Top tips from Nick Thompson.
1. If you want to grow your business, you need to grow your people.
I mentioned it earlier, if you want to grow your business, you need to grow your people. And so that means education, that means giving people an opportunity to have some autonomy over their their jobs, their roles, you know, defining the boundaries there, but giving people an opportunity to, to thrive in their positions to, to maybe makes, you know, make some suggestions on how to improve it.
2. If you want to grow your people, you need to first grow yourself
The second part to that is if you want to grow your people, you need to first grow yourself. So that is the part that’s missing is we need to grow as people if we want to grow people. So we’ve got to be on a constant learning journey. We’ve got to read books, have you know, peer networks, connect, grow ourselves, learn more tools, do you know there’s there’s myriad amounts of of self assessment tools out there that can teach you last year I did an EQ test and had a two hour consult on EQ I felt like I knew that part of me fairly well.
3. Get every half an agreement in writing for everything.
In a lot of the pitfalls in the book, one of the one of the tips is like a repeat in many of them, and we spoke about it is get every half an agreement in writing for everything. If you have a partnership, shareholder agreement, yes, you’re married, and you’re a partner, you know, you and Nick, our partners have a shareholder agreement, it’s in writing, you have all the scenarios that could go wrong, because when you’re creating a partnership, all you can think of is what is going to go right. And so you need to think about what’s going to go wrong, and how do we cover that off amicably and equitably in a shareholder agreement in writing?
business, company, grow, pitfalls, writing, people, exited, years, nick, entrepreneurs, eq, agreements, book, wife, number, partner, eo, work, tools, clients
Jeni Clift 00:02
Hey everybody, Jenny Clift here for another episode of our better business better life podcast. And today, I’m really excited to welcome Nick Thompson, who we’ve been talking about doing this for so long. And we’re finally here. So I’m in Bali, and just been getting absolutely no sympathy from Nick about the weather here. My biggest issue is, you know, the dropping frangipani and you know, getting getting a swim in between the in between meetings. And Nick is in Calgary in Canada, where snow is forecast pretty much any moment. Anyway, so Nick Thompson, welcome, fellow EO member, fellow EO trainer, which is how we know each other. And topic really, for today, Nick is your book, which I love the title of look out, you’re about to get effed and the 13 biggest pitfalls of business and how to avoid them. And what I love about this is this is from your lived experiences, and from actual experiences, not about, you know, reading a book or, you know, hearing about other people or you know, get taken advice. It’s actually from lived experience in your own entrepreneurial journey. So, share us a little bit about your story and who you are. Great,
Nick Thompson 01:18
thanks. Thanks very much, Jenny. And thanks for having me on your show real, it’s a true honor to be across the world on the other side of the world and, and be able to connect with you this way. So appreciate it. My my entrepreneurial story, went back to After university I worked on, I ran ski schools and did marketing for ski hills for 10 years. So I skied professionally for 10 years, and ended up getting in business with my parents, my parents were looking for a small company to fund that. That could be their retirement plan and asked me to join them asked my brother as well. And he’s in the arts and said business No way. So I said, you know, anything to do with marketing would be super fun. And so we found a small business, I was the fifth employee. And four years later, they said, you’re good. Time to buy us out and retire. And so that was at about 12 employees in the year 2000. That’s when I joined EO. So just over 22 years, in Yes, yeah. And since so I ended up and honestly, all success I attribute to the network connections, tools, learnings from EO as well as all the tools. So you, you know, we teach accelerator, you are heavily involved in Eos, all the best practices of tools, I implemented them grew the business, from just qualifying for EO with about 20 employees at the time, to 350 employees 2020 office locations in North America, warehousing on five continents, and, and just topping over the 100 million gross revenue mark. And again, I attribute it all to EO and the tools and the network with the Oh. During that time. Of course, there’s lots of highs and lows in business. Lots of partnerships, lots of horror stories, and, and some great success as well. So definitely a roller coaster of emotion. And, and during that time, and since that time, I’ve incubated, grown and exited a number of other companies as well, using the same sort of network and tools. And upon a very tumultuous exit from my original company, which I write about. Very vulnerably I might had, I came to I came to I’m a big proponent of all the business best leaders and thought thought leaders, the books like you know, Jim Collins and Adam Grant and Simon Sinek. And I’m a huge student of that, and believe in it heavily. But what I noticed was, there isn’t a book out there that says, Here are all the things to look out for. Right here all the dangers of business. And it’s not that sexy, right? It’s a little bit depressing, actually, when you talk about all the dangers and the pitfalls, and I said, you know, I’ve lived through a lot of them, and I know a lot of people in our network in EEO and, and and you know, from news stories and that sort of thing that have gone through the similar pitfalls I have. I’m going to write a book that has and third Teen was a very purposeful number for me told me you got to make it 13. I had 12 at the time. And so, so I came up with the 13 biggest pitfalls of business. My story was, is intertwined. And I add in all sorts of other real stories to say this company went through it, this business owner and went through it, and some some public ones that people will recognize as well, just to, you know, make sure that people understand this isn’t a one off pitfall this can happen to any business, and and what to look out for, and then tips on how to avoid those those pitfalls. So it’s speaking,
Jeni Clift 05:40
I”ll come back to why 13. So I’ll come back to that. Is
Nick Thompson 05:44
Amazon best seller, and it’s taken off and, and I’m doing a lot of podcasts and webinars across the globe. Really, just to I don’t make money from it, quite frankly, I’m doing it because I want to put this in the hands of entrepreneurs to help because that’s the community that we love. Right? Yeah.
Jeni Clift 06:03
And I love and I see this so often with ers and particularly our training community actually have we’re really in that phase, I guess, in our business or our life, where it is kind of that give back, back, give back time. So two questions we always ask at the start of our, our podcast is share with me two wins a personal and a professional, maybe from the last year, or less than that professional one.
Nick Thompson 06:33
Yeah, so professional one in 2023. So my wife and I have a new business. It’s a virtual executive assistant in bookkeeping and online business managers. So we hire out virtual employees, if you will, to two companies across North America, on a contract basis. And it has grown in leaps and bounds. This year, we’ve been able to really focus in on our key, core best type of client, you’ll know that and we’ve really been able to focus in on that we fired a bunch of clients that didn’t fit our core values. And we’ve been able to really hone in on, on who we work with best. So that’s been a great success this year. Professionals, nice
Jeni Clift 07:23
Person, I’m now working with willscot in with the colourfix. And, and a big part of that, you know, it’s not only the values, but it’s it’s deeper than just the values I should say it is not on your staff. It is also your clients, you know, making sure that everybody fits in that because you know, if I look back through our business, and the really difficult, prickly customers that when they rang, they kind of went Oh, no, what do they want this time? Just moving those on just makes it a much nicer place for everybody. So you got super critical. Yeah. And personal win.
Nick Thompson 07:56
Yeah, and personally, we had some challenges this year with some family health issues. My wife’s mother and grandmother got ill at the same time. And mom was taking care of grandma. So. So we actually went and spent, we lived with them for three months in on Vancouver Island, helping them through through that. And so it’s been quite a difficult year. And we’ve come to the point now where everybody’s getting the care that they need. And we’ve got everything sorted out. So we’ve been able to free up ourselves, again, to really concentrate on, you know, our growing our lives again. So it’s great to have family taking care of where they need to be taken care of. Nice.
Jeni Clift 08:45
And you’ve managed to, to pull together the business and the values and getting that work done as well. It’s it’s like the perfect storm, isn’t it? Yes. And I’m sorry to hear about the illness in your family. But good to hear that. That it’s all sort of back. Sounds like it’s on track.
Nick Thompson 09:03
Someone on track. Yeah. Thank
Jeni Clift 09:04
you. Yeah. So tell me with the book, Why 13 You said that somebody in your forum or somebody in New York said it has to be 13 What’s the thing? And
Nick Thompson 09:13
I think it’s more of a North American thing, Jenny? Because I’ve had that question from from people in other countries 13 is considered a bad luck number in in North America. I’m not sure where else it is.
Jeni Clift 09:29
My son’s born the 13th Friday the 13th of January which always kind of joke that it’s you know, we should have known
Nick Thompson 09:36
Yeah, okay. So so that’s why we thought you know, 13 was an appropriate number for you know, for the pitfalls. Personally, it’s a good luck number in my family always has been I got married on the 13th on purpose and it’s always you know, where the number 13 During with sports. But the norm is it supposed to be a bad luck now? So that’s why we picked it. Psycho
Jeni Clift 10:02
With the, and I guess it fits, you know the 13 pitfalls. So yeah. And I’m sure there’s more than 13. How did you narrow it down to 13?
Nick Thompson 10:12
That’s the that’s the other thing. So I was actually at lunch with a colleague today that said, Hey, listen, you, I’ve read your book. And there’s at least another 13, you could write and I said, yeah, it might, it might lend its way to the second book for sure.
Jeni Clift 10:32
Yeah, the what’s the next one? You’re about to get effed again. Here’s the next thing.
Nick Thompson 10:37
That’s right. The next. Thank you. All right, that down.
Jeni Clift 10:44
You’re welcome. I love I’ll be expecting royalties on that one. Yeah. So what you said you sort of you love looking at books. And you? Yeah, there was nothing around that sort of 13 or so you know that what to watch out for? What was the catalyst? When did you decide to actually write the book? Yeah.
Nick Thompson 11:11
So again, I write, I read the story in the book. And it’s when it’s on that tumultuous exit from the company. So when, when we were growing to a larger size, we merged with another company, we merged boards of directors, I gave up my chairmanship to another partner, because at a young family at the time, I didn’t want to do all the traveling, he didn’t have family came from a larger company used to be a CEO of a Fortune 500 company, and said, Look, you know, big business, I’m an entrepreneur at heart, you know, big business. So you take over the chairmanship. And as things progressed, we were butting heads with with members of the board. And they were the way we built our company, I still believe this to the day, you want to build your company, you need to build your people. And they came in and said, We need to build our shareholder return, we need to cut people. And I was like, Oops, I think we might have made a mistake. So as much as I argued and fought. I’m one vote at that time. So I got out voted, and there was a lot of cuts, because they saw a profit on the other side of that, I saw what I call the toilet bowl effect, you know, you make cuts, and then it gets worse. And then you’re like, oh, we need to make more cuts. And then it gets worse. And then you need to make more cuts. I call that the toilet bowl effect. And it was just spiraling. And so I finally took in, in early 2017. I took what I call my last stand. And I said, if you don’t change the way you treat people, and we and we start rebuilding people, I’m going to leave, you’re going to do it without me. And I thought that would change people’s minds. And they just, they just said okay, bye. Fairly nonchalantly. So I found myself on the outside of outside of my company. And what happened after that WAS IT KEPT toilet bowl spiraling and early 2020. claim bankruptcy, they no longer exist anywhere on the globe. So people will often say to me, Hey, Nick, don’t you feel vindicated? You are right. And I said, no, they killed my baby. I’ll never get over that. Right. Yeah, that was my baby. And so part of the journey of healing was writing. Right. And so, you know, I was writing, you know, all the things that happened, because you always look back and say, what, what would I have done differently? You know, hindsight is 2020. And so, therapeutically, I was doing a bunch of writing and journaling, what had happened looking in the mirror, and it probably took me about two years to come to understand. Those were all decisions I made. And I have to take accountability for those. And in the meantime, maybe from all the lessons I’m taking out of it. I can help other companies and other entrepreneurs by actually publishing what I’m writing about. And that’s how this book came to be.
Jeni Clift 14:25
And that was going to be around my my next question. We exited our business 18 months ago. So I made the decision early last year to I’d already exited. Nick exited sort of this time or advised our partner after a merger that he was exiting as well. And I think when we met with you in Canada, or sorry, in the US last year, we were in the midst of that and and I know how difficult it was for us going through that and it’s probably not unlike what you’ve Experienced? How did you manage those first few weeks? Just think back to, you know, you’ve said, I’ll leave and they said, Okay, which is pretty much what happened to me. How did you manage going? Because it is it’s like grieving, it’s like going through that grieving process. Back there. And and how did you do that sort of day to day excerpt your, your team walking away?
Nick Thompson 15:27
Yeah, it was definitely a very difficult time. Because in in the Calgary office where I was situated, I had built a commercial building that they were, the office was in. So they’re still in my building. And so you know, and these are people that, you know, I’ve come to love like family. And so I would go in, you know, once a week just to visit, see how everyone’s doing, make sure they felt they were okay, without me being there, you know, I didn’t want them to suffer. And I was told, you know, I was told by the board, you can’t, you can’t visit the company, unless you reach out, we pre arranged, it’s going to be off our off business hours, because they didn’t, they thought maybe I would be in there trying to influence people to leave or whatever. You know, I had obviously had a strict non compete and confidentiality agreement, and I was gonna absolutely honor that. I just wanted to see the people that became family, and make sure they were okay. So it was very difficult saying I’m not allowed to visit. And, and I wasn’t allowed to, you know, they legal letter saying you can’t contact anyone. And, you know, they were scared, right, that I was going to do something, and I had absolutely no intentions, but you know, I understand. So it became very lonely very quickly. And I did lean very heavily on EO and on my forum group in E ote for support. And my, you know, my peer network. And my wife is so smart. We, she said, Look, you’re you know, you’re a great person, you’ve always believed in people, you know, you’re gonna get through it, we’re going to do other things. And she was the one that suggested that I come up with some sort of a mantra for myself. Because I was doing a lot of looking in the mirror, like, you know, literally and figuratively, and, you know, saying, What did I do wrong? And am I a bad person, and those sorts of things go through your mind, right. And so I had a mantra that I said, in the mirror, every morning, when I got up, and every night when I went to bed, that that, you know, you’re a good person, you mean? Well, for people, you always had other people’s interest in, you know, best interest in mind. And you will be able to build something else, building great people again, because they will want to work with you, whoever that is. And I would say this sort of mantra and, and it did take me a couple of years before I sort of landed on my feet. And my wife had a company at that time, actually. And so it started to grow rapidly. The company we’re in now, it started grow rapidly. And she said, hey, you know, you knew all the tools and how to build people. Let’s, let’s, this thing’s seems to be going somewhere. And can you help me build it? So we’ve been growing it across North America? Since since so that’s really helped me kind of refocus as well.
Jeni Clift 18:49
Yeah, we, we had a just an out of the blue offer, while coming up six years ago now to buy our business. And it was one of the options was walking walk out, and various reasons why we didn’t go down that path. But one of the main ones was again, leaning on that ijo network, speaking to a few people who said that, Nick, my, my neck, my husband, and I, he and I’ve worked together for 27 years. So you know, he didn’t have his what’s next. And and I think that was sort of set us on a path of I did already trained as an EOS implementer I’d started to sort of transition out or firstly into a role that I loved which was people in culture in our business, but for him, he was still very invested in our business. It was his identity and I often joke that you know, when I’d said if I suggested that we sell a business, I got a better reaction at you know, cutting, perhaps we could cut off an important part of your anatomy got a better response than selling the business. He was just so invested and and tied up in that business. So for you to walk away. Just putting myself in your shoes have to there had nothing What do you do with yourself? That’s, it’s such a hard place to be. And I wonder if, you know, you see people that retire and they dropped out of their Christmas of their retirement party or, you know, they’re dead a year later, because you’ve done all this work for so many years, and then go to what nothing to tell me about the business, you so you’ve stepped into your wife’s business? And really sort of in that, you know, building the people? How did that come about? Was it a conscious decision? Or was it you know, this is sort of, you know, I’ve got to do something with my time and this is here, or,
Nick Thompson 20:33
Yeah, thank you, it was a very conscious decision. So I had helped my wife start the business, because I’ve started businesses know, you know, all the steps that it takes. And so I helped to start it, but I know it my wife is it knows how she’s, she would be an integrator extreme, okay, very, very well organized, knows how to implement things. And so, so I helped her start it. And she was doing that I was busy, you know, grieving, coming to terms with things writing, you know, writing the book, and looking for opportunities, and, you know, talking to the network and just looking for other opportunities, I became, I became a Doa trainer, immediately. As soon as I left the company, I became an AOA trainer, because I wanted to do that anyway. I was accountability coach and mentor before. And so that, you know, sort of kept me busy and gave me some passion about people, right, helping people helping entrepreneurs. And so that helped as well, content, keep that purpose and passion going. And I did land with a company that does business consulting, for larger businesses that have executive teams, and we help them with vision and strategy and execution. And so I work with about five clients, for them just on a contract basis, but again, purpose passion on helping entrepreneurs and business leaders. And, and then it was a, it was about a year later. And, and my wife, Lana said, this thing’s growing, and I need help you’ve grown businesses, let’s sit down and talk about roles. She’s 100%, the she has final say on everything I make sure he’s the boss. So both my home and business life, she’s the boss. And so we worked together before, in, in a marketing company, so we understood how to work together and keep it separate. And so we you know, rules of engagement, clear definitions of, of roles, making sure we have clarity, we have dividing lines on decision making. And, and it’s not without, you know, some arguments, right? It’s bound to happen, but that’s with any partner. And it seems to go really well we know our lanes. I’m a visionary. And she’s 100% and implementer. So, you know, she knows how to organize and run and she’s the CEO and runs the business. I’m President, I’m the visionary. And I’m looking for opportunities and business development and those types of things. So we absolutely know our lanes. It’s worked out really well.
Jeni Clift 23:24
Nice. And as you know, Nick, and my Nick and I have worked together for 27 years, I think it is now and we and I’m sure you get the same, you know, people often saying, Oh, I don’t know how you can work together. But I’ve always taken the view that I can’t imagine building a business with anybody else. And and I think we have even more invested in settling arguments and not taking them home. But I think more importantly from for employees for our team is not taking home into the office. And that’s something we’ve always been very, very conscious of, and very, I think very good at and have had that comment, actually over the years from staff who’ve worked for another husband and wife team and comment sort of gone Oh, no, here, here we go again. But yeah, I think that’s for couples who do work together, that’s probably even worse than taking work home is taking home into the office. That’s right, absolutely. So what of your time now your visionary, you’re in that sort of business development and you know, looking from an iOS perspective, you know, it’s you know, big relationships, often culture research and development or as I like to call a rip off and duplicate. But that sort of big, you know, where are we going and, you know, how are we going to get there and then dragging everybody along? What sort of time do you spend a week in the business right now? What else do you do with your time what is your week look like?
Nick Thompson 24:54
So my my week right now is I am going to publish another Book. So it’s, it’s pretty much on the shelf ready to publish. Now it’s gone through editing and test reading and that sort of thing. And it’s all about, it’s about how to define and some tools to go after whatever success looks like for you as an individual. So because everyone’s different success is different, you know, a lot of people will look at money and and, you know, you and I know that’s, that’s not how success is made. It’s there’s a lot to do with connections with people and family and that sort of thing. So, so I’m working on that one, I do work with EO. So that’s about probably 20% of my time, I do Executive Business Coaching is probably 25% of my time, and then helping run and grow this business is probably the rest of it. So that takes me to midnight. And then what the the quip I heard is, hey, if you want to be an entrepreneur, and and free up your time, you can work halftime, you just have to decide on if it’s the first 12 hours or the second 12 hours. Busy Yeah. And
Jeni Clift 26:20
I think in the early stages of you know, with a startup, it’s, you know, you could go and get a job and work half as much as you do as a startup and probably in twice, ready two or three times. Yeah, absolutely. It’s, it’s as entrepreneurs, we’re, we’re just a completely different base to I think the the rest of the people, the non entrepreneurial. So it’s probably a good thing that we’re a minority, imagine if the whole world was full of crazy people like us, right? So let’s pull one of your tips out of the book, pull one of those, and just let’s talk through that. Okay.
Nick Thompson 26:57
So one of the ones I’ll talk about here is going to pick pitfall number three, everyone believes they deserve what you have. That’s the pitfall everyone believes they deserve what you have. And there are stories in here related to how how how people have gotten stolen from how how they’re good natured, you know, their willingness to help people and that has been somewhat abused, or maybe taken advantage of. And when, when you’re running a company, if you own a company, without any financial literacy education with your people, they believe that every single dollar of revenue goes to your bank. And they think you’re rich to them, and Ryan cash rolling in cash. And you just mentioned it very often, when we’re unable to pay ourselves sometimes to keep everyone else paid to keep the business running and the lights on. And so, you know, staff believes that you’re making, you know, all this money, and they, they, some will get a little jaded and actually take extra for themselves. suppliers will go, Oh, if you’re doing well, then you should be paying us more clients say, Well, if not, well, just lists are just less so everyone’s sort of trying to take a chunk of that, that dollar that you that you’re supposed to be taking home. And also partners and you know, if if, if any, if you have in a partnership arrangement, and they’re the one perceives the the the partnership to be lopsided in terms of takeaway, or not, are doing more work than the other partner, right? This is also marriage advice, doing what, you know, work more work than another partn
Jeni Clift 29:11
I think I can take yes to all of those.
Nick Thompson 29:13
Right. Yeah. So the pitfall is really about making sure that you you know, you have involvement from everyone, that you that you are you are giving financial literacy, you know, classes, if you will, or education somewhat to, to all the people that work with you, that you have solid agreements, two way agreements with suppliers and clients should all be two way like how can we be a good client to our suppliers as well. And when you have those open relationships, people tend to not get jaded in terms of they think they’re being taken advantage of and maybe they should take something a little extra. And there’s lots of horror stories in there on Entitle moment and, you know, people giving themselves raises without any, any authority and those types of things. So the tip really is to be transparent. And to have very good written clarity with all your agreements,
Jeni Clift 30:19
Including shareholders agreements,
Nick Thompson 30:20
In absolutely 100%. We,
Jeni Clift 30:25
We’ve had several partnerships over the years, and in each of them, we’ve spent a lot of money getting shareholders agreements going in, which has saved us a lot of money getting out, or, or meant we’ve exited with a better a better outcome. Financially, perhaps not, you know, emotionally or any of those sorts of things, but financially, we’ve been protected. I’m just a little bit scared, I feel like if we go through all 13 of these pitfalls, I’m going to tick yes to all of them. And, and it’s interesting, I often have these conversations is that, you know, this many years in business, and you think you’ve seen everything, and then something else will happen. When now, when you say transparency, what’s been your, I guess your experience, and also your attitude towards sharing high level financials with employees?
Nick Thompson 31:27
Yeah, I’ve always been a big proponent of it, my philosophy is, you know, not. So I don’t, I don’t want to make this a direct relative, you know, relative analogy here. But somewhat like, when you’re speaking with your children, you need to speak to your children’s level, you know, if they’re in grade two, you’ll speak more basic, if they’re in high school, you might give more detail, you know, what I mean? So, same with, you know, the people in your organization based on their understanding of financials, we, we, we believe in, if you give, here’s the financial statement, they’ll misinterpret a ton of things, and, and it’ll go back to, gosh, you’re, you’re making money off our backs. So, you know, they don’t understand all the risks we take, and, you know, personal guarantees, and, you know, liens on mortgages and all those things. And so, I wait, but we believe in and we had monthly classes, that was completely voluntary, but you come in we can we talk about what does what is profit, right? How does profit derived in a company arbit, we had a lot of inventory. And so we talked about when people say, Oh, it’s okay, just write it off, and the company gets its money back. So we’re like, hey, we need to educate people on what writing writing off means. mics. Yeah. And what that actually and when, and when we we talk about, you know, if we lose $1 in profit, how much in sales? Do we need to make up for that that dollar, right as typically 50 to $100 worth of sales makes up that dollar of profit. And when we showed them this, people really started to take a lot of responsibility and say, Hey, I think we could fix that item, we don’t need to return it. You know, hey, I think we can save some money with this courier instead of and so they became really responsible, because they started to understand the value of, of cost savings and the value of making some profits. So a company can be sustainable. So that really enhanced our desire to be transparent. We’re transparent at a higher level for sure. Not every line item.
Jeni Clift 33:59
That’s not your agenda salaries and that sort of thing. But yeah, yeah.
Nick Thompson 34:03
And one of the best practices that I heard a long time ago, and I can’t remember, it might have been through Rockefeller habits, originally, but it was, well as you grow, make sure that there is someone’s name accountable to every single line item in your GL. So that they can manage the budget of that line item. And in the beginning, your name is on all of it, right? But as you grow, you can delegate things out you can delegate, hey, what about the office supplies? What that can be delegated to somebody to take care of? And so as we built out, and ideally, your name is not on any of it. Right? You know, you have literally taken care of it in the end. And that way they become responsible and accountable because they have, hey, this is the dividing line of my responsibility as it as it were. tends to the budget or you know, the the parameters of that particular line item on the financials. And that really helped so, so we we implemented that as well.
Jeni Clift 35:10
I love that I love the education. And we, we didn’t go into that level of monthly, but certainly before we shared high level financials, which we did at our monthly, all team meetings, everybody, I just found some super simple education pieces based on the sort of the, your home, you know, your home is no different business, you have money coming in, and you have to pay your bills, and then you know, what’s left at the end, sort of, you know, that analogy that people understand. And then when new people came in, they had to watch those videos as well. And, and again, that same sort of engagement, and that was mandatory, everybody had to, but I love the idea of you offering that monthly sort of more in depth. Education, we did things for our team, like we, we had a fairly young team, so we had somebody come in one month and talk to them about how to set yourself up to buy a house, you know, what will the bank be looking for, so that you can get that mortgage and, you know, budgeting and all those sort of things because you know, just sort of life skills. But I’d be I really love that idea of that sort of deeper education. Because as the business grows, you want people to to really understand that and want to know how their efforts impact the bottom line. So we’re getting to the end. And, as always, I’m going to ask you to share three tips from all of your years of experience, all of the businesses that you’ve run, working with your partner, your wife, exits, partnerships, all of those sorts of things, what are three things that you’d like to share with the people listening to our podcast?
Nick Thompson 36:53
Okay, thanks, Jenny, I’m going to pull from hundreds of things, you know, obviously, there’s, there’s a lot more than three, but I’m going to pick three of sort of my main ones that that, that if you know, if asked, like I am now, I will tell you the number one, the the most important thing is, I mentioned it earlier, if you want to grow your business, you need to grow your people. And so that means education, that means giving people an opportunity to have some autonomy over their their jobs, their roles, you know, defining the boundaries there, but giving people an opportunity to, to thrive in their positions to, to maybe makes, you know, make some suggestions on how to improve it, absolutely. Make it safe, so that they can challenge some things that might not be working. And so you really get involvement from people and help them grow as individuals. We brought in, you know, people that did you know, spine alignment, we brought in people that did personal, you know, personal financing and budgeting, we we brought in all sorts of personal things, because we wanted to have people grow. Because if they grow and they’re involved, your clients are going to feel that, right, they’re going to they’re going to see that type of engagement. You know, much like the term happy wife happy life or happy spouse, happy house is a better way of putting it. Yeah. You know, it’s happy employees, happy customers. So, so that’s one the second part to that is if you want to grow your people, you need to first grow yourself. So that is the part that’s missing is we need to grow as people if we want to grow people. So we’ve got to be on a constant learning journey. We’ve got to read books, have you know, peer networks, connect, grow ourselves, learn more tools, do you know there’s there’s myriad amounts of of self assessment tools out there that can teach you last year I did an EQ test and had a two hour consult on EQ I felt like I knew that part of me fairly well. And I learned some invaluable things that I never thought of before. And it’s really I have I’ve been different ever since. And so there’s a if you’re in that constant learning and growing, then it’s easier for you to help people learn and grow. So that’s sort of
Jeni Clift 39:39
What was that one that you did just to not to give anybody else a plug but I’m interested so
Nick Thompson 39:43
It was just it was just called an EQ test. And it was another consultant coach that does that that certified on it didn’t have its name its she just had it as an EQ Can you tell assessment us and So it was, it was eye opening for, for me in some areas, the actual results came in, I wasn’t surprised by the results. It was our conversation after, when we were talking about. And I’ll give you the example there’s, there’s your strength. And then with every strength, there’s what she calls a shadow. So if you have this strength, and you’re using it too much, the shadow of it could be an opposite effect for somebody else. And it was really interesting how, again, there’s a lot more to it. But it’s interesting how that conversation came about, that an overuse of your strength could actually cause someone else not to be able to connect and that sort of thing, because EQ is about communication. And so so that’s a two parter. Right? So there’s the grow your business, grow your people, grow your, grow your people grow yourself. And And lastly, we touched on this before I cannot, I in a lot of the pitfalls in the book, one of the one of the tips is like a repeat in many of them, and we spoke about it is get every half an agreement in writing for everything. If you have a partnership, shareholder agreement, yes, you’re married, and you’re a partner, you know, you and Nick, our partners have a shareholder agreement, it’s in writing, you have all the scenarios that could go wrong, because when you’re creating a partnership, all you can think of is what is going to go right. And so you need to think about what’s going to go wrong, and how do we cover that off amicably and equitably in a shareholder agreement in writing? So, you know, when I got in business with my parents, you know, my dad said, Hey, we’re cool, you know, we’ll just have a handshake. And I said, No, I’m told that we need to put it in writing. And so we put it in writing, and it did save our relationship. And that that was more important than the business. It saved our relationship. So hot makes sure you have solid employment agreements, partnership agreements, supplier agreements, client agreements, that are really spelled out and super clear. So really, it’s it’s, it’s, it protects you for sure, legally, but you know, what it does is protect your relationships. So that if things are clear, you can always refer to it. And then there’s less strife, there’s less lawsuits, you know, there’s, you keep your friends longer, you know, that sort of thing. So really important.
Jeni Clift 42:39
No, I love that. And Nick, and I don’t have a partner agreement we, yeah, we’ve never, we’ve never actually had one, as in a business one. We’ve definitely had it with other partners. But but never had our eye. But one thing that we did improve drastically when we implemented EOS was those lines, and you touched on this with your wife, you and your wife very clear on on our lanes. And, and I guess that gave us that terminology without having that agreement, formal agreement between us. It gave us that clarity of when I was straying into next lane, or he straight into mind, just clarity. But that was well, well, well down the path of of us working together. And, and that was definitely a big a contentious issue prior to that of, you know, the things that I didn’t like doing I expected him to do, and vice versa. And then we’d get mad at each other if we, if neither of us did it. And mad at each other if both of us did it. But that, you know, that agreement definitely, you know, keeps us all honest and making us do the things that we that we don’t want to do as well as things that we do want to do.
Nick Thompson 43:44
Yeah. And really, you know, providing the maximum amount of value, right?
Jeni Clift 43:49
Absolutely. Yeah. And everybody then has something to fall back on. And yeah, like I said, the most amount of value. Well, Nick, thank you so much for your time. Really appreciate I didn’t actually ask you so it’s around 11:25am here in Bali. What time is it for you?
Nick Thompson 44:04
Jeni Clift 44:07
So you’re back in time, your life last night my time? That’s right, really? I’ll tell you what the weather’s like today. Already did and you didn’t want to know. So no, no. Again, thank you so much for your time. Really appreciate it. So next book, we’ll put it into the links on this podcast. So Nick Thompson, the book is called look out, you’re about to get effed. 13 biggest pitfalls of business and how to avoid them. And really looking forward to Let’s do another one of these when your new books released. And, and I’m sure I will see you around the ego traps but I really do appreciate your time for sure.
Nick Thompson 44:47
Thanks so much, Jenny. Really appreciate it.
Professional EOS Implementer | Entrepreneurial Leadership & Business Coach | Business Owner
Professional EOS Implementer New Zealand
Professional EOS Implementer Australia
Professional EOS Implementer UK
Professional EOS Implementer NZ