Step Aside Covid! 4 Lessons from the Most Disruptive Year of my Life
Updated: Jan 20
We always hear about how 2020, the year of Covid, was the most life altering year ever.
Despite 2020 being a year of a global pandemic, finding out I'd be a dad, and leaving the corporate world for good, 2022 has it beat.
The past 12 months was full of ups and downs (aka it was a damn roller coaster), but was easily the most transformational of my life and I can confidently say I'm an entirely different (and better) person than I was a year ago.
Let me set the stage for you...
January 1: I had some rentals and was building the early stages of a flipping company.
December 31: I didn't flip a single house but instead picked up a coaching client and bought a company in an industry I knew nothing about.
Through all of that I can point to 4 common threads and lessons that continued to manifest in different ways, and hopefully will help you as you grow yourself and your business (or future business!)
Let's dive in! (Click on the link if you'd like to jump to one in particular)
Creating culture is amazing
I started the year as a solo show, determined to build an amazing team.
In January I hit the ground running...I interviewed 7 people the second, and over the next few months proceeded to hire 11 people for various roles. Some full time, some part time, some virtual assistants, and some that didn't make it longer than a month.
But at the core of it all was 2 full time acquisition employees.
From the first onboarding day I preached values, systems, EOS, and culture. It was a learning curve for all of us, but it brought us closer together as a team.
The culminating point was when our offsite Q2 planning. Our review of Q1 was in depth, open, and honest. Our discussion about what we needed to fix and change was serious but not heavy. Our plans for Q2 were challenging but realistic. We anchored back to our long term goals and our values at every point.
My team's feedback from that meeting was outstanding, I was absolutely thrilled with what had happened, and by that point we would all run through walls for each other.
With my first employees I'd practiced "management by abdication" as Michael Gerber coined it in The E-Myth Revisited. This time around we did it right, and the culture that was established to start the year is one that I now want to create & replicate in each of my businesses.
Talk about fulfilling.
Did I mention the roller coaster went off the rails?
It turns out in order to have a company culture you need to have...wait for it...a company.
Without revenue, there is no company. At least not for very long.
Without a company, culture just means a group of paid friends.
That's why scorecards matter.
The team was incredible, but we weren't generating any income. In the 6 months we spent together we closed two deals - a wholesale land deal that brought in $6,000, and a horrible flip that I normally wouldn't have bought but wanted to get a win on the board for the team (as I write this we're under contract to sell in a couple weeks for a loss).
The crazy thing is we actually had scorecards...they were reviewed every week. But that's where I'd say I experienced my greatest failure to date as a business owner.
I took way too long to pivot when the strategy clearly wasn't working.
I was like a football coach. I kept calling run plays up the middle when it clearly wasn't working. While I'm making the team change cleats and work on footwork, everyone else is sitting at home and in the stands screaming "THROW THE DAMN BALL YOU IDIOT!!!"
I was forcing my team into a marketing approach that worked for others, but wasn't a good fit for them. By the time I tried to pivot and play to their strengths, we were already too far behind and it was too late.
The scorecard matters. And when the scorecard shows red, you HAVE to evaluate why it is that way and how to change it.
That's where the first pivot came from, but we'll get to that later.
Keep a scorecard, and pay attention to the damn thing.
Invest in Myself
This is the prinary reason 2022 was so transformational. I'd never truly invested in myself outside of self led books and podcasts until the past year.
I went from nothing to in 2022
Dedicating 120+ hours to 1:1 or small group coaching
Traveling to 3 different life changing conferences/events
Countless hours on accountability and mastermind calls
Investing the equivalent of a healthy down payment into myself
When you spend that much time around other high caliber people, including personalized coaching, radical transformation is inevitable (if you put in the work).
As a result of doing the work I got clear on my values, my vision, the control I have over my life, where I feel light, and where I feel heavy.
I became more present. I became more intentional about making a difference today. I became more intentional about living my life on purpose now, rather than waiting for a future that isn't guaranteed.
I learned how to listen to myself. I learned my own catalysts for growth and success. I learned how to live with more urgency. I learned what's important. I learned how to play bigger. And I certainly learned some tactics along the way.
Most relevant to many of you, I discovered that my true passion and purpose lies in helping, educating, and coaching others. The various aspects of business are exciting to me, but my true passion is in sharing that with others. Which is why the year culminated in a decision to take on more coaching clients (book a call if you're interested!)
I didn't invest in a ton of deals this year, but I invested in myself and the ROI is unquantifiable.
It's the most important investment I've ever made (besides my wife and daughter of course!)
Pivot! And if Necessary, Pivot Again!
When shit hit the fan with the flipping business, it was time to pivot.
The financial stressors and the lack of progress was tugging at me (to put it lightly), and finally a challenge from a coach kicked my ass over the edge to pivot.
I was challenged to play bigger.
At the time, bigger was commercial real estate because it was a known path.
A few steps into that path I was introduced to the possibility of business acquisition, and I knew that was where I truly needed to pivot. To use the teachings of Jason Drees, I was pursuing the known (real estate) but open to the unknown (business acquisition).
I was introduced to the idea in late June, and by September 1 I had purchased a business. Turns out I had one more pivot in me for the year though!
That one came at the end of the year when I realized my true passion wasn't in real estate, or business acquisition, or any particular industry. I find those exciting, and will certainly continue them, but my passion lies in sharing my story and coaching others.
This is why investing in myself was paramount.
In the past these pivots would be negative. I'd call them "shiny object syndrome", and probably double down on a failing flipping business because I needed to "remain committed".
Investing in myself gave me the confidence and awareness to do what was best for me rather than what I was conditioned to do.
Don't be afraid to pivot!
Each lesson came up multiple times last year, and will continue to be critical in 2023. My new business has struggled a little because I haven't established the culture, and because I haven't implemented an effective scorecard. Continual investment in myself allowed me to pivot at each point, and will be every bit as important in the coming year.
These four things made for an extremely disruptive 2022.
What about you?
Do you relate to any of my lessons from the past year? Did you have any major disruptions and lessons of your own?
Leave a comment and share yours! And better yet, share it on Instagram and tag @investdgp!
Which lesson resonates most with you?
- Create culture
- Scorecards matter
- Invest in yourself
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