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The Problem Isn't Their Paycheck | Grant Botma | Book Extract

Grant Botma debunks the assumption that money is the ultimate motivator to attract top talent

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Published 7 months ago on Dec 05, 2019 Read

In the United States, 87.7 percent of employees are not working up to their full potential

When you read that statistic, how do you feel?

Do you wonder if it's true? Are you curious how that number can be so high? That stat is almost unbelievable-but it's completely true. To get to that number, Deloitte surveyed three thousand US workers who worked at least thirty hours per week across fifteen different industries, at all different job levels from frontline sales to middle management to senior positions. This study was extremely comprehensive, so we can trust its accuracy.

Or do you not have to wonder if that number is correct? Do you already know that it's true? You can feel it, you know that most employees do not live up to their potential, because you see it every day. Maybe your first reaction was, "Yeah, I know. My team isn't living up to their potential, and as a result, I have to pick up the slack."

Maybe by this point, you're numb. You don't feel anything when you read that statistic because you're too tired to care. Whatever you feel-or don't feel-right now, the numbers don't lie. There are a shockingly high number of people going to work every day and not fulfilling their potential. But who cares, right? How does that affect you?

From a Burdensome Business...

When you have a team of people who are not living up to their potential, the joy you once had in owning a business dies.

You give your employees a job, you help provide for them and their families by giving them an income, and you're left wondering, Shouldn't they do better? Can't they do more? You're frustrated that they're not giving their best. And then, after investing so much time and energy into teaching those employees how to do their jobs, you get to the point where you depend on them-and they just leave.

Out of nowhere, seemingly on a whim, your employees can just say, "See you later," whenever they want. That hurts. It erodes your trust in people. After such a terrible experience hiring people who ultimately don't work out, who can blame you for saying, "I'm never doing that again!" You got burned.

And where does that leave you? You become an owner-operator instead of the owner. The entire business and all the daily operations depend on you. You literally cannot take a vacation. You have the money to do so, but if you even try, you can't go anywhere without being tied to your phone the entire trip.

You're profitable because you have a great business. You have a product or service that people need. You likely don't have a problem getting customers to pay you, but you have no idea how to scale your business. Externally, you appear successful. You're making money and you have ambitions-you know you should be doing more-but you can't because you don't have time. Every second is spent maintaining your current customer base and executing on existing business-instead of looking for ways to level up. This isn't what you wanted when you started your own business-and this isn't how you want to continue. Maybe you've even thought about selling the business just to get your life back. You've worked so hard...for what? You're tired of the hustle. Your family is tired, too. Your kids miss you, and your spouse wants you back. The business has gone from something you pursued together to a point of contention in all the relationships that matter most to you. You want to enjoy it again. You want to have your business be the provision that you always dreamed it would be. You want a lot of income, yes, but you want freedom, too. Free time-more time with your family-but also freedom to act on the ideas and creativity and entrepreneurial spirit that you have within you.

You want to get out of the daily operations. You want to stop selling. And you want to do the things you care about. You want to have a trusted team of people who support you and your business so you can grow and impact more people. With this in place, you will be acting on the most valuable ideas you have inside you. You see that other businesses are doing this. If they can do it, why can't you?

...To Joyful Jobs

Let me be very clear: you absolutely can do this, and I'm going to show you how.

I'll show you not only how to attract amazing people to build the team you want, but I'll also reveal a motivational hierarchy that exists within all of us-allowing you to retain these awesome people and get the most out of them. With this new framework for motivating your employees, you can experience the freedom of a business that is truly thriving. You can spend time doing the things that matter most to you. Your company can go to levels you never thought of before. You can achieve a level of growth you never expected, receive awards and accolades you didn't even know existed-all of which points to making more of an impact on your community than you ever imagined when you first started your business.

Instead of being told that you're successful, you can actually feel it. You have an overall sense of amazing gratitude for your team, your life, and everything that's brought you as far as you've come. You have a level of pride that you've never had before. You're proud of your success, and you are so proud of your team, but more importantly, you're proud of the huge impact you're making on people.

You will feel deeper joy and pride because there's so much substance behind it. And where does all this substance come from? Something as simple and straightforward as making a mindset shift in the way you motivate your employees. Creating a company culture where each and every person makes a difference. Building a business where people-including you can flourish. After making this paradigm shift, there's no way you would ever consider selling your business. Even when you retire, you may not get out of your business completely. Retirement, for you, might mean continuing to scale your team and your growth so that your role transitions into being an ambassador for the business. A person who comes into the office to give high fives and write checks. A leader on fire with the amazing impact being made on other people.

You'll find so much joy and meaning in doing what you were meant to do that it's what you want to do forever. You can even create a place that the people you love the most-your children can be a part of. Your business can go from being the burden it currently is to ultimately becoming your legacy.

How do I know all of this to be true? Because I'm living it!

Learning on the Job

Like most people who start their own businesses, nobody taught me how to be a CEO. I had to figure that out all on my own. You've likely been in the same position-trying to be the owner, operator, lead salesperson, janitor, even the IT person. Every area of your business is dependent on you, each and every day. My business was doing well enough; we provided a great service with a really great product and people were coming to us, so we didn't have a problem getting business. But I didn't know how to manage my tiny team-or how to attract more talent. I read conventional management books and tried to implement the techniques they offered. I looked back at what I had learned in college, earning a degree in business. I tried to recall all the traditional pieces of wisdom associated with being the boss.

And then one of my employees quit-at the time, that was a large percentage of my workforce land that hurt. I was forced to pick up the slack, and that required making major changes to my business. I started sleeping on a couch in my office.

I didn't go home for days in a row, just trying to serve as many customers as I could. They were coming in the door like crazy, which was awesome, but I felt terrible that I wasn't at home with my wife and our new babies. I had set out to provide an awesome service for my community while also providing for my family, but I just didn't have enough bandwidth. There wasn't enough of me.

After weeks of this, I said to myself, "I can't do it anymore. There's got to be a different way of running this business."

Fortunately, my family had a get-together around that time-one of the few I didn't miss because I was too busy working. My uncle listened to how I was doing and asked, "Grant, why did you start the business?

"To make an impact on people," I replied.

"Okay," he said, "but you can make only so much impact on your own. You need to replicate yourself. The more people you have working as extensions of you, the greater the impact you can have." "I get that, but I don't trust anybody to do it the way I do it." He said, "No one will do it the exact way you do-and that's okay. They just need to do it close enough to the way you do it. And you need to learn to trust people."

That conversation challenged me. I had to take a look in the mirror and evaluate my actions and my motives. I realized that the management books and the traditional way of leading people was wrong. It didn't align with my goals, and it was hurting my company culture. After that realization, I threw out all those management books. Instead of studying how to supervise people, I studied how people thought, why we do the things we do, and how we're motivated. I dedicated myself to better understanding how the human brain is wired, soaking up every book, magazine article, YouTube video, podcast, and scientific study about social science. In my own right, I became a behavioral scientist.

Armed with this knowledge and the desire to make a bigger impact than ever before, I did one of the hardest things I have ever done in my life: I hired four more people and decided I was done being customer-facing. I wasn't going to do the mortgages, insurance, or investments anymore-I was going to run the company. That journey was incredibly difficult, but it turned out to be one of the best things I've ever done. Sure, it allowed me to spend more time away from the office to be with my family, but it also allowed me to grow the company in ways I had previously only dreamed of. Now, when I am in the office, I'm working on the things I want to do rather than stuff I have to do. I'm doing things that allow us to scale, the things that are most valuable-to my team, my business, and our community.

Now, when I go on vacations, I leave my phone at the hotel. I don't make phone calls. I'm not saying they don't happen-they do; it's part of business--but I have a team of people handling those calls at the right moment. And the beautiful thing is that they now handle those calls better than I ever could. Their expertise, under my leadership, has created a team of people who are masters of their craft.