As the famous saying goes, no man is an island. This resonates true to every business owner and how they could achieve success and freedom by simply delegating work. Penny Zenker talks with Brett Trembly of Get Staffed Up to share how his virtual staffing company taught him the importance of working with the right people. Brett discusses the right strategies to make any delegation successful and yield the most profitable results to the owner and the entire business. Penny and Brett also share their morning routines, explaining how having the right mindset at the beginning of the day contributes a lot to increasing productivity.
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Brett Trembly On Delegating Work While Staying On Top Of Your Game
I am super excited to share with you about delegation. We’re going to talk about that ugly word, delegation. I say ugly because it’s one of those things that we love to hate. We resist because we feel like maybe we’re losing control of something and the actual opposite is true. It’s one of those paradox old type of things. With that, I want to introduce our guest because we look for people who are going to help you to work smarter. Brett Trembly is here with us. He said he’s a part recovering lawyer and part actual lawyer. He’s in the South Florida legal community. He’s a former President of the South Miami Kendall Bar Association and former Vice-Chair of the Florida Bar 11th Circuit Grievance Committee. He volunteers in supporting those in the community. He’s been also named a Super Lawyers Rising Star in Florida for several years. Brett will tell you more about himself as we introduce him. Brett, welcome to the show.
Penny, thank you so much for having me. I love your name, by the way.
Thank you. What sticks out for you about my name? I’ve heard that a couple of times.
I read one time of a street named Penny Lane. There’s not one anymore. The homes on that street are 30% more valuable. I need to go to my city council and have my street named Penny Lane. You can have multiple Penny Lane in any state all throughout. That’s a cool thing.
Sometimes people have said to me that Penny Zenker sounds like a reporter or something famous. Brett Trembly, what does that mean? Do people get 30% more for their money when they hire you as a lawyer?
It’s more than that, but let’s talk about delegation. I’m a lawyer. I have a ten-attorney business and litigation law firm. We hit the Inc. 5,000. Credibility-wise, I’m not just a lawyer that couldn’t make it. We have a successful law firm in Miami. This business is focused on helping lawyers who used to be where I was. I was trying to do everything myself and I couldn’t get out of my own way. I couldn’t hire someone because I told myself I didn’t have the money, but I didn’t have the money because I didn’t hire someone. It’s that paradox.
It’s that Catch-22. We’ll weave back in what you’re doing there, but why is it the case? Why do people feel that way? Why is it that you felt that you didn’t have the money and at the same time you wouldn’t get the money until you freed yourself up? What’s going on in our psyche that creates that?
That’s what it is, it’s in our psyche. I should have done therapy gut I didn’t. I had to do a lot of reading, soul searching, hiring and getting coaching. Think and Grow Rich will change me, but I was a failure. I thought if I hired someone and had to fire them because I couldn’t pay them, the whole world was going to laugh at me. I realized that the whole world is too busy doing their own thing to give a you know what about Trembly and what he’s doing. You have to get over yourself and your ego, but it’s not that easy. I don’t understand why. I was this way, so I’m not judging. Still, you look someone dead in the face like, “I was there.” You cannot grow until you delegate 80% of the things. Start with three things. Start with your email because you will spend more time on the things that make you money.
It will increase your income a little bit. In my case, it was double. I was billing about one hour per day and then it was two. Talk about rocket science, doubling your firm in the first month. That was what I did when I hired my first person. You can explain it to someone logically and walk them through the steps, but their subconscious and their fears take over. I was at least so emotionally tied to the money that I didn’t have that I couldn’t grasp the idea of, “I barely can pay all my bills now, how I am going to hire someone?”You have to get over yourself and your ego, but it's not that easy. Click To Tweet
How did you get over it?
Somebody got through to me. I got a little bit lucky, a law student at the time introduced her friend. She was willing to work for a stipend per week. I was barely paying her $250 a week for 30 hours. She is now a lawyer. Thank God she came into my life. This was back in 2014. I couldn’t figure out that I would always be where I was. We all know plenty of business owners who’ve never grown over the years because they can’t learn that lesson. I’m not judging, but it’s a hard thing to emotionally get over.
There’s an important point there though that you said there was a student. There are so many opportunities. We’ve got people overseas now that are available to us. We’ve got interns that want the experience. There are different levels of experience and different levels of support that people might need, but they’re out there. There’s even a barter system. There’s a whole community of bartering. There are opportunities, and we shut them down, but there are low-cost opportunities to at least get started with something.
The key is to get started. For me, it was getting rid of answering my phones, sending email and faxes, and trying to schedule all my appointments. Once I got rid of all of the administrative things, it freed up a few hours per day that I capitalized on. I’ll give myself credit at that point. Even though she left after the summer, I listened to my own success. I was like, “I’m going to repeat this.” Some people, they’ll hit them in the face and they’ll still fall back to their old ways. I don’t know how to explain that psychological phenomenon. We all fall back to our old ways even though we learned something new when it blows our minds. I kept hiring and making more revenue. Now I can keep going. I took that model and now that’s part of what we do at Get Staffed Up. We help lawyers delegate their way to freedom, but we have a lot of non-lawyer clients.
The key is getting started even if it’s just with a few small things. What do you think are some of the common mistakes that people make when they’re finally like, “I’ve decided to delegate. You’ve convinced me. I’ll start with some small things.” What do you think is important for them to know to see success?
One frustrating thing is when you make a hire and that person doesn’t work out. You say, “I’ve tried it and it doesn’t work. Those darn Millennials.” I’m on the upper end of the Millennial generation but I fall in that category. Maybe you hired the wrong person. Maybe you didn’t onboard them correctly. That’s a mistake. Maybe you didn’t train them enough. Maybe you didn’t follow up. Maybe you didn’t give them five repeatable tasks that you got on a scorecard and let them get good at those and gave them feedback so that the employee knew if they were doing good. Employees want to know that they’re doing a good job. It’s stressful to constantly wonder if you’re going to get fired because you have no idea if the boss is happy with you or not. That’s a stressful environment to live in. Those are a lot of the mistakes that people make. They have to learn the right way to onboard and train.
What are 2 or 3 tips when you’re onboarding somebody that you do it right the first time?
Don’t throw the kitchen sink at them. Give them a few things, then two days later, check-in and give feedback, “This is how you improve. This is here.” Let’s say you hire a receptionist. These phones are crucial for all businesses. You need to give them a script, listen and give them feedback. You can’t just bring someone on and ignore them for three weeks.
I call it dumping. It’s not delegating. It doesn’t work.There are a lot of good people in this world that will do a great job for you; sometimes not. Everyone has different skillsets. Click To Tweet
The feedback and the improvement, and then feedback on the improvement, and put things in writing. The end of the week scorecard is the best easiest tool, “I sent ten emails this week, I answered the phone, and I didn’t miss a call. I did fifteen follow-up calls. I didn’t let you miss any emails.” Let me get you one admin assistant that is going to do a lot of things for you. If someone’s checking off all those boxes at the end of the week because it’s a scorecard that you’ve developed because you’ve decided that’s what will help you with the time. They know they’re doing well and you know that they’re doing well. Out of sight, out of mind is a tough thing when you have no idea if someone is getting the work done or performing. You’re like, “Why am I keeping this person? I don’t know.” It’s too stressful to constantly ask. You need a system for getting that feedback.
What else have you found that helps to make delegation successful?
A mindset. For example, if you get rid of the things that cause you stress or anxiety or take up most of your headspace, then you’ll be happier delegating. You also have to like the person you’re delegating to. Some of us will have that assistant and be like, “I’d rather not talk to them because I’m going to have to over-explain it, so I’ll just do it myself.” There are a lot of good people in this world that will do a great job for you. Sometimes not. Everyone has different skillsets. Make a list. This is one thing we’ve talked to people about. Get a sheet of paper and draw a line down the middle, two columns. The left column is everything you love doing. The right column is everything you hate doing. It doesn’t make you money, you don’t enjoy it or whatever. The right column, everything you don’t enjoy, those are the things you delegate first. Do you know how liberating it is to be able to delegate a bunch of things? I don’t want to do those three things, but they’re going to get done because my business needs them. It is incredibly liberating, which then pays dividends with their energy.
The way that I build up my energy for the day and one of the things that I love doing in my morning routine is delegating something. If I start the day delegating something, I know that I’m going to get twice the amount of work done because someone’s going to do that. People talk about morning routines, what to do and what not to do. That’s something that I appreciate.
What’s your morning routine, Penny?
I believe that there are some things that you shouldn’t do. One of the things that I make sure that I’m conscious of not doing is I don’t check my phone, I don’t check my email, and I make sure that I’m not starting my day reactive. My proactive start typically with exercise. I go down and work out in my basement, get my heart pumping and do some stretching. I also have a gratitude journal. I write in my gratitude journal every day. That’s the way I like to start the day, with that type of energy because it’s not just what we do. It’s also how we show up and how we do it. You can have something that takes you forever because you hate it and you come into that mindset. It’s like pulling teeth. If you changed the way you looked at it and you could see what you could be grateful for about it or you already see it done or just shift that mindset, it’s going to go a lot easier. That helps me to boost my day. That’s one of the things that I do too.
I love talking to people about the morning routines. Arguably, this new business wouldn’t be around without a book called Miracle Morning. I and my now business partner both read the book. We started for years preparing, sharing and growing together that way. I’m a huge advocate of the morning routine.
Tell me about yours.
Mine has six things, silent meditation, affirmations and not like staring in the mirror and saying, “I’m smart. I’m beautiful.” It’s all your goals for the year as if they’ve already been accomplished, and at the end of the year, you look back. A vision board, you believe in vision boards. Speaking of exercise, I have a podium and a triathlon on my vision board because that’s one of my goals. Exercise, reading and scribing, so journaling. I don’t have a great memory, and yet when I go back and I read my journal even from years ago, all these memories come flooding back. Every day that I don’t write in my journal, I feel like I lost that day forever. That’s a scary thing for me. I enjoy writing down every morning what I did the day before. These quick little things are neat for me.
My daughter started to do that because she also felt like she couldn’t remember things. It helps you to bring out those things that are most memorable, even if it’s an everyday thing, but it made an impression on you. My journaling is through the gratitude journal. I’m journaling about a couple of things that I’m grateful for that happened the day before. In a way, it’s also documenting the previous day. Do you have any other practices that you want to share like your morning routine that help you to be most productive throughout the day?A new level brings a new devil. Click To Tweet
I already mentioned that with the two lists in the columns. The more that you grow in business or in life, if you delegate, your plate start filling back up again with new things because my new level brings a new devil. Now my time is on this new thing that I’m doing. The highest performers every quarter will delegate 80% of the things they’re doing so that they can focus on the 20% which makes them most happy or saving the most time or making more money.
I love that, the new level brings the new devil. That is so true. We want to get to that next level, and then there are always the quality challenges that come along with that. This is some great stuff. Two last questions for you and then we’ll bring it to a close and have you let people know where they can reach you. How do you define productivity and why?
Being proactive with your day. Being reactive throws you off. Many people in this world respond to their email all day long, and now you’re constantly responsible. It’s not just being busy. It’s doing the hamster wheel. We can all get on the hamster wheel and run hard and feel accomplished, but where are you headed? It would be accomplishing tasks that move you closer to your stated goal.
Lastly, if they were to take all the apps off of your phone and your computer outside of email and calendar, what would be the first thing that you’d add back?
Probably my bank accounts, Penny.
Do you check your bank account every day? Is it helping you to be more productive?
No, it’s a safety thing. In the new digital world, it’s easy to have that. If you’re not monitoring those things, that would make me nervous. In terms of productivity, it would be my notes. There’s a lot of different note-taking thing, but you have Mac and an iPhone, your notes sync across all of your devices and it’s so convenient.
You use your notes a lot.
All the time.
Is there anything else that you wanted to share with the audience before we close out?
Delegating your way to freedom is our catchphrase. It’s about the fact that you’re put on this Earth for a reason. You can’t get to that fulfilling thing you want to do or the events or the business if you’re trying to do everything yourself. It’s not possible.
Thank you so much for all of those nuggets that you shared. Tell people where they can reach you.
GetStaffedUp.com, that’s it. For your readers, if you go to GetStaffedUp.com/VIP and pop in their name, number, email and then where you heard about us, if you are interested in our services and you sign up, you’ll get a nice little discount if you say Penny Zenker or the name of the show. I was terrible on the show, but I’m interested anyway.
Thank you so much. Take advantage of this. Start with a couple of things that you can let go of, that you can have someone do. You’ll see that it gets easier and then you can find the next thing and the next thing. It is truly freeing. One of the great things that we heard is when you do decide to delegate, it’s about doing it effectively and efficiently. Getting that onboarding process, making sure that you’re finding the person that’s a good fit for you, and making sure you don’t give them too much at once, and that you have a system to record that feedback. Those are a couple of tips that are going to help you to delegate more efficiently and effectively. We’ll see you in the next episode.
- Brett Trembly
- Think and Grow Rich
- Miracle Morning
About Brett Trembly
In the South Florida legal community, Brett is a former President of the South Miami Kendall Bar Association and former Vice-Chair of the Florida Bar 11th Circuit Grievance Committee 11 “I.” He also volunteers on the Florida Bar Young Lawyers Division Mentoring Program, the Dade-County Bar Associations Rainmakers Committee, and annually volunteers for Miami-Dade County’s Ethical Governance Day. Brett has also been named a Super Lawyers Rising Star in Florida for the past three years.
Brett also maintains his leadership emphasis and is strongly committed to giving back, serving as Past- President of the Rotary Club of South Miami, Past- President of a B.N.I. Chapter, Vice-President of the Rotary Foundation of South Miami, Inc., as a Director of the Palmetto Bay Business Association, a member of the Pinecrest Business Association, an American Ninja Warrior alum, and Moderator for his E.O. forum. Brett may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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