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How Agency Owners Can Work Less and Earn More with Karl Sakas

Published by Summit Marketing Team on 26 Mar 2024

Digital marketing agency owners often get to a sticking point where their growth slows, but it feels like they're working more than ever. Hosts Jamie Nau and Jody Grunden sit down and talk with agency consultant Karl Sakas to find out how he gets clients through that plateau. In order to help agency leaders figure out what to prioritize, he starts by asking them one question: Are you making a lifestyle agency or preparing for a sale? From there, he guides his clients through a process to analyze workflows and streamline marketing agency operations so that they are able to 'Work Less and Earn More,' (also the title of Sakas' new book).



Intro (00:00:00) - Welcome to the Creative Agency Success Show. The go to resource for agency owners looking to scale their business. Join us every week to stay ahead of the curve and position your agency for future success.

Jamie (00:00:14) - All right, Jody, this was a great episode. this is the title of his book, Work Less, Earn More by Karl Sakas is. Oh, wait. Wrong book.

Jody (00:00:24) - Oh, Sorry. Sorry.

Jamie (00:00:26) - It's just the title of the book is something that I know everybody wants to do. No one, wants to work 90 hours a week, as they own a business. So, I think there's a lot of good tidbits to get companies and owners moving away from that direction.

Jody (00:00:36) - Yeah, yeah. Karl, actually we talked about a little bit during the podcast, but he did a great job running a, a basically a workshop during our team retreat, which I think really helped our CFOs get a pretty good perspective on creative agencies, you know, from Karl's angle.

Jody (00:00:52) - And I think it's really it was a really solid presentation. I highly recommend it. And so, the book is definitely a good starting point. We're going to talk a lot about it here. and you know kind of going even to the consulting side as well.

Jamie (00:01:06) - Yeah, we did it as actually the way we did it was we had our whole team read the book, and then we had them do Some homework, and then they came into the, to the training with Karl just adding more to the to that. So, it was a really effective thing. So, if you're looking for that for your company or again, like I say at the end of the podcast, to start with the book, the book is going to really get you going down the path, and you're going to figure out if there's something you want to dive deeper into. But, as always, Karl does a great job. Jody does a great job asking questions.

Jamie (00:01:30) - So this is a good episode. Hello, everybody. Welcome to today's episode. We've got a rock star on the line with us today. Really excited about, KarlSakasfrom, Sakas and company. We actually had him come to one of our retreats recently and do some training with our CFOs on this book, and we're like, that was so awesome. We need you to do a podcast. So, Karl is joining us today. So, welcome to the show, Karl.

Karl (00:01:54) - Thank you. Great to be here.

Jamie (00:01:56) - So why don't you give us a little bit of your background and kind of what you're going to speak. 

Jody (00:02:01) - Today, you're not going to introduce me at all. Is that required to me?

Jamie (00:02:05) - I'm not introducing you today. You give me a hard enough time about missing one podcast right this week.

Jody (00:02:10) - All right. Fine, fine.

Jody (00:02:12) - Of course.

Jamie (00:02:13) - Of course. Jody's here as always. So, Jody's joining us as well. He'll be throwing questions at Karl. but. Yeah. So, Karl. Yeah. Why don't you give us a little bit of your background and kind of, tell us what we're gonna talk about today?

Karl (00:02:23) - Well, I came to agency consulting and coaching from an unusual spot, which is in agency operations. I was a project manager, operations manager, director, client services, director of operations. I describe operations as anything that needs to happen, but the agency owner does not want to do it themselves. So that's what I was doing. and over the past decade, or a bit more than a decade, I focused on helping agency owners and key members of their team find ways to work less and earn more.

Jody (00:02:58) - Yeah. And with that, Karl, you recently had written a book called Work Less Earn More. Exactly. You're talking about. Yes. And, like Jamie had mentioned, it was something that we really focused our trade on it.

Jody (00:03:09) - We got everybody a book. They read the book in advance, and then you went through Some concepts that really helped out. One thing I would like to point out, re looking at the books that you additional reading Sources here. And I don't see digital dollars and cents on there at all. I'm So disappointed, Karl, that you admitted the not one of the but the best book that you could possibly read. What would you say about it?

Karl (00:03:38) - For the second edition update to the book?

Jamie (00:03:42) - It's in the hardback edition. That's what I have. I have the hardback and it's the first one on there. So okay.

Jamie (00:03:46) - Don't worry.

Jamie (00:03:52) - So Karl, let's dive into the book. I know there's a lot of concepts in there. And I know there's a lot of things we've touched on. But let's start with what you think is the starting point of reading the book.

Karl (00:04:03) - Well, people tend to read it, when they're at some sort of a sticking point. Maybe they've been growing for a while, and they've hit a plateau. Maybe they're still growing, but their day to day is just kind of, you know, out of control. The way one client put it, it's hard to think about what you're going to make for dinner when you've got a knife stuck in your leg. I don't know where they got the.

Karl (00:04:24) - Analogy from, but.

Karl (00:04:25) - You know, it makes sense because, you know, when you started your agency, you probably did it because you're good at the work. Maybe it was design and development and strategy. Clients asked you for more and more. Maybe you started hiring Some other people in to help, and suddenly you've got a business and that probably Some agency owners, they did started because they wanted to run a business. But a lot are accidental agency owners, you know? So if people are like you know, how did I get here? That's not unusual.

Karl (00:04:54) - But what do you do about it now? And typically, we I found agency owners tend to lean toward one direction or the other. I think of it as a continuum. They lean toward either running a lifestyle agency where it's get above market compensation, do the work they want to do with people. They like things like that. And then at the other end of the continuum is what I would call being an equity agency, where the goal is to sell, to have an exit event. Most people are somewhere in the middle, you know, they're not necessarily 100% one way or the other, but, you know, knowing where you want to go, is it you want to do an exit? I mean, that's going to be several years of ramp up to prepare the business, build succession planning, and otherwise make yourself as optional as possible. On the other hand, if you lean toward the lifestyle side of things, you don't have to be as optional, but you can be if you want.

Karl (00:05:45) - So knowing where you want to go is really important. And that's one of the first questions I talk about in the Work Less Earn More workbook. Where are you on that equity versus lifestyle continuum?

Jody (00:05:57) - Yeah, it's a great question for you, Jamie. When we when we bring on clients, I mean, that's one of the first things we asked them and why is that? Can you kind of expand on what Karl was saying there?

Jamie (00:06:08) - Yeah. No. Especially, from the from the CFO standpoint, if you tell me you're a lifestyle business, I'm going to have a different forecast and different follow up questions for you. Or if you tell me, I'm trying to get out of this in three years and get as much money as I can, you're going to run your business a lot differently. So yeah, like Jody said, that is what we call a back of the napkin meeting. It's one of the first things we do with our clients. We sit down with them, and that's the first question that comes out of it.

Jamie (00:06:31) - And then once I know that answer, it helps me guide you as a CFO, because there it's almost like you're setting up two different businesses depending on which how you answer that question. And what I find is a lot of times, people don't know. And so then they, they, they lean into the lifestyle. And so then, but once they know, once they know that they're ready to sell like, it. Definitely. They know it. Right. Like, that's something that you know for sure is like, I'm, I'm, I'm going to I need to go down this path like, this isn't working for me or hey, I'm ready to move on and try something different.

Karl (00:06:58) - The key if you want to sell is that you need to Sort that out as quickly as possible because, you know, Ssome one's like, I want to sell in six months. You're probably not going to get the best offer and probably not multiple offers. Or if there are, it's going to be a fire sale kind of situation.

Karl (00:07:16) - You know, I have a client that decided like six years ago that he wanted to sell his agency. And so, part of our ramp up process in our work together, you know, shifted over time. but it was around getting ready for that, you know, and most people are looking to sell if they really want to sell Sooner than that when I, when I meet them. but the work that you do to get yourself out of the sales process, out of being the sole rainmaker, for instance, out of being the creative director for every decision, that kind of thing. The Sooner you start that around elevating current team members or potentially hiring new people or a bit of both. The easier it is for the future transition and the odds of getting a better offer.

Jody (00:08:03) - And that's so key. I mean, and it's kind of funny. We get we'll get folks that will come to us and say, hey, we got this person looking, you know, that, you know, we're in the buying stage or whatever.

Jody (00:08:13) - Can you clean our books up for the last two years, to make them consistent? Like, yeah, we can definitely do that. But when they do that, they may not like the results because maybe they're on a cash basis in the past. Looks great. Put on a cool basis which investors really want to see. You know, what does that look like. You know and it doesn't really get a chance to actually make corrections going forward. You know. So you know, you're right. The six years would be perfect if everybody came to us with a six-year goal. That'd be awesome. And unfortunately, that's not the case for a lot of folks. They made the decision, you know, for various reasons. And, you know, we found that it's a little tougher for them at that point. But if you go in with the idea of the end mining with the end in mind. Yeah, when you look at it, it's so much easier.

Jody (00:08:57) - I mean, you know, you got that goal that, you know, like you mentioned how to phase yourself out of multiple, you know, how to hire better So you get a better multiple, you know, what to cut and how to manage it to get a better multiple. There's a lot of different things. You know what the profit margin needs to get a better multiple. And you know that needs to be there for X period of time and forecasted out. So, there's a lot of things that if you really plan it properly, you know not if it doesn't make a difference. If you're looking to sell today, it's like five years from now. Let's say we do five years from now. Right? Let's make that goal. Let's figure it out so that when time does come, you're in much better shape. And you know the multiples is a lot better. And especially you're looking for, you know, something for your family. You know, to you know, it's not something for you to move forward with.

Jody (00:09:41) - Like whether it's another business or whatever.

Karl (00:09:43) - And the inside is true as well. If you are fully committed to lifestyle and you're like, not interested in selling, I've had some clients who said, why would I sell? I would just go off and start a new agency. Well, in that case, make sure you're getting paid what you're worth or ideally more than your worth, since you know, as the business owner kind of thing. And that also means you don't have to stop doing things you love doing. You know, maybe if you were looking to sell the business, you'd need to get out of things that maybe you like doing, but obviously wouldn't want you to keep doing it. If you are fully lifestyle, keep doing what you want to do, but make sure you're getting paid what you're worth, and also that you've reduced your day to day stress. So work less earn more can have a range of meanings. It's all about finding what your version is.

Jody (00:10:31) - 100% agree with you in the work.

Jody (00:10:33) - The dollar amounts. The kind of the funny part when we we've given like we've spoken from many, many agencies, hundreds, maybe thousands of agencies. And, you know, at one point in our presentation, we always talk about, you know, hey, if you're not making at least $150,000 a year as a business owner, then you've got a job. Yeah, you might as well you might as well. You have the lifestyle job that you're looking for or find a job because the risk and the anxiety, everything that goes along with owning a business is just So great that I truly feel that if you're not at least making that, then it's really not worth it. What's your thoughts on that?

Karl (00:11:10) - I mean, certainly if you were running an agency, you're a bit of a unicorn, right? You're probably good at aspects of client work, at sales, at doing implementation, doing client strategy and things like that. So yeah, I mean, if you were to go look for a job somewhere else, you'd probably be getting at least 150,000.

Karl (00:11:30) - And if you were an employee, you wouldn't have the stress of carrying the business on your shoulders.

Jamie (00:11:38) - Yeah. We look at a lot of times we'll look at replacement value. Right. Like if you're operating as the CEO, how much would it cost to replace yourself, which again, I think goes into your conversation about you're looking to sell a company. Like do you is that a role you belong in. So, I'm curious because I've had this conversation before and it doesn't always go well of like, you know, you're way, way too in the weeds. As an owner. How do you get out of it? I'm curious, how often do you have that conversation with someone who's looking to sell, and then you just keep pushing them and pushing them and they're like, well, actually, I'm gonna I'm turning this into a lifestyle business because I just want to do what I love instead of like, pull myself out of the business. I'm curious how often people change their mind because they don't want to get out of the weeds.

Karl (00:12:14) - If people change their mind fairly often for different reasons. Sometimes it's about not getting out of the weeds. Other times people are like, oh, you know, we'll work together. They'll follow my advice. and they're like, h things are running more smoothly and it's profitable now, and I'm getting paid more. Maybe I don't want to leave after all. I think a lot of it depends on, you know, the gap between where they are now and where they want to be. And when that gap gets smaller, making changes to pursue that big goal may not be as urgent as if you're in the pit of despair.

Jamie (00:12:51) - It's funny because what you're saying is you're helping them make the business attractive for someone to buy and sometimes it's like, oh, I've made this so attractive that I'm gonna buy it. I'm gonna stay where I'm at and just and just keep doing what I'm doing. So, yeah, it's funny you said that because that's exactly. I've seen it happen as well.

Jody (00:13:06) - It reminds me of the house flipping, show that you see on TV. I can't remember what it's called, but where they, they go in, and they remodel the house and they decide they want to keep it or not. Yeah.

Karl (00:13:15) - Yeah, yeah.

Jody (00:13:16) - It seems like this is the exact same scenario. You're remodeling your house, and you know then that when it's remodeled, you know, is it really worth going out and buying another one or, you know, do you stay with what you currently have? Love the comparison. I just thought of that too. Believe it or not, I just thought it right here.

Karl (00:13:32) - Right.

Jody (00:13:33) - So don't steal. Don't put it in your.

Karl (00:13:35) - All right, all right.

Jamie (00:13:39) - Okay. So, I'm curious now, now that you've had the conversation with, with the person and said, okay, what's your ultimate goal? And then you're starting to work towards that goal, what are Some of the follow up questions and Some of the other things they should be working through now that they've, you've established that.

Karl (00:13:53) - One of the things that I'll ask new consulting clients is around how they spend their time. I've got a tool that looks at it as a percentage, but I also look at it more qualitatively as well. And specifically, I'll ask, what do you think of on a day-to-day basis? What do you love doing? What do you hate doing? One of the things remember, you don't love it, but you're okay doing it kind of thing. You know, it's not the urgency to get rid of it, but if you could, that's ideal. And importantly, with agencies where there are multiple owners, each person will answer those questions. And so, as I'm doing my analysis and you know, you can do this on your own, of course too, I'm comparing okay, what do people like doing. What do they not like doing. What are the opportunities for quick wins to get the unliked things off their plate. But also looking is there overlap or is there a lack of overlap? For instance, I worked with an agency earlier this year where there were two owners and both said they really did not like doing sales like, all right, that's okay, but someone is going to have to do sales.

Karl (00:15:00) - And it turned out that for them, the thing they like least was dealing with time waster, unqualified prospects at the very early stage, like they like doing later, stage closing, you know, consultation and closing conversations, but didn't like dealing with, you know, people who are just flaky. I said, you know, you can delegate that to a more junior team member. You can have them do the initial screening, whether it's via email and a form or something else, or maybe, maybe going to a call, and then you're only on the phone or only on a video call with someone who is theoretically qualified. So that can be a good interim step. If you don't like, say, get someone else doing the baseline qualifying. And I mean, I do that. I, you know, as an advisor, I don't hear about people until my team has prevented them.

Jody (00:15:54) - Yeah, I love that idea. Karl, a question I would have for you is when you when you flip it over to the selling side, when you, when you get to the point where you've got somebody looking to buy, does that help the deal? If you've got somebody that's part of that selling process, or do they still look and say, you know what Karl's the man.

Jody (00:16:15) - He's the one. He's the reason why we lost the other salesman.

Jamie (00:16:21) - We'll let him come back and start over. You have to ask your question, Jody, because we lost you.

Jody (00:16:26) - Oh actually, actually, you didn't lose me, but I took the backstage. So the question is, you know, when you have the when you have when you have somebody helping out with the sales process, you know, and you're looking at the end game, you know, where, you know, you've got a buyer that's looking to buy you, you know, the of course the valuation is going to be determined if you're part of that process, if you are that process, whatever that that might be. Do you find that that really plays a big role in the buyer's head? If you're still part of the process, even though you're not in the entire process? Or do you think it's actually more of a benefit because then the buyer knows that. Hey, somebody else could easily slide in and close that deal because you've got a lot of the initial work out of the way.

Karl (00:17:12) - Some of that depends on the buyer's goals. You know, some acquirers of agencies are looking for ways to slot your revenue into their team. Maybe they're doing some sort of accretion, some sort of a roll up where, you know, maybe you've got 5 million in revenue and they've got ten. Well, put the businesses together now you've got 15 and they can probably cut some expenses. And, you know, if they're building a roll up kind of thing. And the goal is for you to continue being involved, you know, you don't have to be as optional because you're still going to be part of the new business. On the other hand, if your goal is to retire completely or move on to something else entirely, then being more optional is helpful. I mean, in terms of what's attractive to the buyer, everyone's going to be unique. I would say that all things considered, the more modular the business is, rather than relying one person or two people, that gives you Some more flexibility.

Jody (00:18:11) - Yeah, I think I agree with you on that. Yeah, just thinking through it, I think it probably even makes it easier to make the sale because you've got the other person that's heavily, heavily involved in the sales process. Because I know when we looked at selling our company, that was a big question to ask. You know. Yeah. What if you go away, are you still going to bring in the revenue? And it's like, well, yeah, of course we've got this engine built up right behind us. I'm just simply there to look good or close the sale or whatever, whatever you might want to call it. Yeah, I'm not the rea Son that the sale gets closed. And I think that's a big distinction between, the two and it Sounds like. Yeah, I 100% agree with you on that.

Jody (00:18:47) - Yeah.

Jamie (00:18:48) - So question kind of what you talked about there. I think it's a really cool concept of people coming in and saying, oh, I don't like sales.

Jamie (00:18:55) - And then you drill down into it and be like, well, actually you just don't like this first step of sales, or you don't like this last step of sales. How would you have someone do that on their own of like, is it is it starting, starting detailed and spinning out or starting wide and then going into the details like how would you decide that you don't like a whole process, or is there just certain parts that they don't like? Where have you got rid of these steps one and two. It'd be easier for you.

Karl (00:19:16) - You could do either direction, you know, either top down or bottom up. I am a fan of working top down. So, for instance, I'll guide clients on creating what I call an advanced retrospective. And I have the template for that in the workloads or in your book, where you're basically writing about your ideal future day as if it's already happened, and then work closer and more. I talk about writing five years in advance. You could do any time period.

Karl (00:19:42) - For instance, I'll do an annual version in my business looking one year ahead. But at one point I alsowrote kind of a post-retirement one say I'm, you know, 90 years old. What does that look like? You know, as I'm, as I'm looking back kind of thing. But you could start, say, five years from now. Today is December 31st, five years from now. And it's a great day because, and you write and the key thing there is that you're focused on the experience you want and perhaps the outcomes you want rather than the nuts and bolts. So, then you can enlist your team to get their help in figuring out how to make it happen. For instance, you might maybe in the sales example, maybe you were on no sales calls and your team will be like, well, right now you're on every sales call. So, how are we going to how are we going to figure that out? And you know, your team wants to help if only you ask them.

Karl (00:20:36) - But they need to know where you want to go. And, you know, I see this at agencies where the owners are unclear about what they want, and it creates a leadership vacuum where the team is stepping in, trying to do their best. It's not always going to give you the results you want. And you know, So, if the team is clear on where you want to go, well, I mean, if you're clear in the first place, then you can enlist them and you can get their help. So, I would start with the top-down approach, but you probably going to find certain areas where you need to deconstruct the whole process, whether that's your client onboarding process, your employee onboarding process, your sales process, your internal strategy. It could be a range of things but begin with the end in mind and then work backwards from there.

Jamie (00:21:24) - I imagine you're eventually going to have to. Do it for the owners, but then also do it for the team members and find out what they're doing and be like, oh, actually, Jody has time to take that initial part of the sales call because we did his graphing and he's doing this.

Jamie (00:21:35) - And so it's kind of like this thing that just keeps going and going and going until you've worked with everybody in the organization and have at least most of the people doing what they love for the most part, and then helping out in other areas. So, it's yeah, it sounds I would love to see you in operations and see how it actually works because it sounds really fun.

Karl (00:21:51) - One thing that anyone listening can do, you know, if we think about shadowing, people usually will have the junior person shadow the boss or the manager to see you know how something works. But you can also do reverse shadowing where the boss is shadowing what the employee is doing, and you may do Some version of that during training, but you're probably going to find that there are Some inefficient things along the way that maybe your employee thought are, you know, doing it this way is stupid, but I guess this is the way we have to do it. Whereas if their manager knew and it was an area where, you know, great.

Karl (00:22:29) - Yeah, we can make this better. You're not magically going to read everyone's mind. So, there's value in shadowing in both directions.

Jody (00:22:37) - How do you do that without getting in the way as an owner? If I were to pop on a call with a CFO, I would think the attention. I could be just full of myself. I would think the attention would be kind of drawn to me being on that call. How do how do I, as an owner, get into a call like that and don't feel like I've got to actually be the person participating?

Karl (00:22:57) - You know, one Solution is if, you know, you let the clients know that you record the calls for, you know, quality assurance purposes, you can listen to the call afterwards. So that way, you know, your presence isn't potentially confusing things, but you're what's going on.

Jody (00:23:16) - Mhm.

Jamie (00:23:17) - Yeah that's great. 

Jody (00:23:18) - But no Jamie, do you have any ideas on that because we do the recording.

Jody (00:23:22) - You said I think that works perfect. I was just wondering if there's a way that we can be on the call and not take away from the credibility of the CFO on the call, I guess.

Jamie (00:23:33) - Yeah, it have to be a frequent, how frequent you do it thing. Right. So, like if you made a habit of like, you know, even if you just chose two clients of each CFO and you said, okay, I'm going to jump in once every six months. And, I think if you're in there once every six months, it's not going to take away from the credibility of the CFO just to like, say, you know, hey, we want to get someone else's perspective in here because I think that's a lot of what our clients are looking for. Like, yeah, they love Jody as a CFO, but I may see things a little bit different and be able to jump in and offer some additional advice there.

Karl (00:24:02) - I mean, it's really important that you're thinking about that impact, you know, because, you know, having been an employee at agencies before, it's frustrating. You know, where you do your best at something and then the boss comes in is like, no, blow that up. Yeah, I'm a fan. No, that doesn't mean, you know, you can never give feedback to the team. But here's a better way to do it. which is define the guardrails, you know, define the swim lanes or whatever metaphor you're going to use So that people understand what they're supposed to do, not supposed to do and also understand. I talk about in the Work Less Earn More book the values, goals, and resources to consider along the way. And my recommendation is, say if you follow the appropriate values, goals, and resources, I will back you up on whatever you do. I may ask you to do things differently in the future. If it's, you know, there's a new development or what have you, but I'm not going to make you go back and tell the client, actually, no, we're going to do something else as long as they follow the values, goals and re Sources.

Karl (00:25:07) - But for that to work, people need to know the values, goals and resources. So, you know, Jody, your question approach, I'd say there are probably two different ways that as the boss, you could be involved in the client call. One is, you know, listening in and the recording is helpful just to see how did it go. So you can coach. You also may have a situation where maybe on a say a quarterly basis or the every six months, you know, you're involved as the senior person the team. But to me that's a different meeting. That's not a routine meeting. It's such a special meeting. So, I don't know. There are a few things going on there. I think.

Jody (00:25:51) - That's interesting. So you would say, you know, hey, once a year or twice a year, however, how often it would be a Jimmy or me or a Jake or somebody that's got, you know, nine, ten, 11, 12 years of experience hops on the call purposely and with, with an agenda to actually, hey, this is the this we're going to talk about at the six month point or at the year point.

Jody (00:26:14) - You could easily do that in the creative agency space for those clients that I have, long term clients where they would pop on and do a very similar type of thing. I think that would be I, I think there's a lot of ground. I think there's like positive things to that that could really bring to the table.

Karl (00:26:30) - For sure. And indeed, I think , you're tying into a key thing about, you know, questions that the owner is asking. How do I delegate account management to the team? You know, when you start the agency, everyone expects you to be the contact. But for the team, you probably don't want to do that forever. So maybe initially you delegate implementation work, the subject matter expert stuff, you delegate project management, then you probably want to delegate account management naps. Usually you're still doing client strategy, at least in the, you know, early to mid-days. The idea here is you're like, hey, so-and- so is great. They are your account manager.

Karl (00:27:06) - They your day-to-day contact, you know, so that they're running the, say, the monthly call or every other call. But the Navy, you're still the client strategist. You're involved at the beginning of the engagement. And then, you know, things pass over to the account manager, and then maybe you're making a quarterly or a semi-annual or annual appearance with those higher-level insights that, you know, in theory, only you could provide. But importantly, you are not the clients in day-to-day contact. You're not the on getting every single email or call. You just show up and, you know, share the magic. Your team is taking it from there.

Jody (00:27:45) - I think that would help a lot of the creative agency owners that just loved doing what they're doing, and so, they feel like they've got to really be in the weeds. It's like, you know, maybe not to be in the weeds as much as what you think you do. If you've got that second person that can pop in and do the regular routine stuff, you know, throughout the process, and then you pop in, do what you like to do and do it on a quarterly, annual, semiannual basis.

Jody (00:28:06) - How often the cadence is that that would be completely up to everyone here. But I think that's a great way of getting them out of the weeds. And then eventually, you know, once they're once they're doing it for quarterly, semi-annual, whatever they might think. You know what? You know, hey, I don't probably need to do this as often. Let me find some. Let me find, you know, have Jamie come in and sit in because Jamie's doing great with that and kind of rotating somebody off. I think that could be a great, great way of transitioning and finding out that's what you want to do. You know, as an owner, you know, maybe you do that and you're like, you know, I just love meeting with them every week or every month or whatever. And then you transition back, you know, because you can go both ways, as you mentioned, whether you want it to be lifestyle or not. I think that's a great, great experiment, at least to see if it works for you for sure.

Jamie (00:28:50) - I think the other part of that, too, is I think it's important to understand why you'd want to do the shadowing. Right. So as the purpose of the shadowing for me to see how X person is doing is the purpose of the shadowing for to add additional value to the client is the purpose of the shadowing, because I want to see what this person does day to day, because maybe I can take something off their plate. So, I think that's probably a really important part of it too, is to understand why you want to do the shadowing. So, with that thought, we're going to jump into our fun question. So all right. So, Jody mentioned a reality show earlier, with the house flipping show. So, we're going to stay in that path. So, we're gonna, everybody and if you don't have a reality show, you have to make one up.

Jamie (00:29:29) - But what is your favorite, reality TV show? So, Karl, we'll start with you. And if you don't have any, just like I said, make it up or come up with another show that you really love.

Karl (00:29:39) - You know, I tend to watch scripted shows rather than other than reality. I did watch the first season of Love Is Blind, and it was sort of terrible and terrific. It doesn't make more sense than I have. I think I watched part of the second season. I'm like, everyone really needs therapy. I'm a fan of therapy, I've been to therapy, and I just think like a very critical flaw designed to increase the drama in the show. But I don't know, I think once it was clear that people really needed help beyond just being on TV in the pods, you know, I the suspension of disbelief, stopped.

Jamie (00:30:22) - Well, the funny thing is, is I think when you said it's terrible and great, I think that's kind of what makes reality television fun.

Jamie (00:30:27) - So I think you described it perfectly. I think any reality television you watch, like, you know, that was terrible, but it was also great.

Jody (00:30:33) - Yeah, the one I'm thinking of, Jamie, and I'm trying to Google it right now because I don't want to get the name of it wrong. but it's one with it might be called tanked. Yeah. Tanked Las Vegas, that's what it's called. Where they go in and they create these really cool fish tanks. Oh. And, you know, and they and we're talking fish tanks in a car. They make, you know, whatever. These are really cool fish tanks. And they're very obviously very expensive fish tanks and goes through the whole thing. And, and I really enjoyed that and watch that. If it's coming through, that's probably one of the only ones I watch at all. I hate reality TV and but that one is probably the one I actually, do watch when it comes to I have a huge I'm a huge fan of fish tanks and fish and all that kind of stuff.

Jody (00:31:22) - And So it's you have.

Karl (00:31:23) - You have a tank or multiple.

Jody (00:31:24) - We used to have a giant. We used to have 150 gallon tank, and it had all kinds of saltwater fish in it. And it was kind of funny because when we went remote, we kind of built we took a wall out and built the fish tank inside of a wall. Yeah. Really cool. This is before we're going to revolt because the team said they didn't want to go remote. Okay. So, they kind of revolted on me. So, I remodeled the office. And so, he had this he had this installed in there. Super proud of everything. And then of course, they decided to go remote. No one ever came to the office again and saw it. So, it was just me watching this really cool fish tank.

Jody (00:31:58) - Yeah, yeah, a lot of cool food.

Jamie (00:32:00) - I saw it once. So, I also I will say that I was in actually. Yeah, you did it once. So, for me, I know Jody knows this, but I am a I'm a survivor diehard.

Jamie (00:32:10) - Actually, I watched every sea Son of survivor. Until the last two, we have not watched the last two. It's just life. Got a little busy with everything going on, but I've watched every episode, every season up until the last two, and I've actually tried out for the show twice and haven't made it once live and once on video. So maybe, maybe we can find the send this, send this podcast over to the producers and they'll, they'll pull me in, because, yeah, I definitely would love to be on survivor.

Karl (00:32:33) - Maybe three time's the charm.

Jamie (00:32:35) - Third time's the charm. Yeah.

Karl (00:32:38) - I've never, I've not auditioned for reality show. I did, when I worked in New York after college. I did take the in-person jeopardy test.

Jamie (00:32:45) - Ah.

Karl (00:32:46) - Oh, I did not pass it. Imagine, you know, like 70 very nervous, very nerdy people in a hotel ballroom. I think out of out of the whole group, only, like, 5% passed the test. So I was not 5%.

Jamie (00:33:04) - Yeah. We watch. 

Jody (00:33:05) -  I would have definitely been in the, the non-main casting group there for sure.

Jamie (00:33:08) - We, we stick to Celebrity Jeopardy because that way we can get Some questions right. Like if we watched Celebrity Jeopardy! We know we get a couple of questions. Right. If you're watching real jeopardy there's like whole categories where like both my wife and I are just silent. No answers.

Jamie (00:33:19) - Awesome .

Jamie (00:33:23) - So, I think this has been a really good episode, and I know we like, barely touched on everything that goes into the book because I know Jody and I have both read it. And like you said, you did an awe Some training for our CFO's. But, I want to make sure we give our listeners that final thought, that final tidbit that they can take away from listening to this episode. So, Karl, we'll start with you.

Karl (00:33:41) - Yeah. Well, and certainly people want to check out the book. It's Work Less, Earn More How to Escape the Daily Grind of Agency Ownership.

Karl (00:33:48) - It's available on Amazon worldwide in various formats, print and digital. And I recently released the audible version, so if you prefer to listen rather than rather than read. You know, it's great for going on a long trip or while you're at the gym or otherwise. It's a four-hour lesson available on Audible Worldwide. So, you know, kind of a parting thing, you know, I'd mentioned, you know, begin with the end in mind. You can work backwards to get there, to tie into that. And coming from my operations background, you know, if people are listening and you're like, ah, operations. Yeah, someone needs to do it. But a way to look at it and this is about enlisting your number two and broader team and so on, is this if you take time to plan for the expected, you'll have time to improvise the unexpected.

Jody (00:34:40) - Mm.

Jamie (00:34:41) - Like it?

Jody (00:34:43) - Yeah, that's awesome actually.

Jamie (00:34:44) - Yeah, I love it.

Jody (00:34:46) - Yeah, we're all doing this hmhm thing right now.

Karl (00:34:50) - Yeah.

Jody (00:34:50) - That's awesome . You know, Karly, I just want to say, you know, the book is awesome . I've read it a couple times, in preparation for their tree and then, you know, just kind of a casual reading, actually, on an airplane. And it was an easy read on an airplane, just kind of go through it hitting different chapters and maybe not even read an order, which was the nice thing is to find a chapter I liked and just start reading it. And, and that's the kind of the nice thing about the book is design that you can do that. You know, it's not you don't have to read it cover to cover. You can kind of piecemeal it if you want to, which makes it super nice. But, you know, bringing you on with the team retreat was, was pretty invaluable to us and, and how, how would a, how would somebody get hold of you if they, if they wanted to, you know, wanted to do that when to have you on a retreat or come in and help the team out or however, you know, how would they get hold of you?

Karl (00:35:37) - So if you just want to check out the book, you can go to worklessearnmorebook.com. That'll give you all the info. And that does take you to my website. But if you want to get in touch about, you know, further help, you can go to sakasandcompany.com. That's Sakas and the word company.com for Karl Sakas Karl with the K.

Jamie (00:36:02) - Great. No. Yeah, I definitely, echo everything Jody said. Now, I would recommend to our listeners, definitely start with the book. Start with the book, start reading the book. And I think there's a lot of very practical, and that's what I liked best about it. There's a lot of very practical applications in there that you can kind of like sketch out on your own. And I think Some people will probably be like, yeah, that's exactly what I need. And Some people will be like, oh man, this is exactly what I need. I need to take this a little bit further and a little bit deeper, and then they can get hold of you there. But I would definitely start with the book, because I think a lot of people are going to get a really good starting point out of that and see differences pretty quickly.

Jamie (00:36:31) - So, definitely love the book and echo exactly what Jody said. And yeah, great, great job putting that together. And I'm sure the agency world really appreciates all you do.

Karl (00:36:39) - Thank you, thank you.

Jamie (00:36:41) - Awesome. Well, that's it for today. So, thanks to both, Jody and Karl for joining us. This is a great and great episode.

Outro (00:36:48) - Enjoy this podcast. Visit our website summitCPA.Net to get more tips and strategy for achieving business success. We're here to be a resource in this ever-changing industry.


How Agency Owners Can Work Less and Earn More with Karl Sakas

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