How to Handle an Effective Team in business? An Inspiring Experience from Jeremy Funderburk

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Jeremy Funderburk is the owner of Instant Scale Media, a marketing agency that uses the latest online marketing developments to help you reach people who need your services. As the founder of his own agency, Jeremy knows a thing or two about how to build and manage your team in the business. 

In order for any business to be successful, it is important to have an effective team. There are many things that go into building and managing an effective team. One of the most important things is making sure that everyone on the team shares the same goal. The team is responsible for doing the everyday tasks needed to keep the business running. This means that it is important to communicate the company's vision and goals to them and make sure they understand their role in achieving them.

In this episode, Jeremy talks about how to have successful team meetings. He shares his personal experience and offers advice on where you can use his techniques in your own team.

Jeremy Funderburk of Lifestyle CEO Fast

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Atiba de Souza: Hey everybody, today on the Build Your Team Show, I am excited to introduce you to one of my friends, Jeremy Funderburk. Now, Jeremy, I don't think I know anyone who is as adept at building sales teams as Jeremy. Now, we touched on it a little bit today, but we spent a lot of time talking about his new book.

Never Work The 40. So guys, hold onto your seats. Listen to my buddy, Jeremy. Now Imma tell you all this. Jeremy looks young, but don't let that pretty baby face fool you. Jeremy has a ton of knowledge and a ton of wisdom, and he's going to drop some on you today, here on the Build Your Team Show. And as always, this episode of Build Your Team is brought to you by none other than Client Attraction Pros.

If you are an expert in your field, But you are not a recognized expert in your field. It's time that you become a recognized expert and we at Client Attraction Pros can help you do just that, to become the expert, the recognized expert, the thought leader in your field.

Hey, everybody. Welcome to another episode of Build Your Team. I am your host, Atiba. And I've got Jeremy Funderburk with me now. I know y'all hear me say all the time, this is my friend but, seriously, the way Jeremy and I met was crazy in the first place. It was through a mutual friend who called both of us because he had a live stream and his guest backed out and he called us and like, "Hey, can you guys get on and talk?"

And I was like, sure. Jeremy was like, sure. We had never met each other. And I think it was supposed to be like a 20 minute live stream. And I think we went for like an hour and a half. Didn't we? But we had a ton of fun, but listen, Jeremy is the author of the new book, "Never work the 40: How To Build a Six Figure Part-time Business."

Jeremy, my friend. Welcome. 

Jeremy Funderburk: What's going on, brother. Thank you for having me. 

Atiba de Souza: Thank you for being here, man. I'm glad we got to do this once again. It's good to have you. And so you've written this book and we want to talk about the book, right. And obviously we're going to talk about building team as well.

And we want to talk about building team and I want to go back to where you started really— isn't where you started. Cause I know where you started. This wasn't where you started. This is where you took off, which is Instant Scale Media. Tell us about Instant Scale Media and some of your background then feel free to go all the way back to the gym if you want to.

Jeremy Funderburk: Alright, yeah. Definitely. And I think my marketing journey, it has to start at the gym and for everybody's listening, like, was he working out, like, what was going on? But no, it just really started out, you know, even before then, taking a corporate job, working the corporate route, just doing what everybody telling me I had to do. Whatever I'll play the game.

You know, I take everybody's bad advice that, you know, work hard, get a good job just so I could hit the 45 year plan and start work at 22 work till I'm 67 to get $1,500 a month from social security. Yeah. But that's what they told me to do. So like most people, we just do what we're taught. You know, cause most of us have broke people that tried to teach us how to make money and they ain't never made no money.

Atiba de Souza: Right.

Jeremy Funderburk: So working the corporate thing and I get married, help this company do a million dollars for the business in three months, get married, they do a celebration for me. I'm feeling good. Come in the next day. They're like, yeah, we don't need you anymore. All my stuff in the box kicked me out. 

Atiba de Souza: And that was the gym, right?

Jeremy Funderburk: No, that's before the gym. 

Atiba de Souza: Oh, that was even before the gym? Oh, I didn't even know that that was before the gym. Oh, man. I ain't go ahead. Go ahead. 

Jeremy Funderburk: Yeah. So I'm like, dang, I'm sitting here, I'm feeling stupid and I'm like, I got to figure something out. Just got married. So then I applied for a sales management position at the gym.

Atiba de Souza: Ahh, okay. 

Jeremy Funderburk: And then, I'm on the interview and I'm like, I'm interviewing hard, I'm trying to close the deal. And I can tell, like, I'm being interviewed by the vice president and it was cool 'cause like he's hired me as the general sales manager, or at least that's what I'm interviewing for. And he's like, Alright, well, I want to show you around the gym.

And it's a three story gym. There's an elevator in there, and on the top floor they have, what's called cardio cinema. And it's like a movie theater, but instead of theater seats, there's like treadmills and exercise bikes. And I go, what? This is cool. So on the interview, I'll pull out my cellphone, go on Insta and I start promoting.

He goes, "Oh, you're good with social media marketing? That's what we need." So he ends up hiring me and he's like, "We need help with this social thing." I know absolutely nothing about social media marketing.

So what I do, I go online. I buy online course and I just started studying. And the course didn't teach me everything I needed to know to get into marketing. But the one thing it did teach me was, I can make a heck of a lot more money doing this as an agency, working for myself, then I could for the gym. And the reason that I was in the job before that is because I knew if I could grow someone else's company, a million dollars in three months, I can do the same for myself.

So I was able to take the leap of faith and start my first agency, Elite Miles Marketing. And then from there opened up Instant Scale Media, which is my second agency. 

Atiba de Souza: I heard that. So that's now two agencies. And don't let— and I'm gonna say this, I'm a mess with you on this. Don't let the baby face fool you y'all. Ain't as young as he looks, he got a ton of experience too. So now, okay. So you've been a sales manager, marketing manager. You've run two agencies. So clearly, clearly, you didn't do that by yourself. Clearly, you had to have had some help. Which also clearly means at some point in time you were hiring people, right? To work for you. So first, let me ask you this. Were you hiring virtually, or all in-person or were you always hybrid? 

Jeremy Funderburk: So, for the agency perspective, we started virtually, I was going to say it was all virtual, but, and kind of hybrid. So, but I recommend people start off hiring a virtual assistant.

That's typically the easiest first hire, somebody overseas in the Philippines. 

Atiba de Souza: Okay. So, so talk to me about that. So your first hire, I want to go back to that. Right. Now, was your first hire a virtual assistant? 

Jeremy Funderburk: Yep. 

Atiba de Souza: Okay. So let's go back. What was that process like? What did you go through? And here's why I'm asking, I'm asking because I hear a lot of people who— they're ready to hire their first person and they are terrified, right?

What if I hired the wrong person? What am I going to have them do? How am I going to pay them? Do I have enough work for them? What if I hire the wrong person? What if I got to fire this person? What if I hired her off? And they keep going back in. Did you go through any of that when you were hiring your first person? 

Jeremy Funderburk: Man, it's crazy. I'm glad you asked that. Because I am not risk adverse at all. I am a bit everything type of person. As long as I'm betting on me, I would take any risk. My philosophy in life is: make a decision, make it right. And I had to make a lot of stuff right. Cause I make a lot of bad decisions, but I always make it right.

So my first hire— I totally forgot about this 'cause when you say it, no, I bought into a coaching program and they provided the virtual assistant. That was my second virtual assistant. My first one, I tried to do it on my own. And I hired somebody 20 hours a week and paid on way more than I should have, like almost paid on restaurant employee wages.

And I was like, yeah, I just need you to be an appointment setter. Book some appointments for me. He worked for me for two months and booked the total of somewhere, I don't know, thinks it's this big round number that looks like a zero. 

Atiba de Souza: That is a round number, alright.

Jeremy Funderburk: But I would start learning these agencies and other programs where they actually do this for you. They can come pre-vet it. Otherwise you can— I learned to set up and know, alright, before I want to hire, what do I need them to accomplish? And to actually create, know what that looks like. Alright, well, now I can get actual, accurate job descriptions and tasks. I can set the expectations beforehand. Which is cool, but then I realized crap, I need to have SOPs for these people. I can't just expect them just to jump in and do a job. We should do some type of system. So I made a lot of mistakes. I mean, I lost a lot of money. 

But we figured it out.

Atiba de Souza: You lost a lot of money before you figured it out. And so you said there are a couple of things. Job description, expectations and SOPs. And we talk a lot about that here. Let me ask you this question, cause there's one other factor that we talk about here. Tell me if you've run into this too.

We also hire, we hire internally, but also talk about hiring for fit. That if this person doesn't fit your environment, it doesn't matter if they can do the job, they're going to be a cancer eventually. You've experienced that too? 

Jeremy Funderburk: Yeah. I learned that from a corporate world where I'm like, you don't want anybody, you don't want everybody. Because if you've ever quit a job, you never just quit and say, "You know what? I'm outta here. I'm gone." Like most people think like, nah, I just shut up and quit. But now the reality is you quit two, three months before then. It just took you a minute before you made it official. But mentally quit. And as soon as you quit mentally for those next two, three months, you're bringing down everybody with you.

So for me, as soon as I start building a team where I have more than one employee, it was, every morning, team meeting. We're talking successes, we're encouraging each other, we're pumping each other up and we're just keeping that positive morale high every single day because I know as soon as I see you pulling away from that, I already know where you're at mentally. I already know how to check the pulse on that.

So we can have a one-on-one conversation about it. And we see how things need to proceed from there, but I'm not going to let you turn down the whole organization. It's not happening. 

Atiba de Souza: No, absolutely. So let's touch on that for a moment. Let's touch on those, morning meetings and the positivity and talking about wins.

So what does that look like? Like, what's the blueprint of the outline of that meeting for everybody? 

Jeremy Funderburk: Yeah, absolutely. So my philosophy is, no one person is worth more than the other. You know, there's a lot of people that start businesses and think, "Oh, I'm the boss. I'm the owner. I'm worth more than everybody". 

Atiba de Souza: Right.

Jeremy Funderburk: Well, yes. If I don't have my VA handling everything from an administrative point, keeping everything together. My business is going to crumble. I'm nothing without that. If I don't have my appointment setters booking appointments. There's nobody from my closers to close. My closers don't close anybody, there's no revenue coming in.

So I'm like, alright, well, if my copywriters aren't constantly pushing out email campaigns and fixing and tweaking our ads and fixing up our landing pages, we ain't getting our message in front of people. So everybody's role is important. We just make sure the team knows that so we can celebrate each other.

Hey Cole, great job onboarding. Hey Brian, good job booking five appointments the other day. Hey Derek, great job closing these deals. And they know that they just work well together and we know that everybody's counting on each other. 

Atiba de Souza: Right, right. So you get real specific with the praise. That's what I heard there. Now, is the praise coming from you? Is it lateral, like coming from peers or am I responsible as the employee to say, this is what I did and then you praise it. 

Jeremy Funderburk: So we just, we had that culture of like, if the employees aren't recognizing each other, I'm going to initiate it, which is typical in our structure anyways. I'll initiate it, and then people can just jump in and praise each other. 

Atiba de Souza: Right, right. Okay. That's awesome. That's awesome. I love what you said as well, and I hope that everybody caught that, that one of the benefits of that environment is you can start to see individuals who are acting differently.

Right? I'm gonna make a really wild analogy here, Jeremy. I hope you don't mind. This is a wild analogy. Okay. So, one of my hobbies is fish. I've got aquariums and I breed fish, so on and so forth. Right. And I can tell when a fish is sick, I can tell when a fish is about to die, because I'm noticing you're not eating the way you used to.

And that's exactly what you're saying. I've got, I may have 30 fish in one tank, but I noticed this one is not eating like the rest of them. So something's not right with that one, right? And I see the exact same thing you're seeing in that team meeting environment, from what I'm hearing you say, right? And so that's awesome.

So now, how do you deal with that? So now, Bobby, we noticed Bobby's starting to pull away a little bit. Or he's not what he used to be in the meeting. And so we're starting to consider, maybe Bobby's on the decline. And we know there may be a couple of months. Do you let him ride that couple of months out? Do you, what do you do?

Jeremy Funderburk: Nah, it's simple. It's just, once you notice it just, "Hey, let's just chat. One-on-one real quick.". I like to do one-on-one check-ins with the team throughout the day anyway. I love to have those midday check-ins, those at the end of the day calls, just so that we can make sure the days— cause I don't want you to have a dip for too long.

So, I can say, "Hey, what's been going on, what challenges do you have, like, what can I be doing bad? Or how can I assist you? How do I make things better for you?" And I'm just gonna let them tell me what— where their headspace is. Anything I can do, anything I'm messing up on. I take full responsibility for it.

And then, if it's just them, they're just not producing. They're just not there, whatever it is. It's just as simple as, "Hey dude, notice in the past couple of weeks, past three weeks you haven't been hitting your numbers. I've been watching this decline, is everything good? Hey look, bro, I just want you to know. I still believe in you. You're a rock star and you know what? I think that this just something temporary. So I don't want to just like, let you go. But, I think, just next two weeks, let's just give it everything you've got. I think you can handle it. And after two weeks, if things just aren't going right, man, then we can talk again and see what makes the best fit, maybe you might be fit for better off somewhere else or whatever the situation would be. But man, just know that, Hey, I still believe in you." 

Atiba de Souza: Gotcha. Gotcha. So that's great. So, you know, it's, and I hope, as you guys are listening to this and you've got people in your organizations and you're growing your organizations, you're starting to see behavior that doesn't fit the way it used to, it's not just to say, "Oh, well, maybe they're having a hard time and let it go." But hear what Jeremy's saying. You got to address it. Now, he didn't address it in the meeting. He didn't call him out in the middle of the meeting. "Hey Bobby, what's going on, man? You seem kind of aloof today?" Right?

You didn't address it in the meeting, but you call him aside and you have that conversation and you build that rapport and that relationship with them. Right. So that they know that you care and that they're more willing to open up and actually share what's going on. And then the key, the Jeremy also said there, hope you guys caught this too was, then we set specific milestones, we set specific goals. Right. You gave him two weeks, let's give it all we've got, right? At the end of this two weeks, we're expecting X or Y or Z. And then we evaluate at the end of that period of time. Right? So that's absolutely key. Now, I do want— I want to shift gears just a minute.

Okay. And I know we've been talking about employees and I would have more staff questions for you, but I also want to talk about your new book. Alright. Never work the 40, so just first off, let's just start there. That's a bold statement. And I know right now this is, you know, the great resignation is going on and all of this stuff.

And you write a book, never— not, not, maybe, not, you know, think about, not try, but don't stay long. You wrote a book and it starts with "Never". Right, not that we'll never say never, Never Work The 40. Tell us about the book. Tell us about the title and tell us how do we build a six figure part-time business?

Jeremy Funderburk: Yeah, that's what it is, Never! Strong never. You have a difficult background, like, who may never know never. Never Worked The 40, and it just hit me when I didn't realize it until when I was working in corporate, I was making $35,000 a year. Super producing wasn't making any money working 40 to 50 hours a week, 50 weeks a year, giving the best days and hours of my life to a job.

And then I started working for myself and just at one month, me and my wife had traveled three times. We're on six flights and I worked less than 10 hours. The entire month. And I made $20,000. 

Atiba de Souza: Wow.

Jeremy Funderburk: I used to work all day every day, all year to barely make more than what I just made in one month working less than 40 hours a week.

And I was like, I didn't even work 40 hours for the entire month. I can't remember the last time I worked at 40 hours a month. And I can still make more than most people make working full time. We started a digital marketing company. Make sure your services no less than $3,000 a month. If you have a service, you charged $3000, you come, somebody make $10,000.

They'll take it every single time. They're going to buy from you every month. If you only get one client a month for three months, you're at the $9,000 a month. Over the course of a year, you're going to make six figures working completely, part-time. 

Atiba de Souza: Wow. So let me ask you a question. So you said it's for, you know, start a digital marketing company, right? So what if somebody can't even spell digital marketing, like they know so little, they can't even spell it. 

Jeremy Funderburk: As I teach everybody to outsource it. You ain't got to do the work there's contractors and freelancers, and there's a number of people. Where you can say, "Hey, I'm gonna charge this person $3000, you do it for $750 and I'm just gonna keep the rest of the profit. You do all the work. So they might work before me. I ain't going to work.

Atiba de Souza: But you're not.

Jeremy Funderburk: But it's their passion. They're doing what they love to do. So they don't mind working the 40. 

Atiba de Souza: Right, right, right. And that circles us right back around to building your team. Right? And that being part of the big key here in Never Work A 40, right?

You gotta build that solid team. Right. And so you said that, that you'd start with a virtual assistant as your first hire, right? We've talked about just some of the team building things that you do, the team building aspects, et cetera, et cetera, to really build community and build a culture. And honestly, probably even build accountability as well.

Right. Cause nobody wants to show up to those meetings and have nothing to say or nothing said about them. So you're building accountability as well within that. So now I want to ask you a question and go completely the other way. Cause we talked about all the good stuff. We've talked the good stuff.

What happens when it goes off the rails? How do you deal? Do you have a story of when working, having someone on your staff has gone off the rails and you've had to learn some major lessons in managing people. And what were those lessons? And what would you say to somebody else? And if you knew before that, that would've made it easier for you.

Jeremy Funderburk: I'm blessed to say that since the agency space, I haven't had to deal with anything crazy because I got most of my mistakes out in the past. Because even before doing that other corporate stuff, like I opened a tattoo shop and my lessons and choosing business partners and team members like, man, I had a staff, I had— at the tattoo shop, my business partner stole all my stuff, got one of the employees pregnant, ran away.

 One of the employees was best friends with the girl that got pregnant. So as soon as she was out, he was out. And then our last employee who was the main tattoo artist, that man was fresh out of prison. Start threatening people, doing underhanded deals, and then took all the clients and ran. 

Atiba de Souza: Wow. 

Jeremy Funderburk: So I've lost tons of money back then. I was 19 at the time I lost everything. I'm like, dang. So I learned all the bad stuff back then. So now I have the eye for it. I can look for it, but I still get bad hires. 

Atiba de Souza: Yeah.

Jeremy Funderburk: First in-state appointment setter. I hired him, put together everything he needed. He lasted about three days before he truly quit.

The next appointment setter I had, my job paid a company 30 grand to find these people for me. The next appointment setter lasted one day and then he quit. And I said, "Alright, well, I need to take time to train these people and get them competent and know that I'm here beside them." The third appointment setter I hired, first day onboarding training, second day onboarding training.

So Monday, Tuesday, onboarding training, Wednesday onboarding and training Thursday. He finally starts doing his reach outs. So he starts getting traction and we're like, "Yeah, we got this!" Friday morning, he quit. Not my bro! Thought you'd somebody last longer than a week. Oh, it takes too much time and money onboarding training.

Not to mention all the opportunity costs. So those are the only horror stories I get. Now, are just hiring people that just, they don't even last a week. 

Atiba de Souza: Yeah. Wow. I can't lie. I have those too. I have those too, so I, I can't lie, but the key thing there is you had the horror stories and you've learned, and you've grown.

You've gotten better and you still have issues. Now you may not repeat some of those past mistakes, right? Maybe you can see some of those warning flags coming sooner. But you would not have done that if you didn't jump into the pool and hire. Heck, even bring on business partners, which is a whole another conversation, and had the failures even, right?

That's what makes you the business person you are today. That what's makes you the manager, the employer that you are today. Even though you still have issues today. And that's one of the keys here for me and with— for everyone, about hiring staff is there is no silver bullet. Sometimes you do get lucky, right?

But you're not always going to get lucky. It's just not possible. Okay. And even when you do feel like, go ahead, 

Jeremy Funderburk: I said, I wish it were that way.

Atiba de Souza: Right, we all do. And even when you feel like you were lucky, you start to realize, I actually had a string of bad luck before I got lucky. 

Jeremy Funderburk: Yeah. And it's cool. Cause even when you find the good people, you got realized, good people got options. So if you're not a good employer, you're going to lose your good people. 

Atiba de Souza: Say that again. 

Jeremy Funderburk: Good people got options. And then by the way, if you want to really know a secret, if you're hiring somebody and they ain't got no options, you probably ain't hiring a good person. 

Atiba de Souza: Right, right, right. Yeah, that is also very true.

Right. But it also goes the other way, because if they've got too many options, sometimes their not going to be a great fit either. So you've got to find that balance. 

Jeremy Funderburk: Yeah. You gotta have your— it's just like selling a product. You gotta have a unique selling proposition. You gotta have your value, add stuff to why he went and worked for me. If you're trying to hire a salesperson, a good salesperson, they got options and they don't have to go anywhere and make money. So now, you gotta figure out why would they work for you? 

What is it that you're bringing to them that they can't find somewhere else that will make them want to stay here because like you said, good sales, especially in sales. I mean, they gonna make it rain and people will pay them to make it rain.

So like, right now, I have another program that is going to be 12 grand, the closer gets 10% their full commission but I'm going to make sure they got enough appointments on their calendar so that they can close a minimum of 10 deals every month, while still working part-time, and 10% what's that like? 1200 bucks per close.

Close 10 of those. They're going to make 12 grand working part-time for me, remote from anywhere they want to. Go to the beach and close the deal. I don't care. 

Atiba de Souza: Can't beat that. Can't beat that, but brother, thank you, man. It's been a pleasure to have you on the show. This is our first time, won't be our last time for sure. Okay. Before we go though, tell everyone how to get the book. 

Jeremy Funderburk: Yeah. If you want to read the book, I guarantee it's going to bring value to you. Even if you're not even in our industry, I got people in other industries reading a book. That's like, yo, it's actually on— if you go to, you see Eric Dale on the air.

He's in like trucking and clothing, the part of the book about having a niche and it revolutionized his business. So, read the book. I don't care what your industry is, it's going to add value to you, but You can get it on, if you're listening, the book retails at $47, you guys can get it for $22.

Atiba de Souza: How about that? So you get a deal too., y'all. Jeremy, brother. Thank you for being here. Like I said, it's our first, won't be our last time. But I'll see you real soon. Bye, everybody.

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