Many long-time solo financial advisory firm owners with successful practices are eventually faced with the choice either to continue growing their practice into a larger-scale business, or to deliberately level growth so that they can maintain a solo ‘lifestyle’ practice. Owners who choose not to further grow their firms tend to target a different set of goals in comparison to growth-oriented owners looking to increase revenue and clientele, as these lifestyle practice owners often have goals that involve having more time and flexibility to enjoy life outside of the firm. For these owners, this can mean that they will eventually need to consider hiring team members or using outsourced solutions to help them with the tasks that they may dislike or consider too time consuming. However, small firm owners who may not have had to rely on other employees may be concerned about the extra work that comes with hiring employees, and how it might detract from their flexibility and ability to maintain their ideal vision of a lifestyle practice.
In our 71st episode of Kitces & Carl, Michael Kitces and client communication expert Carl Richards discuss how firm owners can approach the hiring decision by first considering their own goals and then deciding what kind of assistance they need to maximize their freedom while maintaining a healthy practice.
The first step for the owner is to be clear on how they want to maintain their firm. This introspection can help the owner identify their priorities so that their actions align with the right goals, and can serve as a check against ill-suited goals that might simply be based on what other businesses may be doing. This exercise can also help the firm owner draw out what exactly makes them happy, which, for many firm owners, can simply be to have a certain level of flexibility between their professional and personal lives.
Then, depending on how they want to operate their firm and the goals they have in place, firm owners can prioritize the range of responsibilities they want to keep for themselves and those they are willing to delegate. For some advisors, this could mean figuring out how to free up space in their schedule, whether it be through extending the interval between investment performance reports or finding ways to reduce time spent on email during the day. If the owner decides to hire a new employee to manage some of the firm's responsibilities, they do not necessarily need to spend more time in the office working with the new hire or grooming them to take on ever-increasing responsibilities. Technology provides opportunities for fully virtual employees, and firm owners might be surprised to find out how many potential candidates would thrive at the tasks the owners themselves do not enjoy!
Another option to help owners delegate responsibilities is to outsource tasks, potentially giving them to a part-time virtual employee or by tucking into a larger firm that can handle back-office responsibilities. This can allow the firm owner to spend more time on client-facing activities that may be the most enjoyable part of their work, while getting the back-office support they need to sustain those client relationships as well as their desired level of work-life balance.
Ultimately, the key point is that by first considering their own goals and the range of tasks to keep or delegate, firm owners who are considering outside help may find it easier to decide if they should hire a new employee or outsource the work. Regardless of the reason – whether it be a firm owner who chooses to maintain a small lifestyle practice or to transition from a solo practice to a business enterprise – prioritizing the most important work processes and streamlining (or getting rid of!) those that are unproductive are helpful exercises for any advisory firm!
***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.
- Financial Planning Association Heart Of Planning Award
- Buckingham Strategic Partners
- Simply Paraplanner
- Kitces & Carl Ep 67: Setting A Personal Growth Goal When You Don’t Need More Revenue For Success
- Kitces & Carl Ep 24: Improving Work-Life Balance In 2020 And Giving Yourself Permission To Rest
Kitces & Carl Podcast Transcript
Michael: Well, hello there, Carl.
Carl: Greetings, Michael. How are you?
Michael: I'm doing well. I'm doing well. How are you?
Carl: I'm good. I've never asked you, what are all those things all over...are those your third-grade pitching awards, or what are all those awards? What are all those things back there?
Michael: Oh, for those who are listening and don't get to see the video, all the stuff in the background, books I like, tchotchkes I've gotten over time.
Carl: No, the awards, the awards. What are the awards? What's your favorite award of that group of awards you have?
Michael: Oh, probably...where is it, right there? FPA’s, Heart of Planning...Heart of Financial Planning award for all the work I was doing with FPA through, probably, whatever that was, first 10 years of my career, so that I was super active with FPA.
Carl: That's called the FPA Heart of Financial Planning award?
Carl: Okay. I'll give you that one. That's well deserved, for sure. Thank you for working all that...
Michael: For dedication and working to advance the profession.
Carl: Thank you. Sorry for the interruption. I was just curious about what all those were.
Michael: All good, all good. So, what are you working on these days?
Carl: Yeah, just trying to keep...there's so much to talk about, right? I'm working on lots of projects right now, and they all seem to be geared towards one thing, which is just, how can we help people better align their use of capital...time, money, energy and attention is how I'd define that...use of capital with what's actually important to them. So whether that's helping advisors have those conversations more or whether it's helping humans, just, how can we get more aligned in our lives? And that seems to be endless in terms of projects and opportunities.
Michael: It kind of fits well, I think, to the theme even today. A few weeks ago, we had done our episode around...well, I guess, in that theme, aligning the structure of your practice to what really matters and that recognition that, sometimes for you, what really matters is not actually grow, grow, grow, grow, grow. You can get to a good size that accomplishes all the things that you want to do, and it leads to really challenging questions about what does come next for you. If the next stage is not add more revenue and add more clients, but we'd like to have goals in forward momentum, what is your next goal? Is that time with your kids, or time off, or vacation, or all those other things that you can create as your next metrics of success if it's not more clients, more revenue, more AUM, more, more, more?
And we got this great question that had come in from advisors, "Okay, I get it around having more of a practice that's just built to the life that I want. But part of the life that I want is not to literally do everything in my practice. I would like to have some team, some staff. But then how do you balance, well, if I want a lifestyle practice for all the flexibility, but I also don't want to do everything in it, which means I need some team. If I have a team, then I've got to manage people and deal with that, which means I'm a little less flexible and not so lifestyle-y. How do you balance this need for hiring staff and desire to run more of a business that's built around your lifestyle?"
And I thought this was interesting, but that it feeds well off the discussion, and I feel like it feeds well to you because you live a version of this balance, trying to build an intentional business and practice around what you do, but you do have a team of people that support all of the things that you do in behavior gap society of advice world. So how do you think about balancing this need of...call it a lifestyle practice and the fact that you may need some staff, some team, some help and support, but I think at least implied with this, and maybe it's a discussion to itself, is by the time you're hiring staff and have to manage them, does that kind of limit how lifestyle-y you can be?
Deciding On The Lifestyle An Owner Wants [05:13]
Carl: Yeah. Gosh, that's such a fun question. Maybe I can sort of kick off with a couple of little anecdote stories and then we can do what we normally do, which is you have some research to back up another idea. So the first thing I think is really interesting is just the mindset shift when you say, "Wait, what if I built my..." No, I know this audience does not need reminding, right? We're obviously all on the same page. The priority number one is we've got to make sure that the business is offering something of value, right? So, once the clients are taken care of, what if I built a business that was optimized for the happiness of the person who owns it, right?
Secondary, making sure clients are fine. Optimize for the happiness of the person who owns it. What if the goal was happiness? And you can define that in a million different ways. I think "freedom" is even a better word. Optimize for the freedom of the person who owns it. And how you go decide to spend that freedom is...there's a million examples, of course, but just generally, this freedom.
Michael: I think it's a good way to frame it, because, to me, it's not the first time I've heard an advisor thinking about lifestyle practices and coming up against this challenge. I feel like it really does boil down to an aspect of freedom. Like if I have team members I'm responsible for, did I just diminish some of the freedom that I was supposed to be creating by having this more lifestyle-y practice in the first place? But if I've got to do a bunch of things in the business that I don't really want to do, then maybe I'm not actually so free anyway, so how do I find this freedom balance?
Carl: Yeah, I think what that's pointing to is kind of the agency problem, right? "I'm no longer doing the thing. Now there's a person doing the thing. Now I've got to manage the person doing the thing." And so I think, first, if we just get our heads correct, like, "Wait, why are we doing this?" Because your answer to that could vary. I'm not saying building a business like the one I had built or the one we're running now is for everybody. I'm just saying, it needs to get clear. I think sometimes we get so caught up in mimetic desire of what we think we're supposed to do because it's what everybody else does that we forget to stop and ask the question... Here's a good example. We celebrate people who run around talking about working 80 hours a week until their eyes are bloodshot. I think that's a problem that needs to be fixed, not as something to celebrate. And what we should celebrate is...you know what's really worth celebrating, is the person who could do the same thing in 20 hours, right? That's interesting to me.
Deleting And Delegating Tasks To Drive Efficiency [07:47]
Carl: So if we get clear in our heads of what we want to build...and the only way to get clear about that, from my experience, is to test and try, right? Let's start being aware of, "I'm living somebody else's business. What if I just built mine?" So once we get that out of the way, how do you deal with this agency challenge? And I love this model of...first, go back to the episode we had, I don't know which one it was, where we talked about time, and I introduced that idea for my friend who said, "Carl, it's really cute that you think you're so busy," right? And then we used RescueTime to track. So first is, "Really? Are we really that busy?"
And I remember an advisor who emailed a while ago who said, "Gosh, everybody in the industry is talking about outsourcing." And this was an advisor that...I can't remember what the number was, but it was a big number, revenue-wise. He's like, "I do everything myself. I do my own reconciliation. I do my own client meetings. I do everything myself. I don't outsource anything." He's like, "I'm done by noon. What do the rest of you do?" So I thought that was interesting. So that's first, is like...
Michael: Is the reason you're trying to think about hiring staff because you've got a lot of stuff to do and it's filling your time, and is the truth that your time is actually filled, or are you just actually maybe deep down not really as efficient as you think, and if you just created some structure to get more efficient and focused, you would find that you actually have way more spare time than you thought in the first place and that this isn't a problem?
Carl: Yeah, exactly. I think of it this way, number one, first delete. And number two, delegate. Number three, do. And we're just talking about delete right now. Like, "Okay, what are all the lists…”
Michael: No, no, Carl. You only solve problems by adding things. Never subtract. You always add.
Carl: Yeah, exactly. And I did the same. I was like, "I've got to hire somebody. I've got to hire somebody. I've got to hire somebody." And I did that for a decade. And I would hire somebody, and I would just say, "I don't know, but just do. Take things away."
Michael: As opposed to saying, "Oh, maybe if I just stop doing that one thing that people aren't actually that into and it's really time consuming, I would have a whole lot more time, and this would be less stressful in the first place."
Carl: To me, that step one is delete. So in order to delete, you have to have a list of the things that you're doing, and most of us...I know I hadn't. I hadn't even made a list of those things. I just knew I was busy. So, first, let's just be a little analytical about it. Treat it like a budget, but it's a time budget. What are you actually doing that's taking the time? And then you get to go through these steps. At least for me, I would look and say, "What can I delete?" I've been shocked at what I was able to delete. Shocked. I know I've told this story before, but I forgot one time to send out quarterly reports. And I remembered over the weekend and was like, "Oh, no. I'm going to have so many phone calls and emails from people who didn't get their quarterly." Because I thought this was foundational to the value of the firm, and I got in and...
Michael: Because I'm sure you didn't forget to bill them their quarterly AUM fee, so...
Carl: And I told them...
Michael: You took their money and you didn't send the report.
Carl: Yeah, as if the value of what I was providing was correlated to a report. And we all know nobody was born needing a quarterly performance report, right? We trained them that they should need one. Anyway, I got back into the office on Monday, and you know the punchline, how many calls or emails? Zero. Right? So I waited a day, and zero. I waited a day, zero. And then I forgot next quarter on purpose, and then I changed my...what was that thing called? Your ADV? Yeah, I changed that to say, "Performance reports available on demand." And I marketed that way. I said, "If you ever want to know your performance, I will have it at our meetings. But if you need it, you just call me. I can hit 'print' and send it to you." So now it was like a feature, but nobody ever asked for it.
So, anyway, I'm not suggesting that. I'm not telling you you should do it. I'm just saying it was surprising to me that I could delete it. One thing I'm deleting right now is email. I am pretty sure, with a reasonable autoresponder that gives people a way to get ahold of me in a pinch, I could only check email for two hours once a week. Well, probably more like 45 minutes once a week. I can tell you right now, based on my RescueTime report, I spend way more time than that. So I would just be ruthless on the...I would question everything about, what can you delete? And then delegate. And now you've got a list, right? And I'd love to hear you chime in on this. I did this 100...not a 100 times, but 10 times or more, but you shouldn't be allowed to hire somebody without a job description. And I did that all the time. I was just like, "I don't know. I just need help. Come on. I'll pay you." Those never worked.
So I think most lifestyle advisors...and I say that as a term of endearment. The highest compliment I could pay an advisor is to call them a lifestyle...and I pointed that out because a lot of people use it as a cute little dismissive thing.
Michael: Oh, what a cute lifestyle practice.
Carl: Oh, you've got a little cute... And then we get to say, "Yeah, today's just Tuesday for me," right? Like you're on vacation. So I think most lifestyle practices could do a lot less. I just wonder how much you have to hire. But then if you do, how do you do it successfully? What have you seen from lifestyle planners that want somebody to do their reconciliation, or they want to outsource the financial planning input, or the admin stuff? How have you seen it work?
Making The Decision To Hire Or To Outsource Tasks [13:50]
Michael: First, I would fully agree that the starting point really is just getting clear with yourself what all the things are being done in the first place. And part of that is, when you make the comprehensive list, really, "What are all the different things I do and check off through the week?" Tasks that I check off through the week. A, sometimes you look at that list and you're like, "I'm actually not sure I need to be doing that." Sometimes you look at that list and say, "That actually doesn't seem that bad. Why am I feeling so busy or spending so much time?" and realize it's something else, like, "Oh, I have like three hours of work and five hours of email sinkhole. Okay, so my problem is not actually hiring. It's getting me out of my email sinkhole." It's also crucial because you can take a list of tasks of things to do and give it to two different advisors and say, "Which things should you do and which things should you delegate?" and they will carve that list up completely differently.
Because, particularly in a world of a lifestyle practice, there's just things you like doing. You're good at it, you like doing it, it feels good to get it done. You're checking the box off. It's kind of a neat, interesting challenge. And someone else looks at that same task as, "I can't stand that, and I don't want to do it." For every advisor, it's like, "The download reconciliation stuff is easy, and I really like it because when it's done, I just hit a quick button, and I see how all the reports are looking, and I just get that little dopamine wave when everybody's stuff is doing fine. I need to see it at the end."
Carl: Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait. Back up. Did you just say dopamine as it relates to a reconciliation report?
Michael: Yes. You see all the numbers come in, and everything's clean, and it reconciles cleanly and comes back clear.
Carl: I wasn't sure I heard that correctly. Okay, keep going.
Michael: How can that not feel good? Point made.
Carl: But I think what I'm pointing out is proving your exact point, which is I don't even know what a reconciliation report is, and you can relate to a hit of dopamine when one's done correctly. And your point is that everybody carves these things up differently. So continue. I'm sorry to interrupt. I just wanted to point that out.
Michael: Yeah. I'm drudging up old Portfolio Center days from years ago. But, yeah. For one advisor that does that, and another says, "I cannot stand dealing with this stuff. In fact, I want to even get rid of my portfolio reporting system and get a new one that I don't even have to do the reconciliation process for." So one person's prize task that feels great to check off in the day is someone else's, "Oh, my gosh, if there was ever a way I could get rid of this, I would get rid of it." Which, just to make the point, you've got to make the list of all the stuff and just get clear on, which things do you actually like to do, you want to do, is it a good use of your time, is it just enjoyable for you to do? It's okay to do it even if it's not "the best use of your time." You're not trying to maximize your money. You're trying to maximize your enjoyment of your time.
So if you want to hold onto that, more power to you. You're not trying to scale to a bajillion dollars, necessarily. But once you get through that task list, and you're going to get to some things that you want to hold on to and some things that you don't want to, ultimately, it really only comes down to two options at the end of the day, right? You're going to hire someone, you're going to get your right-hand person, your trusty sidekick, or you're going to outsource. You're going to find someone that does it for you, or a service or a system or a company or whatever that does it for you so that it's not your problem, it's their problem. Your only problem is hold them accountable as a vendor and outsource provider that they're doing the things that they said they were going to do and get on with your day or your business or whatever you want that to look like.
I think part of that is the growth of TAMP platforms these days. I think part of that is the growth of advisors just tucking into larger firms. We see that a lot at Buckingham these days, just advisors that come and say, "I just really want to get back to the client stuff. You guys have a bunch of people and a whole infrastructure. Can I just tuck into you and you deal with all the business-y and back-office-y things I don't want to do so that all I have to do is interact with the clients I like interacting with and give the advice I like giving and go spend more time doing other stuff that's meaningful in my life?"
So, yeah, you can outsource, you can tuck in, just get it out the door so that you just do the things that you want to do, or you're bringing someone in, and you're making the right hands. And I think particularly when you're at just hiring that one person, that one right-hand person, you can do that. Just be crystal clear about what it is you're doing and what it is you're trying to achieve. The biggest challenge I see in advisors that try to do that is they finally got a wonderful, young up-and-coming advisor, and say, "I'm going to bring someone in, and they can be my right-hand person." And the problem is, God bless their soul, wonderful, up and coming young people, they want upward mobility and momentum and growth and clients and more earning opportunity and a bunch of stuff that goes along with that, which means they end out leaving after a year or two because they realize that you're not trying to grow, and therefore they're not going to be able to grow with you, and then you end out with the revolving door of right-hand people who keep turning through. So if your vision is a lifestyle practice, you're not hiring for youth and growth, necessarily, you're hiring for stability. You're hiring for someone who thinks it sounds great to have a part-timey thing that they'll be doing alongside you for a long time to come.
Carl: Yeah, so good.
Michael: So just get clear on what you want, and make sure you find someone else who's aligned to that.
Carl: Yeah. It's really interesting thinking about all that. I just think about all of the time and money I wasted doing that wrong. The thing that I thought was the solution became the problem, right? And we're still learning that lesson here. We're getting much better about it now because we're like, "No, we do this," and we got really clear. But the reason we're really clear about it is because we've written those lessons down. And so as you make that list of things that are keeping you busy, I just want to point out a couple things. How do you decide what to keep and what to get rid of? To me, since the goal here is not to optimize money, you could. You could say, well...because John Millen did some research years ago that tried to separate the top decile of advisors based on income from everybody else, and what did they do differently. And it was like 100% came down to client-facing activities. And that's no surprise, right?
So if we're optimizing for revenue, then we know you should try to get rid of everything you can that's not client facing. And so we know that. But that may not be what you're trying to optimize for. You might be like the craftsman that loves…
Michael: No, I think it's much more about just...as you look at that list, what do you love doing that you're great at? What do you either not like doing, even if you're good at it? You just don't have to do it because you don't like it. Or what are you doing that you're not even that good at and probably just need to let go?
Carl: Yeah, and that goes back to...we had that conversation, I believe, about the stop-doing list, right? And I think how you make a decision about what to put on the stop-doing list, I think, I like to use just energy, like, "That gives me energy. That sucks energy." And since revenue is not the one we're trying to optimize here. So then the next thing I think that has been really useful for me...I don't know where the boundary condition or how much mileage you'll get out of it, but anything that I wanted to hand off...I'm so proud of the team here because we've gotten so good at this. Anything we want to hand off, we're already doing it, so all we have to do is sit down and record us doing it. I think that's so powerful. You just hit "screen record".
Michael: Yeah, I learned to delegate by just taking things I was already doing and turn on...gosh, what was it back then? Screencast-O-Matic, I think.
Carl: Yeah, for sure. Deluxe.
Michael: I think that's literally what it was called, Screencast-O-Matic.
Carl: I know, but it's got to be Deluxe. Screencast-O-Matic Deluxe.
Michael: Yeah. And I just recorded myself doing it. I finally gave it to someone and said, "This is how I did it. Let me know if you have any questions, but otherwise, I'm assuming this is the last time I'm ever going to be doing it."
Finding The Right People To Fit The Business’ Needs [22:50]
Carl: Yeah, easy. Then I think the one other piece that I thought was really valuable for me was there are people out there that will take that recording and turn it into a process. There are people out there that will make sure...and they will manage...I didn't even want to manage the process of finding the person who would do the thing, right? There are people who specialize. They're almost like outsourced HR people that can say, "Oh, yeah, that's video's good. I didn't understand this one piece here. I'll tighten that up. I'll tighten that up. And then I will hand it off to somebody."
And then...Michael, you've probably been shocked at this too, there are people in the world that love...they don't want to think about, "Could I do it better?" They don't want to think about different ways to do it. There are people in the world who love going down a checklist and making sure it gets done properly. Because I can't do that to save my life, because I get stuck at, "Could we do it better? What's the more creative way? So when I finally found, I remember who it was, the first experience I had with this was we had somebody that helped us at the office, and...I won't even mention her name. So we had somebody helped us at the office, and I asked one day, we had clients coming, I said, "Could you go get lunch for everybody? Everybody's already sent me their menus. Here's the menus." And she came back, and there were no drinks. And I said, "Hey, there's no drinks." And she said, "Well, you didn't ask for drinks."
And I was really frustrated for about 10 seconds, and I understood, "Oh, my gosh, the reason things run around here is because she makes sure that the checklist gets done, and she doesn't think about better ways to do it. She just... So finding those kind of people, which points to that last point you made about people want to grow and...you don't want to hire somebody like you. That's the whole point. It's a disaster.
Michael: There is a balance to recognize that just...the dynamic does get a little different once you have hired someone, anyone, just another mouth to feed, another person that you're responsible for. But most of the challenge that I find for advisors that are thinking about this, it's limitations we put in our own head, like, "Well, if I hire someone, you would be tied to the office to supervise them." No, you're not. That's a choice. Hire someone who can manage themselves or hire...get so clear on a job description when someone who just loves checking off checklist items for the day, they can't deviate, and they won't deviate, because they really like doing the exact things that they're supposed to do on their list for the day, and that's all they're going to do, which is great, because that's exactly what you needed them to do.
"I'm afraid to hire, because I've got to come to the office every day." No, you don't. You've got to hire someone who's as excited to be virtual as you are, if that's the deal and what you want. Just own what you really want it to be and look like, and don't make up a bunch of compromises in your head. Own the way you want it to be and look like. There are 7-plus billion people on the planet. There is someone out there who wants pretty much any job description you could ever imagine writing for a reasonable income.
Carl: Especially now in, I think, our industry. I remember having this conversation 10 years ago. It was really hard. Now it doesn't...other than your own head, which I think is a really good point, other than our own heads, it's not really that hard anymore to...you've got Screencast Deluxe, you've got outsourced people, you've got a mic, you've got people that are used to working Zoom. These things didn't exist. Now, I think it's a lot easier. So I think really push the envelope of the delete section, then really get clear about what you can delegate. And I'll just...
Michael: If you...
Michael: And from there, if you want a part-timer, go find a part-timer, right? You can hire part-time VAs (virtual assistants). There are stand-alone outsourced fractional VA services. You want to outsource some of the planning work, like Simply Paraplanner and a bunch of outsourced paraplanning services. You want to get rid of the investment stuff, there's no limit to the number of TAMPs out there these days that will do that work. You want to get rid of the operations work, there are firms that you can tuck into. You want to have a right-hand person, you can hire the right-hand person, just make the description exactly what you want it to be. Don't put a lot of compromises in there. You can bounce it off someone just to make sure it's realistic and you're not making up just some combination of things that's not any human being, but just get clear on what you want, and the clearer you get on it, usually, the faster you end up finding your way to it, because once you get clear on it, your brain starts getting really focused on how to solve that problem.
The Benefits Of Creating A “Stop Doing” List [28:14]
Carl: Yeah, yeah. And I also love, too, give yourself a little time...it's also okay to say...to me, the way I would start this is my stop-doing list. I've deleted everything I could. Now I've got the stop-doing list. I'd pick two things on it, and I'd say, "Ninety days from now, I won't be doing those." And then make that happen through one variation of what we've...that's how we do it around here. "Ninety days, I won't be doing those things." I've got a stop-doing list, I know exactly what's on it, and I know 90 days from now, I will not be doing those things. They'll either be deleted...well, they can't be deleted, or else they wouldn't be on the list.
So, yeah, let me just quickly tell a super-fast story. When we were in New Zealand, my wife moved to London because she got into design school. So design school started in August, September, and interior design school, and the kids' school in New Zealand didn't end until December. That's summer over there, right? So we had like two months while she was there, and we were...and she called back early on in her design school program, and she'd had this really cool interaction with somebody who was making noises about hiring here, right? Like, "Hey..." So she called to tell us that, and we were all so excited, the kids and I. And one of the kids said...my son, who was like 16 at the time, said, "Dad, Mom's going to retire you within a year." And I was like, "That would be awesome." And we all looked at each other simultaneously and said, "No, it wouldn't." And I said, "I'm never going to retire. I'm just going to do less of the things I don't like and more of the things I do."
And so my son was like, "Well, what's on the list of things you don't like?" And we started making a list. This is where the stop-doing list started. Started making a list, and he said, and still, to this day, I want to...it's so crazy when your kids are super smart, right? When they make these comments that are super insightful. He said, "Dad, would you make more or less if you stopped doing those things today?" And I was like, "More." Then we went down to the next one. He's like, "Would you make more or less if you stopped doing that?" "More." And we went down like five or six deep. And he was like, "I just have a crazy question. Why don't you stop today, then?" And I think replace "more" with, would you have more or less freedom if you stopped doing these things today? Would you make more... whatever your goal is, I think we just get in our own heads. It's true. I've stopped doing those things, some of them, and I have more freedom, and I'm making more money. So I think we get in our own heads about what only we can do.
Michael: Amen. I think that's a great way to frame it right there, just don't get caught in your head about what only you can do, and get clear about what you really want to do, and make the job description of the rest, and find a person who's excited to do all the things that you don't. Because someone's out there. It's not mean to delegate it to them just because it's all the things that you don't want to do. It's really what they want to do. Human beings are wonderfully varied.
Carl: Totally. Amen, Michael. Thanks.
Michael: Awesome. Thank you, Carl.