funny statement. He said, "Well, Carl, I move the meat." And I was like, "What do you mean you move the meat? This is an ER room." And he is like, "Yeah, I move things through. Things get really stressful here when they get backed up and the reason they get backed up is because so many of my colleagues do things that somebody else could do."
He said, "Let me give you an example." He pointed over to one of his other doctor friends who I knew, who was on the phone. And he's like, "That phone call could have been made by one of the nurses." And his point was, and this is the point here, he said, "I only do what only a doctor can do.” And what's been happening to me lately, which is resulting in more growth, which seems totally against the laws of nature, more growth is the more I focus on what only I can do and that's getting really small. Sometimes I feel very, very uncapable because the thing that I'm being told to do is basically have conversations with people, and notice the ideas that come from them, and get them recorded. So I'm not even typing very often anymore.
So, in an advisor's world, we all know this. John Bowen did some good research on this, I'm sure you've seen it in the "Kitces Research" which is my favorite. The "Kitces Research." Face time with clients. That's largely... I mean, there are some advisors who are really good at content creation, top-of-the-funnel rain-making style stuff. Well, if they're really good at that, they should not be having any client meetings. If you're really, really good at that, why wouldn't you build a team around you that can do all this stuff? If you're really, really good at the client meeting, well, we can find somebody who's really good at marketing. So, I don't want to go too far down this road, but this is all Dan Sullivan unique teamwork stuff. So, what's happened to me is my team is saying, "Get out of here. The best thing you could do for revenue is leave us alone."
Michael: So, I was going to ask, I mean, is this like, "I'm going to spend less time in my business because it helps me grow more." I mean, was that a conscious growth strategy or a bi-product that turned out after the fact because you tried to take more time off and then came up with more ideas that ended out making you grow?
Carl: So, again, hopefully, this is fun for people and we'll be able to tie it back a little bit, I think. But two things happened. One, we did a really important launch of a product and I was scheduled to be in the Teton Mountain range in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. And I saw the date of the launch and the date of this trip. And I was like, "Oh my gosh, I'm absolutely not in cell phone range, I'll cancel the trip." And the team was like, "No, no, we got it." So when I got out of the mountains, I was like, "Oh no, this is going to be the worst, you know." When I checked, we had had the best launch ever. And then we had a meeting and my COO actually said, "Hey Carl, I have this crazy idea. What if you just stayed on vacation?" Well, that's fascinating.
And I also, by the way, when I came out had a whole bunch of stuff to write, and by write I mean dictate, record. I had a whole bunch of podcast episodes, conversations to record, ideas for what I do uniquely which is the big top of the funnel of this whole business, which is intellectual property. And then the other thing that happened was, I said to the team a year and a half ago, I was like, "What would be the best thing for revenue next year?" So, it was probably two years ago, and they said, "The best thing would be if you just stayed on vacation. If you went away and let us build things based on... and just keep doing what you're doing." To me the top of this business is intellectual property and that's mainly in the form of conversations or audio or video content. So, the applicable piece to me is what is the thing that you're uniquely good at doing, and can we increasingly get narrower and narrower so you're spending the bulk of your work time…
And I have found that when you get to that when you start to identify that thing, the unique ability that you have, you quickly learn. You can't do that for 40 hours a week. You can't be in client meetings for 40 hours a week. You can't create content, you can't be on podcasts for 40 hours a week. So, you realize like, "Well, what if I get rid of all the other stuff, I only do the thing I'm uniquely good at, I get better at the thing I'm uniquely good at?" Turns out that's the thing that's valuable in the world. At least as far as you've organized your business, that's the thing that's valuable in the world. And you have these people around you who are really good at all the stuff you're terrible at. So, that is all to say, I don't think when I say spend more time in the mountains, I'm saying I'm done growing.
Recognizing When To Say ‘No’ By Defining ‘Enough’ Growth [13:38]
Michael: So, is there a point when you get to done growing? Like, is there an endpoint on that journey for you?
Carl: Well, yeah. We have some very specific constraints around the size of the core team. There's a size of core team constraint we don't want to build.
Michael: So, tell me about that.
Carl: None of the people that work here now want to work on a 30-person team, or even a 20-person team. We want to see how much can we build with a 3-person team and a bunch of really awesome contractors? Really awesome contractors, some of them are getting close to being team members.
Michael: So then how do you handle that? Because you've been out there and done stuff for a long time, I'm sure there's at this point no shortage of either ideas in your head, and or opportunities that come knocking. So, how do you, I don't know, manage that, balance that, figure out what you're going to say no to? Because if you say yes to enough things you're going to have to go get more people and then you break your three-person core team constraint.
Carl: We just had this conversation yesterday because we literally had kind of a hard meeting where I had to be told if we want to hold onto the core team constraint, which is really important to the work life, just the sense of happiness that the people on this team have, they don't want to manage people. There was like, "We can't do more projects, we can't do more." So there's a definition. To me, it's this constant balance of the balancing the trade-offs surrounding enough. And what is enough? Well, I mean we could... So I'm trying to give you, like we have a list of projects that we're engaged in and a whole list of projects, I actually think of them as... we have a pitch meeting once every 6 weeks, I get to pitch the team on new ideas.
And the team is an investment policy committee, is the way we sort of framed it. I'm on the committee and everybody on the team has a vote on the committee, we decide which projects will get done next in a 6-week sprint, is sort of how we think through these things. All of this by the way, just take out some of the language, and realize if you have projects you really want to do, and you've got a certain set of constraints, those constraints may be financial like, "We don't have enough money to invest in that." Well, we could solve that problem. We could go borrow money if we wanted to. "Oh, I don't like borrowing money." Oh, there's your constraint. I don't like... "Okay, cool. That is your constraint."
Michael: Your constraint isn't money, your constraint is, I don't like borrowing money. So like...
Carl: I don't want to take the risk.
Michael: ... well that's the choice, but like that's your constraint.
Carl: Totally fine. Like, "Hey we could do that project, Carl, we'd have to hire two more people." "Oh well, then we need a manager." And then we're, "Oh we don't want to do that." "Oh well, then we can't do that project." So it's always that we're never going to get it right, we always swing. I'm generally the one that swings way out to the let's do more and more and more, and then I get help realizing something given the constraints. So, to me the...
Michael: Interesting. So you start with a team constraint like we don't want to grow beyond a three-person team. That starts with the core constraints. So, everything then, all the ideas, all the stuff that's bounced around your head comes back to you bring it back to the team and I guess essentially say like, "Hey I got this idea, can we do this?" And their response is either yes, no because we don't have enough time to do it right now, or defer it, or no we just couldn't do that without growing the team bigger and we're not growing the team bigger so you're just going to have to let that one go, Carl.
Carl: Well, there's one more piece that seems to have happened a lot more than I thought was, "Can we get better at what we're doing…exists? Can we delegate more to contractors? Can we automate more? Can we become more efficient?" So, the volume of work that gets done by this team is 10x what I thought it would ever be. And so yeah. So it's either delete it, delegate it, automate it, or save it for later. And, you know, we cycle through projects. So, there are things that don't exist now that were a major focus three years ago.
Utilizing ‘Enough Growth’ To Define Constraints And Filter Out Growth Opportunities [18:06]
Michael: So, I guess I'm still just wondering what happens when you get to the thing that you really liked and they're telling you no?
Carl: I have to make a decision. Given the constraints, it's not like I could just click my fingers and go, "Oh well, I'll just hire more people." That's a thing. You know this is as well anyone, it's a whole thing. Well, I have learned for myself that's not worth the trade-off, we already have enough. So, I fall back on enough which I think is probably the key concept behind your question. How do we stop growing is, we define enough. And I also think there's a big problem, this resonates a lot whenever I talk about it on Twitter for sure, is I think sometimes the reason we're all so busy and so focused on grow, grow, grow, is we're actually really scared of what we would find if we didn't keep staying busy.
What would it look like if you had time to actually spend with your adult children? What would it look like if you and your spouse taught? Some of us are in this...especially in the 45-year-old to 55-year-old age cohort where the grow, grow, grow thing is still like, "I've solved my own economic growth problems." I think I get this question at every single conference multiple times. It's always in the hallway, it's always under the hush of, you know, looking over your shoulder making sure no one's looking like, "Hey man, I'm 47. I did all the things I was supposed to do. I don't have a great relationship with my spouse because I've been working so hard. My kids don't know me. I thought I was doing the right thing." And so, really work is just a solution, it's a Band-Aid for that problem in some cases. The other reason to grow is for impact. But your question was why don't we stop growing? That's because we haven't defined enough or we're scared of what we'll find out if we had time.
Michael: Well, to me it's not just the why, but yes, I agree with your why.
Carl: Or how. Yeah, you did ask how.
Michael: The how part is interesting to me. So, as I'm hearing, as I'm channeling what I'm hearing from you. So, there was a starting point of defining what was enough for you. And I'm struck because enough was sort of presuming like there's some dollars thing on the back end of what it adds up to to make sure your personal family financial goals are solved. But then it's not like for you enough wasn't just defined as enough, it got translated into a constraint. "We have enough with the three-person team, therefore we're not going to grow above a three-person team." And once you set that as a constraint, now that becomes a filter now. Any ideas you've got and things that are running through, we can or cannot do it with our 3-person team. If it violates the 3-person team constraint that's the filter of not happening.
To me, that's how a fuzzy thing of enough gets translated into a really hard practical constraint that everybody around you can help you with. Because everybody on that 3-person team could sit around and look across you and each other and say, "In this group of 3 people, can we do this?" And the answer is a yes or no, and that's the answer. That translates a fuzzy enough into a very practical, like, "Here's how we actually draw the constraints.” But it's our 3-person team or stay solo or a 10-person team or whatever you want.
Carl: Whatever constraint you've...I mean, the broad philosophical constraint is the business is optimized for the freedom of the people who own it and work here. That to us is translated into this 3-person core team.
Michael: Wait. Wait, say that again. That sounded really cool, the business is optimized...
Carl: For the freedom of the people who own it. I used to just say for the freedom of the owner, but it's actually for the freedom of the people who own it and work here. We're optimizing for freedom. Somebody else may be optimizing for income, somebody else may be optimizing for impact, or resume building, or... It's all fine, we're optimizing for freedom. So the three-person core team, and it's about to go to four in terms of me having a more full-time project management assistant type person, but that's fine. Four with more help for me is fine.
But it's led to some really creative... I think constraints lead to creative solutions. So, we're doing a lot of partnerships where other people are doing... We could have done it internally if we'd hired 7 people, but now somebody else, we're in the middle of... like there's a company that makes this really cool wall art that's now going to advertise, market all the sketches to financial advisors, and banks, and credit unions. And well, we could have done that. I've had that idea for 20 years. But instead, we signed a licensing agreement with them. So, we've done something similar with email, and email delivery with our friends at Snappy Kraken. So, it leads to really interesting constraints and even the type of product we build. We've tested lots of physical products. Well, it turns out you need inventory and people, and...so we don't do a lot of physical products. So, again, I'm not saying any of those are right for anybody else. It's just the constraint piece is important.
How Creating Templated Processes Makes Saying ‘No’ To Growth Opportunities Easier [23:55]
Michael: So, when you get to the point where the determination is it won't work, it violates the filter, it breaks the capacity constraints, it breaks our enough constraint, how do you communicate the no? And do you go back to someone say, "Hey, I appreciate that project that you pitched, but I talked to the team and they told me we're not allowed to do it."
Carl: Yeah. I mean, I could show you some of the template emails that we wrote. Saying no is super hard, so I don't like to have to think about it over and over. So we've written some really...and they're very angsty. I think one of the template emails literally says, "It kills me to say no to this. And I'm so honored and I mean it. Deeply honored that anybody would ever ask me to do anything with them ever. I mean that." So, anyway, we've got some emails that I really labored over that say, "We've got our heads down and created projects right now, and this one just doesn't work.” And I learned a lot of this from Seth Godin. You should see how easy he says no to consulting. Do you know the number of times Seth gets asked to consult? I don't know what the number of times is, but we can all imagine.
Carl: He says no every time. He doesn't even think about it anymore, it's just no. So, I think these constraints open up opportunities for growth. So, it's this weird, the constraint leads to growth. Another way I like to say that is the flaw becomes the feature. And so, that's how we just say no. Sometimes it's me saying no to the team, a lot it's the team, look, they're so nice that they're not particularly good at saying no directly. So, what they do is say, "Oh, well did you realize we're doing all these things? Which one would you like us to take off the plate?" They help walk me through the trade-offs of the constraints. And then we have another thing mentally we do, we put it on a someday-maybe list. Feels a little less like deleting it. Some projects we just put on a someday-maybe list. But I've learned these precious projects, so important, you'll never have another good idea again in your life, that's just a myth. There doesn't seem to be an end.
Michael: So, translate this just maybe one step further for us on the advisor and, you know, you're doing this in the context of projects and consulting opportunities and gigs and such. In the advisor context, we're doing this because more clients want to work with us and come on board and do stuff with us, and we're having the constraint scenario. So, as advisors, how do we do this?
Carl: Yeah. I mean, we talked a lot about this in that waitlist conversation we had. Like if it's just a function of I think it's pretty easy if... I mean, the tactical piece of saying no is a lot simpler than if you can get right about it internally. "We're not accepting new clients right now, let me help you find a better home." You know, there are other solutions. Build a one-to-many process, hire more advisors, you and I have talked about all these ad nauseam but let's say for me, if I had similar constraints, I don't want to hire more advisors. I'm not a good manager and I don't enjoy that. Well, then I would just say, "So flattered that you would refer John to me." I'd communicated and tell my clients first so they know not to refer people to me. Boy, that sounds so scary right there, right? Don't refer people to me. And then I would just say doctors do this, dentists do this, people do this, we're not accepting new patients right now.
Michael: Yeah. That's a good framing. A lot of other professionals do that.
Carl: Yeah. Or you grow, make room for them. I remember having this conversation with James Osborne over and over and over. Like, "Why aren't you taking new clients? Why don't you grow?" "Carl, why? I have enough." "But because you could, because you could, like all the cool kids do." "I have enough." And then he eventually found a slight solution by teaming up with one other advisor that operates almost exactly the same as he does so that he could send those people to them. But he's been really good at just being really clear. You know, Morgan Housel strikes me as somebody like this too. He's not an advisor, but Morgan's very good at building constraints about how he invests money, what he says no to, what speaking engagements he'll do, how long he'll be away from the kids. I think he has a one-night rule. Joe Duran had a one-night rule for a bunch of years, maybe it was a two-night rule. It was like, "I will only be away for one night or two nights." These constraints around growth…So that means if somebody offers you 100 grand to give a speaking engagement, they will take you for four days away. Well, the constraints as I say no.
Michael: So, the big things to me are, it's one thing figuring out just like, are you there, do you have enough? The how question to me is, you have to translate into a constraint, whatever your constraint is. Only 50 clients, only 3 team members, only me and no team members, whatever it is. How do you translate into a constraint so that you've got a rules system, a filter for yourself, so you know where to draw that line? And then figuring out, what will your tactic be for saying no when the opportunity comes that violates that filter, where like a doctor, we’re not accepting new clients right now, we're going to build a one-to-many things so we can serve people and assuage our guilt, like, "I'm so sorry, I can't help you let me find you a better home." Like, "I'm going to build my outbound referral network."
And I saw an advisor's website recently like closed, not accepting new clients. Literally has a page on his website of all the other advisors you can go to work with because he can't serve you, he's not taking anymore right now. But he literally made a thing on his website of... he has a website and it won't take you, and it tells you who else to go to so he doesn't feel bad about the fact that he can't take them. In the most positive way, I think it's an awesome thing to do. So, he feels good about the fact that he's finding them home. So, what's your constraint? How do you define your constraint? And what's your tactic for saying no?
Carl: I love this wrap-up. Let's just tie it to what's your constraint. The way to figure out your constraint to me is to just simply ask a question about what are you solving for? What's the why? I love and again, I can't remember, I'm almost sure it was Joe, but I know people have an absolute 2-night speaking engagement rule. Why? Because I don't like being away from the family. Okay, I really don't…man… So, the feeling would probably start with, I don't like being away from the family. "Oh, okay." Then it would be like, "Let's set a rule, a simple rule. I'll only do speaking engagements that are non-stop flights direct from Salt Lake." I remember somebody else, I think Nick Murray had a "It only could be nonstop on this airline." So the constraints are there to serve the thing we're trying to solve for. So, we have a constraint, we identify the constraint, what was next on your list?
Michael: And figure out what your tax is going to be for saying no.
Carl: And that one I think is really important to get out of your hands as soon as possible. Because you're not going to do it. You're just too nice.
Michael: Okay. But if I’m a solo, I don't really have a choice.
Carl: Yeah. Well, you build a website that says on the website.
Michael: I'm not accepting new clients.
Carl: That's a great example. And a template email. And I'm not saying you hit auto-reply. I'm saying cut and paste, you can adjust the email a little bit, but you don't have to be staring at a blank screen when you're saying no. So, anything you can do to lower the... Don't think about how to say no over and over and over. Think about it one time, customize it a little bit so it feels right, and send it.
Michael: Awesome. Well, thank you, Carl.
Carl: Cheers, Michael. Super fun.
Michael: Absolutely. Thank you.