Regain Your Time With Phil Burch
Podcast by Clarence Fisher
regain your time

About This Episode

In this episode, Clarence Fisher talks with Phil Burch about how to regain your time and be intentional about what you're trying to get done at work and what you're trying to get done in your life.

Inside you'll learn:

  • The first step to time management.
  • How to intentionally manage your work and life.
  • The most common myths and misconceptions about getting things done.

It's a big mindset shift. If you feel like you are being run by your day, this episode is for you. Listen now!

Disclaimer: The transcription below is provided for your convenience. Please excuse any mistakes that the automated service made in translation.

Clarence Fisher: Welcome back. That is the worst. Welcome back intro that I probably heard. And that's go with the, with the original,

Clarence Fisher: Welcome back to Local Market Monopoly. My name is Clarence Fisher. I'm your host. And today we will help you regain your time with a good friend and business advisor that I have reached out to for years was so instrumental in helping me get through so many roadblocks and obstacles from early on when I started my business. And I'm so happy that he accepted the invitation to speak with you today and give you some pointers on regaining time. Hold on. We'll be right back with feeling.

: You're listening to Local Market Monopoly with Clarence Fisher. I'm covering the tools, tactics and strategies the most successful small businesses use their local market and own the block.

Clarence & Phil: All right. Phil welcome to the show, man. Thank you. Thank you. It's great to be here, man. You are somebody that I have always known that it's just, I don't know if it's a, if it's a like real or just my perception, but you like stay ready. Like you're always ready. Well, I try to be the best part of my business background, I guess, through all the different industries and upturns and downturns.
One thing I've learned is that tomorrow is going to be different. So you may as well be ready for the change. One of the things that we met some years ago, and one of the things, you know, I would always like to do lunch with you, just like on a personal note, I would always like to do laundry you because of your worldview. And then also you've, uh, you know, I would be new in business and stressing out over everything. And you always like have the perfect thing to, to say and almost like, realize you've been there before. You've, um, you know, everything that I brought to you, like, you know, you've already, you've already been there, but you started, you didn't start with just this, this business mine. Did you, or like, was anybody in your family, a business person, the closest thing to a business person? They were, my father was a farmer.

Phil Burch: My mother at one time owned a grocery store. That was a business, but it really wasn't. My, my thought I grew up in a small town in Northeastern, Oklahoma to work was to be on a farm or to be in that

Phil Burch: environment. I was ready to go to college and wanting to be an engineer from early on. So that was kind of, uh, nothing really about business at the time. I thought maybe engineering would lead to some business-related endeavors. Never really was in the idea of owning my own business until, you know, many years later, when I realized that that's what a particularly the Tulsa market is all about.

Clarence Fisher: And then, and I guess I jumped to that because that's the way that I've known you is helping businesses out, helping business people out and especially young entrepreneur, younger entrepreneurs like myself. And you know, I've been fortunate enough to share some meals with you and, and lay my concerns and you've helped me out. So Birch and associates is where you're at. What, where do you doing? How do you help your clients now?

Phil Burch: Well, it all comes together with the eye contact and my experiences. Um, I have about 2000 business contacts. I have been indifferent networking organizations, managing executives, the international and national association of corporate treasures association of financial professionals, chamber of commerce, mastermind groups, and better business groups, just a long list. And throughout all of those years, and my connections, I have been able to make friends with many very astute professionals just like yourself. And I called all those, my associates. So as I am contacted, or someone has a problem, or somebody has an opportunity, it's kind of like, uh, you know, they say, you want to surround yourself with good people. If you're in a management position and that's what I've done, I've surrounded myself with good people. And I think that we can take on, you know, almost any problem that comes along or any opportunity, right?

Clarence Fisher: So when we're talking about today, we're talking about helping, helping people regain their time. What does that mean? What does that mean to you?

Phil Burch: Well, you can't really manage time, and it was 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You can't really do much to alter that, but you can manage your own activities, and you can manage to look for the things like the 80 20 rule. There are things in your life that create 80% of the problems, and there are things in your lives that create 80% of the opportunities. And in your business, you need to identify those. And when you identify those, then we can focus. That's one of the big issues that many people can't figure out how to focus. They can list a long list of problems and tell you all the bad things that happened yesterday, but they have real trouble focusing on solving those things one at a time. So gaining time is, I said, the analogy is walking into my garage periodically. I have to go in and I have to take everything out and I have to reorganize it, throw away all the things that are distractions away, the things that I don't need anymore. And your business is like that too. Once you get that your garage back in the shape that you know where everything is at, you're not looking for things you're not wasting time. You've already fixed the things that needed to be fixed. Then you have more time. Your life is just much more efficient.

Clarence Fisher: Do you find that even if you do the work and that happens, that a lot of people, especially maybe business owners, entrepreneurs, it feel like they need to fill that time with something else to where it doesn't quite stay that way. And then there's this kind of cycle of, of, okay. Everything seems to be working. So let me go and start something else. Or is that an issue?

Phil Burch: Well, I guess it's a, I wouldn't call it an issue. It's something you see all the time. And I've seen that over and over again in my career where we would have a, especially policies and procedures. I don't know how many times I've written policies and procedures. And we fill notebooks with diagrams and charts, and everybody agrees that these are the steps we're going to take. And maybe that lasts six months, maybe that lasts a year, but people don't continue to do it unless you have some mechanism in place to go back and reiterate those. And this, one of the things I tried to do it with some of my clients as we come up with a solution to a problem is don't back off. Don't let your activities change that got you to that solution. Reiterate those. It's like staying in shape. And as you know, you've gone through different programs and have lost weight.

Phil Burch: It doesn't just, it just doesn't stay off by itself. You gotta keep working at it. You gotta keep doing the same things that you were doing in that process. Business owners often there's so many fires that come up that they try to put out. And even when they come up with an improvement in their company, they really struggle avoiding looking for those fires. So there's part of a mindset that needs to be changed. And that is I'm going to stop putting out fires. There are some fires that have to be put out, but I'm going to really focus on getting myself in shape my company and shape. And of that's going to be the number one goal is to stay on track.

Phil Burch: And then what do you do with that? With the time that you've regained,

Phil Burch: You look for other places to improve and you spend your time on those. You spend your time on growth. You spend your time on training. That's a big thing. Training is huge. More time you can spend on training. You're going to leverage that improvement throughout your organization,

Clarence Fisher: Right? So when we talk about time management and that's kind of an, it's been around forever and, uh, and did all types of different ways, and maybe we're not talking about specifically like time management, but when we step out and we say, Hey, things are kind of crazy. I am working from sun up to pass on down, not really holding on to relationships. Maybe, you know, I'm just kind of giving it all to the business, but I sit back and I say, all right, things need to change and I'm going to change it. What are some of the biggest myths that, that you've seen when it comes to implementing time management strategies?

Phil Burch: Well, biggest myths. I think some of the myths have to do with not trusting advisors. Some people's say, I think I can do this myself. You know, the advisor doesn't know any, anything about my business. How can he help? I had a previous experience with, uh, a page, somebody for coming in and giving me advice and it wasn't worth the paper that was handed to me. So people get into the mindset of, uh, you can't find good advice. Uh, and that's, that's a miss. There are many, many good advisors, coaches, mentors, and example of a book that was written on, uh, improvements. And that they looked at people who were really excelling in everything. I can't remember the name of the book, but it was written by someone who worked for the Neilson organization. He was here, he'll lecture several years ago, but his point was that people who are successful in doing what they're doing, really focus on their strengths and they don't focus on their weaknesses, businesses and business owners, many times focus too much on their weaknesses thinking that that is going to solve the problem. And it really doesn't. That's a miss. We really need to focus on the strengths that you have leverage those back to what I said earlier about the 80 20 rule. That's true. There's 80% of the things that are a distraction. You need to get rid of those and find the 20% of the things that you are really good at and stick with it. Why is that

Clarence Fisher: So difficult to do is say, it seems really easy to say it, and it seems like it will be enjoyable, right? To just focus on what I'm, what I'm strong at. But even myself, I find myself saying, you know, instead of finding someone else to totally take that on, I still kind of keep my toe in it. Like why, why is it so difficult?

Phil Burch: Well, for me personally, it's somewhat of a perfectionist attitude that I come in to deal with things. I think that, uh, you know, if I was a painter, I would never make any money because I want everything so perfect that I just keep looking at it and working on it and making it better and our lives, I think we're just not very good at being our own doctors. We think we know too much where we want to make too many improvements and it's hard to stand back and look at just the things that need to be done. It's harder. People refer to the, a mile high look at, as yourself as hard to do. It's hard to step back far enough to see just the important things

Clarence Fisher: You talk about. The, you mentioned that perfectionism, one of the most difficult things, and that I see with some of my clients and you know, me myself is when you start growing is really being okay that someone else gets it 80, 85% of the way that I would have done it. And we handle a bit more. But especially in technology, I mean, he gets to the point to where, you know, where I'm at, where let's say someone is working on a website, for instance. And the last time I physically logged in to the back of a WordPress may have been six months ago because I've handed that off. And then I say, Hey, I'm going to jump back in there. And the whole backhand has changed. So, which is a good thing, right? I've hired someone that's that has fun doing what I would work at doing in the beginning. But there's still that draw of you need me, I guess

Clarence Fisher: When that's, you know, that's really not the case. I think it's, those are building blocks. You've created a building block. You have somebody that can do that, but you still need to go back and check on that building block to make sure it's still in the right place. And it's still doing what it needs to do. And you're also because one of the areas that is so difficult to the areas, which are so difficult for businesses, small business, number one is employees. Number two is customer, right? I mean, those are, those are where your problems come from most of the time. And so you've created a building block that is an employee that is capable of doing something, but even enough time, that employee is going to bring you a problem. And so you have to be constantly monitoring and understanding your people at a very intense level, to be able to support them, a lecture that whenever that happens, then you're able to handle it.

Phil Burch: Whether or not it's something is personalized, something in there, they want to leave. They're going to get married. You know, something that'll happen, but you've gotta be on top of that. And that's another area of saving time is investing that monitoring of your employees and even monitoring of your customers, knowing somewhat about what they're going to be doing six months from now. And they're still going to be with you. If you're ahead of the game and getting some kind of feedback, then it's not a calamity at that time where the employee leaves or they has another offer, whatever reason the customer left purchased today's world. The big issue we have is with companies that are going out of business because of the pandemic, they, their businesses have been dramatically reduced. I have a place where I get my car worked on and people aren't driving as much. They are at home. Maybe they'll want to do something with their own car, whatever reason. And this guy's business was down about 25% from where it's been and they're reduced their hours. So that means that they don't have quite as much cash flow to be able to do the things that they were doing and that it was going to be a big problem. I think over the next two to three years, I don't think we're going to recover as quickly as some of them, I think it's going to be extended.

Clarence Fisher: So how do you sell? Okay, so a kind of a two-pronged question. I mean, there are a lot of businesses really hurting right now. So when you, when you talk about the, say this, this mechanic, this auto shop, and, you know, can you really, do you, do you get into a, try to regain time mindset? Do you stay in that mindset, or is this like a hustle? You know this is just a pandemic question, I guess. Or do you get into that hustle again, like you were maybe in the beginning and you're just, you're really just trying to, to grow? How do you approach that right now?

Phil Burch: Well, you have to decide if it is a problem or an opportunity. Some cases, business owners have been doing the same thing for a long time and they were doing well, but sometimes they're looking for something else. So some of the conversations I've had with people is, is now it's time for you to sell your business. You know, the interesting part about Tulsa is that 90% of the workers in the private sector, not hospitals, not schools of government, but 90% have worked for companies that have a hundred or fewer employees. So we have a huge number of small businesses, and a lot of them are owned by people who are approaching retirement age. And some of the ones that, uh, you know, may have been impacted by this, co-winner saying, you know, I'm really, I don't want to do this again. I think now might be the time to sell my business. It's still a viable business. It's just not the same way before. So that's the kind of questions where people are talking about and they want this, this event has happened now, am I going to try to just stick with it and continue what I've done in the past, maybe at a little bit different volume, or do I see this as an opportunity for me to step into something little different passes on to an employee? What are my options for my future?

Clarence Fisher: That's great. I'm saying that I'm seeing that too. Uh, we've been we've, we've done pretty well, I guess just from, just from being visible for so many years, that a couple of agencies that have closed have reached out and we've been able to help them by offloading some clients it's been that exact same conversation. Like you're saying, Hey, I've been doing this for 10 years. We're going to do something else.

Phil Burch: And likewise there, the pandemic has created an opportunity for companies to have friends that are in the sanitation business, suddenly their businesses booming. So there's psyching now, you know, what do we do? We try to add other locations, do we, our money to expand money's cheap? What wonder, what are all of our options? Now that we have an opportunity at the same time, you have to be very cautious about having more business than you can handle. There was a several years ago, there was a bank in Tulsa that because it was in a very favorable position because of, uh, interest rates suddenly come back down from pies that they were, and they were offering a very good position to offer low-interest loans. And they just exceeded their capacity. They weren't able to process all their loans. And, uh, they actually went through a pretty bad sign because they had created so much business that they couldn't handle it internally.

Clarence Fisher: That's a good point to make as well. So if going back to the regaining of time and then stepping back and okay, trusting the advice that I'm getting from a business advisor like yourself, but then also realizing that I'm going to have to kind of not be so involved in every single thing for me some year, a few years ago, it was a really big, it was really difficult for me to take the time to focus on SOP standard operating procedures, just because of the slowdown that it took to do that. And I just could not see taking that time. But like you said, the more time, the more people that came on the, and it was just this really crazy feeling. Like the more people that came on, the more I felt like we were going to go out of business,

Phil Burch: That is not an uncommon feeling. Last company I was with, we went from about 25 employees to over 400, over a few years. And, uh, and we were constantly trying to catch up because we were growing so fast. And, uh, it got to the point where we look forward to some kind of a slow down in the industry. This is energy again. So we look forward to some kind of a slow down because we needed to catch up and get all the fix, all the problems that we had just pushed over to the side that happens in all sizes of businesses. That's kind of refreshing

Clarence Fisher: To hear. Cause when the, when the pandemic first started in about March, at least where we're at about March, when things started kind of shutting down for a minute, that first couple of months was kind of a breather. So, Hey, let's, you know, let's catch up, let's catch up, let's catch up. But then also at that same time, you have the clients that you do have that needed more attention because nobody knows what's coming, what's going on, but how does a person get past the, how does a business owner get past the fear, the fears of saying, Hey, I want to regain more of my time. Maybe this thing has become, it's not as fun anymore or, or growing or supporting my life, how I want it, want it to. So I realized there's a problem. And I realized, I need to take some steps, but how do you get past those,

: Those fears? Well, I had a CFO give me some advice. At one point when I was going through a particularly tough time, he was a, we were both CFOs were different organizations and he had been through a pretty severe event with the sec. And, uh, you sort of just remember, they can't eat you. So what's the worst thing that could happen. And I thought, you know, they're right. That even if, even if you have a some catastrophe, you're still going to be here tomorrow and you're still going to have to deal with it. So let's just take life a little slower, a little bit simple. Let's pick out one problem at a time. How do we deal with that? Let's pick out one feeling. The feeling is I, you know, I'm kind of bored with doing that. Let's figure out a vision. What can we, what can we do to create a vision and a path?

Phil Burch: And just having that conversation with people many times will reveal something that they've thought about and thought about, but didn't want to talk about it too much. But when they start talking about it and they start talking about what they want to be doing 10 years from now, and the question is, well, there's really why what's keeping you from doing it. And like you said, it's easy to get in that day to day routine. You go back and you get up and you go to work and you make your phone calls, you're doing your emails and then you have fires to put out and then you're exhausted at the end of the day. And you go home, you get up the next morning and you go do the same thing. And if you allow yourself to stay in that without having a vision, it's a pretty tough road.

Clarence Fisher: So what do you think that is some of the mistakes that people make on the road to trying to, to regain this time on own?

Phil Burch: I think the, one of the biggest mistakes is that they have this concept, that on your cell more somehow that's going to create more time cause I'll have more profits. And, uh, you know, typically that doesn't work that way. There's something called the cash conversion cycle, where you look at the cash, the working capital, what you're creating is you're growing, you're needing more and more cash, and it will be like being on a treadmill if you gotta keep running faster, cause things are speeding up. That's one of the biggest mistakes I think if people aren't prepared for Rapids and having, knowing when to borrow money is, is critical in a process like that. A lot of people don't have a good financial background on that or in business. And I think that when I think of financial background, they think about somebody who's keeping the books or somebody who's recording the financial statements and understanding the cash flow of the organization. I think a weakness that's many people have, you know, I've seen some people that operate basically they are, their bookkeeping system is their checkbook. And that actually is a pretty good system for many people because they're not going to allow themselves to get into trouble. They really can't. That's not a system that you can use to grow very fast or expand, but it is a system that will keep you out of trouble. And for many people, that is what they need.

Clarence Fisher: That's that last thing you said about that financial literacy is something that I struggled with for a while, because it just seems like so many of us kind of stumble into business, right? We were a technician, you know, the, you know, you're a tech and you work for a company, or you did this thing. And then all of a sudden, you know, you get,

Clarence Fisher: You get the,

Clarence Fisher: I thought of what if, and then next thing you know, I've, it was a, it was a cartoon that I saw or a little meme that I saw once that explains it to me is like seeing an entrepreneur is like watching a person riding a tiger. Like you watching a guy riding a tiger. And everybody that's looking as saying, Hey, look how courageous is. Uh, you know how brave he is. He's just riding that tire like that. And then if you go to the mind of the person riding the tiger, they're like, how did I get up this tiger

Phil Burch: Scared.

Clarence Fisher: All right. I gotta do. I keep from getting eaten. So somewhere down the line, I realized, okay, it didn't have to be too smart to get into the business, but I'm going to have to start learning some things in order to stay in business. And one of the things I just reached back and I grabbed this book how to read a financial report for managers, entrepreneurs, and then there's lawyers and investors by Johnny Tracy. And, you know, I thought, I feel, I was like, this is ridiculous that I don't know how to do this, but just like you said, I mean, my concentration was always earned more, sell it and provide the product, but then it starts getting kind of tasks consumed or was it growth, consumes cash. These are some of the things that I've just learned personally, but just speaking to what you're saying. Yeah. And I know we personally, I've had all these problems still struggle with them.

Phil Burch: Yeah. I would say that probably 90% of the clients that I've worked with. So over the past few years, there's been a revelation. Every time I sit down, I go through their financial statements with them and I ask them all these questions. They invariably, there is something that they had never noticed or that they didn't understand. And it's just, it's a simple process that, and I think about the companies that I've worked for large companies, where we had dozens of financial analysts, that's all they did all day long, was analyze the financial data that was coming out of the system. And it was important. I gave feedback. We were able to make adjustments. We were able to make improvements because we knew all of those things were going on. So even a small company, somebody, the owner, the person who is ultimately responsible needs to be able to have a conversation with someone about their financial statements on a regular basis.

Phil Burch: It needs to happen every month, if not every week for 15 minutes. And that's we, we ask that this has an introduction to some of the things we talked about. Whether or not you're trying to sell a business, buy a business, you can't figure out why you don't have any money. You can't figure out how to handle a problem. You've lost a major customer in a given month. Every business is going to have their issues to deal with and not knowing what your financial position is or the impact is a big detriment to try to continue to, because back the time you're gonna be spinning lots and tons of time and hours trying to figure it out, how you got into the problem. This doesn't really help anything. And then you're going to find, try to figure out who to blame for the problem, which doesn't have anything. And then eventually you'll get around to trying to make some changes. All that is time that could have been avoided. If you had a better eye on the ball of the position of your company,

Clarence Fisher: Who is that? I like when you said, um, all of this could be avoided because I, I go back to when you said people who think that, Hey, I hired a coach or consultant or an advisor before, and we didn't get anything out of it. What do you think are some of the other obstacles that keep business owners from hiring a business consultant? Like you?

Phil Burch: I think one of the things that we like to do is to get away from this concept of just paying an hourly rate for somebody to come in and listen to your, talk to you. What we try to do as you do as well is to put together some kind of a project and say, if we solve this problem, what is it? What is it worth? We can tell you how much time we think it will take to solve the problem. Maybe it's your, maybe it's your insurance costs, or is gone at a site and you're spending twice as much as you were last year. You wouldn't want us to come in and help you take a look at that. And maybe you're paying $40,000 a year in insurance. And so we would say, well, if we can figure out a way to get your costs down to say 30,000 a year, and if we can spend the time to do that, maybe, maybe we will charge you half of that savings $5,000, but we will, we won't, we won't take anything unless we're able to get it down to that amount.

Phil Burch: So coming up with the right incentive for the client and the consultant as a medium ground, where both people trust each other, that the other person has the interest of both parties to make this happen. That's what you want me. If you could find that, and it's a pretty easy sell, right? I've noticed that even in construction business, we have a company that we, um, we asked for a 50% deposit upfront. One of the things that we have found is that once we get, we use that 50% of the body of material. So we have covered that. So the risk on day one is that the customer hands me a check and we disappear, but no, we're not going to do that. And we never did it like that, but we go buy the materials. Now we come in, and we do the work.

Phil Burch: Now the risk is all on me because I'm waiting to get paid. So the beginning, the risk was, was the customer. Now until we got the materials, then the risk was back in balance. And then the risks went back on me. So in a situation in a consulting situation, if you can get to that point where you're balancing the risk and both people are looking to site, I can't wait till this is finished because the client is saying, we're going to have a superior result. We're going to have savings. And I'm going to say, and we have completed another project. Do you think to that point, I think is, um, is much better than a relationship where you come in and say, well, I'll take a look at it and you pay me a hundred dollars an hour. And, um, and maybe we'll find something that's difficult business-consulting operation.

Clarence Fisher: That was great. That was great. So can you, can you show, well, I guess that that was a con, that was an example of there kind of, of how you've helped. One of your clients overcome these obstacles that they're facing and kind of succeed. Can you give me a story of maybe, maybe somebody that you, but you don't have to mention names, but that you've helped them overcome this obstacle of time and, and getting that back?

Phil Burch: Yeah, there's it company that I've worked with, and they were growing, just figure out why they were generating more cash. Or we came in and we created a weekly cash meeting and we had a cash forecast. So we were doing a weekly cash forecast to show them what they could look out for next week. And then we would have a review at the end of the week to see if that they were on track. And from that, they were able to figure out, okay, well, this project's over here not doing what we've been wasting a lot of time with this particular product and service. So let's eliminate that, let's focus on this other progress. And so just having that information, we were able to rearrange things, business operating Jenner, the cashflow was more obvious. And, um, I think they were able to eliminate a couple of employees in the process, which is wasn't to go, but it did, uh, save, uh, the activities that they were doing so that the company time would say

Clarence Fisher: Weekly cash forecast. I had to write that down. So what inspired you to do that?

Phil Burch: Yes. I have been involved with a lot of organizations and, uh, I've been in consulting when I was an engineer and I always enjoyed solving problems and helping problems. Engineering background is, uh, trains you on how to solve problems. And they, when you're solving problems, it's like in my world is like creating something. It's like creating a piece of art it's going in and creating something. It's like, I have done remodeling in my own homes. And because I have enjoyed seeing that transformation. And over the past few years, I've had probably 20, 25 different people who have said, can you help this person bankers, that I've known insurance, people that have known business, uh, business brokers. He said, you know, I think they just need to sit down and talk to you. And so after I get to the point where I left my last employer, trying to figure it out, someone suggested to me, he said, well, why don't you just do what you've been doing all this time, except stop doing it for free. And I said, well, I hadn't thought about that, but that's probably a good idea. Cause I, I really liked doing that and worthwhile in my, you know, I still have involvement with nonprofits. I have some really passionate interests with nonprofits. So I'm doing that for free with my church. But being able to do this for a living, I think is the best of all worlds. You are really good at it too. I appreciate.

Clarence Fisher: Can you share a lesson that maybe you learned early on? And this is one of those things of why I really like to feel the time is like, is there, what's a lesson that you learned early on that still impacts how you

Phil Burch: Right now? The one that I cannot shake is, uh, I was an intern at a Whirlpool in Fayetteville, Arkansas during one of my engineering years. And I was working with a couple of guys and I thought I was understanding how to be a good engineer. And I was following what they were doing and I was doing the same things and we spent time together on breaks and we'd go to lunch together. And so at the end of the summer, I had a review and my supervisor said, you know, I just a little good word. I was just a little disappointed. It said that you, you, weren't more eager to do new things. And weren't involved more at a, you know, helping come up with new ideas and suggestions. And I'm thinking, wait a minute. I saw I did exactly what I was supposed to do. I did exactly what all these other people were doing in your shop. And so the lesson to me was I will never ever look at somebody else and say, I want to be just, I want to be the leader. I want to be the guy who was creating division. I want to be the guy who's making the decisions. And I have never been able to get over that good or bad, but that highest haunted me, that one little criticism of trying to be like my peers and not trying to be by myself.

Clarence Fisher: So great. How many of us concentrate so much on,

Phil Burch: Yeah, that's right. You have to be aware of what your competitors doing, but you don't have, you know, you have your substance set, your self apart. I was, uh, got a little bit familiar with the real estate market. Someone I knew was in the market and, uh, you know, she was doing a terrific job. She was rookie of the year and, and we were looking at her finances and as rookie of the year, I think she netted about, you know, less than $30,000 a year. And she was in the top 10% of, Oh, wow. Wow. And I started looking at this, it's kind of like, you know, the NBA, you got one half of 1% of the basketball players in the world that are making all the money that's equal to what everybody else did. So in that profession and in most professions, we seem to only somehow we only see the people that are really successful the 1% and we think, well, I'll just be like the 1%, okay. I'll I can do that in a couple of years. And we have this misconception that it's a lot easier than it is. So I think that, uh, that if you look too much, spend too much time looking at the people that you think are doing well, you're missing the point of figuring out what the other 99% are doing. They're keeping them down.

Clarence Fisher: That's good. So,, in closing, what is, so what do you think that is the most important question that a small business owner should ask themselves? If, if they're considering what you share today, if they, if they need to make that move to regain more time,

Phil Burch: Most important question. I think asking them, what is the one thing that you could focus on? I would ask what's the one thing you can focus on for September and let's do it. Let's put together a plan. Keep it simple. And what do I need to accomplish that? Getting that first win is huge. And then they can see, all right, well maybe if I can get one, maybe I can find someone to come in and help me find a consultant to come on or take this problem. And this problem. And maybe by the end of the year, we'll have solved six problems. And now we have a plan. Now we have a focus. Now we have a future to it. So the first step is focusing on one problem-solving.

Clarence Fisher: Okay. So focus on one, one problem. Do I write down a whole bunch of problems and then pull out one? Or do I just pull the first that I've, that's probably been on my mind for sure?

Phil Burch: Right? It's probably been on your mind forever. Didn't want it. Didn't want to tackle everybody in the company knows about it. And sometimes it's maybe an individual, you know, a relationship needs to be handled and you're letting yourself down letting your company down because it's, hasn't been handled.

Clarence Fisher: Yeah. And that's a whole other thing I've got probably 10 things that I could probably have you back on and we can focus on that one thing, but let's say that. Okay. So we've got, we've got some momentum going, I've done that thing and now I'm ready to consider having an advisor come in. So what's the most important thing that I need to ask. I need to, well, maybe the thing that I need to consider when I'm evaluating business consultants.

Phil Burch: Oh, it's important that you do a face to face interview. When you sit down and you talk to each other and you understand what your values are and something about the individual or your styles compatible. I talked to someone, Oh, a couple of months ago about, uh, an assignment. And after I did some research, I found out that this person did not have a very good record on some issues. And I said, you know, I, that's not compatible for me that the client needs to be asked in the same thing about the consultant, do some research on his background, Google check-in LinkedIn, what's, what's this person connected to what are they, what are their values? And then come up. Like I said, with a concept of what the scope of this work is, and let's not guess say we need to solve a bunch of problems. Let's narrow it down. Let's step into one step at a time. When I was doing engineering consulting, we had phase one, phase two, and phase three. So let's start with phase one. That's just identifying what the project, what the problems are, identifying, what the building is going to look like, and unifying what our financial review is going to look like. Let's just start with one step.

Clarence Fisher: Excellent. And so how does, how does someone get home?

Phil Burch: And they can, uh, find me on LinkedIn. My email addresses right now is [email protected]. We're in the process of setting up our website. And so LinkedIn is probably the easiest one.

Clarence Fisher: Okay, great. And I'll put that link in the show notes, any, any last words for our people that are in the audience. And I know they can connect with so much of what you said, I guess, I guess the only thing to it is to do it at this point.

Phil Burch: That is right. And the small business world is just a wonderful fun world. I have met so many people, you know, I didn't comment earlier about this, but when I was trying to get back to Tulsa several years ago, I was working in Houston and a was with a large company. And I was looking at an opportunity to come back. And there were very, very few companies that I would fit because they weren't that many big companies in Tulsa anymore. And I was thinking about kids who used to play Nintendo in my living room at night, and now they all had their own companies. And a couple of them live in huge mansions. I've done somewhere. And I was thinking the other wasn't there something I didn't learn about making money. When I went through the MBA program at University of Utah, they don't really teach you enough about the entrepreneurial world. At least they didn't when I went through it. But I would say that what I have discovered and the people and the attitudes and the motivation and watching people, this is their small business in their life. And just associating with those people, uh, has been very inspiring, a lot of fun. And you just meet, uh, wonderful, successful people every day. So it's just a great environment. I would encourage any college graduate to take a look at a small business versus a corporate ladder.

Clarence Fisher: Yes. Well, thank you for your time here. I'm glad that you are doing this as a profession so that I can not feel bad about sending people your way. Excellent. So thank you, sir. And, uh, I'll let you go and I really appreciate you stopping by.


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Episode 20: The Ultimate Business And Personal Brand Photo Shoot With Mike Tedford