07 Sep 181 | 3 Key Business Boundaries You Must Implement for Profit & Sanity with Amber De La Garza
Welcome to episode 181 of Profit Boss® Radio! In this episode, we’re talking about how to improve your time management, elevate your productivity, and maximize your profits while making time for what matters most.
We all want to accommodate our clients and make the most of any opportunity that comes our way. In fact, when I need to reschedule and it takes six, eight, or ten weeks to make it happen, I get frustrated with people. I roll my eyes and I get annoyed, but at the same time, when I constantly shift my schedule around, I find myself exhausted.
That’s why I’m excited to talk to Amber De La Garza. Amber is the creator of the S.T.O.P. Leverage Formula–a four-pillar framework to build more profitable businesses in a unique, stress-free way.
So, Profit Boss®, if you’re ready to learn how to set REAL boundaries and create a powerful system to transform your business while freeing you to live life on your terms, today’s episode is for you!
Here’s what you’ll find out in this week’s episode of Profit Boss® Radio
- How to build a structured schedule that serves you–not the other way around–and what happened when Amber, one of my best friends, needed five weeks to reschedule this conversation.
- How to acknowledge the limits of your own energy and determine exactly how much time you want to put into your company each day, week, month, or year.
- Ways to plan your next year without thinking in all-or-nothing terms.
- The four buckets you need to put your time into in order to grow and scale your business.
- Why everyone procrastinates–and how to deal with it.
- The power of delegating and entrusting difficult tasks to great people.
Free LIVE Training – Sept 8th, 2021
Don’t forget to sign up to my free LIVE Training on September 8th, at 11am PDT How to Own Your Business Numbers and Increase Your Profitability Without Sacrificing Your Purpose, Joy, or Integrity. Visit HilaryHendershott.com/MoreProfit
Resources and Related Profit Boss® Content
- Follow Amber De La Garza on Facebook and Instagram
- Productivity Straight Talk Podcast
- Full Speed Ahead (A Masterclass): How To Achieve Any Goal You Set
- Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less
- Live Training Presented By Hilary Hendershott – How to Own Your Business Numbers and Increase Your Profitability Without Sacrificing Your Purpose, Joy, or Integrity
- The Money Blueprint
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- For information on my Money Blueprint Program and one-on-one coaching opportunity, please visit HilaryHendershott.com/MBP.
Hilary Hendershott: Well, hello, profit boss. Welcome to this productive episode of Profit Boss Radio. I have with me a friend and colleague and someone I very much look up to. Her name is Amber De La Garza. She is a coach, trainer, speaker, writer, host of the Productivity Straight Talk Podcast. Speaking of writers, she writes great emails, so you definitely should sign up for her email newsletter. She’s the creator of the S.T.O.P. Leverage Formula. That’s S-T-O-P. It’s an acronym. She helps small business owners improve their time management and elevate their productivity to maximize profits, reduce stress, and make time for what matters most. Truly, she is a guru of living a happy life and organizing your time and yourself and keeping all of your systems running.
Hilary Hendershott: Welcome to the show, Amber.
Amber De La Garza: Thank you so much for having me. I’m so excited to chat with you.
Hilary Hendershott: I am just so excited to be able to ask all the questions I want to ask because you’re so productive. I never feel like I know when I can get on your calendar. So, here we go. Here we go, my pent-up list of questions. First of all, what is the S.T.O.P. Leverage Formula? You’re not stopping leverage. What are we doing here?
Amber De La Garza: Yeah, absolutely. So, S.T.O.P. means to learn how to leverage yourself, time, organization, and people. And so, it’s a four-pillar framework that if you work on leveraging those four areas of your life, your business will increase profits, reduce stress, and make time for what matters most.
Hilary Hendershott: Yeah, absolutely. Okay. Well, and that’s a great pivot. I didn’t know it would be such a natural segue but today we’re talking about so you and I actually we’re hanging out in lovely Puerto Rico and we had a conversation about how tightly you manage your calendar. Now, frankly, from my perspective, I get frustrated because I go on other people’s podcasts and I find if I try to reschedule something, it’s often six, eight, sometimes 10 weeks out and I notice that I try to make time for people. If people ask me, I’ll rearrange my calendar, I’ll move things around, and then I’ll end up irritated or annoyed or frustrated or just lacking rest, and I was wondering how to stop that. And you kind of rolled your eyes after I protested to you so many times and you said, “I’m just not going to say anything else.” And I thought, “There’s something there. There’s something huge there.” Right?
Amber De La Garza: Yes.
Hilary Hendershott: And so, I mulled it over. I thought, “What this woman is talking about is really boundaries, rules, and systems that she has around her business.” And I’m a fan of systems and I don’t know why I haven’t mastered systems for my calendar yet. So, that’s what you’re here for. Let’s talk about and I really like this framework of boundaries because what is your business if you don’t have boundaries? You’re working all night, you’re working on the weekends, and, yes, everybody does that in the beginning but you can’t do that forever. So, talk to me about how you met. Let’s just talk about the boundaries that you run your business by.
Amber De La Garza: Okay. Absolutely. So, I just want to bring us back to Puerto Rico. I’m pretty sure we both had a drink in our hand. I remember where we were walking when this happened and I thought, “This is opening a can of worms. This isn’t the right time.” And then fast forward, we had this scheduled. We needed to cancel and you had to reschedule. And I didn’t make an exception. I think we’re four or five weeks out from that initial recording.
Hilary Hendershott: Yeah. It’s been five weeks. Yeah.
Amber De La Garza: Okay. So, you’re acutely aware it’s been five weeks. Now, let’s just say, Hillary, you’re my best friend. You’re one of my best friends and I still didn’t make an exception. Why?
Hilary Hendershott: Because you’re mean.
Amber De La Garza: Okay. It has to be mean is because I run a very structured schedule because my schedule serves me. I don’t serve my schedule. I’m going to say that again. My schedule serves me. I don’t serve my schedule. And to be completely honest, have I had a white space on my calendar or blocks of project days on my calendar in the last five weeks? Absolutely. Also, we were closing out the end of the summer. I had a lot of days off scheduled with no real plans other than I didn’t want to work five days that week because my son was getting ready to start junior high. So, could I have made an exception? Yes. Would I have felt resentment in the minute that I had to get ready and put makeup on and be prepared for an interview? Yes, because I had intentions of balancing my schedule out with some hold dates. And we can talk further about that. But essentially, you’re right, they were boundaries because I look at how can I run full speed ahead towards my goals while also not burning myself out? And the magic to that is knowing what works for you and then creating that schedule. So, you can jump in anywhere now.
Hilary Hendershott: Yes. So, now that everyone knows that this interview is living proof of the boundaries that you’re talking about because it would have already aired if I had kept our original appointment and I didn’t. So, that said, more power to you. And let’s talk about, first of all, how do you even begin as an ambitious person, an entrepreneur, to notice and acknowledge the limits of your own energy? For example, do you know that you only want to work an average of four days a week or that you need four or five weeks, a month, a year off? How do you think about that?
Amber De La Garza: Yeah, absolutely. So, at the end of the previous year or so, in December for next year, that’s when I would do it, is I actually go through and the first thing that I do is get my son’s school schedule and I put all the days off that there are, and then I lay over possible vacation days. So, if it’s a three-day weekend or a week off for Thanksgiving or two weeks off and then I lay over one extra like girls trip, right? So, like I remember when you and I were going back and forth like when can I make it to Puerto Rico and I’m like, “This month. This week is really good,” I was already looking at my schedule based on other time off. And the reason is because you want to put boundaries to your time because there’s something called Parkinson’s law. Parkinson’s law states that tasks expand to the amount of time given. And so, if your schedule is open seven days a week, it’s crazy, you could still wish for eight days. And if you worked five days, you would give anything to work a 6-day. There’s always more to do. And so, really what this is, is saying I know that there’s a ton of things that we can do to grow our business and hit that next financial goal and all of our dreams but our business goals shouldn’t be over here at the expense of our personal goals in life. And what I found is if you’re really clear with the life you want to live and you create those goals and you create your business goals, then your schedule needs to work together to serve that.
Hilary Hendershott: Okay. So, first of all, I talk about Parkinson’s law as it regards doing budgeting by bank account balance. I always say if you put the money in your checking account, you will spend it somewhere else. Good. I like that reference. So, at what point in the business, I mean, at some point, anyone when they first start a business, all they have is time. They have no customers, they have no revenue, they have no staff, and so workaholics win. So, at what point do you start to say, “Okay. I’ve got to put some boundaries in,” or did you do it from the very beginning?
Amber De La Garza: Yeah. So, I actually started my business when my son went to preschool. And so, I only had real help when he was there for like three days a week. So, at first, the boundaries were, “I need to get everything I need to get done three days a week,” and I would start at 3:30 in the morning and work until I woke him up at 7 a.m. for his day because I had these ambitious goals and I was going to create time and space. And does that work for everyone? No, but those were the boundaries because I wanted to be on the days he was home incredibly present. So, it was about being creative but I do want to share with you, Hilary, that my schedule doesn’t look the same this month as it’s going to look in the winter as it’s going to look next spring. There are times and seasons, I call them seasons, either seasons in our personal life or seasons in our business that require head down. I went through January, February, and March this year. My head was down like we had a big project. I was definitely working five-plus days a week but that was by choice. And then I take a step back and then I went to a four-and-a-half-day week and then to a four-day week over the summer. And then, you know what? My son’s back in school. I’m going to be back to a five-day week. So, what works for you today may not work for you next month or next season. So, my tip here is to be open to what is going to work for you, what is your business need, and what is your personal life need from you, and then adjust the schedule as you’re moving in and out of seasons.
Hilary Hendershott: Okay. Let’s go circle back to the blank calendar for a second, and then I want to talk about the frameworks that you use. So, you’re looking at 2022. Let’s just say you’re planning for 2022. How many three-day weekends do you do? How many vacations?
Amber De La Garza: So, we work into that, meaning you’re not going to start where I’m ending up. I just want to say that. But I have about nine weeks total of days off scheduled in 2021. So, I haven’t done 2022 yet. And here’s the trick is that every time my son has a professional development day, a three-day weekend, I mark that off. And here’s a real-life example. I was finishing out, reviewing my schedule with my executive assistant this morning for October, November, and December and I was like, “Put that day back on my calendar. Clearly, my son’s not going to school much in November.” So, I’ll take a couple off. I’m not taking them all off because we saw that my schedule was being maxed out all the way through November of like what does Amber’s availability look like? So, then I was able to choose to pull some of those back but I started off with nine weeks.
Hilary Hendershott: Okay. And so, that’s just an evolution. You’re not saying…
Amber De La Garza: First and foremost, I would say start off with two weeks. Like, if you leave corporate, you probably got two weeks, maybe four weeks. I would grow into it and make a goal that each year you add more days or more weeks. The other thing is, is that I want to share that. We don’t need to think of this as all or nothing. So, if you hear my nine weeks and you shut down and you’re like, “There’s no way.” Okay. There’s no way. But is there a way to get one week? Is there a way to get two weeks? We’re recording this in August. So, by the time it goes live, it’s September. So, in the last quarter of this year, can you get two weeks off? Like, instead of thinking all or nothing, what pieces can you make your reality now? And when you see that happening as positive proof you can do it, I bet it will be easier to plan 2022 with three weeks or four weeks.
Hilary Hendershott: Okay. So, you’re aligning your days off with your son’s school schedule but are you also taking days where you just don’t get out of bed and read a book or wander around in the shops or something?
Amber De La Garza: Yeah. So, I call those bonus days and I hold them. And so, as a coach, I schedule my schedule that my clients meet with me the first and third week or the second, fourth week. So, many months is there’s a fifth Tuesday or a fifth Thursday. My coaching days are Tuesdays and Thursdays. I block that off so nobody can schedule anything. And if I don’t want to get out of bed, I don’t get out of bed. If I want to like work on a project and make some huge headway in the business then I use it for that. And if I want to release it back and just let it be filled up with appointments, I do that too. But first, it’s a hold, then I get the choice to pull it back so bonus days. Go through your entire schedule and find all the 5th days of the week, whatever it is, and put hold on them.
Hilary Hendershott: All the time, there’s a fifth Tuesday in the month. Yeah.
Amber De La Garza: Yeah. Perfect.
Hilary Hendershott: This is great. My brain is working. Okay. So, let’s talk about the systems people need in their calendar for the various aspects of their business. How can people categorize what they need to calendar?
Amber De La Garza: Right. So, when we were talking about Parkinson’s law, tasks expand to the amount of time given. Well, that can work for you or against you. And Hillary is giving you tips financially at how to make it work for you, right? Like, move that money out of the checking account, like protect it. And I’m going to say that’s the strategy I was giving you is like move those days off of availability. You can pull them back if you need them but you’re protecting it. So, the same thing to make Parkinson’s law work for you is to always look at what are the things that you absolutely need to make time for to allow you to achieve your goals. And I break those down into four areas. We can call them departments or buckets of time and I believe that every business owner needs to show up at their highest value activity in one of these four areas. The first one is marketing and visibility. So, think of this as how do you let the world know what it is you do and how you can help them. When you show up consistently in those areas, it overflows into the opportunity to have sales conversations. So, specifically saying, I’d love to work with you. Are those consultations, discovery calls, proposals? What is that sales event or activity? And then the third one is servicing your clients. And so, depending on what business you’re in, the thing you’re getting paid for. So, for me, it’s coaching, it’s training, it’s speaking. If you’re a financial advisor, it’s going to be giving them financial advice and meeting with them for strategy. And so, making sure you have specific time that’s revenue-generating on your schedule, first and foremost.
And then the fourth area is leadership. Because those areas of our business, the first three buckets, in addition to all the other things that it takes to run our business, it actually require us to leverage through people. And hiring is not the end of leverage. You need to show up and lead them and communicate with them and clearly delegate to them and have meetings. And unfortunately, what happens is that time gets squeezed out as much of a priority as the doing in our business on what is on hour as the business owner’s to-do list. But I would love to just help your audience reframe that to say where else can you invest an hour and then get 30 hours of work? So, that you invest an hour to have a one-on-one meeting, delegate support, train them, and they can go do 30 hours of work for you or 20 hours of work for you.
Hilary Hendershott: That’s good leverage.
Amber De La Garza: That has really good leverage. So, even if you double that, it’s two hours, which might seem like, “Oh my gosh, like I have to be in a meeting for two hours or twice a week,” but you’re getting so much more time back because you’ve given your team member what they need to succeed. And that’s leadership.
Hilary Hendershott: Okay. When you started speaking, you said people need to show up in one of these four. But you actually meant all of them, right?
Amber De La Garza: All, yes. I’m sorry. Yes. All of them on a recurring basis. And when I met one of these areas, meaning the question I get asked often, Hillary, is like, “Okay. So, I want to be more productive but what does productivity mean? What are my most productive activities?”
Hilary Hendershott: Right. To me, productivity is doing stuff fast.
Amber De La Garza: Oh, no, no, no. Because you could be doing the wrong things really, really fast. You could be really, really fast at running down the wrong road. It’s not taking you or propelling you toward your goal.
Hilary Hendershott: And it doesn’t scale because the faster I get, the more mistakes I make. And that’s not good.
Amber De La Garza: Right. And productivity is not actually getting everything on your to-do list done. I would venture to say actually one of the most productive things you can do is be decisive on what you’re going to delete, to allow that clarity and focus of what are the things I’m really going to show up in. And when I share these four areas, buckets, departments for us to invest our best time in is that the question lies but my business requires so much more. There’s so much more a business requires us to spend our time in and that is true. And it doesn’t mean they’re not important but that means is, is that, again, with Parkinson’s law, if you block out time on your schedule to ensure you show up consistently in these areas of your business, say on a weekly basis, everything else can fill in around it. But what we normally do is start with all the other stuff and then at the end of the day, we’re like, “Oh, I didn’t get that marketing project done. I didn’t make that sales call. I squeezed out and rescheduled my team members and now they’re waiting for me to find something to do for the next 20 hours.” And so, it backfires and becomes incredibly frustrating. So, my goal is – yeah, go ahead.
Hilary Hendershott: Sorry. To that point, I actually think a big portion of my business success stems from the first several years I forced myself to do the sales activities first. And so, while I didn’t have the systems that you’re talking about, I was not that organized but I didn’t have a team to lead at that time but there’s that book, Who Moved My Cheese or something. I don’t know. It’s a book about doing the painful thing first. I didn’t have to read the book. I got the lesson of the book. Someone said it to me. I was like, “I’ll do it.” And it’s paid off. So, just complimenting you on that or, I guess, acknowledging that point. I interrupted you. Were you saying something?
Amber De La Garza: No. Absolutely. I think the book you’re referring to is How to Eat the Frog.
Hilary Hendershott: Eat That Frog! Yes.
Amber De La Garza: Okay. There you go. So, it’s like how do you do that thing that even if you don’t want to do it, you know makes the biggest headway? And without getting into like a whole nother topic is we all procrastinate. Everybody procrastinates but we procrastinate different. And for some, we procrastinate on the thing that’s really, really big. And so, if you can train yourself to first know what that big thing is that will actually make an impact and figure out how to do that first when you have the most willpower. Generally, that’s first thing in the morning of whatever your business morning is then even if the rest of your day goes south, which it does, we live in a real-world, running real businesses, working with real people, so it’s very likely at hand, you’ve done something that has moved you forward in your business. And that is really important because if you can do that even a little bit, each day compounded has big impact on you reaching your goals.
Hilary Hendershott: Yeah. Those habits pay off in spades when you compound the results of those activities. Okay. So, just to review the four categories and you said you have these color-coded on your calendar?
Amber De La Garza: I did say that before we hit record.
Hilary Hendershott: You have marketing and visibility. I think we all know what that is, the blog post, the social, the email writing. Two is sales, clearly asking for the order, making the offer. Three is service, servicing the business that you’ve sold. And four is leadership or mentoring your team.
Amber De La Garza: Yep.
Hilary Hendershott: Great. Okay. Now, how do you think about I just get overwhelmed when I look at my calendar and I think about all the little time blocks that are potentially in that day, all the combinatorics of how I could put that stuff on my calendar, and I just throw the baby out with the bathwater. I mean, yes, I have appointments on my calendar but there’s a lot of stuff that I try to fit in, in between the appointments that’s not working great. So, how do you think about that vis-a-vis e-mail? Because there’s email, too.
Amber De La Garza: Yes. So, I actually schedule and recommend my clients to schedule time to be in their email and process their email. And, you know, for some of my clients, if you’re an attorney, that’s probably four times a day even more. There’s really time-sensitive things and then there’s other clients that can get in and out two or three times a day. So, the amount of times isn’t as important. You make that work for you but really being diligent to say when I’m in my inbox, I’m in it, and when I’m not, I’m working like I’m really not distracted because most people had the habit of having our inbox up all day, every day, and it’s incredibly distracting. So, to just speak to that is to, again, block out those times. And if you did that first, you’d realize you have a lot less time for appointments. And the irony is you always had a lot less time for appointments, you just kept squeezing out emails. And then that’s what you’re doing, you know, with a glass of wine after the kids go to bed or on the weekend is like, “Oh, gosh, when am I going to catch up on these emails?”
Hilary Hendershott: You’re a professional emailer.
Amber De La Garza: You’re right. Because you are so busy in appointments. So, that’s one strategy. The other strategy that I love around appointments is that you have days that you take appointments. Maybe it’s not five days a week, it’s four days a week instead. There’s one day that you’re more like I’m getting in there and getting some real work done, moving projects forward or having that opportunity to do some deep work. And then all the other four days can be appointments. That’s a strategy. So, theming our days of when we’re going to take appointments and not. Another one is actually making sure that an alliance with our personal energy management. So, what I mean by that is I’m an extrovert so I get energy by people and an introvert gets energy by doing deep work. So, that would be doing the emails or email’s not deep work. That’s not what I meant. What I meant was I don’t call that deep work, doing independent work. That’s what I meant. Whatever that is, content creation. You’re doing something behind the scenes. So, introvert and extrovert generally means where you get energy. So, I have really good energy in the morning and, to be honest, I have a natural lull in my energy in the afternoons. But what that means is, is that I actually book appointments from the end of my day up so afternoons are appointments because it does not matter what’s going on, I show up 100% for every time I’m in front of somebody, whether it’s an interview or a client or whatever.
But if I were to put on my calendar at 3:00 in the afternoon to write a sales email or to work on a new training program, me, the productivity specialist, could find every reason to talk herself out of it. Because my willpower is lower, my energy is less, I’m not able to show up my best and so I let myself get distracted. Does this sound familiar to anyone listening? And so, it may just be that you’re putting the wrong type of activity at the wrong time of the day.
Hilary Hendershott: Okay. And then what about the idea of task switching? So, I find it’s hard for me to go from interviewing someone on a podcast like this to delivering a financial plan review. So, if I was going right into a client meeting after this, it’s like it’s hard on me. Do you think about that?
Amber De La Garza: Yes, and it is hard on everyone. Honestly, we weren’t really built to do that kind of task switching, okay? And so, because it takes so much more energy to switch, it’s not that you won’t, right? If you had a client to deliver a financial plan like Hillary shows up but afterward, you’re exhausted. And if there was anything else after on your schedule, it’s like, “Eh.” Okay. I’m not just saying for you. It’s for everyone. So, again, I’m going to lean back to theme days. So, for example, this is actually part of the conversation we had in Puerto Rico. You were saying something like, “I don’t understand that if you try to schedule an appointment with somebody and they say, ‘I’m only available Tuesdays and Wednesdays for a podcast interview.’” I’m only available Mondays, Wednesday afternoons, and Fridays if I work a Friday for interviews. And the reason is because I give it all like I am very extroverted. I’m going to go all-in on the interview and if I try to do that on a day that I also had to serve my clients, I don’t think I’d be able to show up for my clients as well. So, you don’t get a Tuesday or Thursday because those are my private coaching days. So, I really look at the energy management of that, of saying, “Okay. So, can I batch same/like tasks or projects together?” And any time you can do that more on purpose, you will have more flow in your day and your energy will go further because it takes a lot of energy, mental bandwidth to switch from one type of task to the next.
Hilary Hendershott: Yeah. Okay. So, let’s say you have the opportunity to do a big – you’re launching a new offer and this one podcaster just won’t have you on any other day than a Tuesday. Do you do it?
Amber De La Garza: Yes unless I have to reschedule a private coaching client. So, I don’t have appointments all day, so I have my mornings available. Absolutely. So, one of the things with boundaries is that sometimes we don’t stick to them or even create them because we think they’re too structured. And I want to say there’s a lot of freedom to it because you get to choose when you break or make an exception. I like to say make an exception for your own boundaries. I absolutely make exceptions and I’m really clear when I do and there’s no resentment. It’s like I chose that and it’s using the words I chose to make an exception is so empowering versus it just happened. It just is. And now I got to show up for the schedule that doesn’t serve me.
Hilary Hendershott: Okay. So, you said you don’t make appointments all day,
Amber De La Garza: Yep. So, my coaching clients start at 11 o’clock.
Hilary Hendershott: And so, then before 11, you’re not doing email but you are doing things like writing newsletter articles or maybe scripting a solo podcast episode. That’s when you’re doing your creative work, is that right?
Amber De La Garza: Yup. So, it’s any kind of content creation or things off of my to-do list that are determined that need to get done for the day or the week. And I just want to correct you really quick. I actually do process my emails in the morning. So, this may sound counterproductive and so I just want to share this. There’s no shame in processing our emails in the morning. I think we hear that tip or strategy of like don’t get in your inbox. What I wish they would say is don’t get in your inbox if you don’t have the discipline to get out of your inbox. And so, for me…
Hilary Hendershott: I should have to turn over the keys to my email. I’m never out ever, not ever.
Amber De La Garza: Right. And so, I get in it because it’s for me to get in, get to process, close the loop. I know what’s going on and that works better for me to go into deep work is not to wonder what’s in my inbox so dealing with it and processing it. So, I schedule 30 minutes to be in, process it, do what I need to do, and then I get out and start my high-value activities for the day.
Hilary Hendershott: Okay. All right. So, let’s say there’s a process that you used to run. It’s your company. You hire someone. You delegate that process to them. Do you have them continue to copy you on the email so that you can see it so that you know it’s happening?
Amber De La Garza: Yeah, great question. So, I think of each person on our team having like a trust bank that needs to be filled up. And so, when I first hire you, that bank is empty. I don’t really know if you’re going to represent me correctly, write the right emails, the words, whatever. And so, my goal is to get that trust bank as full as quickly as possible. And if we are filling it up and then it’s getting debited, debited, debited, that’s a whole nother conversation but probably they’re not the right fit. But let’s just say we get the trust tank filled then I literally release them and I say, “I no longer need to see your work. I no longer need to be CC’d on emails.” I remember my executive assistant. I had a game plan for how long I thought I was going to need to be reviewing her stuff. And I got so excited that her trust tank was filled super-fast that it just came rumbling out of my mouth. We got a good laugh out of it and I was like, “The leash is off.” I was like, “You don’t say that to employees. You don’t say that to team members.” But what I meant is, “This is our baby. This is our business.” And so, when we build our team, like we do have a leash. We need to see like are they using the right words and are they representing us correct? And then one day you’re like, “I actually am so thankful you’ve gifted me back that bandwidth. I don’t need to see everything you’re doing.”
Hilary Hendershott: Yeah. Okay. And then are there other deliverables or ways that you manage your business? One thing, for example, I have found to be massively helpful for myself is rather than manage my business from inside my email inbox, I’ve started keeping a list of current projects, each person on my team, who’s working on what. I update that list that are one-on-ones. It’s a one place where I have high-level oversight into what the heck is happening and I actually read through the projects list at the team meeting so that everyone knows what’s happening. And like I have found that to be super helpful. Anything like that for you? I mean, I just made that up. You’re the productivity specialist. Maybe you have something way better.
Amber De La Garza: I actually have something super similar. So, we actually use a task management, project management program called ClickUp. And inside ClickUp, they have these things called dashboards as well. So, each person on my team has a dashboard and I keep their projects on there and also the agenda for our meetings. And then also it’s a digital note. So, as I’m going through my week and I’m like, “Oh, I want to talk to Sabrina about this and Lacy about this, I just go to their dashboard and write it down on the agenda. And now the agenda is created in real-time so that’s not something else that shows up on my to-do list. And now we go through the dashboard, like you said, projects and anything that I wanted to bring up to them. So, very similar. I love that.
Hilary Hendershott: Very great. Okay. So, nine weeks off, three-day weekends, bonus days, four categories of stuff in your calendar, marketing, sales, service, and leadership, which of course comes after all your personal time off.
Amber De La Garza: Yes.
Hilary Hendershott: This is aspirational.
Amber De La Garza: This is great. So, then if you want to work up to say the nine weeks, it’s this green light/red light of let’s say you can do two weeks with your current team in the way things work but what if you learned how to leverage yourself, discipline, mindset? What if you learned how to leverage people on your team or even people in your personal life so that you had more time in the business? So, that’s where the S.T.O.P. comes from is that when you learn how to leverage all of these areas, self, time, organization, and people is that it becomes much more of a reality that you can take more time off. Or choose the lifestyle you want, like my goal was more time off. Your goal, whoever is listening today, that may not be your goal. Your goal is like I want to get home three nights a week to have family dinner like that is a real reason my plans work with me. They’re like, “Amber, if I don’t get this together in my business like I might get divorced.” Like, that is the reality of where people are at. So, don’t get stuck on the nine weeks of vacation. There’s a line from anywhere that you’re currently at all the way to nine weeks or even more but why do you want to be more productive? My guess is it’s a combination of increased profitability, less stress, and truly feeling guilt-free, time to do what matters most, which generally isn’t the things we find in our business.
Hilary Hendershott: One thing I’ve noticed that’s been a little bit surprising to me is I take my evenings off to spend with Harlyn. I mean, I probably spend two-thirds to half the time working that I used to like a half. And I still feel like there’s things I don’t get done. I am proud of myself as a mom, as a wife, like I don’t have that conversation of, “Oh, maybe I’m not there. Maybe I’m not present. Maybe she doesn’t know me. Maybe I’m not being a sufficient mom.” I know I am. And so, that I feel good about. I love in life not having regrets.
Amber De La Garza: Yes. You know, one of the methodologies that I teach, it’s called the And Method and it’s about creating the I’m going to reach this business school and have nights off with Harlyn and to be able to take a girls’ trip to Puerto Rico twice this year. I just pointed it out there, Hilary. Whatever that looks like, if you first create it and say, does that look like “and” not “either/or” then you back it into now you create the plan that allows for that to happen. But many of us say we’re going to create goals in our business and then we don’t look at the personal or we create goals that are fighting. Like, I had these big goals in business but I also want to have nine weeks off and time at night with my family. Well, unless you’re going to learn how to build a team and do all of that, they’re fighting each other. So, it really starts with the plan and then making it happen over time.
Hilary Hendershott: It’s the reality of whenever you want something new to come out of your business or that up level, you have to learn to do something you’ve never done before. It really is something. Let’s talk about you have a master class coming up. Do you want to talk about that?
Amber De La Garza: Yeah. Thank you. So, we have a master class and it’s called Full Speed Ahead (A Masterclass): How To Achieve Any Goal You Set and it’s going down on September 23rd and you can join us by going to AmberDeLaGarza.com/FullSpeedAhead.
Hilary Hendershott: Awesome. I will be talking more about your masterclass on social media. If you are listening, you can tell by the wisdom bombs that Amber is dropping that this really is her bailiwick. She does this all day long. Productivity is the key and the foundation to every single business. It is ubiquitous in business. You can’t be successful without it. So, I highly recommend you take part in her masterclass. Amber, I’m sure you have your daily schedule just mapped out so I will let you get off the call. No, seriously. Thank you for joining us. I love that I finally got to interview. Thank you.
Amber De La Garza: Thank you so much for having me.
Hendershott Wealth Management, LLC and Profit Boss® Radio do not make specific investment recommendations on Profit Boss® Radio or in any public media. Any specific mentions of funds or investments are strictly for illustrative purposes only and should not be taken as investment advice or acted upon by individual investors. The opinions expressed in this episode are those of Hilary Hendershott, CFP®, MBA.