Chris Ronzio is the founder and CEO of Trainual, a platform for entrepreneurs to get their business out of their brains by documenting and delegating the systems and processes in their company. Catch more about Chris, his podcasts, books, and additional resources for business leaders at ChrisRonzio.com.
Free Assessment for EOFire – Get Your Business Documentation Score.
Trainual Website – The Easiest Way To Train And Grow Your Team.
3 Value Bombs
1) When you’re micro-managing, it’s because you don’t trust someone to get the results on. If you can effectively train someone and you can trust them, then you don’t have to pay attention to that thing anymore, it opens up capacity to work on other things in your business.
2) Most entrepreneurs that are getting started, they’re doing everything in the business. All their experience, best practices, and how their company works is stuck in their head. If it’s stuck there, you can’t hand responsibilities to other people.
3) Build a culture where you’re documenting your processes, your tasks, and how things work.
**Click the time stamp to jump directly to that point in the episode.
Today’s Audio MASTERCLASS: How to Build the Business, Not Be the Business.
[1:12] – Chris shares something that he believes about becoming successful that most people disagree with.
- Most people think, to be successful, you have to be irreplaceable. If you’re replaceable, you empower others, and that’s how you scale a business.
[1:42] – Entreprenuers, in general, have business ideas stuck in their head. Why do we need to get these business ideas out of our brain, and how do we do it?
- Most entrepreneurs that are getting started, they’re doing everything in the business. All their experience, best practices, and how their company works is stuck in their head. If it’s stuck there, you can’t hand responsibilities to other people.
- Get that knowledge out of your head and into other people’s heads.
[3:33] – Few people document their action. Why should we document our actions and where do we start?
- For entrepreneurs, the ability to hire depends on your ability to delegate, and your ability to delegate depends on your ability to document.
- Documenting your processes is not being created from scratch. You’re just capturing them. All you’re doing is collecting how your processes work.
[7:11] – Chris’ framework—Do it, Document it, Delegate it.
- When you’re growing any business and you’re a team of one, at the very beginning, you’re doing something, Learning how to do the business, figuring out what would work. As you do it over and over, try all things in different ways, eventually, you’ll settle in something consistent.
- Documenting things clearly so people can understand it, unlocks your ability to delegate it.
- When you delegate something to a person and they try to do it the first time, they’ll have questions. Those questions, when answered, improve your documentation. As they get used to it, they’ll suggest best practices. It’s a cycle that goes over and over.
- Think of buying or renting somewhere to live. Most people would buy to build an asset. When you think of the salaries of the people you’re paying to work for you, if they’re not writing down their best practices and knowledge overtime, you’re renting their salaries.
- If you build a culture where you’re documenting your processes, your tasks, and how things work, then you’re building an asset that’s yours even if the person moves on.
[12:25] – How can we train our team and scale our business to run and grow without being that one person that has to decide, direct, lead, and manage everything?
- When you’re micro-managing, it’s because you don’t trust someone to get the results on. if you can effectively train someone and you can trust them, then you don’t have to pay attention to that thing anymore, it opens up capacity to work on other things in your business.
- Set someone up for success in a 90-day plan so that people have crystal-clear expectations of what success looks like.
- Mix asynchronous and synchronous training.
- Only train people on what’s absolutely necessary to do the job at the time that they need to do it.
[16:49] – The secrets that the fastest growing companies know about scaling both people and processes.
- Majority of entrepreneurs have some kind of niche. When you have a narrow focus, you can create repeatable process.
- Focus on building your culture intentionally.
- Delegate and empower others. Delegate something that you’re really good at.
[21:10] – What is Trainual and how can Fire Nation utilize that amazing service to implement the strategies talked about today?
- To scale a business, empower people, create consistency and repeatability of what you do, you do need to document things that you do. Write them down somewhere.
- Visit Free Assessment for EOFire and get this 10-part guide in building a centralized place for all of your policies and processes, your company’s orientation, your brand, product, services, your people, everything that makes your business unique.
Lights that sparked Fire Nation. JLD here and welcome to Entrepreneurs On Fire brought to you by the HubSpot Podcast Network with great shows like business infrastructure. Today, we'll be focusing on how to build the business, not be the business to drop these value bombs. I've brought Chris Ronzio into EOFire studios. Chris is the founder and CEO of Trainual, a platform for entrepreneurs to get their business out of their brains by documenting and delegating the systems and processes in their company. Catch more about Chris, his podcasts, books, and additional resources for business leaders at ChrisRonzio.com. And fire nation.
They are also a big sponsor of the podcast. So check out, trainual.com/fire that's trainual.com/fire. Thank you for supporting our sponsors and let's have a quick word from them. Ready to finally have repeatable, predictable and scalable operations for your business. Trainual can help. Visit trainual.com/fire. To take a guided 10 part business assessment to help you audit and plan your company documentation today, that's trainual.com/fire. Fire Nation. It's time to stop trading time for money and start reaching more clients and making a bigger impact.
0 (1m 25s):
And you can do just that with online courses, try Thinkific for free today at thinkific.com/EOF that's T H I N K I F I C.com/EOF Chris say what's up to Fire Nation and share something that you believe about becoming successful that most people disagree with.
1 (1m 47s):
What's up Fire Nation. This is Chris Ronzio. So I would say most people think to be successful. You have to be irreplaceable. I believe if you're replaceable, you're empowering others, and that's how you scale your business,
0 (2m 0s):
Fire Nation be replaceable. And if that kind of sounds weird right now, believe me, by the end of this episode, it will not. Now let's start Chris at the beginning, which is where so many people in Fire Nation, my listeners entrepreneurs in general, they have their business ideas stuck in their head. Why do we need to get these business ideas out of our brain and specifically how the heck do we do it?
1 (2m 29s):
So you might hear you when you think your business is in your brain is that you've got all the knowledge of the business, but for most entrepreneurs that are getting started, they're doing everything in the business to everything that they know, all their experience, their best practices and how their company works is stuck in their head. And if it's stuck there, you can't hand those responsibilities off to other people. I'm sure a lot of the listeners here have read the book. E-Myth that was my first business book I ever read. And when I was reading it, I had a video production company and I was the guy. I was the one standing behind the camera at every event. And I knew if I don't get off of the camera, I'm never going to grow this business. And so it really resonated with me. And, and I learned, you know, I had to stop doing this business our way.
1 (3m 13s):
I would always be the business. It would stop at me. And so that's what it's about. It's getting that business, that, that knowledge out of your head and into other people's heads,
0 (3m 23s):
Fire Nation, if you haven't read that book, it is incredible. I mean, it really opened my eyes up as well as that's just because you like baking muffins doesn't mean you should be opening a bakery just because, you know, you like working with wood does Nestle mean you need to open up a wood shop. And there's a lot of reasons behind that. And guess what? In some situations it does make sense and it does work out, but you need to go into each situation, eyes wide open. And I think one problem that a lot of people have. And I know that this was my problem. When I first launched entrepreneur entrepreneurs on fire 10 years ago is the fact that so few people ever documents their actions and frankly, they don't do it because they don't even know where to start Chris.
0 (4m 8s):
So why should we be documenting our actions in once you convince us of that? Where do we start?
1 (4m 16s):
Sure. So let me go back to my video company. And you know, when I grew that business, I went from being the only camera operator to having 300 camera operators, doing events all around the US and if I hadn't written down the instructions, the best practices, the way that this company works, I wouldn't have been able to set clear expectations with anyone else, for them to grow for them, to help grow the business. And then when it was time, 12 years later for me to sell the business, I spent six months documenting everything I did as the president to hire a replacement president. I was able to promote a director of operations and, and then I was totally out. And so for entrepreneurs, whether you're trying to hire person number one, virtual assistant number one, or someday even exit your business, your ability to do that depends on your ability to delegate and your ability to delegate depends on your ability to document.
1 (5m 6s):
So the first thing I would say about documenting is, you know, don't get overwhelmed. People think it's just this big burden, this big task to write down everything in my business. But when you're documenting your processes, you're not creating them from scratch. You're just capturing them. Your business already works. You do whatever you do. And if you just capture and think about it in that, in that word, then all you're doing is collecting how your processes work. Then you don't have to get so overwhelmed. So if you think about it, just like the same way, you'd think about marketing content. There's a few ways to capture or to collect information to document. You know, if you're a marketer, maybe you have a blog and that's text, or maybe you have a YouTube show and that's video a podcast like this and that's audio, or you've got maybe a really cool Instagram feed and that's images well documenting in your business.
1 (5m 55s):
You use the exact same mediums you texts to write about policy is and things you want to really spell out. You use video when you want to get on camera and really be personal with people, or maybe record your screen and show how to do something and walk through it. Maybe use photos or screenshots, and maybe you use audio as just an introduction to something, but documenting your business is really just capturing how things work. And it can be as simple as an interview like this, about any topic in the book,
0 (6m 22s):
Fire Nation. I so clearly remember one of my first hires. I hired a virtual assistant. She was great. I spent months in months in months, training her like one-on-one training. The process got down. It was perfect for three months after that, everything was smooth as silk. And then I got an email one day that she's taking another job, poof. She was gone. And I was like, whoa, like I just spent so much time training. This person, everything was so perfect and running smoothly. Now I've literally got to recreate the wheel and start from scratch. Not to mention like really pick up the slack while she was gone in the next interim until I have somebody trained because somebody had to do these things that she was supposed to be doing.
0 (7m 8s):
And guess what? I never let that happen to me again. The next person that I trained, I was doing video recordings of every single thing I was walking them through. I created a library, very detailed, organized, very specific about what each task and topic was. And guess what that person, a couple of years later ended up leaving. But this time I brought somebody right in, had them go through their own training that I'd already created. And it was so fast and seamless and so much less time, energy and bandwidth on my side of things. And one thing I love about you, Chris, is you have a framework that you've personally developed and you call it the, do it, document it, delegate it.
0 (7m 49s):
This is a framework. Walk us through this.
1 (7m 53s):
It's simple, you know, do it document it, delegated something. I started saying at the very beginning of train you all, and it's something I had in presentations. And then we trademarked it and then people started saying it back to me. And I realized we were onto something here because it's so simple. So when you're growing a business, any business, and you're a team of one at the very beginning, you're doing something you're learning how to do the business. You're experimenting, you're testing. You're trying to figure out what's going to work. How do I price this? What do my customers like? And as you do it over and over, and you try all these different ways, eventually you settle on something consistent. And once you realize that you're doing it consistently, then the next step is to document it is to write it down, using one of those mediums I described.
1 (8m 35s):
And if you can document it and you can document it clearly so that people can understand it, then that's what unlocks your ability to delegate it and to hand it off to someone else. And so you go through this process, you do something, you document it, you delegate it. And the cool thing is it's a cycle because when you delegate something to a person and they try to do it the first time they'll have, and those questions improve your documentation. When you answer those questions and then they'll do the thing for a while and they'll do it, and they'll suggest a best practice, a new way to do it because now this responsibility is theirs. And so it's a cycle that goes over and over for every task, for every role, for every team in your business. And if you just think about it as this simple process, then you can see how little by little over time you're building a more scalable company.
1 (9m 21s):
Now you mentioned the example where someone leaves the business. I think all of us have had that it's terrifying when someone important leaves the business. So the example I would give is, think about if you could buy or rent somewhere to live, let's assume you had the down payment or whatever most people would say, oh, I would buy because I want to build an asset. Now, if you think about the salaries of the people that you're paying to work for you, if they're not writing down what they learn, their best practices, their knowledge over time, you're renting their salaries. And when they leave, you have nothing to show for it. But if you can build a culture where you're documenting your processes and your tasks and how things work, then you're building an asset. That's yours.
1 (10m 1s):
Even if the person decides to move on
0 (10m 3s):
Fire Nation, do it, document it, delegate it, it can be done. And I hope Chris and I are telling the stories that are making you realize that it actually has to be done. And we're going to get even more specific. As soon as we get back from thanking our sponsors, every entrepreneur knows what it feels like to be wearing too many hats. You're a creator, a visionary and administrator, a finance person, and that can feel overwhelming and get old really fast. That's why I'm excited to tell you about train. You will a software that makes it easy to document and delegate the things you do to someone else and be completely sure that the handoff is successful and can scale consistently without you. It's like creating a playbook for repeatable, predictable, scalable operations that all live in one place for your entire team to use.
0 (10m 48s):
Whether you're a small team of less than 10, starting to document processes for the first time as you prepare for a few new hires or you're getting ready to onboard and train 100 people in repeatable roles, Trainual can help create everything from your employee handbook to your new hire orientation process, to role and department specific training and even test to keep people accountable. Visit trainual.com/fire to take a guided 10 part business assessment to help you audit and plan your company documentation today, that's trainual.com/fire. And if you decide to give a train, you will a try use promo code EOFIRE for 15% off. After your free seven day trial, that's trainual.com/fire.
0 (11m 31s):
Whether you're a guitar teacher, a business coach, or a yoga instructor, entrepreneurs all share something in common, a desire to reach more clients and make a bigger impact without trading their time for money. So how do you do that by creating an online course with Thinkific expose your business to hundreds, thousands, or even millions of new clients worldwide with low impact on your time. But don't just take our word for it. Meet Vanessa. She runs group therapy, a business that offers beginner dance classes for adults. Vanessa was hearing time and time again that people couldn't make it to class because of time constraints, anxiety, or not living close enough to attend. So Vanessa decided to put her dance classes into an online course with Thinkific. So people could take lessons at their own leisure. Her online courses took her business to a new international level and they pretty much run themselves.
0 (12m 14s):
Not only that she started making thousands of new revenue every month hitting her financial targets and freeing up time to work more on her business. More than 50,000 entrepreneurs have already used Thinkific to build revenue and educate their students worldwide. Try Thinkific for free today at thinkific.com/e O F that's T H I N K I F I C.com/EOF. So Chris we're back and I want to get real detailed now, or I want to get specific on the, how, how can we train our team and scale our business to run and grow without being that one person that has to decide and direct and lead and manage everything.
0 (12m 55s):
Talk to us about that.
1 (12m 57s):
It can be tempting to micromanage. And what I've found is that when you're micromanaging, it's because you don't trust someone to get the results on. And so if you can effectively train someone and then you can trust them, then you don't have to pay attention to that thing anymore. And it opens up capacity for you to work on other things in your business. So if you want to get good at training and they're thereby scaling, the first thing is setting really clear expectations with the people that you hire. So we have a crystal clear hiring process that we go through, where we create a scorecard for all of the behaviors, the anti behaviors, the KPIs what's being expected of this role. So it starts with that scorecard from the minute that you bring on the new person, or even before during their interview.
1 (13m 39s):
Then once we hire someone, we take them, what's called it through, what's called a welcome interview. So a lot of companies might do exit interviews of what went wrong. We do a welcome interview of here's why you're here. Here's why we picked you. Why did you pick us? Let's get really aligned about what your purpose here is in the business. And then we set someone up for success with a 90 day plan. And we say, here's what you'll do in one week. And two weeks in one month, in two months, in three months. So that people have crystal clear expectations of what success looks like. And if you can set that framework, you don't have to micromanage people. They know what they've got to do to succeed. So the expectations are key. The next piece of training is kind of a mix of asynchronous and synchronous training or stuff they do on their own and stuff they do with you at the same time.
1 (14m 24s):
And so you want to not repeat yourself on all of the simple things, all the basic things that you're telling, every single new person that starts in your business. You want to get those documented first because that's, what's going to help you save yourself the most time. And you want to save the live interactions, the live trainings for those really specialized things that someone really has to participate on the call with you or shadow you. It's a mix of both to be successful. And then the third piece here is you only want to train people on. What's absolutely necessary to do their job at the time that they need to do it. So example here is imagine going to buy a car. And when you purchase the car, the sales rep takes you out to the delivery area and they say, Hey, let me change.
1 (15m 5s):
You show you how to change a tire. And let's, let's replace the oil and let's put windshield wiper fluid, and you'd be so annoyed that you couldn't just drive off the lot. But we often will do that to our employees where we're like, Hey, sit in this room for two weeks, learn everything about the business. And they're not really retaining anything. So you want to treat it like the car dealership, where you say here's how to program your phone. Here's how to unlock the car. Here's how to turn on the radio. And you're on your way, do the same thing with your employees. And you'll set them up for success in those shorter stints
0 (15m 36s):
Fire Nation. So many keys to think about here. Number one, are you setting the correct expectations? That's going to be K, are you documenting the repetitive tasks? First, those need to be the priority. That's going to save you the most time, energy and bandwidth of everything that you do. And then think about on-demand training. I mean, I just pictured when Chris was talking about that, sitting in a room for two weeks before you've even really started your work and your new job, and you're just getting hammered with everything. You're getting overwhelmed, you're getting stressed because you're just getting all of the information all at once through a fire hose. And it's going in weariness going out the other, because you're not actually taking that information and putting it into practice opposed to, Hey, this is what you need to know right now, when a future situation comes up, when we need to train you for that next thing, we have the on demand training for you, and you'll put it directly into practice and you'll learn in that moment in time.
0 (16m 33s):
You can see why that makes so much sense and allows you to train your team that will scale your business to both run and grow without having to be the traffic cop, always directing the traffic left right front center. Now we love secrets. Chris, here at Fire Nation. We love hearing the secrets, the tactics that tips, the tools that the people that are doing it at the top of the game are doing right now. So what secrets do the fastest growing companies know about scaling both people and processes.
1 (17m 9s):
So I consider myself super lucky because it train you all. We've got tens of thousands of businesses that are documenting their policies and processes, and we get to see what everyone's doing to be successful. We recently started our own podcast, fastest growing companies. And what we did was look at all those companies that are on the lists, you know, the Inc 500 lists and things like that. And we said behind that cool revenue growth, you know, the, the, the stuff everyone likes to talk about, what's all the messy people and operations stuff that you're doing in order to scale effectively and not just go out of your mind. And so it really comes down to a couple of key themes that people have, have succeeded at. And the first one is focus. So of all of the entrepreneurs, I've talked to so many of them, the vast majority of them have some kind of niche like I did in my video company, we did like figure skating videos and equestrian videos.
1 (17m 59s):
There's so many things you can do in video production, but we really narrowed it down. And that's when the companies really blew up. And it was the same with the people I interviewed, you know, a barefoot running shoes company, a sunglass mirrored sunglasses for beach goers, online videos for lawyers. It's just a real focus on a niche. And I think that's a key to being able to scale because when you have a narrow focus, you can create repeatable process. And so it's one of the things that unlocks process number two would be a real focus on building your people, building your culture intentionally, you know, a lot of the entrepreneurs I talked to said, we hired this person that didn't work out.
1 (18m 41s):
I had this early person that didn't work out. This hire was a disaster. I brought this person in. They almost destroyed the business. And so a huge focus on your values and your culture to find the right people and then setting them up with the right expectations. Like we talked about was a predominant theme through these interviews. And, you know, the, the department of labor says, if you mess this up, it costs 30% or more of someone's annual salary to replace a person. So it's a huge area of focus to find the right people. And then the third thing that the theme that came across was just an ability to delegate and empower others. So I talked to several founders that had replaced themselves with a CEO, or they found their right hand person.
1 (19m 23s):
That was really that integrator, where they could be the visionary. And I heard a lot of people say that, you know, the hardest thing in the business was delegating. Something I'm really good at because I like doing that thing. And that's the thing I started the business to do. And I think a lot of us get stuck there because it puts a ceiling on the ability we can grow if we just hold on to things forever. And so really learning how to delegate and delegating things first in the order that you're you're bad at, then the things you're okay at, then the things you're you're good at, but you don't like, and then finally delegating the things that you do like, but you just don't have time to do. That's how you scale a business. And so it's a journey, but it's a it's for sure.
0 (20m 5s):
Fire Nation focus, follow one course until success. You need to focus on building your culture intentionally. And that means being very clear and very intentional from day one and learn to let go of Fire Nation. There are things that I honestly enjoy doing that I've let go of. I've literally given to my team because I just know that my time is better spent elsewhere. And I'm only now doing the things that only I can do and everything else that can be delegated that can be outsourced to my team is, is that just frees up everything. It frees up my time, my mental bandwidth, my head space for other ideas and projects and things that I can and should be doing.
0 (20m 46s):
Now, Chris, I want to move into the last part of this interview. And that is what you've built over at train you all. I mean, we have a great partnership going on right now because we love, we know we like we trust your company. What you're doing, you are a featured sponsor of our show, and we're really excited to kind of have this ongoing conversation with you and just the promotion of train you as well. So that Fire Nation can take everything that we're talking about and use a service that was built specifically to implement these things. So break it down for us. What is train you will, and how can Fire Nation utilize that amazing service to implement these strategies?
0 (21m 28s):
We talked about here today.
1 (21m 30s):
Yes. So we love entrepreneurs and small business, and that's what this was built for, you know, to scale a business, to empower your people, to create consistency and repeatability of what you do. You do need to document the things that you do. You've got to write them down somewhere. And before I had our tool, I struggled to do this with Google docs and Evernote and random screen recordings that were saved on my desktop and here and there. And so we wanted to build a centralized place for all of your policies, your processes, your companies, orientation, your brand, your products, your services, your people, just what makes your business unique? The recipe, the instructions for your business, all in one place. And that's what train you all is. So we would love all of your listeners to check it out, try the free trial and even test out their own business with the, the documentation assessment we put together.
1 (22m 20s):
So a lot of entrepreneurs just don't know where they stand. They say, I don't know what I don't know. So we put together this guide, it's a 10 part guide where you can go through every area of your business and try to understand how mature your company is so that you have a checklist for your growth, a way a recipe for what you need to document. And you can get firstname.lastname@example.org backslash fire
0 (22m 42s):
By our nation. We would not be partnering with train you, or right now we would not be having Chris on the show right now, if we did not believe that this is going to directly benefit your life in your business. So please do take action on this. Take this call to action and visit, trainual.com/fire, trainual.com/fire. Start the journey of replacing yourself. And I'll tell you what Fire Nation, it will be the best move of your life because you're listening to this podcast because you want financial freedom because you want fulfillments. And you're going to get those things. When you learn how to replace yourself by using great tools and systems and services like train, you will offers.
0 (23m 28s):
So I want you to know Fire Nation, that you're the average of the five people you spend the most time with. And you've been hanging out with CR and JLD today. So please keep up the heats head over to eofire.com type Chris in the search bar to get the full show notes page listed out. The direct call to action is trainual.com/fire. And Chris, what is the one last value bomb takeaway you want to make sure Fire Nation gets before we say goodbye.
1 (23m 57s):
Well, I'd throw it back to the first thing I said. I realized in my company, which is if you don't stop doing the business, you will always be the business. So let's break past that together.
0 (24m 7s):
Break at Fire Nation. Thank you, Chris, for sharing your truth, knowledge, your value with Fire Nation today, for that, we salute your brother and we'll catch you on the flip side. Hey, Fire Nation today's value bomb. Kotlin was brought to you by Chris. And are you ready? Are you ready to rock your own podcasts while I have a free podcasting course for you? Where I teach you how to both create and launch your podcast for free visit FreePodcastCourse.com and I will catch you there, or I'll catch you on the flip side, ready to finally have repeatable, predictable and scalable operations for your business train. You all can help visit trainual.com/fire to take a guided 10 part business assessment to help you audit and plan your company documentation today, that's trainual.com/fire.
0 (24m 53s):
Fire Nation is time to stop trading time for money and start reaching more clients and making a bigger impact. And you can do just that with online courses, try Thinkific for free today at thinkific.com/EOF that's T H I N K I F I C.com/EOF.
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