In this episode of The Moving Mastery Podcast, Louis Massaro shares how to gain freedom to scale your moving company.
- “In order to scale, you’ve got to have freedom from the day-to-day of your business.”
- “You’re looking to attain freedom in your business for a few reasons. One, you want freedom to live the life that you want to live. And that’s what most people are thinking when they say, “I want freedom from my business.” But the reality is, if you’re looking to scale, open up additional locations, get into different lines of business you need to have freedom from the day-to-day.”
- “To get on the path of scaling your business, you need a substantial amount of time to focus on business development. And you can’t focus on business development when you’re putting out fires and dealing with stuff every day.”
- “Listen, I’m all for expanding, growing, getting to that next level, making all the money you want to make… But do it right. You’ve got to get things in order, stabilize, systematize, and commit to making it happen.”
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Today, we’re going to continue our scaling series of how to take your moving company and scale what’s working, take it to the next level. Those of you that have been with us since the beginning, you know that we started off by first talking about stabilizing certain areas of your business, because in order to scale we first have to stabilize what we’ve already got going on. If there’s some blue screws, or the wheels feel like they’re falling off the bus, we’ve got to get that in order, before we start scaling. Then we moved on to systematizing. Because you really can’t scale anything until there’s systems and processes behind it. Otherwise, it turns from scaling to suffering, to total chaos.
Today is a really important one. And it’s perfect that it’s on a Sunday, because when we think about a Sunday, it’s more laid back, it’s more chill. And in order to scale, you’ve got to have freedom from the day to day of your business. So we’re looking to attain freedom in our business for a few reasons. I mean, number one, we want freedom to live the life that we want to live. And that’s what most people are thinking when they think, “I want freedom from my business, I want freedom.” But the reality is, if you’re looking to scale, if you’re looking to open up additional locations, if you’re looking to get into different lines of business, maybe you do local you want to get into long distance, or you want to get into commercial, and maybe you want to franchise, whatever it is, you want to become a hometown dominator. You just want to take what’s working and grow it, you need to have freedom from the day to day.
So important, to get on the path of scaling your business, you need a substantial amount of time to focus on business development. And you can’t focus on business development when you’re putting out fires and dealing with stuff every day. So we want to get you to a place where you’ve got the freedom to go expand. Let’s say you want to open another office. It’s so easy, and I see it happen to so many people. It happened to me where we think, “Wow, my existing office is working really well. This will be easy. I’ve got somebody, they’re pretty good. They’ve been with me. They kind of know the deal. They’re hungry, I’m going to send them to that location. They’ll run it. It’ll be fine.”
And the reality is that is rarely the case. Rarely the case. What typically happens is it doesn’t go as smooth as you expected. That person needs more support, they need more guidance. If you think about what it took to really get your business up and running and off the ground to go and open another one, to go and open another one, you have to overestimate the time that it’s going to take out of your life to make sure that that office gets up and running with the right momentum successfully.
I see too many people open an additional location. Like they’re throwing what at the wall to see if it sticks, expand, grow, get to that next level, make all the money you want to make, but do it. Get things in order, stabilize, systematize, commit, “I’m opening this location and I’m going to make it happen.” And in order to do that and keep your sanity at the same time, you need freedom from the day to day.
So let’s talk about that today because that’s really what we’re all after. And people that want to talk about scaling, getting to the next level, first let’s get you freedom from the day to day. You’d be surprised how many people I work with who want to open more locations. And once we get them the freedom, and once we get them the profits that they want out of the one location, they’re like, “Okay, why go and throw myself back in the fire. I’m making the money I want to make. I’ve got the freedom.” But it’s really, really hard to get to that place, to make that call, and make that decision until you are standing on that pedestal of freedom for yourself.
Once you’re there, you have such clarity to say, “You know what, I’m enjoying this extra time for myself.” Or, “You know what? I’m bored, I’ve got this extra time, let’s start this mission, let’s go open 50 locations, let’s build a hundred million moving company.” Whatever your aspirations are, they’ll become very clear when you have the freedom. Because a lot of times I also see companies that they’re so burdened by what’s going on, that the idea of scaling and growing in their mind equates to stress, it equates to burden. We’re talking about scaling like that’s something everybody wants. And I know, and I realize that a lot of people, even if it’s subconsciously the thought of that stresses them out.
When we take action in life, we take action because we’re either going towards something we want, or we’re going away from something that we don’t want. We’re going towards something we want, or we’re going away from something we don’t want. So when we think about scaling, if our mind associates that with more stress, more trouble, more money, more problems. If that’s where the mind goes, then you’re not going to want to scale. But if we could get you to that place of freedom, that place of the business is running smooth, there’s consistency. Now, all of a sudden, you may say, “Huh, wow. I could actually grow this business. Be twice, three times, 10 times the size, 20 times the size I am now and do it in a way that’s actually easier than it’s happening for me now.”
That’s what happened to me. Early on, it was a grind. It was a struggle. It was a grind. It was a struggle. But once I learned this stuff that I’m going to teach you today, the climb from zero to a million was so much harder than the climb, the 20 million. That’s just the reality of it.
So let me walk you through these steps today. Okay. First thing I want you to do is I want you to do this little exercise with me that I call the One Year Vacation Exercise. One Year Vacation Exercise. I want you to imagine that you are getting ready to go on vacation for a year. Wherever you want, wherever that is to do whatever it is you want to do. But you’re going to be away from your business, there’s going to be very limited contact. You’ll have email. You could check in once, maybe once a week on a zoom call, something like that, but you’re going to be on a year long vacation. What needs to happen in order for you to feel good about that? What needs to happen in order for you to feel like the whole business is not going to just fall apart when you leave?
And look, this is extreme. I get it. I get it. Some of you, it’s like the idea going away for a weekend is crazy. My first trips in the business, I was in Denver. My first trips were like fly to Vegas on a Saturday night, go to dinner, go out, the next day hit the pool, hit the spa, fly back Sunday. That was the extent of it. When I took my first week long vacation, I felt like I didn’t know what was going to happen. And later on to the point where in my busiest months, in the middle of the summer, I would just be gone for months at a time, spend the summer in the mountain somewhere, spend a month in Europe. So I understand that this may seem like a hard thing to do.
So let me give you some key areas that you need to think about in order to be able to pull this off. Now, I’m not telling you to go on vacation for a year. I want you to put yourself in this place mentally to say, “If I was going to go away for a year, what do I need to get tightened up to make that happen? What do I need to get tightened up to make that happen?” If somebody came tomorrow and gave you the chance of a lifetime to go somewhere, to do something and you’re saying, “I can’t pass this up.” You’ve got to a week to sort everything out in your business to get it to a place where you feel good leaving, and it’s not going to fall apart.
So the first thing you want to ask yourself is what do I need to do to feel a sense of control? Because, isn’t that all it really is when we think about delegating, when we think about hiring more people, when we think about training staff, when we think about going away? Isn’t it that we just feel like we don’t have that control, we need to control it? And this is a good thing. People would be like … It gets the connotation. Like someone’s a control freak. Well, when you’re in business, you need to have a sense of control over that business. When you’re behind the wheel of your car, you need to have a sense of control over that car. When you are responsible for manning the ship of your business and your life and your family’s life, you need to have control over what’s going on.
So instead of having the typical control freak stereotype of like, “Oh, oh, I got to do this. I got to do this.” We do this by setting up systems and setting up processes and setting up people to run those systems and processes and having certain checks and balances and certain metrics that we’re able to see in our business. So in order to … I want you to do this later on today, do this one year vacation exercise. What do you need to do in order to feel a sense of control. And just write and see what it is. Just write and see what it is in order to feel a sense of control.
And don’t allow your mind to go. “Yeah, but that person’s not capable of that.” Okay, so imagine, again, we’ve got to play tricks on our mind, our mind plays tricks on us. We’ve got to play those tricks back to get it to do what we want it to do, to tame it, to be able to put it in a position where we could think through scenarios that are going to help us break through the blocks that are holding us back.
Imagine that I’m going to give you anybody you need, I’ll hire and pay for somebody you need for the year. Imagine that, I’m not doing it. But just imagine that you’re like, “Man, I would really need a general manager, or I would need a sales manager, or I would need this, or I would need that.” Then write that down as part of what you need. Don’t worry about how much it’s going to cost to get it. That’s kind of the next step in the evolution there.
Next thing in the one year vacation exercise is, what are you going to for this year to feel and have clarity, clarity into what’s going on? Because when you have one location, your clarity could come from walking into the office, see what’s going on, hear what’s going on, smell what’s going on, sense what’s going on. When you open another location, all those senses are gone.
And if you don’t have the ability to have clear insight to what’s happening in your current location, you’re not going to have clear insight into what’s happening in your new location. So part of this one year vacation exercise is to just start thinking through the stuff that you’ve got to get in order now to free yourself up from the day to day. Remember, once we get to a place of freedom, then we have really ultimate clarity. But in order to have the freedom, you’ve got to have clarity as to what’s going on in the business. So what reports? What metrics? Just think about it like, “If I’m gone …” You got to fight the urge to be like, “I need to be there,” and say, “Well, what information do I need to be there for? What if there was a way to find out that information? Maybe I could pull it up in, in my CRM and, and look at that once a week. Maybe somebody could send me a report. What do I need to get the clarity to go away for one year?”
All right. So we’ve got control. All right, we’ve got clarity. Now we’ve got to take a look at consistency, consistency. What needs to happen while you’re away for one year for your business to have of consistency, consistency with your lead generation, consistency with booking moves, consistency with servicing moves, consistency with creating raving fans and getting on to give you five star reviews, consistency with your accounting and your numbers, and making sure that the bills are getting paid and make sure that you are getting paid. What needs to happen to create consistency?
Guys, don’t under estimate this, like you might say, “Louis, why? Tell me what it’s going to take.” I’m telling you what it’s going to take. I’m talking to many of you and I’m giving you … My biggest secret of figuring stuff out is doing certain exercises, walking through, what do I need to get this? What do I need to get that right. Essentially, what do I want? Why do I want it? How do I get it? So, that’s what we’re doing right here. So I’m walking you through this exercise of figuring out what it’s going to take to actually have the freedom in your business to do whatever you want to do.
This happens to be the scaling series, so we’re talking about scaling, but it’s to give you the freedom from the day to day, you didn’t open a business because you wanted a job for yourself. It may have been the first motivation behind it. Like, “I don’t want to work for anybody anymore. I want to work for myself.” A lot of you have felt that. And many of you probably at some point were like, “Man, I should have just stayed working for somebody. It was a lot easier, and the money was consistent.” But we do this to make the money and have the freedom.
And we have to fight for those. We have to make that the intention and go after it, if that’s not the objective, if every day the mind is just focused on book move, service moves, book move, service moves. That’s what it to be. And that’s okay early on. That’s what I did early on, but at some point you’ve got to change the trajectory of where you’re headed and where you’re going. And there needs to be freedom in that equation. Simple. Whether you want to increase the profit or you want to increase the thrive in your life, you need freedom to do both. That’s what we’re talking about here.
So next thing that we need to make sure of while we are on this one year imaginary vacation. And by the way, I’ve done this exercise with somebody who then turned around and … We did this and drilled a little deeper, but then went to Europe for, it was about a year. Managed the whole business off the iPad.
Like this is possible. I know it’s hard to think about sometimes and you’re like, “But how, there’s trucks, there’s mover.” And maybe you’re still a few years away from that, but it’s about laying the groundwork to get there. It’s about laying the groundwork to get to that place. I do not sell pipe dreams. I do not say that this moving business is get rich quick. I don’t even go out and say, “Hey, people, let me teach you how to get into the moving business.” It’s more like, “You’re in the moving business? Cool, let’s go, let’s do this the right way. Let’s get you to the place you want to be. Let’s get you to the life you want to be.”
Freedom is the answer. We’ve got to get you the freedom. And I just want to get you guys thinking differently. So let’s get back to freedom. Freedom, one year vacation exercise. Those of you just joining us we’re imagining that we are taking a year long vacation and we’re figuring out what is it we need to do in order for the business to not just survive but thrive while we’re gone.
Next one is cash. What do we need to do while we’re gone for the year to make sure the cash keeps flowing. There’s still money coming in, and there’s still plenty of money left over at the bottom, being sent to you wherever you are on vacation.
We’re doing this to prepare in this series for scaling. It’s the same thing and you just really want to go on the year long vacation. But this is specifically for scaling. Don’t think that you could go open another office and that other office is going to solve all your money problems. If your current office isn’t consistently producing this cash flow that you need, you’re going to run into a really, really tight spot at some point. And that tight spot can put a tremendous, tremendous strain if not choke-hold on your current business, a tremendous strain or choke-hold on your current business if you don’t have the cash flow and the cash to open up that other location, and you’re trying to float it all month by month, it’s not going to happen. I mean, it’s possible, but it’s going to be really stressful and such a bumpy road that it’s completely unnecessary. So we need to make sure in this one year vacation exercise that you’ve got the cash and a consistent means of getting this cash out of the business that whole year.
The next one is confidence. You need the confidence to go. If we had to sum it up, like if I said, “Come on, we’re going to go away for a year.” I mean, I told you I was in Europe for a month in one of my busiest months ever in the middle of the summer. And it literally was a friend that called me up. He was like, “Come on, come let’s go. Let’s go.” And it was like, I left in less than a week’s notice. And it was because I had the confidence in my business, the confidence that I had the controls in place, the confidence that I had the clarity to be able to see everything that was going on from my iPad, the consistency in the business to know that it was going to keep running and it wasn’t going to fall apart, and the cash to make it all happen.
So how do we get this confidence? The confidence comes over time with experience in having gone through things. But it also comes from confidence. In psychology, they teach something called the confidence – competence loop. Competence meaning you’re competent at something, you’re good at something. And so if you’ve never scaled a business, if you’ve never opened additional locations, if you’ve never franchised, if you’ve never taken it from the level that feels comfortable and gone up a notch, it’s because you don’t yet have the competence to do that. Doesn’t mean you can’t gain it. As you gain the competence through learning, you gain competence by learning and applying.
And when you do that, you gain more confidence in your ability to do it. And once you gain more confidence, you’ll seek more competence. I know that a lot of people that are on the fence about coming to the event, it’s because they don’t have the confidence because they haven’t reached a certain level of competence in the business and they feel like, you know what? I don’t know enough to go learn that advanced stuff.
But that’s like saying, “I haven’t made it to the stop sign at the end of the street. So I don’t want to know what’s beyond that stop sign.” We need to have this competence-confidence loop going all the time. Simple as that, simple as that, the better you get at doing something, the more confident you’ll be. You’ll do it more. The more you do it, the better you get at it, the better you get at it, the more you want to do it. I look at this as like golf. Those of you play golf you know, at some point, nobody just started and was really good, so you lacked confidence. For years I allowed myself to just be kind of a dabbler playing golf and play here and there.
And I got to tell you, it destroyed my confidence. Like being out there with people that knew how to play. I went on to the course with tremendous confidence of just being a confident person and confident in business, confident in life. But then my competence level wasn’t there in golf. And so my confidence just went [inaudible 00:23:03], but as I got better because I played more, I got more confidence. As I got more confidence I was like, “I want to play more because it’s more enjoyable.” The confidence-competence loop. So, whatever you feel that you are not prepared for in this whole journey of scaling and getting to that next level in your business and in your life, just know that you’ve got to go do more of the thing that you know that you need to do that’s outside of your comfort zone.
You’ve got to go gain skills. You’ve got to have skill development as a major part and area of focus in your business. What are you working on? What skills specifically, are you working on to break through those comfort zones? Because once you have the tools and once you have the know how, now you’ve got the confidence. And so if you’ve got the confidence, you’ve got the cash, you’ve got the consistency, you’ve got the clarity of what’s going on in your business, the reports and metrics, you’ve got a sense of control, meaning you could be on a computer and be like, “I know that if I need to know this, I look here. I know that if I need to find out what’s going on there, I call this person. I’ve got these meetings set up on my calendar as block time, once a week, in order for me to stay in touch, I’ve got a sense of control.” You could really go on this one year vacation.
I mean, really, so start with, what do I need to do to make this happen? Because we need that freedom in order to do anything we want to do in our life, period. We need to get free from the day to day of the business. That’s the truth. Let me know, who needs some freedom from the day to day of the business? If you’re in a place where you’re like, “Louis, I want to get into a different business. I hate this business. I can’t stand this business. It’s so hard.”
That same hate, and difficulty, and all that, chances are unless you find something you truly love, it’s going to carry over into another business. So, I gave this advice to somebody a long time ago, while I was still in the business that wanted to get out of the moving business and get into something different. And I said, “Why don’t you just get this so on point that you could sell it, that you could get somebody else to run it. Because if you’d think that you’re going to go get into a different business and all these same problems, aren’t going to of follow you, it’s not the moving business that’s the problem it’s you that’s the problem.”
And I said this to him. And I said, “I don’t say that to put you down. I say that to hold the mirror and say, ‘look, like whatever’s failing in the business, the number one thing, the moving CEO mindset is I am responsible for the results here. I’m responsible for what happens.” So what I would to anyone who is struggling in their business in any type of way, maybe you got money coming in, but things are chaotic. Maybe there’s no money coming in, but things are running smooth. Maybe you got a mixture of all of it, I’ve heard it all.
What I would say to you is this, focus on getting business to a place where you could go away for a year and it would still run, make that your mission, or my true honest, straight up advice is, go get a job and there’s no shame in that. Go work for somebody, because business is business, and there’s some general principles that go into running a successful business. And even if your desire is to get out of the moving business, use this as your training ground to become that business person that you need to be, build the business to a place where you could actually sell it and get top dollar instead of walking away from it. And then go do the thing that you want to do. Then go do the thing that you love.
I know the struggles, I wasn’t given this business. I didn’t come from money. I started out of a truck rental yard with two rental trucks and a yellow page ad and nothing, and worked my way up to 20 million. And so wherever you’re at, unless you’re beyond that, I’ve been where you are. And I know the different struggles along the way. And there was a lot of them along the way, but that’s part of growth, never look and go, “I thought the struggles would be behind me.” Because as you start to climb, there’s just new struggles. But what happens is you get the confidence of saying, “Hey, all I need is a little bit more competence. All I need is to learn a bit more about that.” Maybe you’re in local and you want to get into long distance and the idea of it scares you. Well, if you learn about long distance and then you get a little practice with it in competence, you’ll no longer be scared of it and you’ll move on, and you’ll continue to do it.