Legacy Wealth Holdings

5 Tools To Get Through Hard Times In Your Business

How do you deal with hard times?

As many of you know, I’ve built a sizable real estate portfolio. over half a billion dollars, over 5,000 doors.

It hasn’t always been easy, right?

There were a lot of adversities that came my way, and a lot of things I’ve been having to unwind and fix over the past couple of years, not just at a small level. This is high-level, big dollar amount stress across many different properties and projects.

A lot of the deals that I got into were through joint venture partnerships, where I brought the money on a loan, and that other person was responsible for doing the work.

And guess what happens when the tide goes out? You see who’s swimming naked.

You really find out how people respond in tough times.

I get questions from friends and business people, asking “How do you navigate these tough times?” 

So if you’re just getting clobbered and you feel like you’re in the trenches taking on fire, these are a couple of tools that I’ve used in my own personal life and in growing my business that have made a big impact for me.

1: Get Your Head Straight – Have Gratitude

So the first thing is getting your head straight, right? How do you do that?

For me, it starts with vitamin G: Gratitude.

It’s easy to focus on all the bad stuff that’s happening and all the difficulties that are upon you. Sometimes it feels like the sky is falling.

The reality is, typically, there are other people in the world who would be praying for your problems today, right?

You’ve got a lot of really good things going on here! But when you’re focused on the tough stuff, that’s what gets your attention. That’s what gives you anxiety. That’s what messes up your ability to problem solve because you’re just worried about the negativity,

Fear and faith are the same thing. Both are believing in some future thing that has not yet occurred. The difference is that one is positive and one’s negative.

If you’re fearful, you’re focused on the negativity and all those things that have never happened. It’s just a story in your head!

The beauty is that you can control the story. It’s up to you whether you go negative or you go positive on it.

An exercise that I do in order to stay positive is to focus on gratitude. So every day, write down what you’re thankful for in three different categories.

  1. What you’re thankful for from your family and other positive relationships in your life.
  2. What you’re thankful for from a relationship standpoint
  3. And what you’re thankful for in the business side of things.

We all have things that we can be thankful for. There are blessings in our lives that we tend to overlook, and we need to focus on those. If you focus on gratitude, if you focus on the positive things happening in your life, it gives you a sense of confidence. It gives you a sense of strength.

And now you can go in and start attacking the problematic portions of your business with a little bit more posture, right? Have your chest puffed out a little bit more, have a little bit more confidence in order to attack those things. Then you’ll think: “You know what? I’m actually super blessed and this is a good problem to have.”

2: Back to the Basics

Second thing that I would do is to get back to the basics.

There are certain activities in your business that got you to where you are today – in a good way!

Then there are things that you’ve allowed to come in and crowd out the things that got you to where you are. A lot of times those distractions, those noises, got you away from the basics.

When I was playing basketball in high school, my coach would start out every single season focused on the basics: dribbling, passing, shooting, layups.

Focus on those things, become an expert in the basics, and then you can build upon those skill sets and add in a little bit of the sizzle.

But getting back to the basics. What are the activities that got you to where you are today?

Almost every single time in business, it’s prospecting in some capacity.

You might be saying “Well, you know, I had somebody else doing this, I had somebody else doing that. I have all this social media stuff going on or I have all this other marketing stuff going on, and I’m waiting for people to knock on my door.”

No! When times are tough, you can’t be fishing. You need to be in hunt mode. You need to be going after the prey.

When you’re in hunting mode, you’re going after the prey. And you have a lot more control over that. Rather than just waiting and hoping and praying for something to bite your line, you’re out there knocking on doors.

Maybe literally knocking on doors!

I have a buddy, Shai, who has a construction business in California. All the other construction companies, all the other home repair companies, you know what they’re doing: they’re sending out fliers, they’re sending out paper mailers, running ads on social media, doing robo calls, and they’re doing email blasts.

And that can work! That can be a great way to scale your business IF things are moving along and going in a positive direction already.

You know what Shai does to differentiate himself?

He has his sales guys knocking on doors.

They do a bunch of exterior work, so it’s siding, roofing, windows, landscaping, concrete work, those kinds of things that you can visibly see.

He knows that person already has a need.

His sales guys knock on the door and say, “Hey, I notice your sidewalks are turned up” or “Hey, I notice your driveway is crumbling” or “Hey, I notice your roof shingles are coming loose.” 

And these people are not out there calling up, you know, five different construction companies in order to get quotes. But then if this random stranger notices that I have issues with my house, I start to wonder what all my neighbors are thinking.

So Shai’s team comes up with a quote the same day and they have people on site the next day doing the work, turning it over. He’s taking a business that was started less than 12 months ago, and they’re generating $300,000 a month in gross revenue right now.

In less than 12 months!

Why? Because he got back to the basics.

3: Revenue Line

Number three compounds on number two. You know what I’m focused on when I’m getting back to the basics?

In business, revenue solves all problems. So you need to focus on the revenue line.

What is the revenue line?

The revenue line is something that directly impacts your income. Things that you can directly show make you money.

Maybe you have a bunch of payables. You know what’s a revenue generating activity in that case? It’s calling everybody who owes you money to get them to pay their friggin bills.

That is a great revenue generating activity that you could be focused on to get some money in the door.

Once money is in the door, you can hire people. Once money is in the door, you could pay for marketing. Revenue is the lifeblood of a business. If you don’t have revenue coming in, you’re in trouble.

So you gotta focus on the revenue line. For every degree away from the revenue line you get, the less money you’re making.

Get rid of third degree, second degree, even first degree activities. The revenue line and first degree action items are the only things that you should be focused on when things are tough.

For example, I own rental property.

When things are difficult and we’re talking to the onsite management team about improvements, I’m not talking about the signage, right?

I had one property manager say, “If we cleaned up the volleyball court, I think, you know, I think we should work on that.”

No. Why don’t you lease up the property?

I had another management company reach out to me and say, “Hey listen, we need some money because we want to do this, this, and this.”

So I said, “There are 25 vacant units that are all rent ready at $900 a month. That’s $22,500 of monthly revenue that we’re missing out on that could pay for the thing that you’re asking me to contribute money for.” 

How about you do your job?

Let’s get back to the revenue line and focus on generating revenue.

Collections and leasing are the things that actually matter in my business. Making sure that people who owe me money are actually paying me money. Those two things are revenue generating activities.

Maintenance is important, especially if somebody paying their bill is dependent upon some sort of maintenance being done in their apartment. But it’s not a revenue generating activity in most scenarios.

A lot of the other ancillary operational types of things are not revenue generating activities. It’s leasing and collections.

And I obsess over that.

That’s the KPI that we measure with our site level property managers and leasing agents every single week when we hop on a phone call with them, because I want them psycho focused on those two metrics. The more focused they are on those two metrics, the more focused they are on the revenue line, the more money is going to be generated.

And then we can fix the volleyball court, and then we can add some additional amenities that the management company wants to add. Once the revenue is there.

4: Do the Work

Hey, this might be revolutionary. But do the work.

“But I want to be an entrepreneur with washboard abs who lives in Bora Bora and only works two hours a day.”

That doesn’t exist.

When times are good, I have the freedom to be able to go places and do things, and I can absolutely scale back on the amount that I personally work because I’m an entrepreneur. 

But guess what?

Everything’s cyclical. Everything’s boom or bust, everything’s up and down.

Right now, things aren’t going as smoothly as we would like them to go. And guess what? I need to do the work. I need to be prospecting for investors. I need to be prospecting for deals. I need to be prospecting for better management companies, for better site-level employees.

I need to be prospecting all the time, getting back to the basics and doing the work, not handing it off to somebody on my team. Because nobody’s going to care about it the way that an owner is going to care about it.

There’s a book out there that my dad told me about called Management By Walking Around. I’m not sure who wrote it. If you do, let me know.

But there’s no better way to manage, to do the work, than by just being there. Showing up, walking around, “Hey, there’s litter on the ground” and picking up the litter.

“Hey, there’s a car on cinder blocks. Let’s get that towed.”

“Hey, this grass is too high. Let’s get it cut. Where’s the landscaper? What’s going on?”

It’s Management By Walking Around. If you are not there, if you are not doing the work, it’s reflective of YOU. It’s not reflective of your team. You need to be the one leading by example.

Otherwise, why would you expect your team to do that for you?

It’s up to you, as the owner of your business, to be representative of what leadership looks like, and that’s doing the work.

5: Community/Mentorship

Give yourself the gift of a community or some sort of mentorship.

For me, that was joining masterminds.

When you’re inside the frame, you can’t see the whole picture. And that’s a very typical feeling when you’re going through tough times, when you’re going through difficulties in business. You’re so ingrained and inside this box that you can’t see out of it. You’re just trying to keep your head above water and keep breathing, that you can’t see the big picture, right?

When you give yourself the gift of community, when you have a mentor, you have somebody that you can have a conversation with who can be objective. They can give you a much better perspective on what the next chess move needs to be. They can give you a much better indication of saying, “I know this is tough with this employee, they’ve got to go. You need to bring in somebody new.”

Say you’re in one of those fall corn mazes. You’re trying to figure it out, but you’re inside the maze. You need that person who’s up on the elevated platform looking in, saying, “turn right, turn left” in order to help you navigate your way out of the maze.

And that’s the exact same thing when you’re going through tough times. 

Unfortunately, what I see too often as somebody who’s part of multiple masterminds and who runs a mastermind myself, is that when times get tough, people usually bail.

This is one of the expenses that they cut.

But when times get tough, you need to be going deeper into the community. You need to be having more conversations with your mentors. You need to be more engaged, not less engaged. You don’t get rid of that. You dive deeper into the community, into people who actually care for you and want to see you do well and want to see you get through this situation.

There’s a lot of people with resources out there that you’re just one degree away from. All you need is an introduction.

But if you can’t tell them, because you don’t know them, they won’t be able to help you. 

Conclusion

So if you’re going through tough times, find yourself a community. Get your head straight. Get back to the basics. Stick to the revenue line and get ready to do the work.

Tough times don’t last. Tough people do.

You can absolutely get through it if you follow this blueprint. 

So if there’s anything that I can ever help you with, if you are dealing with some tough times, if you need a third party perspective, go to AskTimAnything.com.

I’m happy to offer some insights, ideas, strategies, and make some connections for you because I know that it can be very, very lonely being an entrepreneur.

That’s why it’s so important that you stick to a community and you participate in a group that you can share and receive in.

So hopefully this is helpful for you. I’d love to see your feedback. Let me know how I can support you, how I can help you.

And until next time, be your best.