Are you sick of feeling like the only one who really moves the needle forward in your business is you? Would your life change if you had A-Players showing up in your business every day, ready to solve problems, take work off your plate, and innovate? What would it mean to you if you had so much trust in your team members that you could actually work 40 hours a week and then be present at home (and finally take time for yourself, your family, and your LIFE)? We talk with Dr. Sabrina Starling , the Business Psychologist and author of How to Hire the Best. Dr. Sabrina shares about her new book, The 4-Week Vacation: The Entrepreneur's Ultimate Guide to Taking Your Life Back from Your Business.
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Dana Dowdell 00:05
Russ Harlow 00:06
Hey, Dana, what's happening?
Dana Dowdell 00:08
Feels like we just did this.
Russ Harlow 00:10
I know, right? Because we have a repeat guest,
Dana Dowdell 00:14
We have a repeat guest. So if you've been a listener to the podcast for a long time, back in episode 33, we interviewed Dr. Sabrina Starling on How to Hire the best. And we adored her. And we invited her back to come and chat with us. So we are going to talk about the four week vacation. So welcome back to the podcast.
Dr. Sabrina Starling 00:37
Thank you, Dana. Thank you, Ross. I'm so happy to be back with you all. And you know, the the cool thing is, is if you know how to hire the best, then you are ready for the four week vacation.
Dana Dowdell 00:50
Yeah, I think this conversation is gonna be really timely because I desperately need a vacation. And we'll get into it. But before we start talking about it for anyone who hasn't listened to Episode 33, can you tell our listeners a little bit about yourself?
Dr. Sabrina Starling 01:05
Certainly. So I'm known as the business psychologist. And at tap the potential we work with entrepreneurs to take their lives back from their business. And just a real quick like remembering you through 20 years of history here real fast, I got my doctorate in psychology, and then I went to work in a community mental health clinic. And I got very burned out myself. And I looked at how can I repurpose my skills as a psychologist and get to work with people who are healthier and who want to make some forward movement in their life. So I went through coach training, and I started coaching and I, for whatever reason, the clients who sought me out the most for small business owners, and I noticed very early on number one, they were very, very busy working extremely long hours. And as a psychologist, I was like, oh, you can't do this, this is you're gonna burn out. And you're you're tearing yourself up mentally doing this. And so as I dug into it, I realized they were working that many hours, not because they wanted to, but they felt like they had to, and it was because they didn't have good team members. And so I would tell them, you need to get rid of these warm bodies, just fire them and hire some A players. And they would say to me, but Dr. Sabrina you don't understand we're in a small town, it's a rural area where small business owners, we just have to make do. And so that's when I really started digging in and trying to see what was out there to support small business owners with hiring a players and there wasn't anything at the time. And so that's how I came to write the How to Hire the best. The first How to Hire the best book is I interviewed small business owners who had a players on their teams. And I said, just tell me the story of how these A players came to be working for you. And it was through that, that I started to create a system around hiring because I saw what was working. And that's what I've written about in my head. I had best theories. But I never wanted to write books on hiring. That was never my intention. I wanted to help the small business owners take their lives back. So but I realized if I didn't solve the hiring problem, first, no one was going to listen to me about taking vacation. And that was that that used to be the conversation I would have all the time is you just need to take a vacation, you are tired, you're yelling at your team, you're, it's because you are so stressed. So go take some time off, and they would come back and tell me but I can't do it. So now we have not only do we have a solution as system for hiring a players and small businesses, we also have a system and a strategy for getting the business to the place where it can run without you, the business owner being there. And being able to do it for an extended period of time. So you the business owner can take a break and relax and recharge and be better.
Russ Harlow 03:45
Now I'll say still when I hear it, I think a four week vacation is a pipe dream. Yeah. And I know, I know, I'm not alone. But back as my inspiration. I set aside a four day vacation last year, and it was we're going to take baby steps, right. And last year we did family went away, we did no business. We just I rent for pleasure, which that's not anything I get to do and recharge a little bit. And it did make a difference. So how do we kind of get into that place? And how are some of the experience with the four week vacation going? Because I know that some people have made that commitment and done it.
Dr. Sabrina Starling 04:25
Oh, yes. And so I will tell you rest when I first threw down the four week vacation challenge to our clients at the breakthroughs retreat. I was I was scared because I thought people are going to resist this or they're going to think it's not possible. And so I it was a huge risk for me to make that challenge. But I also knew if I didn't challenge people, it wouldn't get done. Like it would never happen. And so when we saw people who had these these varied reactions, some business owners were like, Yes, I'm in I'm doing this and others were like, I can't even imagine taking two days off. How do I How do I go from that? And then you know all the varied reactions in between. And so for me my confidence in the tap the potential solution, which is what I detail in the book, before we vacation, it's the step by step of how do you go from being the one who's the bottleneck who's doing everything in the business, to get in your business where it can run without you. My confidence in that tap, that potential solution for creating that opportunity increases every single time we have someone successfully complete a four week vacation. And we have a slew a four week vacation Trailblazers now that we celebrate who have done this, I've done it repeatedly. So I know it works. And I think that's that, for me, that's what it's gonna take is one more business owner out there in the world taking a four week vacation, and others saying, hey, he did it, she did it. I can do this too. And it's just like any other thing that we do in our business that is new and different. It's a skill set. There's training involved, and there's baby steps at tap the potential, we say this all the time, small steps forward, taken in a consistent direction, lead to significant change in a short period of time, so long as you have that clear direction. And so getting back to how do I go from four days of vacation up to four weeks, it's small steps, you've done four days, you've done it successfully, schedule seven, keep increasing the amount until you get to the place where you can take the four week vacation. And the beautiful thing is, number one, when you schedule it, you create immediate accountability, because nobody takes away. Well, I shouldn't say nobody, hardly anybody takes a vacation by themselves, somebody is going with them. And that person is going to look forward to that vacation with you, and they're going to hold you accountable for taking that vacation. And then you tell them, I'm not just gonna take a vacation, I'm gonna fully unplug, I'm gonna leave my laptop at home, people that work aren't going to call me I'm turning my cell phone off, I'm not going to be on social media, I want to be fully present with you know, you have some strong accountability. And then you have to look at okay, when I was gone for four days, what fell through the cracks, what didn't work, what needed my attention, when I got back what piled up on my desk while I was gone, you get to work on putting systems in place and hiring team members to handle those issues. And so you do your seven day vacation, you look at what needs to happen for me to feel confident and being away for seven days. But those systems in place the team that you need, go take a seven day and then come back and look at what piled up what went wrong. And make your plan for your 10 day or your 12 day vacation next, get it on the calendar. And so every time you they take a vacation, it's a test of your business. And we need to be vacation testing our businesses continually. So the four week vacation isn't a once and done like, oh, I took a four week vacation three years ago, Hey, me, if you did that three years ago, and you haven't done it since something is wrong. And you're busy, because our businesses grow and evolve, we bring on new team members, team members leave you we add new systems, our sweetspot gets refined. And if we're not continually vacation testing our businesses, we are allowing a significant risk to exist in our business. And that risk is that the business is dependent on one individual, it might be you or it could be a key team member. And we need to make it so everyone on our team needs to be taking vacations. Because it's test every time they go out. Can the business function without this individual here? Is their cross training happening, our systems documented so that somebody can open up the computer and see here's this year the step by steps of how we do this when that other person isn't there.
Dana Dowdell 08:59
You mentioned the word bottleneck. And that's this the second time that we've talked that that's come up when we talked to Simon Severino a couple episodes ago, he was talking about how he recognized that he was the bottleneck of his business, and he basically just carved himself out of it. So And I imagine that some of you know the success of a four week vacation is starting with some self reflection to understand like how you might be the bottleneck. So what are some kind of symptoms of being a bottleneck in your business?
Dr. Sabrina Starling 09:32
The biggest one is when you come back from vacation, and there's a lot that's piled up that people weren't able to move projects forward. A lot of things are just hinging on you that came to a stop. Another big symptoms. sign that you are the bottleneck is feeling tired, feeling burned out feeling like you're running around playing the whack a mole game in the business like you put out this fire over here. And okay, now I need to go over here and put this fire out. You're the bottleneck, if you're the one, if there's all these fires happening, it's because you don't have enough time to attend properly to the higher level things that need to be happening in the business, what I call the $10,000 an hour activities to really solve the bigger underlying problems in the business. And another sign that you're the bottleneck is your team members asking you, hey, Ross, what do I do about this? Hey, Dana, I want your ideas. I need to handle this with this client. And I'm not quite sure how to proceed. What do you suggest? Okay, because they're not thinking on their own. You're thinking for them, you're the bottleneck, you're the thinking bottleneck.
Russ Harlow 10:45
And it's funny, you mentioned that list the chart of $10,000 activities, because it's hanging right here on my book board, next to me in my office. So what's interesting is, I think some of us don't want to let up control. Like, there's almost like a martyr syndrome. Like, I have to do this on myself, I can't rely on anyone else. Or maybe it just people honestly believe they're the only ones who can do it. How do we kind of break through some of that mentality or recognize it in ourselves, because I know there are people out there probably listening to feel that way. And start tearing those walls down.
Dr. Sabrina Starling 11:25
So let me explain a little bit about why this happens. And then I'll give you the hack for how to break through that. So why this happens is when we start our businesses, most of us bootstrap the business. And that means we're trying to get as much done as we can without paying anybody else to do it. So we can make some money. And so we learn that, we've got to get things done to save money. And so that's a big barrier that comes up often is if I hire someone to do it, the business becomes less profitable. And so that's why number one and the top, the potential solution is to design your business to be sustainably profitable, because you can't do the other pieces If your business isn't profitable. So the but the other thing is, is that we the things that we learn that make us successful, get us to a point in the business. And it's typically that point around 150,000 in revenue, up to 250,000 in revenue, going beyond that we can't do it on our own anymore. Like we just physically don't have the capacity. And so all the things, it's the classic case of what got you here to this level of success will not get you there, we cannot continue running our businesses in the same way to get to the next level of success. And this is why I say all the time, every business owner needs coaching. Because if you're not getting coached, you're staying stagnant at one level of success, and you have not tapped into the realm, the next realm. Because every time we go in and we make these major leaps in our businesses, it's always mindset, we always have to shift what we believe to be possible to get to those next levels in our business. And so the questions the hacks that get us out of doing it all ourselves and being the bottleneck is to say, who else might do this? How else might I get this done? And I one of the things that I did early on, when I was coaching business owners on this, I had one business owner who continually undermined himself, like he would say, yes, I want to delegate and yet, but as soon as he got the chance, he would jump in and do it himself. And I finally sat down, I said, You know what, imagine this, imagine you have to do your job. And he had a, he was a contractor. So it's very physical work, I said, Imagine you have to do your job with your hands tied behind your back. It's how you're going to get it done. And I said, that's how you have to go through every single day at work, your hands are tied behind your back, you can't just jump in and do it for your guys, you got to do it. So I have another business owner that just said to me the other day, I go to work now in my nice clothes and nice shoes, so I can't go out in the field. And so whatever it takes for you to quit jumping in, because that's a habit and we are creatures of habit. And when we're under stress, we're going to fall back into our old habits. So we could say to ourselves, I'm going to start delegating, I'm going to start coaching using a coach approach with my team and getting them to solve problems on their own. But then as soon as we're in a stressful situation, we're going to fall back into those old behaviors. So you start looking at what else can I put in place to be accountable to the type of leader I need to be so that my business can run without me?
Dana Dowdell 14:41
I know a lot of the hiring the best is is covered in that first book. What happens then when you have the best people what systems are you putting in place that really allow you to delegate and hold people accountable and ensure that the work still is getting done.
Dr. Sabrina Starling 15:01
So the first thing you have to get in place is in your own head, you have to be ready to go fast. Because a players are eager beaver's they want to learn, and they're going to bring your business to a level that it's never been at before. And you you have been trained by warm bodies on your team, just kind of just those things slow here, and we hang out. And we do a little bit. When you have a couple of a players, all of a sudden, it's like, wow, let's get some stuff done. And so you have to be ready to keep up the pace with them. And stay ahead of them. The systems that you put in place, you want to have a clear role chart, where team members are accountable for results. So each person in each role has a result that they are accountable for. This is results oriented, it's not about how many hours people are putting in, it's about are you delivering the results. And then you're coaching them on delivering their results, if they're not hitting their result, their key performance indicator, what's going on, what support do they need, and then you start moving from that to them doing their own problem solving when they're not hitting their key performance indicators. But it takes a little while to get to that point. Because, you know, when you transition from, you've never had key performance indicators before, you might periodically look at your profit and loss statement, probably look at it when you notice your bank account is low. That those are that's not how you run the business anymore. So you want to have a dashboard with five to seven key performance indicators that are predictive key performance indicators that let you know, if this number is low, two months from now, we're gonna have a problem over here and this key performance indicators. So they kind of follow the flow through the business. And once you have that dashboard in place, then you delegate those key performance indicators to leaders on your team. And one of the things that I noticed early on, as I was teaching business owners how to do these things with their team members. And then they would go on they would talk to their team members, and their team members would give them these blank looks like what do you mean key performance indicator? And what do you mean sweetspot of the business? What do you mean, what's profit. And so the business owners were struggling to explain all this to the team members. So one of the things we've done it to have potential is we've created a leadership bootcamp. And leadership bootcamp is for the A players on your team who have the potential to be leaders, they want to learn, they want to learn to think like the business owner, so it's a six week course, they go through leadership boot camp, they understand the sweet spot of the business, they understand profit. And they understand that each person on the team has a result that they're responsible for delivering. And they start to think about how do I bring my strengths. We haven't even talked about the psychology and all of this, but every one of us has unique strengths. And so the ideal thing is to have an A player on your team who aligns with your immutable laws, who's working in a role, that they get to use their strengths every day. So their strengths align with the result that they're responsible for. And that's where you get this incredible performance from the A players on your team. And so those who go through leadership boot camp, they come out with this understanding of this is what I'm here to do in this business, how do I support the business owner? And that's really lays the groundwork for those conversations to be happening around. Okay, weekly, we're meeting you have this key performance indicator, how are you doing with it? What support do you need? It keeps going from there. But the reason those key performance indicators are so important is your leadership team can monitor them in your absence, and make adjustments and keep things going while you're gone.
Dana Dowdell 18:56
So you have an A player, or you have what you think is an A player. And what if you give them the direction you put them through some type of leadership training. And they fail, does that mean that you then have a B player.
Dr. Sabrina Starling 19:14
So it really depends on what fail means. There's so many reasons that fail could happen, it could be that they're in the wrong role. They could be an A player, maybe they weren't a player in somebody else's business, and you hire them and they're not a good fit. They don't have the immutable laws. Maybe they're in a role that's not aligned with their strengths. One of the challenges we've had on the tap of potential team as we've grown is there's more things that are needed from us on the team that fall outside of the strengths of anybody on our team. And so that's why we've just heard two team members to take on those things that none of us are good at doing. And and so it's really about paying attention to what got in the way here. What what created this fail Your chances are, if you have a clear description of the role and what's expected and you have a good conversation with the team member about, I want to get you ready to move into this role, you both will be able to determine if it's a good fit to keep moving forward and training that person to be ready for that role. But if you don't have a good conversation about it, you just kind of put somebody in the role and cross your fingers. That's a setup for them not to succeed.
Russ Harlow 20:31
My curiosity starts with coming back to the four week vacation, because we're wanting to get away from our business. And we have to relinquish control of all of these things. And we have a players who are gonna have great ideas, like, we have to let go and say we don't have to have all of the great ideas. And we have to be open to our peoples, helping us build our business, because that's exactly what's happening when we have great players. You know, I think of as an example, my wife and I can't cook together, we can't be in the kitchen, because we'd like doing things our own way. And we don't like suggestions about doing it each other's way. So we don't cook together, unless I'm outside and she's inside. So but in our business, we can't be like that, we have to be able to work together and be open to those ideas. And that there's, so if you could speak to that, and that kind of mentality, I'd love to hear it.
Dr. Sabrina Starling 21:26
Yeah. So I'm gonna speak to it from the perspective of cooking together. So my husband loves to cook, and I, I'm a good cook, and I like cooking, okay. But I also have my own way of doing things, and he has his way of doing things. At this point, I've appreciated so much how someone cooks a meal for me and I get to enjoy it, I am more than happy to let him cook those meals for me. And it's the same way in our business, I had to get out of the way in the kitchen, I still get in there and cook every now and then. But for the most part, he makes the the dinners. And in the business, I had to get out of the way. And watch what the team cooks, and how good it is. And taste it and go, Oh my gosh, that's probably better than I would have done. I didn't have to put the effort in, I got to go do something else in the business that I really enjoy doing. So it really is those small steps and trying. So taking those small vacation step tests, is how you start to just try and experience how good it feels. When you are away and a problem comes up. The team didn't call you. They handled it. You hear about it when you come back to the office and they start off with this thing came up but it's handled. And then they tell you the story. And you're just and you're listening the whole story. And you're not with sitting there with bated breath going, when's the axe gonna fall? Because they've already told you the ending came out? And could you're just listening to how did they solve this problem. I'm curious how they solve this problem. And the thing about hiring these A players who have immutable laws that align with yours. And the reason that's so important, and the reason I hammer that home and the How to Hire the best series is that when something comes up in the business, and you're not around, there may be no policy or procedure for how to handle that crazy thing that came up. And if you have people on your team who have immutable laws that align with yours, you can trust that however they decide to handle that is you're going to feel good about it no matter what they did it and most likely, they're going to do something different than you would, but the way they went about it. And the ultimate outcome is something you feel good about because they're immutable laws, their core values align with your immutable laws.
Dana Dowdell 23:40
You mentioned leadership and kind of allowing people to flourish in their roles and the bottleneck component. And I think that there's a lot of people in my experience who think that they're good leaders, and they're not. And so then they start a business and they're micromanaging. And they're not holding their team accountable. And they are explosive and reactive. And so, you know, if somebody falls into that category, or maybe they just don't, they're not sure if they're a good leader, what are some things that they can do from a communication standpoint with their team to start kind of flexing that muscle?
Dr. Sabrina Starling 24:24
It's a really good question. So leadership is like anything else that we learn in life? It is a skill set. And the sign of a really good leader is is your team able to handle things in your absence? And are your team members growing in their own leadership? If your team members are not growing in their own leadership, you've got some skills that you need to learn as a leader. That's a sign that you've got more work to do, you're still evolving. And so one of the best places to start is to recognize that we tend to operate from judger the judger perspective that's Our human nature, it's our default when something goes wrong, we're going to say, Whose fault is it? You know, what did they do wrong? What did I do wrong and go hunting for the blame. And so we want to shift that. And we want to start getting curious when something goes wrong, be curious about it. Like, I wonder what happened here and operate from the perspective that whatever assumptions you're making in your head, there's a 70% chance those are wrong. So if we just start assuming that whatever assumptions we're making, there's a 70% chance we're wrong, we're going to always want to check and see, let's talk to the people who were involved in this situation. And let's be curious. And when we start to approach our team members, from the standpoint of curiosity, some amazing things happen. Number one, their defenses go down, they start to be more relaxed, they're much more likely to be open and honest with us about situations and what really happened. If we come from a place of judgment, they're going to shut down, they're not going to be honest, they're going to try to cover things up. And so that's one way that you can take an A player and turn them into a C player really quickly is to judge them and make them on edge and make them feel like they have to cover their tracks all the time. And so when you are coming from a place of curiosity, people relaxed around us, they become more open. And then you can ask questions. And through asking questions, from a place of curiosity, you're drawing out the situation, and you're becoming a thinking partner with your team member. And your job is to figure out what happened, what support do they need, and support them in correcting the situation? So whenever possible, don't just jump in and correct. Ask the questions and allow the team member to come up with the ideas for how to correct the situation and let them correct the situation and come back and tell you about it.
Russ Harlow 26:57
We have a lot to learn about ourselves. I think as we move through this process, can you talk Can you speak a little bit to about the timing of a four week vacation? Yeah, for me, it sounds like one, it's a great big goal to I can sure get recharged in that amount of time. But it's more than that, isn't it?
Dr. Sabrina Starling 27:17
Oh, there's, there's so much more. So first off the timing. If you are in a place where you have solid lead generation in your business, then you could take a four week vacation within 12 to 18 months, if you don't have solid lead generation, and don't recommend that you take a four week vacation, your business is just not ready for that. So it's a 12 to 18 month timeframe and you schedule those vacation tests. Whatever length of time you've been away, increase it. So if you've been away two days, go for four days. And once you've done four days, go to seven days, and then two weeks, and then three weeks and then build up to the four week vacation. The thing that really catches us by surprise is number one, when we think about having four weeks to ourselves, when we have been grinding it out. And working these really long hours. We can't even imagine what we would do to fill our time for four weeks. And then we go to, well, if they don't call me, and they don't text me, they don't need me who am I if I'm not the, you know, the hub of the business. And so there's all this identity work that comes along. It's kind of like that empty nest feeling when the kids leave the house. And all of a sudden after 20 something years, you're by yourself with your spouse, and you're looking at each other going like, what do we do with ourselves now? It's the same thing. And so this, it's this place of rediscovery and reconnecting with the things that interest you. That light you up, like Russ, you mentioned reading for pleasure, I that's a wonderful thing to do on a four week vacation. And I always tell people, if you can't imagine what you would do, just think about what you used to enjoy doing when you were a child. When I was a kid, I love to get on my bike and just ride my bike. And that was that was so much fun. And so if I, you know if I get bored, and I never get bored on a four wheeler patient, but if I were I would think about what I used to enjoy. And let me try some of those things that I used to enjoy.
Russ Harlow 29:16
Why is it important that our business can survive for weeks without us?
Dr. Sabrina Starling 29:21
Well, so many reasons. Then the number one reason we've all we've been through COVID. And we've we've seen business owners who had to shut down their businesses because they were out or they had a key team member who was out with COVID and it had a huge impact on the business. You have you have family members who are going to need you at some point I'm taking care of my parents. So I need my business to run without me so I can be there for them. My husband had surgery earlier this year. I took away from the business for several weeks to just be able to be there and take care of him. That those are the critical reasons because life happens and we never know when our businesses are going to have to run Without us and I, I want to emphasize it's not just about us, it's about our key team members. Most small business owners have a key team member that they rely on really, really hard. Something could happen to that key team member. So they need to be able to be out on vacation too, and things run without them. The other reason that we need our businesses to run without us is at some point, we want to transition our businesses selling our business, someone else stepping in, in the family, if it's a family based business, taking it over. If you don't have a business that has any value, if it relies on you to run like you won't be able to sell it, if that's your retirement plan, that is no retirement plan, you have to create a business that someone would view as an investment, and see that they can be well paid as both the owner of the business and someone who works in the business. So and this is where Profit First comes into place. Because Profit First sets it when you put that system in place in your business, you are paying yourself in two ways you pay yourself as the founder of the company, the entrepreneur, and then you also pay yourself as a key team member who works in the business. So when you have Profit First in place, and you have a business that can run without you for four weeks, you have a business, it's very attractive to a potential buyer, because there's profit, and there's owner's pay, and this business can run without the owner being there all the time. Wow, that's a great investment.
Dana Dowdell 31:25
Is there a sweet spot for like the number of a players before you start?
Dr. Sabrina Starling 31:30
Yea 100%, you want 100% A players on your team.
Dana Dowdell 31:37
No, I mean, like, you know, I'm just thinking of myself, you know, I've essentially one and a half or one and three quarters FTEs full time equivalents, you know, is there a kind of a sweet spot with the the number of employees or the volume of revenue that you're bringing in?
Dr. Sabrina Starling 31:51
Well, I will say that it's possible to take a four week vacation with one and a half FTEs, because I did that. It's not, it's not smooth. You know, in the relate to be able to take a four week vacation, you want money to come in new clients to come in, you want money to be collected bills to go out all the business functions that can happen with the support of like a virtual assistant, that it's really difficult. And, and so two to three team members, including yourself, can make a four week vacation happen. When you have four team members, all the better. And the more team that you have in leadership roles is really the key here is in leadership roles. Because when they're in leadership roles, they own their KPIs. And so that's where the vacation tests become so valuable because you're training your team members to pay attention to those KPIs in your absence.
Dana Dowdell 32:44
Do you have any wild success stories of people who have been able to take four week vacations?
Dr. Sabrina Starling 32:49
I think every four week vacation is a wild success story. And the reason I say that is because things go wrong. Inevitably things go wrong. And some of the big things that have impressed me the most are the people who've had taken a four week vacation and you know, a key team member resigned during the first week of their four week vacation. And they didn't give up, they came back and they said I'm going to try this again. You know, it didn't go smoothly the first time around. I'm gonna try it again. It was a vacation test. And I realized there's things that I need to improve. I think one of my favorite, it's so hard to come up with a favorite for vacation story. But I and I also have been to Honduras, but confidentiality, some like which ones have been shared publicly, that we can, we can speak about. So one of my favorites is Andy towards it. They started with us at tap the potential seed original combs. They started us with us attempt at potential just three years ago. They were experienced in business. They've had business experience before but this was a startup business. And they have gone from being in a place where they were doing it all themselves. They used to come to their coaching calls while they were working on site in the middle of winter. So they would sit in their trucks and they would come to their coaching calls with us and they were freezing like you could see the icicles in new beards. And but they showed up and they did the things and they were like just they were so coachable. And he Andy and his wife recently took their four week vacation. Their son Andrew, who's the CEO of the business is taking his four week vacation and just a few weeks and so they went from startup to in three years time. You know multiple people who are key in the business taking four week vacations. And so in one of Andrews comments to me it with respect to the work they did with us at tap the potential is you know, is a doctor Sabrina the money is great the profitability, all of that is wonderful. He's ever the thing that matters most is the extra time with the people I love the most. And so that That's what I always come back to is, you know, ultimately, we're here we're making businesses more profitable, but it's about the time for the people who matter the most. And that's what the four week vacation work is all about. It's not just taking a four week vacation and spending it with your family, it means that you can leave the business early on Fridays, you can turn your phone off at five o'clock and be fully present with your family, you can turn off on the weekends and be present with the people that you love. That's what this is all about.
Russ Harlow 35:30
And that's kind of really why that's what we dreamt about when we went into business. Right? Yeah, that kind of freedom. And then all of a sudden, we're held prisoner. I just Yes, thank you. Inspiring. Thank you. Where can people find more about you? And where can they learn about all of this?
Dr. Sabrina Starling 35:51
Yeah, so I want to share the four week vacation book is available on Amazon, so is the How to Hire the Best Book, our business is tap the potential. And that's where we take people through the tap the potential solution in our better business better life program. And a key outcome of that is the ability to take that four week vacation. So go to tap the potential.com to learn more about the work we do with business owners, and then a really good, like place to just like, what's the next step from here. And how do I get started with this is download my chart of $10,000 an hour activities that Russ has hanging on his wall, print it out, put it where you see it every single day, because what that chart does is it focuses you on your highest value contribution to the business and makes you painfully aware when you're doing the $10 and $50 an hour work in the business and it gets you thinking like I need to delegate this. And so when you download that chart, we have a three part training, and I just updated this a few months ago, there's a three part training that goes with how to make your time worth $10,000 an hour. So it's a great place for you to get started working towards a four week vacation.
Russ Harlow 37:04
And I highly recommend it because it just it highlights things and makes you think about them differently thinking this is something I shouldn't be doing. I should be doing these other things that are big ticket items that are helping me grow my business. And so we're gonna have that we'll share that in our show notes to make sure that people can find it. You also have a fantastic podcast profit by design, and the Facebook group. I'm a big fan and listener. I encourage people to check that out as well. Dr. Sabrina you just you're great. Thank you for being here and sharing with us and our listeners. Were just really appreciate you. You can find Dr. Spring at that. Tap the potential you can find our profit by design. And you can find us at it's just business podcast at all the places. Take some time. share this episode with somebody who needs to hear it. Maybe offer a view on either Spotify or on Apple. And it's not personal. It's just business