Dr Sabrina Starling

Robert has a fantastic conversation with Dr Sabrina Starling about how business should support your life not the other way around. Most business owners are sacrificing their life for their business. Dr. Sabrina is committed to changing that and helping business owners reinvent their business to support their life and reduce stress and strain while increasing profits.

A little bit about Sabrina...

Dr. Sabrina Starling, The Business Psychologist™ and international best-selling author of the How to Hire the Best series and the 4 Week Vacation™, is the founder of Tap the Potential and co-host of the Profit by Design Podcast. At Tap the Potential, we work to free business owners from the constant demands of a growing business. We believe work supports life, not the other way around. Clients in our Better Business, Better Life coaching program have more time and more money than they've ever had. Next, we send them off on a 4 Week Vacation™ to celebrate their hard-earned journey to take their life back!

Dr. Sabrina and her team at Tap the Potential are on a mission to change the story of entrepreneurship from one of long hours, grinding it out, to that of sustainably profitable businesses that support and enhance life. The Tap the Potential Solution™ and our Tap the Potential Family of Business Owners are disrupting small business as usual. We are on our way to making the Tap the Potential Solution™ the mainstream model for growing business. In many entrepreneurial circles, it is becoming more and more common for one entrepreneur to ask another, “Have you taken a 4 Week Vacation™?” (as opposed to asking “How many employees do you have? What is your annual revenue?). Taking a 4 Week Vacation is rapidly becoming the recognized symbol of entrepreneurial success.  

Never one to accept the status quo or back down from a challenge, Dr. Sabrina’s How to Hire the Best series grew from her desire to solve the toughest hiring challenges interfering with her clients’ growth and profitability. What sprang from her experience working with entrepreneurs in rural areas catapulted her into becoming the world’s leading expert in attracting top talent in small businesses—no matter what hiring challenges those businesses are facing—and earned Tap the Potential’s reputation as the go-to resource for entrepreneurs committed to creating Great Places to Work with thriving coaching cultures and highly engaged team members working from strengths.

As The Business Psychologist™, and with her years of driving profit in small businesses, Dr. Sabrina knows what it takes to find, keep, and motivate exceptional performance out of your biggest investment—team members.

FUN FACT: Dr. Sabrina was the first Profit First Professional and Pumpkin Plan Your Biz Strategist. Tap the Potential is a Profit First Mastery Firm. At Tap the Potential, we are Pumpkin Plan Your Biz certified, and we are Founding Fixers for Fix This Next.

Check out more of Sabrina

Website: tapthepotential.com/

Facebook: /SabrinaStarlingTTP

TTP Facebook: /tapthepotential

Facebook Group: /1030967220716651

Instagram: /drsabrina/?hl=en

LinkedIn: /in/drsabrina

Twitter: /DrSabrina

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Dr Sabrina Starling
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Show Notes

Robert Peterson 0:31
Welcome to the Add valued entrepreneurs podcast, where we're on a mission to end entrepreneurial unhappiness. If you're an entrepreneur with a burning desire to change the world, this podcast is for you. We're here to help you transform your life in business so you can achieve the freedom and fulfillment you crave.

Robert Peterson 0:50
This show is dedicated to entrepreneurs who want more out of their life, more meaning more purpose, and ultimately, more happiness. You deserve it all. And it's possible. I'm your host, Robert Peterson, Pastor turned life coach for business owners. I believe that success without happiness is not true success at all. But there's always hope for those who are willing to take action. Join us every week as we bring you inspiring leaders and messages that will help you on your journey towards success. Thank you for investing your time with us today. Let's get started.

Robert Peterson 1:29
Today's guest is the business psychologist, an international best selling author of How to Hire the best series and the four week vacation. Dr. Sabrina Starling is the founder of tap the potential and co host of the profit by design podcast at tap the potential. They work to free business owners from the constant demands of a growing business. They believe work supports life, not the other way around. Clients in our better business better life coaching program have more time and more money than they've ever had. And then they send them off on a four week vacation to celebrate their hard earned journey to take their life back. Robert has a fantastic conversation with Dr. Sabrina Starling about how business should support your life, not the other way around. Most business owners are sacrificing their life for their business. Dr. Sabrina is committed to changing that and helping business owners reinvent their business to support their life and reduce stress and strain while increasing profits. Dr. Sabrina, thank you so much for joining me today. I'm so excited about this conversation and just looking forward to sharing your wisdom.

Dr Sabrina Starling 2:33
Oh, absolutely. Robert, I am I am excited to support entrepreneurs. It is a tough journey to be an entrepreneur and you talk about mindset. And I think we're gonna get into some information today that hopefully will help a lot of people.

Robert Peterson 2:49
I certainly hope so I we obviously both are fans of you know, Mike's and Mike McCalla wits whose mission is to end entrepreneurial poverty. And I've made it my mission to end entrepreneurial unhappiness, because Oh, I love that was saved the world and world if they're unhappy.

Dr Sabrina Starling 3:11
Now, I can't agree more. And you know, my mission is to help entrepreneurs take their lives back from their businesses, which you know, when you're unhappy, it's usually because the business has taken over your life. So I think we're definitely aligned here and what we want to do.

Robert Peterson 3:27
Absolutely. And I want to acknowledge Darren Vera Sami for introducing you and bringing this this full circle, I suppose.

Dr Sabrina Starling 3:38
I'm excited that Darren introduced us. And I think as we get into the conversation today, some of the questions you'll ask me will actually shed light on my connection with Aaron Verizon, me and strengths and what I've learned from him. So I have, I believe that we entrepreneurs, we learn from each other. And there's no reason to keep going through the same school of hard knocks, individually, like if we can learn from each other's experiences, and save some heartache, we should absolutely do that.

Robert Peterson 4:10
Well, and I think that's one of the challenges of that independent spirit that's willing to start a company and willing to do this thing on their own. They feel like I've got it all under control. I'm the one that knows how to do this. This was my big passion and dream. And it's kind of hard for some of them to ask for help.

Dr Sabrina Starling 4:30
Absolutely. It just the fact of acknowledging, hey, I don't know everything and and reaching out for help. I will also say that I've become addicted to learning from others over the years because my own stubbornness got in my way for so long. And once I reached out and asked for help and saw the impact that it could have, it just made me aware that Well, I don't want to do this journey alone anymore.

Robert Peterson 4:58
Well, and I think the biggest Lesson is recognizing that it doesn't make you less of a leader. It doesn't make you less of an entrepreneur. In fact, it opens you up to so much more greatness when you're willing to do that. And, and I think young entrepreneurs especially feel like it, it diminishes them if they say, I don't know how to do this, but there's so much to know, there's so much to, to encapsulate in running a business, that the best entrepreneurs are the ones that say, whew, I got no idea what to do in this area.

Dr Sabrina Starling 5:33
Yeah, you know, there's, there are so many things that I've been at this now for 18 years, there's so many things that I do or have done in my business that I never thought I would need expertise in or have to do, including being on video podcast, right. And so everything that we take on is a learning opportunity. And someone has done it before us, and we can learn from them and make our journey easier.

Robert Peterson 6:03
Oh, absolutely. And the great thing about that is we don't have to know it all. So that's really powerful. All right. So normally, we start just with guests sharing their entrepreneurial journey. And so let's take a step back and tell us how Dr. Sabrina got into this space of the impact she's making for business owners and entrepreneurs. What led you down this path.

Dr Sabrina Starling 6:26
So I have a PhD in counseling psychology. And I was working in a community mental health center in rural Wyoming. And the reason I was in rural Wyoming is because I had a lot of student loans. And I had heard about a program called the National Health Service Corps where you can go to rural areas, and work for a couple of years, and they would pay off your student loans. And I was young. And I was just out of graduate school. And I thought I want to have another life adventure before I settled down. Why not move to Wyoming? And I had been there for about five years. And I was extremely burnt out. And I was looking for how can I repurpose all this investment in my graduate training, and learning about people and what makes people tick to doing something that I enjoy. And that energizes me and doesn't drain my energy. And, you know, the craziest thing was I was paying attention to I started looking for what am I doing? That gives me energy. So I could kind of figure out like, what would be my next step. And I noticed that I had this one client who was a young man in his 20s, who was coming to see me for severe social anxiety. And he had a business that he had started and he was it was in the online space. And this was back, you know, the Internet was still relatively young back then. But he was having a lot of success. And I found myself every week wanting to talk to him about his business, and how can you make his business better. And that was my most fun client every week. And I started paying attention to that I really like entrepreneurship. So I decided I wanted to get trained as a coach. And I was going to go off on my own, and I was going to work with people in the life coaching realm. And I noticed too, that as I opened up my life coaching business, most of my clients were small business owners, and they were struggling with work life balance. And I would do trainings with them on time management. And yet nothing really seemed to move the needle. And as I dug into it further, I realized they didn't have work life balance issues, they all wanted to have a good life, what they had where employee problems and trouble hiring good employees. And that was keeping them tied to their business. And so they were coming to me because they wanted me to use my skills as a psychologist to help them with their people problems in their business. And so that's where I really started to develop, you know, my area of expertise around hiring and culture and businesses. And the crazy thing was is I realized they wanted me to solve their hiring challenges, and I started looking around for resources out there to help business owners with hiring. There's nothing there was written everything was geared towards a corporate audience. And you mentioned Mike McCalla wits, Mike and I connected right after he wrote the Pumpkin Plan. And I was the very first Pumpkin Plan strategist because I really love that book and I could see the potential of where that was gonna go. And I brought him out to Wyoming to do conferences and seminars with my clients. And he said in Mike's always, he always wants to help and he said, what are their greatest challenges? And I said, well, they really struggle with hiring Mike. And he kind of looked at me and he gave me the space like if you ever seen Mike McCalla wits he's he's a great with faces can't be the face. And I was like, What do you mean eat Mike and he said, I don't have any solutions to that. No. Like, this is hard. So he really challenged me to figure out how to help business owners with their hiring challenges. And so what I did is I woke up one morning and I had this question running through my head of what if it's not true that because small business owners or small business owners, and because we're in a rural area, this is why we can't get good employees? What if there are business owners out there? Who have good employees, a players on their team? Could I find them? And then could I interview them and figure out what they were doing, like what their secrets are? And so that's what I set out to do. And then I thought, well, I'll write a book once I figure this out. Well, the problem was, I couldn't get any business owners to talk with me, none of them wanted to be interviewed. And all of them told me, I have a couple of good people on my team. But I have no idea, Dr. Sabrina, what I did to get them on my team. And so I said, just tell me the story of how you know, Mary came to work for you or how Joe came to work for you. And it was through collecting these stories. And I started to see patterns in what they were doing. And that's how I developed the How to Hire the best system is I put those patterns together. And I've written several books now on how to hire the best I teach courses on it. And I will tell you a secret Robert, every time a business owner tells me I just hired for a players in the last few weeks. A part of me inside goes really this stuff works. I mean, it's been 13 years or so that I've been focused on hiring now. And it does, it does work and and so what I'm really passionate about is number one, helping business owners get those eight players on their team. But once once they're able to do that, they're able to take their lives back from their business. And so that's when I wrote my next book, the four week vacation, which is all about how you get your business in a position where you can trust your A players, and get them leading and making decisions so that you can be away from the business for extended periods of time, and it can still run. And I think that's the ultimate is when we learn to go out and look at what else besides running a business makes us happy. Because it's not always the business that makes us happy.

Robert Peterson 12:20
Oh, it's it's never. I mean, obviously, entrepreneurs love their business, right? They're passionate about that's why they started it in the first place. But they also love their families. And they got you know, they had a family for a reason. And they thought the business was going to do these great things to take care of their family. And they've gotten distracted. And I one of the things I say all the time is look, you can start new businesses, you can fix businesses, you can start 10 businesses, it's really hard to fix a family and even harder to start another family. Yeah, so so this is such important work. You are You and I are there. So the crazy thing is I've gotten here backwards. And I so I came from Ministry spent 20 years in Christian ministry. Obviously, that's a personal growth, right, changing bad habits for good habits, helping people develop love, entrepreneurs love coming alongside entrepreneurs. And I spent four of my five years running my company thinking I was a business coach or basic marketing, I'm a business coach. But I'm not a business coach. I'm a life coach for business owners. And it really is it's about it's about that same piece, it's about helping them recapture their relationships, recapture what's really important, remember their y, then get back to keeping that y in front of them and putting it you know, at the center of their work rather than and build the business supported instead of the other way around. And so definitely an alignment. But I'm I'm intrigued because I have so many entrepreneurs around me tow truck companies, roofing companies, a flagpole company, and all of them. It's the same, it's the same challenge. How do I hire good laborers? How do I hire people without just throwing tons of money at him?

Dr Sabrina Starling 14:18
Right, right. And because you don't this is the key is you have to build your business to be sustainably profitable. And so that means managing payroll and not just throwing money to get people on your team. And what I've seen in the past is people will make very rash hiring decisions because their back is against the wall. And those decisions become very costly down the road. The costs of turnover are exorbitant, and most small businesses can't afford the turnover, but not to mention mistakes and rework and the reputation damage to the business from employees no matter how much you're paying them. That doesn't make them an A player and it doesn't mean mean that they're going to meet your standards. And so what I have found in all my years of helping business owners hire a players is that the key comes down to knowing yourself, and knowing what your immutable laws are. So this goes to life coaching, because we need to know our immutable laws are our core values, and they become immutable laws when we put them in our business. And we say, this is how we do things here. These are inviolable laws, you will not stay here if you violate these. And when we identify our core values, and I really believe that the challenge around core value work, and you can tell you, I know you do this all the time. And you can tell me what your experience is, what I notice is, our core values are so much a part of who we are, we take them for granted, we don't notice them until someone violates them. And the other time, we'll notice them as when we feel really proud of something that's gone on in our business, or something a family member has done, those moments of pride usually point to our core values. But the easiest way to identify core values is just to think about what's ticked you off lately, and then identify what's the value underneath that that's been violated, and really put it into common language. And when we get these values articulated in common, plain, everyday language, and we share them with members of our team, we can just look around and see the body language when we're sharing them. And the people that are leaning forward and nodding their head, yes, they're, they're aligned with you, and the ones who cross their arms and look off to the side and look like they're bored. They're giving you all kinds of signals that they're not your people, they're not on the same, they don't want to be on the same team as you. And so we can use these immutable laws to attract the right people to our team and repel the wrong people. And so in the How to Hire the best course that I teach, I say, you know, you use these immutable laws as your filters. And you you write your job ad speaking to the person that you want to attract to those immutable laws that they have. And the right people will read that. And if you there's a lot of things I teach about how to write a job ad, but it usually they're long. So there, it's not the typical, just not bullet point, job ads, these are long paragraphs and narratives. The right people will read that and they'll be drawn further and further in and then they'll submit their application, the wrong people are just going to keep right on moving because they don't want to spend their time there. And so that's the best thing, because you have filtered out a lot of people who will be wasting your time during the interview process. And so when we are hiring people whose Immutable Laws align with ourselves, no matter if we don't have all the policies and procedures written out, we are still able to trust our teams to make decisions without us because they may come up with a different decision, but we're still going to feel good about how they handled it overall, and feel proud

Robert Peterson 18:09
it was in alignment, it was in alignment with our mission and values. Yes. So powerful.

Dr Sabrina Starling 18:15
It is it makes a huge difference. And when we start holding these Immutable Laws is you know, if you're if you have them, you have them and you're here, if you don't have them, you're not here. And we can apply that with clients, we can apply it with vendors, it's not just our team members. But it brings the whole business into a place where this This feels good to run this again.

Robert Peterson 18:38
Well, it's a different energy, right? Because really, it's it's it's the vibration that these people are in alignment with because they make decisions based on the same values internally. And like you said, most of them do it without realizing it. And so the people that read your job description and are drawn into it, come there naturally, because it's it's like, okay, this feels right. They don't know why it feels right. Yeah, necessarily. And it's not like these immutable laws are the 10 commandments that you're writing up on the board. These are, these are things that people are living with inside themselves. And at the core, when they come to a decision, do I go left? Or do I go, right? They're making that decision based on those those core values. And it's so powerful that so many businesses either never started with core values don't have any understanding of them, or their core values are just there. You know, these, these five words they've picked out of the out of the list of words, and they don't have they don't have a story. They don't know the they don't know the reason these these things are important to them. And so I love that you. I mean, obviously you learn this by listening to stories, and then seeing the stories in action. It's so powerful, and helping somebody to see where their values really are. Because it's easy to say right? I love integrity, right? When and integrity is so important. And we all know, you know, Enron's little handbook said integrity was their number one thing, they would never lie to clients. And then, of course, profit clearly became more important than integrity. And they sacrificed their values because they weren't in alignment with them. Right? It's so powerful to make that connection between having these written down and saying, This is what our company does to, to this is what our company does. This is who we

Dr Sabrina Starling 20:31
are. Yes, they're their real values, values that you live every single day. They're not aspirational values. And it's those aspirational values that, you know, business owners, a lot of times they'll have them and they'll say, oh, yeah, here's our values over here. But if you ask them, they can't they're not memorized. They don't know what they are, because they're just a list of words. And your team certainly doesn't know what they are, and much less choose to act in alignment. So when we have values that are really true to who we are, and and we start to share those and share the stories with our team members. And when we see our team members, acting in alignment with those immutable laws and calling that out and say, Oh, my gosh, that is so cool, that you did that we're so it's awesome. The way you support our clients, like one of our immutable laws that tap the potential is to be a gift from your gifts. And so that means that each of us has strengths and talents, and we want to be utilizing those to support others. So we're looking out for who on the team is struggling with something or which client is struggling with something? How might I be a gift from my gifts? And when I see our team members acting in alignment, that way, it makes me feel so proud. And I don't even have to think about it. I don't have to say, oh, I need to acknowledge Melissa, or I need to acknowledge Amy, I just like oh, that's so cool that you do that. Thank you so much. It's spontaneous, and it's natural.

Robert Peterson 21:52
Well, and I, I mean, I having been a parent now, I think about it from a parenting perspective. And, and passing on the values is really is really what empowers your children to make right choices. It's not the rules. It's not the guidelines. It's not the handbook. Right? Everybody talks about there's no handbook for this, but but there is the values. And when you talk about values, and you share the stories, and you talk about why you made this decision, I one of the biggest things that is a sore spot for me is parents telling their children, you can't have that toy, you can't have that candy, because because we don't have any money. Because first of all, you're sending the wrong message about money, you're sending the wrong message about rather than a parent that says, We can't buy that candy, or we can't buy that toy, because it doesn't fit within our spending plan.

Dr Sabrina Starling 22:47
That's where we've decided to spend our money.

Robert Peterson 22:51
Exactly. It's a more honest message. First of all, because you're lying to your kids, when you're going through a grocery store saying we don't have any money, and then you spend $150, when you check out, right, right, the kids getting a mixed message about money, they're also getting a message that we don't have any or we don't have enough. And so they're getting a poverty message. But then they're also getting this message about not getting a message about decision making, and the parents are missing out on this great opportunity. The reason we're making this choice is because other things are more important than a candy or a toy.

Dr Sabrina Starling 23:23
Right. And just to tie that same logic into the business, it's so important for us as business owners to have conversations with our team, when we make decisions and say, This is what happened. And this is how I came to this decision. Because that's where we start training our team members to use these immutable laws as part of our decision making filter. You know, other other parts of these decision making filters are your budget, your your need to be profitable, knowing what the sweet spot is of the business. And so saying, you know, yes, we're going to spend money over here or no, we're not going to spend money over here. Without using these decision making filters. It's it's a missed opportunity to train your team so that when you're not there, they can make those similar decisions without having to wait for you to tell them what to do.

Robert Peterson 24:19
so powerful, so powerful, because there's entrepreneurs that I know are listening right now that run their show, and they're afraid to let go. They're afraid that that they don't I mean, part of it is trust, right? I'm i I'm the only one that does it. Right? I'm the only one that does it this way. And part of that is because they haven't communicated why they do it that way. Right? Right. They want the team to do it that way. Instead, they want to tell the team just do do A, B, C, D E, and if you do a B, C, D E just like I do, then then you're going to get it right. But the better leader is the one that's going to say I do ABCDE because it fulfills this value for me. And, and I want to free you up to do it the way that you want, but still honor this value. We will be right back after this short break. Are you an entrepreneur who started their business with purpose and passion, only to lose sight of it amidst the daily grind, we understand how frustrating that can be. That's why we're offering free strategy calls to help you gain clarity on the barriers holding you back from achieving your dreams. In just 30 minutes, our experienced coaches will work with you to identify obstacles and develop strategies for overcoming them. There's no commitment or pressure, just a chance to get some assistance and clarity, unique. Scheduling is easy, simply visit smiling cole.com and select a time that works for you. Let's jump on a call and build your business together, it's time for you to add value and achieve your full potential as an entrepreneur. Welcome back, let's get back to more great.

Dr Sabrina Starling 26:00
And it is so wonderful. And the other side of this is I meet now, and I've done this for several years, we have a leadership team, we meet weekly, and we put our issues on the agenda. And I typically have the most issues. I'm a woman with her issues. And I put them on the agenda because I want my leadership teams input. Because I believe that multiple heads addressing tough issues is better than one. And I cannot count the times that asking for other people's input has saved me from paying the dumb tax. And when we make these decisions on our own as business owners, and we're running around doing one thing and putting out one fire after another, we're not in the best space to be making decisions that impact us long term. And I'll be honest, I have a situation right now that a decision I made a year ago, where I'm paying some significant dumb tax. And I think I know exactly the scenario that I was in and I signed a contract without fully reading it, I was flying from one thing to the next. And I made an assumption about what was in that contract, I did not read it fully. And now I'm paying some dumb tax. And but we business owners, we do that all the time daily. And so when we start identifying what our decision making filters are, we share it with our team members. Number one, they can make decisions without us. But the better thing is they can make decisions with us and support us and help us when we get in these sticky situations. Identify, well, maybe you could do this, or maybe you can handle it this way. There's always someone who can think of opportunity that we won't see when we're doing it on our own.

Robert Peterson 27:44
Well, and especially because everything is values based. And now you've built up this team with a Trust Center. And so they're not a team that's looking for you to tell them what to do. They're a team that knows that they know what to do, and that you trust them to do it. And you've created, you've created a completely different environment, for yourself and for your team. And, and then if you show up late for work, they're not all sitting around waiting, because normally the boss comes and tells us what to do every day. Now you've got a team that knows exactly what to do with or without the boss for one day, or one hour or a four week vacation.

Dr Sabrina Starling 28:28
Yes. So let's talk about this four week vacation a little bit. Because when I threw out the four week they take vacation challenge was probably about five years ago at one of our retreats. And I was really curious to watch how different entrepreneurs reacted to it. Some of them said, Oh, my gosh, I haven't had a full day unplugged for my business and 40 years, I'm in, sign me up. And then other said, I don't know what my team is going to think about me being away for four weeks, they're going to be resentful, and they're going to think you know, here I am making money off the sweat of their backs. And I'm off on vacation. And what has been so curious is to watch when those business owners go back to their teams and tell them that they're taking a four week vacation in the next 1218 months. The team members are like, yes, thank goodness, I'm so glad. That's one reaction. The other reaction is I get to show the boss what I can do. He's finally going to give me that chance to show what I'm capable of. In it all the business owners that have taken our four week vacation challenge. I have not heard a single one come back and say my team is angry or they resent me.

Robert Peterson 29:47
No. Well, and obviously we've already talked about the reasons why that happens is because we're changing the incomplete environment of how business is done.

Dr Sabrina Starling 29:59
Yeah, In the for team members, when everything lives in our head, and every decision has to run through us, they feel stuck all the time. And they there are systems that we have in our heads that are not documented. So they never really know what's expected of them. They never really know when they're going to screw up. It's just kind of this blind, you know, stumbling around in the dark as an employee and a players, they want to know what's expected of them because they want to exceed your expectations. And they can't do that if you don't articulate if you don't systematize it and tell them. So there's tremendous relief for those team members when you say I'm taking a four week vacation because they know that things that are in your head are now going to get documented. Guilty. We all are. There's so many things we carry around up here that we that never come out of our mouths

Robert Peterson 30:57
and minds minds worse, because my team was my wife and daughter so Oh, yeah. Yes. Yeah. Boy, it's so it's an obviously, I've worked through clockwork love clockwork, that's the book Mike came on the show and talked about and it's his, his goal is the same. He wants to help business owners create the systems and processes to protect their business and empower them to take a four week vacation. And so love, love, love protecting business owners. And obviously, if you take a four week vacation, you do it someplace happy. I mean, so that's going to lead to more entrepreneurial happiness, which is what was my mission. So,

Dr Sabrina Starling 31:40
you know, the crazy thing is, too, is that most of our clients that have taken four week vacations, will say, you know, it's not about the four week vacation, it's about having more time for what matters most. It's about all the things that happen. On the way to that for me, occation, because they're learning how to set boundaries, one of the first boundaries, we teach them as you, you turn your work off at five, or six, but you have a hard stop, and you leave your cell phone, in another room turned off when you go home. So you are fully present with yourself and your family, which is a huge change for most of them. And it is interesting to me that wives, children, husbands of business owners, really feel like they are in a cheating relationship, almost where the owner of the business is married to the business, and they're trying to compete for their attention. And business owners don't realize that because we think I'm just trying to take care of my family, I'm just trying to make sure that I'm bringing in income, and keeping everything together taking care of the family. And we don't realize how much it hurts our kids and our spouses, when we come home and walk in the door. And we have that cell phone and we're in constantly digging and being distracted. And we think we're showing up, you know, to our kids, ballet practices, or ballet recitals and ball practices, but we're missing everything that's going on. And that when they look up from the you know, from standing at the pitcher's mound, and they look and they want to see dad and Dad's got his head down, and he doesn't even notice, or you know, the little girl looking for mom or dad in the audience, and they've got their heads down on the phone, that shifting those micro behaviors. Start that's where happiness starts, again. be tied to that business so you can enjoy people. So we teach people how to treat us. And when we teach our employees and our clients and customers that we are constantly available, because we're responding all the time on our phones, they're going to expect that. And so if we say, you know, I'm available between these hours, I'm happy to return calls and messages during these hours. That's what people will expect.

Robert Peterson 34:05
Absolutely. I, I talked about it, but I'm a cat's in the cradle business coach. So trying to help people not be totally the main character in the song.

Dr Sabrina Starling 34:17
Wow. Absolutely. And note taking weekends off and relaxing and recharging. What it what it does for you and your mindset when you just take two days off and don't think about the business. It's huge. You become a different person.

Robert Peterson 34:35
Well, I mean, obviously so much. There's there's so much self care, but there's team care, and now there's family care and all of these things start to happen. Because we've, we're being intentional, right, we're communicating. We're setting boundaries, where we're helping trust our team because now we we've communicated about the values and we know that the team is going to make the decisions based on the same value He's because they're in alignment with us. So so we get this whole different level of trust. So now our team is operating like you said, A, they're a player's operating in an a game. Yeah. And they're probably operating better without you because because they've they felt so restricted for a while.

Dr Sabrina Starling 35:17
You know, you talk about how do you attract a players, if you can't pay a lot of money, one of the ways you attract a players, is by giving them a good place, a great place to work a good work environment. And so one of our Immutable Laws is work supports life, not the other way around. And that means most of our team members are part time. And I encouraged them to have other endeavors besides tap the potential so that they can be whole human beings, when they show up at tap the potential and work with our clients. And one of the pieces that's so attractive about working for us as they know, I'm never going to say to them, I texted you at nine o'clock at night, why didn't you answer my text? They know that I'm going to tell them if they're boxing me at 6am, I'm going to say, why are you working at 6am, go find a hobby, go to something. And you know, don't in the weekends, you're off on the weekends, that is huge for people to have that work life balance. And we the business owners model that when we start taking care of ourselves. So it's not just that we get better. But we create an environment that a players want to work in a players are naturally overachievers. And they will work themselves to the you know, till the bitter end. And we have to show them as business leaders, you can be a great a player, and you can produce amazing results. And you can work part time, or you can end your work at five and you can be off on the weekends, and you're going to have better results because you are.

Robert Peterson 36:50
Well, and I mean, the stress levels just dropped 1000 fold. Because we're all taking care of our families. We're all taking the time to do the things that are important. We've all set boundaries in our lives that we're all honoring together. Yeah, this is this. This is better than 10x in sales. This is this is 100x thing, you know, environment and culture. It

Dr Sabrina Starling 37:17
is and it leads to ton axing sales. Gorgeous. Yeah, we are so much more effective. And I'll tell you what, I started my business. I did it because I wanted to be president, I was having my first daughter, and I wanted to be present with her. And so I set the intention that I was going to work no more than 25 hours a week, that was the most I was willing to put her in childcare. And so it put these limits on me, you know, I had five hours a day and I had to get stuff done. And it made me really focus on what are my highest value activities. And when you're starting a business sales are your highest value activities. And I have I had no knowledge of sales and marketing. When I started my business. I was a psychologist by training, they sure don't teach that stuff in graduate school. And I was an introvert, I'm still an introvert. That doesn't change. But that introvert in me was like, oh, gosh, I have to talk to people. Oh, no, I don't want to. And I had to learn. And I had to learn my way of marketing and doing sales and getting the word out. And because I had a limited amount of time, I had to figure out what is the most impactful thing that I can do? You know, and that's my question that I start every single day with is, if I can only get one thing done today, what is the highest value activity that you know, and I call it the $10,000 an hour thinking the things that you can do that's going to move your business forward, and help you have steady, consistent, profitable sales.

Robert Peterson 38:46
So powerful. And it allows, I mean, obviously, just creating that different environment allows a whole different level thinking to be happening. And really solving problems for the people that need the problem solved. And it's not really about convincing people. It's about showing people look, this is the problem I solve I'm really good at solving it. Do you want the solution?

Dr Sabrina Starling 39:16
Absolutely a conversation and it's an opportunity to say I hear your challenge and I have a solution. Are you are you interested? And I have I have a team member who needed to go full time for a period of time just because of financial issues. And I said okay, this is gonna be temporary. I really don't want you working full time and he's on the sales team. And I showed him how if you get more focused on going after good, good prospects, people who are going to be a right fit for us. You can work less and make more money because you'll make commission obviously. And so now we're working on getting into a four day work week and really reducing those hours and it's all around just paying attention to doing more what works and do In what's effective, and all of us have that opportunity in our businesses. I was on a podcast a few months ago. And I started talking about the 25 Hour Workweek, and how limits force creativity. And the podcaster apparently had a whiteboard over his desk that had all of his to do lists on it. And he said, Oh, my gosh, I'm looking at my to do list now. And I'm crossing off this and crossing off that and realizing how much time I spend on a given day or given week, just doing this extra stuff that I think I'm supposed to do, but I can't really see where it has value anywhere. And all of us do that. And we really need to stop and pay attention and say, what's important to me? Where am I trying to drive my business? And what are those activities that directly align with where I'm trying to drive this business?

Robert Peterson 40:50
And, of course, that is the next step of knowing what, where you're going. Right? And we take out the values that we get the making our decisions, and setting our boundaries based on the values. And you talked, you mentioned profit earlier, right? What is the profit we want to make? What is the what was the level we want to grow the business? But that?

Dr Sabrina Starling 41:11
Yes, and you know, really,

Robert Peterson 41:12
what is it? What is it we want this business to do? What is the biggest? We want it now? What's

Dr Sabrina Starling 41:17
your why? And what's what are you? Why are you in business and what matters to you? And so when clients start working with us, in our better business, Better Life program, that's half the potential, we ask them, What are the wins that you want to celebrate a year from now? Not just business wins, but personal wins? What are the things that are important to you, and for a lot of people, this is the first time they've given themselves permission to dream again. And think about what I really what would matter to me in my personal life, what do I want to work towards. And then we take those winds, and we help them design an action plan for the year that aligns with getting their business in alignment with what matters to them in their life. Because if you don't do that, and you just build a business for the sake of adding revenue and adding employees, number one, it's not going to be profitable. But number two, just like you started this podcast with you will lose your family, you will lose the people who are important to you, because they're not along for this ride.

Robert Peterson 42:22
When you lose and you lose yourself, because you lose, you lose direction, when you allow the world you allow your customers to dictate you allow the market to dictate your plans rather than being intentional about what it is you really want. And there's so many business owners who get caught up in the whirlwind. I mean, John Lee Dumas in his podcast, took off and grew and went crazy. And they hired and hired and they had 25 people. And then they sat back and him and his now wife realized, Wait, we wanted to live on the beach, and we wanted to work 20 hours, and they, they actually shut it down, they actually had to let people go and they moved to Puerto Rico. And but it's the this culture around us, right? This entrepreneurial space around us tells us grow, grow, grow bigger, better, bigger, better. And you can get sucked into that as a business owner, if you don't know what it is you really want. And not every business owner wants a Lamborghini, not every business owner wants a giant mansion. Some of them just want the freedom to take Friday off.

Dr Sabrina Starling 43:24
Exactly, exactly. And it's I call this hustle culture. And it is pervasive. And it's the belief that we need to grow the revenue and we need to have material things to show for it was just leads to this emptiness inside and John Lee Dumas is example is a perfect example of this is that the business will grow it'll take off and it'll start dictating all of our decisions and take us away from what it is we wanted in the first place. And so that's why we're constantly bringing this back to our business owners that have the potential and saying, you know, what it is this decision as part of your decision making filter, is it moving you closer to your vision? Or is it moving you in a direction that looks like it's somewhat aligned with your vision, but if you track that decision out over time, it actually takes you very far away from your vision. And you know, hiring is one of those areas where people can lose ground really quickly without realizing it. Because you get busy and you think I'm busy I'm at capacity I need to hire. And so you go out and you hire but what you haven't done before you hired is looked at what is your sweet spot? Who are your most profitable clients and services. Usually when you're at capacity, it's because you're taking care of your unprofitable clients and customers and you know mistakes and rework and, and all those things. So if you hire team members to take care of those unprofitable clients and customers, you have just exponentially created a problem that moves you away from profitability, like you should just move yourself far away. And so even though I'm a hiring ex When I say to people are you sure you want to hire like, let's really slow down here and put on the brakes? Let's identify that sweet spot in your business first. And then oftentimes, what's really cool about the sweet spot is people apply the 8020 principle. And you realize that 80% of your revenue comes from the top 20% of your clients and customers who typically, most of them are a joy to work with. They're your favorite people. Not always, but mostly. And then you reverse that. And you say, Okay, so 20% of my revenue is coming from 80% of my clients and customers 80%. So what if I wanted to drop 80% of my clients and customers, what would I have to do? Well, mathematically, all you have to do is increase the revenue from your top 20% by 25%. Over the next year, your revenue stays the same, but now you're at choice to drop 80% of your clients and customers. And those are the ones who take up a lot of time who purchase small items and complain or there's rework. And so this has significant implications, because you don't need as many team members, when you're trying to serve 20% of your clients and customers who are responsible for 80% of the revenue. It also means you can afford to pay your A players more, because you don't have as many team members and a players are 900 to 12 100% more productive than warm body team members. So there's another reason you don't need as many of them as you think. And those that awareness of that allows you to make decisions all along the way that allow you to be profitable. And so in the tap the potential solution, we say step number one is to design your business to be sustainably profitable. And then that means every decision after that follows in line with profitability, and making sure that you have a life as you're designing this sustainably profitable business.

Robert Peterson 47:06
I love it. It's beautiful. Such I mean, it's just such terrific tools that, that if you just look at your business a little differently, you ask him questions,

Dr Sabrina Starling 47:18
ask different questions. That's it. Right? Like, what do I want? What's important to me? And how do I design my business to support that?

Robert Peterson 47:27
I, the biggest thing I have to try to convince business owners is that design the life you want first? And then let's design your business around it.

Dr Sabrina Starling 47:37
Yes, yes. And, you know, years ago that used to be called a lifestyle business, right and kind of poo pooed in entrepreneurial circles. And nowadays, after we've been through the pandemic, people are starting to recognize, you know, what a lifestyle businesses are really good business.

Robert Peterson 47:57
And it doesn't have to be just a lifestyle business. Like it can be a brick and mortar, it can be literally, you can design the life that you want, and then create, build your business to support it. And, and brick and mortar businesses, towing companies that work 24 hours a day, that it's just a matter of how you make your staffing decisions and how you make you know some of your decisions around your values, and your design. And the two of those are lines so good to get what you really want.

Dr Sabrina Starling 48:28
Well, now you have listeners who are like in hustle mode and in the survival trap, and they're hearing this in the night like this sounds really good. But I have no idea where to start, like how do I even get from this business that consumes me 24/7 to a business that I could work like 25 hours a weekend. And it comes down to small steps forward, taken in a consistent direction, lead to big change over time. And I'll give you an example. We have a client who came to us three or four years ago in the height of COVID. And they were in a rural area. They were they had growth opportunities, but they were struggling to hire so they were passing on growth opportunities. And one of the business owners it was a husband and wife. What are their challenges is they were on call 24/7 in this business. I just met with this business owner in a VIP day, a few weeks back and she said this is the greatest thing that we are off the on call rotation now that goes to other people in the business. And so I want everyone listening to this to hear this did not happen overnight. It wasn't like they hired us to tap the potential in a flip a switch flipped. This was small steps for but we got them going in a consistent direction and anytime they got off track. We pulled them back on track and said hey, come look over here. You wanting to do this. Remember that that you told us you wanted to do let's make sure this decision aligns with that. And when we're trying to do this on our own. We're gonna get lost in the day to day. I mean that's the hardest thing for us business owners. And so people like Robert and myself, coaches who are trying to support you in staying aligned with what you said you wanted to do. What makes it work is those small steps forward. There's no magic here. It's a consistent direction. And let us keep taking those day to day small steps.

Robert Peterson 50:23
Sabrina, this is so fantastic. I thank you so much for sharing such great wisdom. And I know that I appreciate it. I hope my audience appreciates it. And I look forward to hopefully they're gonna reach out and connect with you at tap potential.com. And I know you have some free tools there and obviously, more resources for people to to learn from your wisdom.

Dr Sabrina Starling 50:48
Yes, I want to encourage everyone, we have lots of free resources at tap the potential.com. We have a resource page where you heard me talk about like those $10,000 An hour activities, you can get a PDF download of that. And I have a podcast profit by design podcast, I talk about tips, tools and strategies every week to take your life back from your business. So I really, Robert, I so appreciate what you do. And one of the things that I want to encourage your listeners on as a fellow podcaster. A podcast is a labor of love. And when we're putting out consistently good content like Robert does, please subscribe to his show and leave him a review as a way of saying thank you for putting out the content that he's putting out to support you.

Robert Peterson 51:33
Dr. Sabrina, thank you so much. This has been fantastic. Thank you. Thank you for tuning into this episode brought to you by the power of intentional decisions that lead to massive action. Those aren't just buzzwords. They're qualities that can help you take control of your life and build a successful business. To support you on this journey. We're offering you our most popular survey to help you establish a baseline visit enjoy biz life.com to check it out and take the first steps towards changing your life and we often make things more complicated than they need to be losing sight of what's truly important. This tool will help you refocus on what matters most so that you can start doing the things you've always wanted to do, like spending quality time with loved ones. And if you enjoyed this episode, please show us some love by liking, subscribing, or leaving a review, but most importantly, share it with someone who needs to hear it. In our next episode, Lisa Wilber and Jeff West are first time returning guests. Today they are on the show with Norland Robert to talk about their new book, said the lady

Unknown Speaker 52:43
learned some inside secrets like where the title came from and how they created this direct sales parable to serve the

Robert Peterson 52:50
Lisa wants to empower women with the possibility that they can earn their own income and not be stuck in a bad situation by someone else's decision.