Catch Damon Pistulka on the #PirateBroadcast™
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Introduction: [00:00:00] Welcome to the #PirateBroadcast™, where we interview #interestingpeople doing #interestingthings. Where you can expand your connections, your community, #kindnessiscool and #smilesarefree. Let’s get this party started.
Russ Johns: [00:00:19] Good morning. Good afternoon. Good day. I wish you the very best in all your adventures. And today we have Damon on the pirate. He's a pirate he's going to come on and we're going to talk about a few things here and there. Welcome to the party and Damon. Good morning. How are you? My friend.
Damon Pistulka: [00:00:36] I'm awesome, Russ thanks for having me,
Russ Johns: [00:00:39] It was so funny because we were chatting away as I often do and it's just amazing to think that we have so many things... You're in Seattle, North of Seattle and I spent years in Seattle and just enjoying the Northwest and everything about it. And I just have to believe that you guys had snow.
Damon Pistulka: [00:01:02] Yeah, we had 10 inches of snow this last weekend.
Russ Johns: [00:01:04] Oh, that's a rare occasion in Seattle.
Damon Pistulka: [00:01:08] It is. It is. I actually, I was fooling around and my wife and I went out on, I don't know, Sunday or Monday and took a picture driving, which I know you're not supposed to, but I was driving safely and slowly and I looked back and I actually had one picture, a similar picture driving through the same bitter trees that we have by our house two years ago when we had snow. So it's, that's how infrequent it is for us to ask.
Russ Johns: [00:01:30] But you're staying safe? You're staying sane, everything good?
Damon Pistulka: [00:01:32] Oh yeah. It's good. Our business transitioned to virtual in 2019, so we were really prepared for COVID. So it was pretty easy for us.
Russ Johns: [00:01:42] Yeah, I I've been virtual for since about 2010. So it's, yeah, it's been pretty a seamless transition and I moved to Arizona in 2018. And caring for mom and dad here and working virtually and companies, and it's really about what we can do with what we have. And I know that one of the things that you've been focusing in on, and what I wanted to talk about today is how to generate and build an organization that you can transition out of. So you're not doing everything in the business, on the business, 24/7, and a lot of us get caught up in this cycle of, I gotta be there to make it successful. And I'm the only one that can do it. And really that's not right. Completely accurate. So I want to navigate through your thought process on how you assist people in thinking differently in this process and walk us through the logic and what we need to think about.
Damon Pistulka: [00:02:38] Yeah. Really that's a great question. Russ because when you're, when we get into business we typically get into business because we're good at something, I'm a good plumber and I am tired of working for somebody and I see what I charge and I can make more money as a plumber. So there are a contractor or a software program. It doesn't really matter. Because we have a technical skill that we can do the business because we're good business people. Yeah. That's a wonderful gift. And it's a curse at the same time, because as you go along, I'm a great plumber and I can be a great plumber and I can go out, but I, there's only so many hours in the day that I can be a plumber and so much money I can charge, as I'm being a plumber. So I eventually I may want to hire an employer to as I start to hire employees, now I've got a business. Now I've got employees to worry about. I've got to talk about managing, leading people and all the other things. And as you see this, you run into business owners with, sizable businesses. We run into them with 20 to $50 million in revenue and you've got three or four owners that are all really integral to the business and they're there. Wherever they're at in their life. And they're like, man, I'm tired. I don't want to work like this anymore. And, but they've ingrained themselves in the business so well, cause a really good technically or really good leadership. It doesn't really matter. They haven't understood how to create the value beyond themselves and what you really have to do with the business that you're creating an asset that you can sell or you can succeed your children or whatever you want to do with it.
Russ Johns: [00:04:08] Yeah it's a different mindset. It's a different approach to what the business is actually generating, generating the business. And how do people need to think or reflect on the transition and the stages that need to be in place to go from a worker, employee mindset to a business mindset? What are some key elements that we need to consider.
Damon Pistulka: [00:04:33] Yeah. So as the owner of business, that if you want to create something that you can sell or succeed easily you have to make sure that you, as the primary owner of that business are not critical to the operation. Yeah. You got to make your strategic decisions. You might want to check what gets paid when those kinds of things who gets to a certain extent and those things, but really you can't be critical to the operation and it can't be locked in your brain because. So looking at it, if you're going to succeed this to a family member or sell it to an outside party, if you leave the brains, so to speak of the business, go, and that's the value of the business at the end of the day, because business is valued based on the profits it generates. Simple as that.
Russ Johns: [00:05:17] So it was building systems that allow other people,.. my mantra in 2020 was document and delegate. I knew for a fact that I was unable to.. .I do the #PirateBroadcast™ and this is over 350 episodes and, highlighting people like yourself that bring knowledge to the table and share this, could inspire somebody else. However, it's actually a test bed for the #PirateSyndicate. Now the #PirateSyndicate™ is a media organization that I bring podcasters and producers together and content creators to help other people, other business owners generate content and produce, highlight their business. And so I'm the face of the #PirateBroadcast™, but not the #PirateSyndicate™. And it's designed that way specifically. So I don't have to be involved and engaged in the day that day-to-day operations of that process. So I could still promote it by being associated with it. However, as that grows and develops and builds, I don't necessarily have to be positioned to operate that daily day-to-day.
Damon Pistulka: [00:06:34] Yep. The way to do it, you really have to think about it because if I'm the business owner and I'm the super sales person, I can, I'm the only one that can close the big deals, or I have those intimate relationships with our largest customers. And that's another thing that will kill a business value or the transferability of it is if Damon's got all the relationships and he's the one that generates all the revenue. You can't sell that cause what happens?
Russ Johns: [00:06:59] It's all up here.
Damon Pistulka: [00:07:01] Yeah. Yeah. You just got to make sure that into it'll help you. It helps you as a business owner because every business owner gets burnt out, slogged down. We max out at where we have been able to delegate and put systems in place like you're talking about because we max out and the better we're at delegating, letting other people help us do more. And productively do more is how we generate more value for ourselves and for our businesses. And honestly, it's weird, but the best run businesses. Don't take a lot of the owner's time. Yeah. It's a full-time job yet. But it can be a full time job from Mexico. It can be a full, they're going to run out and they're going to do the big deals. They're going to do the things like that and meet with the major clients. But they're not making the decisions on a daily basis. They're not, a lot of that stuff gets done and delegated and they understand through the systems that it's getting done.
Russ Johns: [00:07:59] It's absolutely true. And anyone that has operated in a large organization understands some of the dependencies of having other people do things and certain skillsets. I would much rather have somebody that I can bring on board and have them improve. The ideas that I started and just haven't been able to execute on and just allow them the opportunity to take it to the next level, and it's really about growing teams and growing an organization that is motivated and inspired by a direction. Everybody needs to understand what the direction is, where you're going, what. What's going to happen when you get there and the success that we can all have is it as an organization.
Damon Pistulka: [00:08:47] And I think that's how I love to help inspire business owners is cause like you shouldn't like not enjoy that next portion of your business, right? You got to get fired up about it because what it is you're going to make the transition from being a doer, a technical leader, and those kinds of things into a motivator and overall leader and a business leader and showing people the direction, showing people direction for their lives, which internal will help your life overall, if you do it right. And that's where it's really fun, too. Coach a business owner through that process of, okay. Yeah. It's not going to be done exactly. Like you did it, it never is. And that all guy you've got to do it this way. No, you don't.
Russ Johns: [00:09:27] Sometimes it can actually end up better.
Damon Pistulka: [00:09:30] Oh yeah, exactly. Because I can hire the right people that we have different ideas and the diversity that you bring in to do that you definitely get better solutions. And that's what you try to do as the leader then in coaching these owners and in myself too, as we do this is, Keep that open mind, keep trying to do things better and build value in your business while you're doing it.
Russ Johns: [00:09:52] What's the one resource that a lot of business owners fail to implement or add to their business that is really key to the success long-term? Is there a single, a resource or a skill set that is often missed in your experience?
Damon Pistulka: [00:10:10] Sales. Without with, you call and I universally incorporate sales and marketing. Inevitably someone goes into business because they're good at something and they've got relationships. They use those relationships to get their first bit of business and they continue to develop those relationships. But oftentimes the sales in the business is limited by the owner's ability to develop those relationships. And if you bring in a sales team, Or not a sales person or two and set some simple, fundamental processes up. You can drive yourselves a lot. There's a guy I know that, I think he's one of the best sales managers I've met is Walter Cosby. He has all the studies and stuff on that. And he says, if you just simply put it in a sales process, you'll increase your sales by about over 10% and I believe that. And I think if you put in sales, people, give them clear goals and let them go. They'll sell way better than you. Because as the owner of the business, I'm worrying about finance and my executing and, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, all the down the road this much time in your day, put someone in that really is good at sales in there, and that will help your business the most.
Russ Johns: [00:11:18] It's interesting that you say that because when you say sales process, is that going back to the systems and the items that we have the opportunity to develop as a business? That's why franchising is successful, I believe because when you purchase a franchise, all of those systems are already developed. It's color by numbers, right?
Damon Pistulka: [00:11:39] Yeah. It's a cookbook. They give you the recipes. They show you how to do it. The proven model. And the other thing with a franchise is they're doing a lot of the marketing for you. If I buy a subway franchise or I buy a planet fitness, or I don't even know if they're a franchise, sorry about that. But when I buy a franchise right there, they're already marketing nationally for you. There's a brand there's recognition there which is, if you start your own business, you have to build that. And that's where you come back to. And now with the needs for the digital world and being present there and the way it is, we're li there's a lot of businesses that are getting left in the dust by new entrance, into the market. By older entrants that are then embracing the digital age.
Russ Johns: [00:12:19] Before the show, we were talking about the idea that we can work from anywhere now. We have an opportunity to actually... we live in the most amazing time in history and years ago doing a show like this was a clear, almost really impossible without a lot of engineering and a lot of tech and a lot of extra support. And so right now, developing a business out of some of the skills that you have and being able to share those online and expand your borders beyond your 20 mile radius that you're going to be selling door to door is as an amazing opportunity for a lot of business owners that have. The opportunity to think outside the box. So it's amazing.
Damon Pistulka: [00:13:05] And even now kids generating or graduating from college, right? They have, when we graduated from college or if we graduated from college and went into the workforce, they don't have the options they do now because you look at the gig economy and the way someone if I'm good at SEO and I and/or cybersecurity. I'm amazed at cybersecurity, James grand office, a guy that I'm actually connected with on LinkedIn and talk to you once in a while. The guy's 20, some years old and you look at his history, right? I think he's 23 and he's been in cybersecurity for 10 years or something like that. It's whoa. Age and education and stuff has completely getting upset by the gig economy and the abilities of someone to. Really get good at a subject matter and make money on it early and create a business out of that and never be a W2 employee, their entire life.
Russ Johns: [00:13:57] Yeah, it's amazing. Hey, I want to say hi to a couple of friends in the pirate community. Andrew says super Damon in the house. Russ Hedge good morning. Russ from right to South of you in Oregon. Good morning, Damon. Great advice. Thank you. Wendy says. Good morning pirates making our company bigger and better than we, we are through customs and sharing an opportunity to shine. It's a great idea. Thanks. Absolutely good morning pirates a queen of green. She's growing a company in Colorado. Nice. Michael Baker. Good morning pirates. Is to be a service to others, to be a servant leader, absolutely positively. And Michael Baker says human potential is limitless. Build upon your relationships, know who you are dealing with and best seated for the perform, the tasks of you reaching your goals. Absolutely. I know. And then Mark, O'Brien says, ah this conversation reminds me of this book and then he puts the link in there. So it there's so many people out there doing something that is really. Inspiring, to me, I get excited about these conversations because as a business owner, that's growing something you're not every day is rainbows and unicorns.
Damon Pistulka: [00:15:18] I can tell ya. Yeah.
Russ Johns: [00:15:21] Holy crap. All of you have a field full of piles here where when's it going to turn around and generate some unicorns here?
Damon Pistulka: [00:15:31] Exactly.
Russ Johns: [00:15:33] And so building systems is something that I'm very familiar with. I've done it in corporate for years in and out of organizations. And and that's a comfortable spot for me, some of the sales process, not as much. So learning those skills and improving those skills or finding someone that you can actually depend on and rely on to grow those skills is important.
Damon Pistulka: [00:15:56] Yeah. Yeah, it is. And oftentimes sales is if you have a process, you execute that process was that, a lot of times it's, who you should talk to. Are you talking to them? Yeah. That's simple. It's not easy because when you're talking to them, yeah. How many times you're talking to them, how are you talking to them? What are you saying? Those kinds of things. And, the, how are you talking to him while you're saying is a refinement process? Cause you know, everything you start out with. I send this email to this person or a connection request or whatever it is. And if it doesn't get the response you want how do you change that? How do you try to get it? Do you interact differently? All those things, but it is as a somewhat Jason Caywood is a guy that does sales training and he was talking the other day with, we were talking and he said, it's the actions are more important because the right actions will drive the right results. And I think that's true in sales. Like anything else, and most people in business, this is Jeffrey Graham taught me this is that okay most people don't look at sales, like they do the rest of their business, right? So you're a whatever, I'm a manufacturer. And I got a piece of equipment I'm measuring efficiency and quality output and all this kind of stuff. And then, I've got my salespeople out there doing, multi-million dollar deals and I don't even monitor their pipeline. I don't even know what's coming in other than a casual conversation at a sales meeting. And we really have to be looking at sales, like just any other process in the business. If I've got an e-commerce business, we work a fair amount with those. It's like the order fulfillment time. We know that. And if I can drive that fulfillment time down, I can get it to the customer faster, blah, blah, blah. And I'm more efficient. You got to look at the sales process the same way. It's like how many people did I touch? How many people responded. How many people did we convert into customers?
Russ Johns: [00:17:46] Yeah. Metrics, if you can't measure it. You can't manage it, right?
Damon Pistulka: [00:17:50] Yeah. Yeah. One of the main things that we do beyond, you asked me, what's the biggest thing in business, I think is dashboards and KBIs. If you can get your business running on a weekly review, meeting management, meeting, whatever you want to call it, that you're redoing, reviewing, 10 at the most. Different key indicators to see how your business is doing. You're going to run your business a lot better because if you're waiting till the financials are done, that you're looking at historical stuff, at least if I'm looking at a weekly basis, you can drive your business the way you want to.
Russ Johns: [00:18:23] Yeah. And I always tell people you're only one conversation away from the next, breakthrough, right? And this is why it's so important for people to understand that just starting it doesn't have to be perfect to start. Yeah. You just have to start and it's nobody's going to come to rescue you, there's no there's buddy going to come in and bail you out. There's no, knight on a white horse shining armor, all that kind of stuff. It's just get up. Do the work and, shortcuts always take longer because if you do the work, it's just, and that's how I've always approached things. However, it's a catch 22 Damon cause being the worker, if you stay in the work too long, you can't work on working on the companies that in the company, right? It goes back to the curse of knowledge, I'm the only one that could do this because I'm the only one that knows how to do this. And that's why document delegate is so important to me right now is. If I could train somebody to do something and I can train somebody else and they can train somebody else to do something, then it makes it so much easier. And it displaces my redundancy, my dependency, or my single point of failure.
Damon Pistulka: [00:19:43] Yeah. That's very true. And as a business leader, You need to be thinking about that every day is what's the next thing that I have to delegate, that I can delegate that I should delegate to allow me to create more value for myself and my business. And that's something that if you are too involved in the work , it's hard to do, but consistently thinking about that and going, okay. Now I used to do this. But I think it's time for me to get rid of that because I'm going to do something else. Those, that whole association with, I have to get rid of something because I have to do this now because my business is differently developing that mindset. And that ability is key to continuing to ratchet your value and your business's value up. Yeah.
Russ Johns: [00:20:27] I really, as you saying that I'm thinking of this concept of the opportunity to actually build a sales process and as a business owner that has the skill and the ability to execute on the task, that person, myself included, I'm guilty as charged is not necessarily the best person to create the sales process. And so would you encourage business owners to think about. Having someone that's really good at sales, help them along the journey of creating a sales process.
Damon Pistulka: [00:21:03] Yeah yeah, and this gets to the heart of why I think that most business owners really do need to have some sort of outside help. Listen, there's only so long, so many hours in the day, your business is taking your time to run, to do what you want to do. And if you look at it and you go, okay, if I want to improve my business, That means that I have to stop doing some other things and I have to focus my time just on improving the business. So if we're talking sales process, but if I, if my business is at the point where I can hire somebody to help me good, they gotta be good. They gotta deliver results. But how much is it worth to me? If that's what they're focusing on, they are going to develop a sales process. That's going to work for me and they're going to be gone when that's done. They're going to come in, they're going to develop it. They're going to train us. They're going to show us how to do it. We're going to feel good about it. We're going to be able to implement it. It's going to make the results we want. They still, as an owner, you still got to run your business every day. And that's where I think when we look at people that are aggressively expanding their business, they do use consultants they use advisors or whatever you want to call them because they understand that time has a huge return in value.
Russ Johns: [00:22:21] Yeah. It after being in marketing for so many years, a lot of people marketing, like you said, marketing and sales go hand in hand. It's the whole entire process because you have to build awareness. People need to understand who are you. And what do you have and what value do you bring in my world? And then the sales process is making sure that everything that you promise is delivered and everything is in place for that process. I just really think that for myself, I struggle with some of these processes and I've actually hired people to assist me in this journey. And I know that it's, it's a double-edged sword because. You're growing, you're expanding you, you invest. And sometimes it doesn't always. It doesn't always work the way you want it to, or it doesn't return the investment like you anticipated. And it's a challenge. And sometimes we have to reach out and have a conversation with someone like yourself, but get a new perspective. So what do people actually reach out to you? And what's the first kind of process that you walk them through investigate or analyze or review, or what's the process that you use, Damon?
Damon Pistulka: [00:23:31] Yeah. We talk to people. That's all we do. We want to understand what's hurting. What's, what's going on in your business or your life, and why are you disappointed? Because inevitably somebody is not happy with the performance of their business or the way their life is going because of their business. And it's talking to people because I don't know if I can help. And I can't help everyone. We try to get people the right resources we can help, but it's really understanding because you have to understand what their challenges are to be able to get them the right help. We refer people to others every day because they need different kinds of help than we provide, or they're not a fit for us, but it isn't about talking. It's just talking to people and understanding because we probably can give people a couple tidbits of advice or the right direction. And we always try to, that's the very leasing we try to do in a conversation, but our process of actually bringing a customer on board, people will probably puke. If they come along, it takes us because it's like for us, honestly, it's at the low end, it's probably six or eight hours of conversations and then reviewing information and talking to somebody and figuring out what's going on and figuring out really to that. Because I have to, I have limited time just like everybody on our team has limited time. We have to understand, too, along the processes, okay, the business is a fit for us. The opportunity is a fit for us. Is the person that runs that business really ready to make a change?
Russ Johns: [00:25:03] Are they committed to change?
Damon Pistulka: [00:25:08] Yeah. Yeah.
Russ Johns: [00:25:09] It does take a commitment.
Damon Pistulka: [00:25:11] Yeah. Yeah, and you'd have to do all those things. And so it starts with a conversation and just, what don't like right now?
Russ Johns: [00:25:20] Why are you so burnt out? Shari Lally. Shari Lally in the house, new set of eyes that can use experience path forward. Great chat with Damon. Shari, I just adore you and thank you so much for being here. Thank you. Slaptagz designs is on. And here's the thing is there's really opportunity out there right now. And so how do people, how do you like to have people connect with you, Damon?
Damon Pistulka: [00:25:52] Really. They can reach out to me, they can email me firstname.lastname@example.org, or find me on LinkedIn. Hell. I'm the only person with my name in the world. So you're going to find that. But look at some of the videos. We do look at some of this stuff, the content we produce, look at our website a little bit. I mean that it's get to know us a bit. Cause you might not like looking at me. You might not like my attitude. That's cool. I understand that. But if you vibe with us and you think it'd be fun to have a conversation, reach out.
Russ Johns: [00:26:24] Yeah I did. And now you're a pirate, so yeah. Great. It's good stuff here. Oh, we had a great conversation and, hopefully it lands on somebody that needs it right now and is looking for some support and some assistance in their journey. And as I'm always willing to help and assist and support people out there doing some great things. And so reach out to Damon. Make the connection, start the conversation. Cause that's what it's all about. You're just one conversation away and go out and #makeitmatter today. So thank you Damon for being here. I really appreciate you and the efforts and the time and energy that you've brought to the table today. So thank you. Thank you again for being here.
Damon Pistulka: [00:27:05] Thank you. Russ.
Russ Johns: [00:27:06] And as always, please consider sharing this content, because somebody may need this, that you don't even know about. Share it out, go to YouTube, subscribe, like to get notified all of the social things that are out there to help us grow and help us help other people. This message is for you the community and making sure that we have an opportunity to do good and to do better every single day, because #kindnessiscool and #smilesarefree so go out and make few. Alright, thanks, Damon. #Enjoytheday. Don't go away.
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