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I came across a quote from Sir Richard Branson recently that I found so powerful: “Train your people so they have the ability to leave you. Treat your people so they don’t ever want to leave you.”  This spoke to me on so many levels.

One thing we fear as business owners is the idea that we shouldn’t share too much with our team. I’ve spoken on the show before about some of the shit I’ve gotten into by having the wrong people around my business, but this episode is all about keeping the right people around, developing them, and growing your business in the process.

Tune in this week to discover how to help your team thrive, take responsibility for their roles, and ultimately become indispensable. I’m discussing when it’s right to outsource, how much you should share with your team, and how to motivate them to stay working with you.

I have an awesome new resource to give you guys some idea of where you’re at and how to take your business to the next level, whether you’re aiming for six figures or already there and aiming even higher. Download my Six-Figure Business Blueprint here.

What You’ll Learn from this Episode:

  • The number one worry when training a new team.
  • Why I try to share everything about my business with my team.
  • The importance of being legally protected.
  • How to take advantage of modern contracting systems.
  • How low unemployment rates have affected hiring.
  • Why knowing everything about your team members is so valuable.

Listen to the Full Episode:

Featured on the Show:

Full Episode Transcript:

Want to have it all? Well, the best day to get started is TODAY. Welcome to Love Your Living, a podcast for ambitious women who want to take their life and business to a WHOLE new level of success. I’m Brooke Keeling, multiple six-figure business owner, passionate entrepreneur and your host.

Welcome to another episode of Love Your Living podcast…

Hello, everyone, and welcome to the Love Your Living podcast. I am Brooke Keeling and I am so happy to be here with you each and every week and grateful for all of you that are tuning in.

Now, this week’s topic, what we’re going to chat about today, is an incredible quote that I came across a couple weeks ago from Sir Richard Branson, and it is all about teams. It is all about employees. It is all about culture. And that is what we’re going to dive into a little bit later.

But first, I have been receiving so much love from all of you and feedback that I want to start sharing a little bit each week. So I want to give a shout-out to Theresa Ernst. She is an incredible photographer. She happens to be my photographer. She also has an incredible social media platform and business that you can check out.

She also happens to be my team there as well. I was chatting with Theresa a couple weeks ago and she mentioned a friend that brought up the Love Your Living podcast, and said that she came across it, she was going through a really hard time in her job. She has a high-stress job, works a lot, was in a place where things were just not going great and she felt a bit down and defeated and whatnot; all of those feelings that we feel.

And she came across the podcast and said that she fell in love with it. It was her 3am listening pleasure and really got her through some hard weeks, just knowing that this is part of business. It’s part of what we’re doing, doing something bigger and staying with it, and knowing that we’re not alone.

So if you are both listening, thank you so much. I am very, very happy that the podcast has given you some inspiration in knowing that you’re not alone. And the last couple of weeks, I’ve really focused on trying to share with you guys some of the behind the scenes in my business and some of the big learning lessons and what’s been going on that is not so great sometimes, because I do think there’s an importance there in knowing that it’s not all glamorous.

And people on the outside sometimes think life is so great for you, you make all this money and you have so much success, but we also have to go through the shit. And it’s a lot of hard work, and our hard work is unseen sometimes, but I know you’re there and I know you’re doing the work.

So keep all of the love coming. I love hearing from all of you. It helps me with future shows and topics that people are struggling with, but I also just love hearing from all of you. So thank you, and each week, we’ll be doing a little bit of a shout-out.

Now, back to our topic for today. I don’t know if any of you are Richard Branson fans. I have become a little bit obsessed recently. All of my friends started traveling to Africa to go on these crazy safaris, and then I would see their pictures on Facebook and I’m like, holy shit, they’re friends with Richard Branson. How did you get on a safari with Richard Branson? That’s amazing.

And then, I realized that he actually has a sanctuary there. He actually has a place where you can go and you can hold retreats. And the people that I’ve been watching, I had a female friend and a male friend, both with their mastermind groups that were on a safari on Richard Branson’s property in Africa.

So anyways, he’s got me thinking about Africa big time, so if any of you have any inkling and desire to go to Africa, shout-out to me, because I would be more than happy to put an amazing group together and go and do some African safaris.

But anyways, back to our topic for today, a quote that I saw a couple of weeks ago by Richard Branson said this, “Train your people so they have the ability to leave you. Treat your people so they don’t ever want to leave you.”

I feel like this quote is so powerful, especially for all of us that are in business, that have team members, that are trying to scale and grow and bring people on and build the culture and figure out hiring and all of those pieces. It’s not an easy puzzle to figure out, especially in the beginning.

And a thought and a fear that I think we all have, again, especially when we first start out is, how much do we give our people? How much information do we share? How many tricks do we share? How much of the strategy that we’ve learned that works for us do we want to share with them?

It even comes down to staff members, you know. If you’re training salespeople or team members or people that could potentially be a competitor, that’s one thing. if you have a business that is maybe an online business, maybe it’s a startup, whatever it may be, you’re learning a lot of tools.

So you’re learning how to scale, you’re learning how to put systems and processes in place, you’re learning how to do sales funnels, you’re learning how to manage social media, you’re learning how to do offers, you’re learning how to do all of these things. And as you’re learning them, your team is also learning them too. They’re learning the ins and outs of your business.

And I think that we, oftentimes, struggle with how much do we actually give people because we don’t want them to take all of our secrets and put them into place for themselves or share them with someone else. I’ve been here before. I’ve been in this place in my business. And I have a lot of friends that come to me that have employees that they feel are on this kind of constant overturn. Every year to three years, they’re leaving and they’re going either to a competitor or they’re going to start their own business and they’re implementing all the things that you taught them.

And as much as that sucks sometimes, it’s just part of the game. We have to be able to share what is going to allow our team members to succeed. And we have to be able to give them the tools that they need in order to grow.

So one of the things here when you talk about having an employee leave or going to a competitor – we’ve talked about this in the past if you’ve tuned into any of the past podcasts. But I highly recommend that you work with an attorney to get contracts in place that protect you and that protect your business.

This can be non-competes, it can be independent contractor agreements, it can be employee agreements, but you need to have an attorney. Don’t use someone else’s contracts. Don’t use a contract that you found online. Go to an attorney, tell them what you want protection on. Go to someone that specializes within that world and get yourself some protection there. At least get yourself a non-compete at the very minimum.

And then aside from that, we have to let go of that fear; that fear of people taking things from us. Because that fear only holds us back from giving our employees everything that they need to succeed and ultimately that is what we want and we need. We want them to succeed. We want them, to be great. We want them to be rockstars.

And in order to do that, they need to have all of those tools. They need to have the knowledge. Now, I’ve come to the point in my business that I even share financials, because that’s also a big part of the puzzle as you are looked at as the owner or the leader.

And sometimes, it feels like, okay, you’re just collecting all of this money. But as you know, as a business owner, that’s not always the case. We can have months where we make a really great profit and we can have months where we’re thousands of dollars in the hole. And so allowing your team to see that takes away some of that glamour and it allows them to see the risk that you’re putting out there as well and it allows them to be a part of that bigger picture.

So train your people so they will have the ability to leave you; tough one to swallow, I know. But then we have to treat your people so they don’t ever want to leave you. And this is where our culture comes in. So we have to give it. We have to give it all to them.

We have to invest in our people, invest in ourselves, invest in our business. But then we have to build this culture where we don’t want people to leave, because here’s the reality right now. And if you’re in business and you have employees, you’ve probably encountered this already, no matter what business you’re in.

We are currently, in the world that we’re in right now, in this world of people saying we’re going to all be taken over by robots in the next 10 years, 20 years, and our jobs are going to very quickly diminish and the tech world coming up, there’s so many changes coming up in our world. I have very strong opinions on this and I feel that already in our crazy world of technology and social media and ordering everything on Amazon and taking away some of these pleasures that humans need, human connection – huge. We need that.

Being able to go to a store, have an outlet for a day, go shop with your girlfriends, go and touch a sweater, go and grab a coffee and bum around and do that kind of thing, you don’t get that experience when you shop for everything online. And so I think we’re going to see some of that stuff come back more.

And I do truly feel that in any industry, customer service, we’ve started to replace that with automated systems and outsourcing it from other countries and people in call centers that barely speak English. And I don’t know about you, but it drives me crazy. I sit there and just hit zero until I get a real person on the phone. I can’t stand it.

I’ve outsourced that stuff within my own business. Several years ago, I had people helping field phone calls that were coming in that were based in India I believe. It’s crazy because you can save so much money. But what I found was a lack of connection big time in bringing things back. And I do think that we’re going to see some of that.

However, in the world that we’re seeing right now, we’re seeing everything get so much more efficient. We’re seeing so much more technology come into place and the unemployment rate is at a 49 year low nationally. Our unemployment rate is at 3.7%; the lowest it’s been in 49 years, compared to 2010, 2012, where we were at an 8%-10% unemployment rate.

So what does that mean for business owners? Well, I can tell you that what this means is that hiring good people has gotten and will continue to get more challenging. It’s going to take us a lot longer to find and vet these good people, and we’re going to have to pay them a hell of a lot more money than we used to have to pay as employees.

Not to mention that our good people and our team members are constantly getting recruited. This is like a whole world opening up. Recruiting is a huge thing right now and any industry has recruiting departments and creating incentives on recruiting and business opening up that are based on recruiting; their success is based on recruiting.

And so your good people, they’re getting offers daily. They’re getting recruited daily. They’re getting promises for more and better. They’re getting recruited hard right now. Don’t be blind to that. We need to become better for our people. We need to build stronger cultures.

We need to create relationships. We need to care more. Love your people. And if you don’t have people on your team that you can love right now – this was a whole ‘nother episode – it’s time to clean house. I made this comment at one point about a phrase that I heard a long time ago. And it said, “If you can’t see yourself going on vacation with your team members, then you have the wrong people on your team.”

And that’s coming from someone that never really got that and could never really say, yes I’m there, until just recently. I never thought that I would be able to get all of my team members jibing and a really great connection with everyone; not just me liking everyone, and not even just liking, but really having a bond that you feel like you have a friendship. There’s something bigger than that and people connect.

You need to treat your people amazing and we need to pay them right too. So if you have salaried employees or hourly employees, don’t try to be cheap. If you try to be cheap, that’s what you’re going to get. If you’re trying to hire someone at the lowest possible price, you are going to get shit, or you’re going to get constant turnover because that person is likely just going to go from job to job, or they’re going to always be looking for that next job that pays them more money.

So get them to invest. Understand what their needs are. When I really dove into figuring out and honing in on my hiring process, one of the things that I absolutely loved was learning people’s strengths and weaknesses and profiles. I profiled like crazy. I did DiSC and Index and StrengthsFinder. I did all of those profiles, Love Language.

My team has also all taken Love Language assessment and we’ve shared them with each other; not because we’re intimate in the office, but that’s how you communicate. And you can use that in the work setting as well. And so when you can get deeper into what drives someone and what their values are, you can give them more of those things, because every single person is different.

Every person on my team has a different need. They have a different drive. Some people are really driven by money. Some people are really driven by connection or gifts or acts of kindness. So get really curious and get to know your people, not because you want something from them, because you want to get to know them and want to know what their goals and dreams are.

I love hearing what my team members goals are. And it’s not just goals within real estate and goals within how much money they’re making or monetary goals, it’s goals on what they want to achieve in their life. It’s what’s really great in their life right now and what could be better and how do I help them get to that place, what’s holding them back? What tools do they need to succeed?

When you care about your people, they’re going to want to stay with you. People want that. They want to know that they can grow and there’s something more for them. And if they feel like they’re not growing anymore and there’s nothing left for them to learn or grow into or achieve, I absolutely guarantee you, they will leave.

So make sure that you’re taking care of your people; you’re giving them growth opportunities, you’re learning with your team members, you’re giving them more tools, you’re sharing with them everything they need to know. There’s no secrets. There should be no secrets in your business. Be an open book.

People will respect you. They’ll understand what goes on behind the scenes. They’ll be able to help with goal setting and big picture and everybody connects so much more. Give more and you will receive more, I promise you that. Any area of your life, you give more love, you get more love. You give more to your employees, you’re going to have happier employees that want to work more for you, that want to stay with you long-term, that care about your business.

You have to care about them first, so train your people that they have the ability to leave you. Trust in that. and then treat your people so that they don’t ever want to leave you.

Now, as an employee – let’s talk about this side of things for just a bit – as an employee, it’s also a scary world out there. I’ve had my employees kind of like freaking out by comments or little things that they have all of a sudden been like, oh my gosh, when that’s not the reality and wasn’t my intention for them to take it that way or however it was perceived.

But as an employee, even though the overall unemployment rate is at an all-time low, employees are worried about all of these different resources that are out there, because the reality is, as an employer, it is far more cost-effective when looking at the monthly overhead and expenses to keep staff on payroll, to outsource a lot of the work that can be done in many businesses.

In addition, there are incredible resources out there; contractor resources. Independent contractors, just pay by project type work, are people that run these businesses that are experts in very niche markets, very specific and targeted markets, that can save an employer hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars.

So oftentimes, paying large hourly rates – say you could pay someone in-house or you could have someone on your payroll or in your office paying them $15 an hour, versus you’re paying one of these contactors $150 an hour, that rate is actually more beneficial, to pay that higher rate, because those people know their shit. They have strategy. They’re experts in these fields.

And so what could take a low-cost hourly person that you have to train, that you have to put through different training courses, that you have on your payroll for 40 hours a week, that could take them an entire week, two weeks, a month to figure out and actually see results with something and do it the right way, could take one of these contractors 10 hours. I’m not joking.

It’s crazy, and employees know this. if they don’t know this and you’re a savvy business owner and you’re looking at ways to get really lean in your business and make good business decisions, they are going to know this because there are some phenomenal contractors out there that you can hire out that are experts that guarantee the work to be done and to get you results in certain areas that having someone on payroll or doing multiple things or whatever that may be, it just doesn’t make sense.

So employees are scared also that some of this stuff is going to be outsourced. There’s so many options to do that. Or their job is just going to be completely taken away altogether by a lot of the technology that’s going on, all of the automated systems and all of that.

So be kind to your employees and know that as well, but also, allow them to succeed. Be smart about what you’re doing in your business and know who you need to hire for what role so that you’re hot hiring and then trying to make some moves around it. I’ve been in that position before too; trying to make positions fits and hodge-podge different things together and putting people in the wrong places just to try to keep them. That doesn’t work.

So try to get as clear as you possibly can in what you need in your business and do your research. I’ve been in both positions, where I’ve outsourced work and I’ve also had my full staff in-house. And I like both options. I like to have both.

I think that it’s really beneficial to have people in-house that can help you with the day to day, that know your business, that can see your vision. But you, as a leader and as the owner, you are in charge of relaying that vision and painting that picture for people. So regardless of if they’re in your office or they’re independent contractors, it’s really your job to be able to manage all of those people and make everything come together.

And so I do have both in my business. I have things that I outsource and I have teams that are not in my business that do a phenomenal job, that are absolutely amazing. And I also have people that are in-house and would keep those positions in-house for specific reasons, and just quality care a customer service and things like that.

So some of this can also be personal preference and things that you work out on your own, but just know that that is a thought for employees as well, but you need to be able to train them and give them the tools that they need to succeed.

A really great read on this, especially in this world that we’re living in right now, for employees and employers, is Linchpin. If you haven’t read it, it’s a really great book on how to be indispensable. And as a leader and owner of businesses, I would hand this book out to every single person that you have on your team, on your staff.

And it’s not meant to scare them. It can be kind of harsh, but it really is a time for all of us to step up, as employees and as employers, you have to step up. You have to be playing at a higher level. You need to make yourself indispensable.

As an employer, you need to make yourself indispensable. You need to build an incredible culture. You need to give people what they need to succeed. You need to care. You need to be a phenomenal leader and a visionary. And as an employee, you have to be indispensable. You have to make it so I can’t go out and find someone to replace you tomorrow just like that.

It’s a really, really great read to get that concept kind of instilled in everybody. And I am a millennial, but I’m going to be real blunt right now; I think that we have a lot of millennials in this world that need to get back to some work ethic.

So pick it up for family members, for friends, for your team members, I hope you enjoy it. That is it for our podcast today. I hope you guys enjoyed this topic.

I think it’s a really big topic and it’s something that is really, really important right now in our world, all around, employers, employees, we need to do better and we need to understand this concept of giving more versus just trying to take, take, take, take, take.

These big industries and companies that are trying to make their margins bigger, and by doing so, taking a lot of the tools and a lot of the quality away from their employees, I don’t think is going to be a good thing in the long-term. And so we need to understand that on all fronts.

So I hope you guys enjoyed it and you got something that you took away. I have I almost forget – I have an awesome new resource for all of you high-achievers out there. We have been working hard behind the scenes for almost four months now on this guide.

It’s a free Six Figures and Beyond Business Blueprint. It gives you some ideas of where you’re at, where you’re going. It’s completely free. You guys can check it out via the link below. Give me feedback. Let me know if you have questions. It’s a great resource for you, especially right now as we are going into 2019.

We’re starting to set goals. If you’re at that six-figure mark and you’re scaling to multiple six-figures and seven figures, this is great content. If you’re not to that six-figure mark, it’s for you as well. So I hope you all enjoy that as well. You can check it out in the link below. Again, thank you so much for joining in for this week’s podcast. I’ll see you all next week. Have a phenomenal week and we’ll see you later.

Thanks for showing up and listening to this week’s episode of the Love Your Living podcast. If you’re ready to create a business and life you love or simply take your already-pretty incredible life to the next level, head on over to or simply check out the link in this week’s episode of show notes to instantly download my 6-Figure & Beyond Business Blueprint. You’re going to absolutely love it.

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