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How agency leaders should handle big ideas

Most agency owners are full of ideas. Some of those ideas are truly audacious and require significant investment of time and/or money.

Do you toss out these big ideas because of the potential risk? Do you run full steam ahead despite the consequences because the reward could be so great?

In this episode of the Small Agency Talk Show, Brad Farris of Anchor Advisors joins Chip Griffin of SAGA to talk about how agency leaders should handle all of the ideas that they have so that they maximize opportunity without bouncing in a different direction every day.

Resources

Key takeaways

  • Chip Griffin: “If you’re going to succeed, you have to be willing to fail. So that means that not every crazy idea is going to turn into a golden goose.”
  • Brad Farris: “The skill that you need to develop to be good at being a CEO is learning how to change things at a pace that your team can keep up with. If you change too quickly, you have chaos. If you change too slowly, you have decay.”
  • Chip Griffin: “One of the things that investors will often tell you is, ask me for advice and I’ll give you money, ask for money, and I’ll give you advice.”
  • Brad Farris: “I’ve actually said to clients, Man, I’m amazed. It’s incredible how you have hired every incompetent person in the marketplace. That’s an amazing process that you’ve built there.”

The following is a computer-generated transcript. Please listen to the audio to confirm accuracy.

Chip Griffin: Hello and welcome to another episode of the Small Agency Talk Show. I’m your host, Chip Griffin, the founder of SAGA, the Small Agency Growth Alliance. I am delighted as always to have a regular panelist, a good guy, a creative guy, an insightful guy, and hopefully someone who will remember the advice that he gives Brad Farris of Anchor Advisors. Welcome to the show, Brad.

Brad Farris: Thanks, Chip. I’m so excited to be here.

Chip Griffin: I, I am excited to have you here. We’re gonna be talking about crazy ideas today, something that I have no shortage of, so it will be an interesting conversation. It is something that you wrote about recently, even though I had to remind you that you had written about it recently.

Brad Farris: It’s true. I found it though.

Chip Griffin: You, you found what you said. So it’s good that we’ll be able to talk about, something that you’ve now refreshed your recollection about, but, but as I said in the pre-show, I will throw myself under the bus here. I frequently look at my Feedly feeds and I see a headline and I’m like, oh, that sounds like an interesting topic, only to realize it’s an article I wrote or a podcast I just recorded.

So, it is what it is, and I’m sure I will do it with this show next week when it shows up in my feed and it says, agencies and crazy ideas, I’ll be like, oh yeah, that’s interesting. Let me… Oh, right. That was me and Brad. So in any case, that is what we’re gonna talk about. But before we jump into that, Brad, tell folks a little bit about yourself if they’ve been under a rock and have not seen you on this show before.

Brad Farris: I am a coach for agency founders who want to build their leadership capacity. And so if you’re in that million to 3 million kind of range, and just realize that you are the bottleneck in your agency, I’m the one to help you with that. And so you can find out more about me at anchoradvisors.com.

Chip Griffin: So you eliminate the bottlenecks, you get rid of the owners.

Brad Farris: That’s … I, I remove them as the bottleneck, but they’re still there.

Chip Griffin: Okay. So you remove the bottleneck, not the owner. I guess that makes more sense. It’s probably better for business that way. . Yeah. In any case. All right. Well, so we’re gonna be talking about crazy ideas today. Yes. And, and this is something, I dunno, do, do you wanna share the quote that inspired you to write about this?

Brad Farris: Yeah, I, I came across this quote a couple weeks ago. Kaihan Krippendorff said that “great ideas don’t die in the market. They die in the shower. People are too scared to pursue them because they appear crazy.” And that got me really thinking about how many times I get an inspiration or, or even sometimes I just sense a desire in myself to do something, to, to change something in my business or to launch a new effort and before I even get back to my desk to write it down.

I’ve already put together a whole list of reasons why this isn’t gonna work and I don’t have time for it. And, and it never even makes it to the point where I start evaluating it on its own merits. And so the, that, watching that thought process that you know, debate with the peanut gallery in my head just got me thinking about what if I brought more of those ideas forward, and what would I do with them if I brought them forward?

Chip Griffin: So, let me understand. You’re talking about having crazy conversations with yourself in the shower. That’s definitely, that’s the sum total of of, of where we’re at now. . Okay. . So, ha, happy Friday everybody. . Good.

Brad Farris: Are you telling me that you don’t have crazy conversations with yourself in the shower?

Chip Griffin: I, I am not talking about my time in the shower at all on this show because I would like to maintain a few listeners as well as my dignity.

Brad Farris: Maybe it’s driving, maybe it’s taking the dog for a walk.

You know, there are those times where our, our idea generators are more active.

Chip Griffin: Absolutely. And look, I mean I, you know, and I’m sure you see this as well, but in, in my work with agency owners, they have lots of crazy ideas wherever they get them. Right. And, and not just crazy ideas. They have a lot of ideas, right.

And I think part of the challenge is making sure that you don’t throw out an idea because you think it’s crazy, but also trying to figure out how you can take advantage of all these ideas without spreading yourself too thin, going in a million different directions. And I think that’s the probably the biggest challenge that most agency owners have, because it’s not that they don’t have ideas, it’s that they don’t know which ones to pursue and how to pursue them.

Brad Farris: And, and I, what I would like to do, if it’s okay with you, is to start off by thinking about the ideas first and then think about how do we then integrate them into the agency without screwing up the whole agency? Because we’ve all done that .

Chip Griffin: So we, we can easily run things off the tracks if we just start charging down the idea path.

Right?

Brad Farris: So, so when we get these ideas especially the crazy ones it, it occurs to me, I, there was a book that I read that called The Conquest of Cool that was about how ideas move from the fringes of society to the center of society, and, and that oftentimes the things that are on the fringes actually only need to change a little bit in order to become mainstream.

But there’s something that’s keeping them on the fringes, and then they make a slight change to it and it becomes mainstream. And so I, I think of these ideas in that context that oftentimes I come up with an idea that feels really crazy. Like I, I don’t even know if I could do this, but only a few changes to it.

Make it something that actually is a great idea and could really move my business forward. And so holding onto those ideas in the crazy stage and letting them gestate a little bit, letting them giving a little bit of time before we let the critics in. Just what’s going on there? What am I thinking? What, what, why am I even having that idea?

What’s the problem I’m trying to solve? And what would happen if I just did this crazy thing? I’m not saying do it just like give it some time to grow in your brain before you start killing it. Do you, is that a process that you go through? Chip?

Chip Griffin: Well, let me ask you this. Is there a difference between a crazy idea and outside the box thinking?

Brad Farris: Hmm.

I mean, they’re on a spectrum, right? I, I don’t think there’s really a, a, a difference in my mind, I, I’m thinking about those things. To me, the crazy idea is the thing that scares you when you start, when you start to say it right, and outside the box thinking maybe it’s not scaring you but you, but it’s probably scaring everybody else, right?

Chip Griffin: So give me an example then of, of, of what a crazy idea for an agency might be. What is, what, you know, what sort of rises to that threshold in your mind that, you know, puts you down this path of having to figure out how to handle it versus just a regular old run of the mill idea that you have?

Brad Farris: So I can, I can use an example that actually came out of work with a client.

One of my clients came to me and she said, . You know, we’ve been selling creative services, but I think we create more value for our clients in the strategic work that we do. What if we sold strategic retainers that had no creative services as a part of ’em? We’re just there to help people to think about how they’re expressing themselves in the marketplace.

And we just sold that. And if we did that, creative ideas would come out of it. There would be execution that we could sell on a project basis later. But what if we just sold our strategy? And this was something that was really exciting to her. She could feel that this was putting her more into her zone of genius.

The thing that she’s really great at. But it was threatening to a lot of people that are in the rest of the organization because they get paid for doing creative execution. So does that, does that make sense as like a crazy idea?

Chip Griffin: It does. I mean, I, on that particular example, you know, and, and I don’t wanna go too far down the rabbit hole of discussing a specific one, but, you know, I, I, if I had a nickel for every agency owner who wanted to sell strategy versus execution I could simply retire and not provide any more advice, right?

Because virtually every agency owner wants to go down that path. There’s a difference between wanting to do that and it being feasible to do that, and I think that’s part of evaluating crazy ideas, trying to figure out how you take that idea and perhaps modify it or take the inspiration from it to get where you want to go.

Yes. Even though in its purest form, maybe it’s not the best idea.

Brad Farris: Well, and so what we’re hearing here already is what happens in the shower is that we start saying, I don’t know how I would do that. Would people really pay for it? Would it mess up my positioning? What am I gonna do with all this creative talent that I have?

So we start building up all these reasons why that idea should never see the light of day. But in fact, if we hold back on that criticism for a minute and just let that idea go forward. Well, would we look more like a consulting firm? What, how do consulting firms sell their strategy and their thinking?

you know, if we changed our positioning so that we weren’t selling creative, but we were selling ideas that might have a creative execution, well, there are some big agencies that have actually been successful at that. Profit is, is one that did, did a great job making that repositioning. And so like walking down that a little bit more and, and the question that I start asking is like, what assets do we have?

What things do are we already doing that are pushing us in that direction? The idea isn’t coming up out of nowhere. , there’s something in the ground or in the air that’s kind of leading us in that direction. And so what assets do I have that could help, that help me make that more successful?

Chip Griffin: Well, and, and, and the thinking that I’ve walked through is, is one of the reasons why some of the most successful entrepreneurs tend to be younger and less experienced because they don’t know what all the obstacles are.

They don’t, they haven’t seen what doesn’t work, and so they’re much more willing to, you know, to, to try things. That’s right.. And, and if you’re going to succeed, you have to be willing to fail. So that means that not every crazy idea is going to turn into a golden goose. Some of them are gonna turn into, you know, stinky sulfuric eggs,

Brad Farris: So there’s two great things right there. The first one is that anything that we want to get good at, we have to be lousy at first. And so, If, if, if, like for this one client, if the first time she proposed a strategy assignment, it was difficult and it took more time than she thought it was and it wasn’t super profitable, does that mean she should never do it again?

Well, no. There’s probably a learning curve here if this is, if this is a direction that she wants to take, she’s gonna have to be willing to be lousy at it. And particularly when, when you have an agency that’s been going for a few years, going back to the feeling of being lousy at something is hard. It feels terrible, right?

I mean, I launched a new cohort this month and every time I do that I’m like, I don’t know if this is gonna work. I don’t know if these people are gonna gel. I don’t know what to say to ’em. And, and so that in that first cohort meeting I had all those weird feelings like, you know, like I was going to a high school dance or something.

Right? And I get there, and it was fine and everybody had a great time and, and they got tons of value out of it, but I have to get over that feeling in order to get to that point where I’m delivering value to people.

Chip Griffin: Well, first of all, Brad, I would suggest you do not go to a high school dance now.

Brad Farris: No, it’d be creepy, wouldn’t it?

Chip Griffin: That that would be, that would be creepy for sure. So.

But, but no, you and, and you know, if you’re not already subscribed to, to Brad’s email list, you should, because you also wrote about fear recently. And what you’re really talking about here is that fear creeping in and holding you back from the crazy ideas.

But I, I particularly like what you said when you wrote about crazy ideas, when you, when you really explained to folks that it’s not, you know, it’s not a binary no. Or all in. Yes. There’s, there is that spectrum of, you know, Can you test it? Can you, can you try it? You know, if you’re, if you’re thinking about going the strategic route, don’t just throw out all of your engagements and say, I’m going a hundred percent full bore into strategy.

Try it. Test the market, see if the market’s interested. See if you can actually deliver the results that you’re promising and then you can maybe gradually move down that path instead of just saying you know what? We’re changing our whole business model effective today, which I’ve seen a lot of business owners do.

They just walk in, they got that crazy idea in the shower and they fully embraced it. Walked into the next staff meeting, and the staff is like, what?

Brad Farris: So let’s talk about that direction, then come back to the testing because okay, I do think you’re right. Well, a lot of you didn’t become a founder because you had an overabundance of caution.

Right? And, and once you’ve had a little bit of success, For myself, I’ll, I’ll say I trust my own intuition. I trust my own ideas. And so when I have a really great idea and I start flushing out my head, I’m, I’m ready to move. I wanna execute, I wanna do this thing, right? And so we jump in with both feet and the rest of our organization’s like, wait a minute, two months ago your idea was going left and now your idea is going right.

And you know, I don’t even know what we’re doing anymore. Right. And so what I conf when I, what I tell my clients is that in a, in a larger organization, an organization of 10 or more at, let’s say the CEO’s job is always gonna be to break things like you’re a visionary. You see things in the marketplace that need to be addressed.

You need to create change because for you as the ceo, stagnation is death, right? But your team, for them keeping everything the same is joy, right? Because they have predictable results. They know what they’re good at, they know what their role is. And so there’s a tension there between the CEO who wants to change things and the team that doesn’t want to change anything.

And the skill that you need to develop to be good at being a CEO is learning how to change things at a pace that your team can keep up with. If you change too quickly, you have chaos. If you change too slowly, you have decay. And so there’s a, there’s a right level of change that is a skill that you as a CEO need to develop is how much change can I introduce before I create chaos behind me?

Chip Griffin: And, and ideally, you want someone on your team who is the anchor that keeps you grounded, shall we say. Yeah. And, and I, I had a, a former team member of mine who used to describe it as, as there was a rubber band. And my job was, as the CEO, was to, to stretch that rubber band out as far as it would go. And his job was to, to hold the other end, you know, to keep it from just, you know, flying off into the stratosphere. And, and so if you’ve got that kind of dynamic, then you can be in a solid place to, to push the envelope. But, you know, you don’t wanna be in that situation where you’re changing strategy constantly within the business because then you need to hand out Dramamine at your staff meetings.

And, and that’s not a, that is not a good place to be. It is not. And, and I have, I have fallen into that trap at various points in my career because I just, I don’t have a shortage of ideas. The other thing that you need to think about is, and this doesn’t matter what size you are. If you have a great idea and you’re gonna test that great idea and you’re gonna move towards that great idea, you have to start saying no to something you’re already doing.

That’s true, because there is a finite amount of time that you and your team have available. And so if you’re pursuing a new idea, You must cut back on something else. You cannot simply keep adding to the pile because if you do that, that’s where you end up with morale problems, execution problems, and your new idea even may fail because it’s starved for the resources it needs.

Brad Farris: The, the last corporate job I had before I went on, on my own, this, the, the owner had a little ADD kind of thing going on. He had a lot of ideas. The CEO. Every time the owner told him, Hey, let’s do this thing, the CEO would say, great idea, boss. And put it in a folder. And if that idea came back a second time, then he knew he had to do something with it.

right? So he just ignored all the first requests. And then the second time someone mentioned it, then he’d go back and say, okay, so if you want us to pursue this, which of these other things we’re pursuing do you want us to stop pursuing? And that was kind of the negotiation that you’re talking about with that rubber band.

Someone who’s gonna say no to the CEO is really critical to kind of keeping that cohesion and, and momentum together.

Chip Griffin: Right. And, and, and, you know, As ideas percolate up, it’s, it is helpful to, to think about then in, in terms of, did I think about it a second time or a third time? Mm-hmm, you know, so sometimes it is, it is okay to let them lie for a little bit.

Yes. And marinate. Yes. You, you don’t have to have the good idea and then accept or reject right away, or even start testing. Maybe you just kind of tuck it into the back of your mind and when it, when it crops back up again. This is in fact how I used to do things when I oversaw a software company that I owned, and so I would always tell the team, don’t build a list of requested features.

Yes, I don’t want you to do that. because when you do that, then you start, you know, putting together a recipe based on all sorts of random stuff. Instead work off of what do you keep hearing? And if you sit down and you say, okay, what features should we work on? And it doesn’t come top of mind. It hasn’t been mentioned enough to make it worthwhile to include in the ultimate product.

Brad Farris: That’s a great filter. That’s really great.

Chip Griffin: And so you can do the same thing with yourself. In fact, I used to. Way back when I used to have a folder, it said ideas on it, and every time I had an idea I would throw it in there and I stopped doing that because I realized that there was no shortage of those.

I mean, literally every day I could sit down and come up with 10 ideas for new businesses, products, services, marketing tactics, whatever. But instead, it had to be something that just kind of stuck with me and kept coming up in my mind.

Brad Farris: When I first started writing my newsletter, I, I was afraid of running out of ideas, so I would create this content ideas folder, and when it had like 400 ideas in it, I thought, this is ludicrous.

I’m never, you know, I don’t need a content ideas folder. I’m never running out of content. And so, I think it’s still there. I, I bet I’ve written some of those, but whatever. It’s, it, it’s the things that keep coming up. That’s, that’s what comes to the fore. And so when these crazy ideas come up, we’re incubating ’em.

We’re thinking about what problem am I trying to solve? What am I seeing that this crazy idea might help me meet? And, and we’re kind of pulling that together. Is this something that keeps coming up? Is this something that, that is sort of a persistent need or desire that we’re seeing. And then instead of coming into the staff meeting like, Hey, hard bright turn, we’re going in this direction.

The question I always want to ask myself is, what is the smallest step that I could take in that direction? What is, what is something really tiny that I could do that helps me to see? Because oftentimes until I’m doing it, I don’t know if it’s really something that I want to do, and so I wanna start doing it, but in the smallest way that I can possibly do it.

So, for instance, one of the things that I recommend to clients is you want to test out some new positioning or some new direction. Rewrite your LinkedIn page, just put it on your LinkedIn page, and then do some outreach to people and see how they respond. Nobody cares what’s on your LinkedIn page. You can rewrite your LinkedIn page every week, but that’s a really small step that helps you to move the idea forward.

Chip Griffin: Yeah. And it, and it’s a, it’s a good way to start getting real world feedback on it. Because I see a lot of folks who will, who will just talk to someone and say, Hey, do, what do you think of this idea? A lot of people say, oh, that sounds like a good idea. . That’s different than putting it out, actually putting it out into the marketplace and saying, this is our positioning. Or this is a service that we’re offering. And see if people are actually interested because there’s a big difference between someone saying, yeah, that sounds like a good idea. And saying, yes, I will give you money for that. Yes or yes, I will have a more in-depth conversation. Yeah. About that.

Brad Farris: The another phrase that I say often is, you should have more conversations with people that can hire you.

And so if you want to go in a different direction, find some people that you think might buy that thing and just go have a conversation with them. And I’m fond of starting it out by saying, look, I have nothing to sell you. This is not a sales conversation. I just want to understand how you see this problem.

Like is this a problem that you see? And when you see it, what was going on right before that? And when, when that was happening, who did you think of to call to help you solve that problem? Who was in the room already? What were the things that you were looking for in a solution, and so having those kind of jobs to be done, conversation about that, that really original, like what’s driving these actions helps to flesh out what it is that we would have to have in order to meet that need.

Chip Griffin: Yeah. I mean, I, I used to do a lot of work in the tech startup venture capital world, and you know, one of the things that investors will often tell you is, ask me for advice and I’ll give you money, ask for money, and I’ll give you advice. And, and, and so I encourage agency owners who are by and large, uncomfortable with the sales process to go out and ask questions to learn, yes, to get advice.

Yes. Put the people that you’re talking to up on a pedestal as an expert in their industry or something like that, and try to get their perspective. Some of those will turn into business because the questions that you’re asking also demonstrate your expertise, your interests, and and how you might be a fit.

So, you know, not every conversation with a prospect should be framed as as getting advice, but it can be a good way to, to start opening the doors to more conversations, particularly with people that you’ve never talked to before.

Brad Farris: Yeah, I agree a hundred percent. Even if you’re just doing lead generation for your existing services, sometimes a great way to do that is to, is to do some original research just to go out and have a survey and at the end of the survey say, Hey, are you willing to talk to me on the phone about these questions?

And get those people on the phone and ask them questions about the thing that it is that you do. And in my experience, about two out of five of those will hire you, or at least they will ask you to, to have a sales conversation.

Chip Griffin: And it’s, yeah, and it, it’s one of the reasons why I’m a big proponent of podcasts and interview series on blogs and those kinds of things, because it’s a great way to open doors.

And it, it doesn’t necessarily have to be with someone who’s directly a prospect. It could be someone who is in the same orbit and so can make referrals. But if you prop someone up and you say, Hey, I want to hear from you. I wanna learn from you. They’re much more likely to say yes than if you call ’em up and say, Hey, I wanna tell you about my business because I want you to buy, or I want you to refer me to someone else.

Most of us are like, okay, no, I, I don’t want to do that. But, but, but if you tell me I’m an expert, , I will pop in front of the camera Absolutely. And put the microphone on. You know, you, you, you give me a camera or microphone, Brad, and get outta the way. . .

Brad Farris: So Chip, going back to that key skill of breaking things only as fast as your team can, can fix them and put them in in motion.

What are some things that you look at in an agency to, to say, Hey, boss, you need to slow this down, or no, I think your team is ready for some change. Like what are the indicators there that are sort of this, the, the, the dials on the dashboard that tell you that you’re either changing too fast or you’re not changing fast enough.

Chip Griffin: So I, I mean, a, a couple of things. So the, you know, one of the things that I look at is I try to look at best case, worst case scenarios, when you’re making decisions. So, you know, what’s, what’s the best thing that could happen if we continue down this path? Mm-hmm. . What’s the worst thing that could and I should say realistically, the worst thing, cuz people are very good at coming up with all short shows, disaster scenario, doom and gloom, doomsday scenarios.

And that’s, that’s not helpful.

Brad Farris: It’s super funny how, how much harder it is to come up with best case than worst case. Yes. Like, like it’s a, it’s a weird human brain thing. Right?

Chip Griffin: Right. But it, but it is important to think about. Okay. I mean, let’s say that this idea that we have, let’s say it, it really does come to fruition.

What does that mean? Yeah. And sometimes the idea that, that seems great. You sit there and say, oh, well, that, that’s probably not gonna actually generate much revenue, because even if I did that with a thousand, yeah. That’s not the, the numbers aren’t there. Exactly. I mean, it’s a cool idea, but it’s not necessarily a great idea.

Right on. On. The flip side of that, you know, thinking through what’s the worst case, and that’s one of the reasons why breaking things down into component parts can be helpful because if you change your entire agency positioning and you throw out your existing engagements, okay, a lot of bad things can happen.

right? I mean, that could be an existential crisis for the business, but if you offer it up to someone as a, a service that you’re, you’re, you’re providing and see if they will buy it. Okay? Your worst case is that they say no and you took time away that you could have been selling things that you already know people will buy from you. Yeah. So there’s an incremental cost to it, but it’s not nearly at the scale of completely repositioning the business or rebranding the business. So you, you know, if you think about best and worst case, that can help. But the other thing that you need to think about when it comes to we’re adding this and, and, you know, How do we figure out what to take away?

Frankly, that’s talking to your team. And it, it’s one of the reasons why I’m an advocate of understanding how your team is spending their time. Not big brother fashion. Mm-hmm. , but time tracking is important because you can understand how they’re allocating their time and you know, if I’ve got them on this project, where, which bucket am I taking that away from?

where is that coming out of? And if you just say, well, they just have to, they, it’s just gonna be added to it. Right? That means their hours are gonna keep going up. Right? I mean, one of the questions I ask agency owners when I start working with them is, how many of your employees worked more than 40 hours in any week in the last month?

And if they start telling me, well, most of them do. Yeah. Then I know we’ve got an issue. Right. Because you should not be in a position where that’s a routine, regular thing. Right, right, right. If it’s, if it’s one or two, I’ll say, okay, well what was it? Was there a particular project or is it that they always do that?

Brad Farris: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. And it, that’s a really, I, I really like that point Chip because talking to your team is critical and I do think that they’re some of the CEOs who are addicted to change don’t trust what their team is telling them or don’t believe what their team is telling them. And that’s what gets them into this cycle of constantly changing and driving things forward without paying attention to what’s going on with the team.

And so when you go back and talk to your team, yes, they’re gonna be skeptical and they’re gonna resist change, but you need to listen to what their objections are. If their objections are, you know, it’s new, it’s uncomfortable, well that’s one thing. Boss, the wheels are coming off the, the cart as it is. I don’t know which way is up.

You’ve given us four ideas in the last three months. You know, that’s a different conversation that you’re hearing, right?

Chip Griffin: Absolutely. And, and look, two things. First of all, if you can’t sell it to your own team, how are you gonna sell it to anybody else? right? The, these are people who, their paycheck is dependent upon your signature, and you’ve got to be able to sell them, right?

But, but the second thing is, if you’ve got a team that is constantly resisting and that you don’t trust, look in the mirror. Oh, yeah. The problem is with you. I mean, I, I listen to agency owners on a regular basis who complain about their teams and, you know, this, you know, I’m not getting what I need from them.

Who hired them?

Brad Farris: Yep. Who trained them? Who’s holding ’em accountable? Who’s managing their performance?

Chip Griffin: I mean, yeah. Do, is there blame that goes on individual performers, of course. But it, it, particularly if it’s systematic, that becomes a, an issue that you have to figure out how you solve it with yourself first, because you’re not gonna solve it by just, you know, continuing to, to beat on your team to, to give you what you want.

Brad Farris: One, one thing that I’ve actually said to clients is, Man, I’m amazed. It’s incredible how you have hired every incompetent person in the marketplace. Like you’re a, you’re a magnet for those people. Like how did you do that? That that’s an amazing process that you’ve built there.

Chip Griffin: Yeah. And I mean, look, we all make mistakes in hiring.

I I am not gonna sit here and say that I have a perfect record in hiring. Right? I, I have.

Brad Farris: But if it’s consistently bad.

Chip Griffin: If it’s consistent, and, and if you, if you make a mistake and you just keep living with it, well, that’s a problem too, right? You need to address it. If you’ve got someone who is constantly underperforming and you cannot improve that performance.

Probably time to part company, but most owners are uncomfortable with those conversations too.

Brad Farris: And Chip, those are the kind of things where you as the business owner, are the bottleneck for your growth. Your agency isn’t gonna grow until you on the inside change what’s going on that are, that’s causing that behavior, that’s causing you not to hold people accountable.

To hire people that aren’t the right people, to not train or, or direct people in a way that they can succeed. That those are the kind of things that hold back the growth of your agency, and that until you’re ready to face them, your agency is gonna be stuck at a certain point.

Chip Griffin: And, and in the agencies that you and I work with, it is the owner who is the most important piece to solving these problems.

It’s not, we’re not dealing with Fortune 500 businesses where the CEO, yeah, they make a difference, but it’s certainly incremental because, you know, there’s so much inertia that goes on throughout the organization. If you are an agency of 5, 10, 20, even 50 people, that CEO matters a lot. A lot. And so you need to make sure that, that you are doing everything you can to find the right ideas, even if they’re a little bit crazy, managing them effectively and getting the results that you’re looking for.

So if someone is interested in signing up for your email list so that they can read about crazy ideas and fear and all the other things that you put out on a regular basis, even if you forget that you put them out there, how can they find that?

Brad Farris: Anchoradvisors.com/conversation. I think we’ll take you to the email signup page.

Chip Griffin: Excellent. And there’s lots of information that you’re always putting out on that email, on your website elsewhere and of course on this show, and we’re very appreciative.

Brad Farris: I always enjoy this. This is so much fun. Thanks, Chip.

Chip Griffin: I, I, I love having you here, Brad. If you’re interested in watching replays of this or any other episode, you can go to smallagency.tv and if you wanna learn more about SAGA, just go to smallagencygrowth.com. With that, that will draw to a close this week’s episode of the Small Agency Talk Show, and I look forward to having Brad you back on the show again and listeners

come right back here and listen to us next Friday. I don’t know who the guest is, but it’s gonna be great on Friday.  Have a great weekend everybody.

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