Aug. 15, 2022

Implementing Business Systems with Gary Harper

Implementing Business Systems with Gary Harper

Welcome back to the Mario Dattilo Show Podcast, Hosted by Mario Dattilo. On this episode of the Mario Dattilo Show Podcast, Mario talks with business operations expert Gary Harper, the CEO of Sharper Business Solutions. The two talk about some super interesting and advanced topics around implementing business systems in your business and real estate portfolio, bringing on key operations people, the relationship between the CEO and COO, how to begin delegating duties, working with family, faith in business, and several other implementable topics. This is an episode that will massively impact the way you think about business and life. Don't miss it!

About Gary:
Entrepreneur ๐Ÿ™‹‍โ™‚๏ธInvestor ๐Ÿ’ต Business Coach ๐Ÿ’ฏ Christian ๐Ÿ™ (Purpose is to do a good work to support God's work)

๐Ÿ‘จ‍๐Ÿ‘ฉ‍๐Ÿ‘ง‍๐Ÿ‘ฆ Husband & Father

๐Ÿ“ˆ 13 years of corporate executive

๐Ÿ˜ 16 years of active real estate investing
My brother-in-law and I build a team doing up to 300 deals a year from 2011 to 2016

6๏ธโƒฃ Six Sigma Expert - built thousands of REI processes

๐Ÿ“‡ Predictive Index Certified Partner

๐Ÿ‘จ‍๐Ÿ’ผCoached over 300 RE investors on how to build a business not how to do deals.

๐Ÿ“ Implemented EOS in hundreds of businesses, mostly real estate.

๐Ÿคฏ Member of 7 masterminds

Owner of 10 Businesses:

Sharper Events
Sharper Consulting
Sharper Process
Sharper Personnel
Sharper Ministries
Sharper Ventures
Sharper Education
Empire Operating System
Letter Ninjas
Monster House Deals

โœ๏ธ Author
Is Your Business Sick? - Amazon
Thriving Through Hard Times - Ebook
The Master Of Time - Time and Productivity - Ebook

https://sharperprocess.com/

Find out more about the host, Mario Dattilo, at MarioDattilo.net

Talking Points:
01:36 - Gary Harpers Near Death Experience and Story
08:37 - Find a need, fill a need
11:15 - What are "business systems" and symptoms that you need them?
15:35 - When are operations team members needed in a business?
18:41 - The relationship between CEO and COO roles
21:44 - The difference between large company systems vs smaller companies
25:01 - How Mario Dattilo implemented systems in his company
28:10 - Starting to delegate to your team
37:29 - Working with family
45:20 - Open about faith in business

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Links & Mentions From This Episode:
Commercial real estate systems implantation co: www.CREops.biz or www.CREops.co

"What got you here won't get you there" Book By Marshall Goldsmith

Transcript

Mario Dattilo:

Hey, guys. Super excited because I've got Gary Harper with the CEO of Sharper Business Solutions on. He's a good friend of mine. He's an absolute rock star when it comes to systemizing companies and has a serious niche in real estate investments. One thing I want to point out about Gary before we get started here is he's the guy behind the scenes to a lot of the super successful entrepreneurs and real estate investors that all of . He's kind of the one behind the curtain, pulling the strings, teaching these guys how to systemize and scale their company. Huge pleasure of mine to have you on, Gary. Thanks for being on today, man.

Gary Harper:

Of course, Mario. Thank you for the awesome introduction. I'm humbled and also honored to be a part of the show. I can't say enough about you either, mario, which is a humble, giving spirit, loves to help other people, and you don't see that a lot in real estate, right? I mean, if you think back 20 years ago, like, it was taboo to help other people in real estate, taboo to kind of help them and invest in them. And you've broke the mold on that. I appreciate you having me on the show.

Mario Dattilo:

Means a lot. Thank you. So interesting, Gary has built well. He started and I'll let you tell your story, Gary, but he's consulted many of the largest companies that we all know of around the country and really around the world. What he's done is taken everything that he learned from consulting these large multi billion dollar companies and is helping entrepreneurs implement them in their smaller family size or smaller companies and really scale their company. So, Gary, why don't we just start out and kind of give everybody an idea of your story, how you got to where you're at today, and we're going to jump into some super good stuff, guys, so stick around.

Gary Harper:

Yeah. Actually, before the whole business solutions aspect of my knowledge, I started Real Estate 97. I moved to Chicago. I back it up a couple of years. 95, moved to Chicago. I married in 97 in Chicago. I started working with my brother in law, Wayne Jafer, right, out in northwest Indiana. He taught me a lot about real estate. The whole Robert Keithaki model was, like, very full bloom at that point. I don't remember the guy, but I bought the Carlton Sheets course back then and kind of dates me . He recently passed away, which is really sad. Those gentlemen, like, we're pioneering a lot of the education. Ron the grand of the world, right? And as we know them. We started learning that knowledge and passive income. I got into real estate in pretty much going at it pretty good by 99, but it was more of a labor. My brother in law hired me and taught me to work for him, and I did that. By 2004, I was going full fledged in real estate. Our property management company was buying a lot of rentals and going after that cash flow dream, right, that was being taught those four quadrants. Not sure that I did it all right either I bought wrong, went too deep into the purchases, the loan, the values weren't really a focus on mine because it was more about the cash flow before the 2008 market really crashed hard. It took me out in that regard. We did of soul searching during that time, but that's where I got into real estate. Back up, though, till 97. I also became around the same time, went into corporate America. I had these dual lives going, one in real estate as entrepreneur, and then this other one in the world of consulting. I started off actually an entry level position working for a company, and then worked my way up quickly to an executive level. I was a national manager by the time I was 23 years old for a company called Aro Ministry Resource Options, and then would go around the country and did business analysis for companies and came in and gave them a feedback on how they could better run their records and their non core functions of their business and their processes and their systems and things like that. I started getting different types of training, certifications and six sigma and fundamentals equality and lean processes and things like that. That love for business, understanding the process was born by the time I was going full speed in real estate, and then I had this career going in corporate America. I'd reached the executive level. I had almost 750 employees and really in the throes of real estate at the same time, the market crashed, the economy started turning down. 2008 to 2010 definitely felt the way to that. The Lord actually put another obstacle on my path at that point. It was a thing called Lyme's disease. I went back to a five year old mental state for a good long six to eight months. And so my world changed. I had to end up walking away from the corporate America job, not able to perform it at the level that I needed to. Real estate crashed on me, and so I ended up in a really bad place, physically, mentally, emotionally. I was not in a good place at all. My wife and my kids supported me through that and helped me through that time. Coming out of that, though, I found myself restoring my health and I found my love for real estate to come back and meet the gentleman I talked to about a minute ago, Wayne, actually helped me get back into real estate at that point from a different perspective altogether. I had no desire at all to own a bunch of rentals. I call it tenants and toilets, right? I didn't want to own tenants and toilets anymore. Not that it couldn't have worked obviously that crash 2008 took a lot of people down and then not that it's a bad model today. I truly believe done the right way, you can make money in single family and rentals and even like lease options and things like that. Different place. My love and passion was more towards like getting in and getting out. Eventually evolved into fix and flip and buy and hold and things like that again. By 2016 I have worked with my brother in law and his team to do over 1400 deals as a team. That means we bought and sold, right? That wasn't just like total number of transactions, it was a bought and sold. If you double that be 2800 transactions, but the total is around 1400 or a little more than that one year. We actually did 301 year just in that one year. So it was interesting. Again, I don't take credit for that. That was a team, that was approach. What I would say that I brought to that team at that point though, and the reason why me and my brother in law partners the systems and processes, how to run the business. We started implementing the things that I do today and what I did in corporate America for all those years. Helping to create a vision, helping to create process, helping hire right people, helping them measure and monitor metrics in your organization, help to not only document the process but lean it out and create the procedures and policies that go along with it. Those different things became important to us and we've created a focus around them and you have the right people pulling in the right direction, you can see really good results when you do that. Communication was healthy. The meeting structures were well from that. In 2016 I was encouraged by my brother in law and another gentleman, Tom Olsen actually on our team to step out and try helping other people. We had gotten to a point where financially could and we recovered from that 2008 to 2010 loss and were at a healthy place and me and my wife went out and helped a couple of entrepreneurs and we saw success with them like real quickly. It wasn't really Mario to be honest with you. I don't think it was a desire of mine at that point to like do what we've done today. I don't know that I had the mindset to want to help over a thousand different businesses, which is what we've helped now in the last six years, but it naturally grew. I always tell people that if you have a healthy product, you will create customers that create customers.

Mario Dattilo:

Heck yeah.

Gary Harper:

Same thing with a culture. If you have a healthy culture, you'll have employees that create employees.

Mario Dattilo:

Yeah. Actually, you've expanded out not to just the direct systems consulting, but you've now got a whole ecosystem of companies that support entrepreneurs even beyond once they've got their systems in place, they're hiring and all these other platforms. You've kind of just kept going and going. You are a great example of a serial entrepreneur. You just keep tacking on new tools, new opportunities for people to service them. So that's pretty cool.

Gary Harper:

Some of the times, the most basic things in life, Mario, give up ideas. It's funny, you think sometimes, like, when you have a success or accomplishment, I must have come some great moment, some path of wisdom. I don't think I've ever said this on a podcast. This will be the first time ever I've ever set it in recording. I think where my inspiration came from was it came from a Disney cartoon movie. It was a movie called Robots. Okay. The guy, the inventor of the TV show not the inventor of the TV show, but the character in it said, find a need, fill in, eat right. Yeah. And I know it's a cartoon. It's Disney. Right? But it literally launched something in me. It was like, if we're going to be successful at being entrepreneurship, you got to find the need and feel the need. We recently just talked about the fact that there's a big need right now in the industry, especially with entrepreneurs, to have an executive assistant. I told you just before the podcast, we are literally going to launch a company called Sharper EA Sharper assistance that will allow somebody to have a process, a person, and a system to help manage their life as an entrepreneur. That product is coming. But you're right. The goal here is to provide a one stop shop solution through an ecosystem model that supports today's entrepreneur.

Mario Dattilo:

Love it. Gary, a couple of things I want to point out. Majority of the listeners here are commercial real estate investors and entrepreneurs of some type. A couple of points that I wanted to make sure that everybody heard is Gary hit it pretty hard. He had not only a serious health issue pop up, but also market crashes. Right after that. I mean, he could have easily just sat down and said, forget it. Instead, he went the other direction. He got back on his feet, focused on where he wanted to go, and did it. I just want to point out that a lot of the people that you see that are super successful today have had major setbacks, including myself, and they just decided to go forward and push forward. The other thing is, he's focused on going where the demand is. He's not creating things just because he thinks they're a good idea. What was the quote you said from.

Gary Harper:

That movie find a need, fill a.

Mario Dattilo:

Need, find a need. Somebody's coming to you saying, I need this, I need that. Like, I could probably fill that need. He creates the service offering around what he's hearing this ecosystem of this client base say that they need, he can fill those needs as they come up. I love that. Hey, let's talk about what does it look like when someone needs systems in their company? Because I've personally seen I'm in several groups, networking groups, Masterminds, I've got an education company and everything. A lot of these investors, they start out, they start buying some either mobile home parks or other commercial real estate. They get to a certain size. It's usually around four assets or so. And they go, okay, I'm overwhelmed now. The one visionary CEO person is now like in the day to day ops getting just creamed. What does it look like? You see tons of these companies. What does it look like when you see somebody that needs systems in their company?

Gary Harper:

Usually what happens is we see more symptoms than we see problem. It's like going to a doctor. You go to the doctor because you have symptoms. When people come to us, they come to us because there are symptoms. Creating a problem and getting to the root cause of the problem is probably the harder part of the whole thing. One thing I do want to clear up, and I think this is an interchangeable term that gets confused sometimes is the word system. Like, what is the system? Because if you talk about the word system and a different niche, you're talking about like you're usually talking about software.

Mario Dattilo:

Yeah, right.

Gary Harper:

It could be a software system. It could be system, and some niches could be processed. I think that's universally what systems are usually referred to more of like what's your system, what's your process is, what they're saying. There's operating systems as well, like how we run our business. Just like an operating system for our computer. This is the operating system. Within that, you have processes and documents and other types of things that the system helps you manage. That's what we focus on is not just the system of how to run your business, but the processes that fit within that system, the people that fit within that system, the vision that sits within that system, the communication that sits within that system, the metrics that fit within that system. I will tell you, I think one of the things that we can see pretty quickly is lack of system. Think about operating system creates a lack of confidence. Lack of confidence a lot of times creates fear. I always tell people four reasons we don't grow. Number one is fear. We don't grow because of fear. Fear of the unknown, fear. How do we overcome that knowledge. That's one of the key things. Overcoming fear is knowledge. We have to think on that which is true. The only way to understand the truth is to what have knowledge of it and sustain that with faith. Number two is mindset. The second symptom that shows up is poor mindset. Like they think they are the ones that can, only ones that can do it. Or it all depends on them. Or if they don't do a certain thing they'll fail. Or if they let go, then the system will fail or the people will fail. So now our mindset becomes number two. And three is connections. When somebody is struggling with systems and things like that, their heads so far down in the sand, they don't make the right connections for their business. When you don't have the right connections for your businesses and you're limiting your business growth to your 100%, your 100% of the time, your 100% of knowledge or 100% of resources, and if that's all the company is dependent on, then the company is never going to grow past you, right? It's going to get to you 100% stop and depending on what your knowledge is. That's why you see some companies make it a little further in the race than other companies because how much knowledge did that CEO bring in? Every company at some point has to do an assessment, like a blood work of where you are, what you're missing, and what you need to get confident in your system processes and people vision metrics, things like that. I always tell people you have to be profit confident, you have to be people confident, you have to be communication confident, you have to be metric confident, you have to be vision confident. If you're not confident in those areas, you're never going to grow business, right? You grow it and you can have some level of success, but you're never going to truly reach your full potential or that company's full potential.

Mario Dattilo:

That's awesome. Let's just kind of pause really quick and you're going to hear us probably use the word like integrator or COO quite a bit. Or it could be even considered a business manager, office manager or something like that. When should someone bring on an integrator, a COO or an office manager type role that handles the day to day.

Gary Harper:

Operations and frame that properly? Because an integrator, which is a term thrown around real estate right now because of the word book traction. First of all, we need to understand the word integrator is an ideology. It's not a position. You can't go posting integrator on boards and try to get somebody to apply. Most of the world doesn't understand what that term is. That term does represent a position. That position can be anything from an office manager all the way up to a CEO. The goal of that role is to integrate the vision of the business, depending on what level you're at. We have a company called empire operating model. That operating model is the system that we use in sharper and that I've helped design and develop and write to get companies to the next level, what level they need to be at in that system. We talk about the five phases of business. Depending on what phase you're in, mario, you might need a different level person there's a good book called what got you here won't get you there, and the premises around that is in a lot of things. With people, what got you through stage one won't get you through stage four. And so understanding what that role is. Where you're at as a business and what your business needs are. I get a lot of times in real estate where people. They get stuck one profile. They get stuck one type of person. They feel like they got to go out after the taj mahal type integrator using that term. And that's great. And they get to go forward it. And they could do that. That's great. The problem a lot of times is that person wants to run and grow faster than the business can. It's not where it needs to be. That person burns out, or they get frustrated, they leave, or they don't ever stop the job in the first place. If you're going to stage one to stage two, we're really looking more for, like it might even be an assistant in stage one. NEA stage two is probably more like an office manager, somebody that's process focused. Stage three, you start to change that profile a bit. You're starting to get more into starting to bring visionary components, leadership components into that role so they can help solve problems and delegate and elevate with you. You go it goes from there. The level of that person's ability and knowledge has to expand as the business expands. That either grow with the business or you have to bring somebody in that's already at the level you want to be at. And so that integrated role is important. I always tell people, mario, I never start a new business without hiring the integrator first.

Mario Dattilo:

That's awesome.

Gary Harper:

And that could be anything. It could be an EA, it could be my integrator to start the business. Right. It is somebody who can harmoniously integrate my vision.

Mario Dattilo:

Oh, go ahead, keep going.

Gary Harper:

No, I mean, one thing I learned about myself is I won't. Right. I need somebody who can take the ideas, take the things I want to do, and create structure around them. I can do fine creating the vision and accountability of the vision. I just struggle with the implementation of that vision.

Mario Dattilo:

And that's the whole CEO relationship. Gary and I did kind of a short. I think it was a real or something like that. It went out on Instagram and YouTube and all TikTok, and it actually did very well. I asked Gary, can you talk about the relationship between a CEO and a CEO? Or what is the CEO to you as the CEO? I went to his COO and said, hey, what is the CEO to you being the Co? They both kind of answered it, and it was awesome. It was like they were talking about each other and it did very well. Maybe you could kind of touch on that. Can you talk about that relationship with the CEO versus COO and kind of how that works?

Gary Harper:

Yeah. CEO's job is being charged with the vision, the big relationships, the research and development of the organization. Their job is to be creative, problem solvers. Their job is to lead with emotion. Their job is to push the business and see the turns before the turns happen. In a company where an Integrator or a COO level person, their job is to harmoniously, integrate said vision. Their job is to drive the culture and the vision down towards the organization. Their job is to lead, manage, hold the business accountable at all costs. Their job is to make sure that we stay in profits and that the vision and strategy of the organization is rendering the right profit for the organization. I will do tell people the Co's job is never to tell a visionary no. As a CEO, your job is not to tell your visionary CEO no. Your job is to tell them how.

Mario Dattilo:

Like that.

Gary Harper:

Yeah. The how sometimes could be, what's the name of that new company and do you need help finding another integrator?

Mario Dattilo:

Right.

Gary Harper:

What it could be, and we need to hear that as visionaries. Right. I could tell you that if my integrator, my CEO told me no, I'm going to find out how else I can get it done. That's the way it is. Right? Because we don't like the word no. It's not that we're egotistical driven people. It's just that if we see a good need or an ideal or we can fulfill a need, we're going to want to try to do that, especially if we have the ability to do something. I think that's important to understand the difference between the two. The COO of an organization does have to be someone who leads more based on logic. We're looking for a logical decision maker there because you don't want emotion at both levels touching the front line of a business because it's chaotic. You want that balance between emotion and logic.

Mario Dattilo:

That's good. Super good. Sorry. If you're watching this on YouTube, I'm already almost a full page of notes here because I love this podcast. Because I can just sit here and pick Gary's brain, ask many questions I want for the next 30 minutes, and he's got to answer it so he's under pressure. I basically get all my questions answered too. Hey, Gary, what is kind of the difference between maybe a large organization like you used to consult in the past, maybe more of the companies that like mine or others where we're growing, but we're not some large corporation, publicly traded, whatever, what's kind of the difference in the systems and how that looks?

Gary Harper:

In an organization that's much bigger, you're focusing more on productivity and profits and people. Those are the three P's succession planning, top grading, leadership, development of your staff, HR, the emotional paycheck. You're focusing more on that with the people, the process side of it. You're not just documenting processes anymore. You're creating your leaning process. You're driving productivity or creating automation. You're spending more time in research and development. You're spending more time in policy in that area of that. I think the other one is the profits. You're very profit focused. You have a shareholder to Suffice and your projection. You go to more of an accrual model from expense, so you can project better in profits than you do from just a budgeting perspective. There's a budget plus accrual type system in a bigger business, where as an entrepreneur, it's really the fundamentals of business that we're focused on. It's how to run a meeting, how to hire what is hiring the right person to look like? Do we know our culture? When we hire people, do we use what core values do we use? Those things are so much set in stone already. When you get up to a Fortune 500 level, they've been there, they were established, they're well preserved. When I got into entrepreneurship and started coaching entrepreneurs, it's really hard. I'm like, hey, can you send me your numbers? What numbers you want to see? Like, your numbers? Yeah, what numbers? Like, we did 15 contracts last week. Yeah, that doesn't help me. What about your profits? What about your budgets? What about your variance for it? Could you send me your key process indicators? Can you send your performance indicators? What about your key profit indicators? Can you send me those? And they're like, what are those? I'm like part of KPIs before, right? I'm like, yeah, key performance indicators. I'm like, no, there's two other types of KPIs. There's a profit indicator, and there's a process indicator. Like, I need them out of those two. They're like, I have no clue what you're talking about. Okay, so what's your process? Well, I told Joe to go on the appointment, and Joe brings me back a contract. And it's like it's very basic, right? Like, does he bring back the contract every time? No. What's the difference between why he brings back one time and the other time? I don't know. Like, they don't understand their process, and so everything's been winged in a certain way, and that's okay for most visionaries because they're mavericks or ventures or things like that and they like the cost of change. But that doesn't build well, right? Like, you have to have consistency and predictability to some degree in a business. So sustainability becomes very important for entrepreneur. We're larger business, very sustainable business. Now it's all about productivity, people.

Mario Dattilo:

And.

Gary Harper:

Praises about time, money, resources.

Mario Dattilo:

Yeah, that's super good. I know for me, when I was kind of putting together KPIs, let me jump back actually. I started out implementing systems in my company. I was a firefighter, really, is what were. Our company had been growing, growing. We hit kind of a plateau because everything that we had bought and acquired and started managing had all these little problems in it because weren't systematic about what were doing. We weren't being consistent in how we did things and all those boring, repetitive things that we need, weren't doing. It was yeah, do it this way this time and this way the next time. And it created all these fires. At a certain point, we kind of hit a plateau and we became firefighters. We're just putting out all these fires from a year before, two years that we created two years before. That's what told me that I needed to get systematic about what I was doing. We needed process procedures, policies, all that. And I tried to implement it myself. I would say I did probably on a scale from one to ten, maybe I was about a four. I'm not number one. My personality is not an operations person. For me to implement systems in my company, I'm just not that great at it. After implementing it for like a year, I found Gary. Being able to learn from these guys and having them help me implement our meeting structure and do all this other stuff, it's a totally different business now. I'm not involved in the day to day operations anymore. All these things that he's talking about, like setting up your KPIs and your key profit indicators and your key process indicators, it just makes a world of difference in the real world for that entrepreneur or for that CEO type individual. It's just a different ballgame altogether. So that's huge. I think until you go from not having it to having it, you just don't know what you're missing. You don't know how bad it is. Yeah, so that's super good. One question I was going to ask you for basically recruiting top talent, you kind of touched on that . Being a smaller company, maybe some of these listeners have a portfolio of anywhere from three commercial assets all the way up to maybe 20. They've got some employees and things like that. How do we go and continue to improve not only the people that we already have, but how do we start finding those super solid people for our company? Well, I think sorry.

Gary Harper:

Yeah. I think we got to start with us. As an entrepreneur, you got to start with you first before you just jump into trying to hire other people. If you're not willing to lead yourself, then you have no right to lead others. So I think it starts with you. What I mean by that is understanding what your strengths and weaknesses are. We do an exercise with people. We have them list out what they do every day. I call it labor Paint, where they paint out their labor, where they spend their time every hour by the hour for two weeks. And then we take that, we start. I want to put in a couple of categories, right? I want you to put it in things that energize you and things that deenergize you and things that you shouldn't have done, like just should have done. Like it's just a waste of time. Brought you no value. We call it non value add activity, right? NVA non value add activity. Anything that's a non value add didn't bring value, you didn't bring value. A customer didn't bring value. Your business, you shouldn't have done it. Those are the first things we got to get rid of, because what you don't want to do is just like a company you want to lean out. You Want to lean your process. Because a lot of times we put all this extra junk on ourselves that causes capacity issues, and we realize how much of capacity we have that will get robbed from us and pulled into other areas that we shouldn't be doing. Once you have that, you feel like everything on your list is value add VA it's value added activities, then you need to keep that stuff. You got to Evaluate, should I do it? Am I the best person for it? Does this energize me or does it deenergize me? If you're good at something and you like to do it energizes you. If you're not good at something or you don't like to do it, then it de energizes you. I'm all about protecting our energy, right? When I got sick, I could tell you the doctor said I had six months left. What was he saying? He was saying, you have six months of energy left. That's how much battery you have. Right? Have you heard Mario before somebody gets bad news and it's like something's going to take them, they're going to pass away, and they go quicker than everybody anticipated. What happens is that energy drains faster. My wife was pretty cute to that, and so she protected me from everything that would drain my energy. Negative people, negative situations, bad TV shows, like all kinds of stuff.

Gary Harper: Anything that came in that literally felt like I was soul sucking me out, then she would try to put a wall up against it so it wouldn't hit me. She did a good job protecting it. I think she elongated that energy, that battery, to be able to help me find a solution to get healthy. And so were able to do that. That's what we need to do as entrepreneurs and for our business, we have to identify what are the areas in which we need to energize what gives us energy. I got in at 03:00 this morning, right? I told you that earlier. I came in from salt lakes or some Vegas. Got it at 03:

00 this morning. It's roughly around twelve. I slept about four and a half, 5 hours last night. I'm not tired. You can tell I'm not very energetic. Why? Because I do what I love to do.

Speaker 3:

Yes.

Gary Harper:

Everybody's like, how do you I looked at my Apple phone and it was like, I sleep 5.5 hours a night because the tracks are sleeping apparently now. I'm like, wow, I didn't even realize. It's not like I go to bed and get up and I'm like, oh crap, I got to get up early. No, I just go to sleep and I wake up. When I wake up, my body puts me to sleep and wakes me up. I think it's fun for me because I'm at a point in life where I don't have to set a clock anymore. So I don't have alarm clocks. I just go to sleep when I'm tired and I get up when I'm awake. If in the middle of the day I get a little tired again, I go late. After I take a nap, I give my body what it needs when it needs it. Right. I don't tell my body, this is the only amount of time you get to sleep, or do I force it to stay in bed? Why? Because I feel like I protect my energy. Right. I don't feel like I drain my battery in full. When you have a cell phone and it drains all the way to zero, does it take longer to charge back to 100%? Yeah, sure it does. If it only drops to 80%, you don't have to put it on charge all night long. Right.

Mario Dattilo:

Basically what you're saying, Gary, is we need to first focus on ourselves, get the stuff off of our plate that is de energizing us, find what we love to do because that's going to give us more energy. That gets us in a position where we're a great leader. We can go out and treat those go ahead.

Gary Harper:

Sorry. Yeah. You want to be a great leader. It gives you the ability to have the right mindset. It helps you to make the right decisions. I always find as an entrepreneur, small entrepreneur of a smaller company, stage one, stage two type business, we have less than five employees or zero. We want to delegate to them the things that we are not good at, that we don't like to do that drain our energy. Right. I want to go find somebody with the right personality behaviors that is going to be energized by the things I don't like and I'm not good at. If I can find somebody like that, boy, that's a win for them, because it energizes them. It's a win for me. We were talking about my executive assistant. You're like, she's really on her game, and she's really good at what she does.

Mario Dattilo:

She's good.

Gary Harper:

Well, that's because she has the right profile, and she actually really loves what she does, and you can see it.

Mario Dattilo:

We shouldn't go recruit people we like because they're just like us.

Gary Harper:

Right? Yeah. It's fun for a party, but not all parties in well, there's a lot.

Mario Dattilo:

Of truth in that.

Gary Harper:

I would say surround yourself in business with people that like to do the things you don't are good at, the things you're not. Listen, there's like, a cross between someone I find myself, I really like doing that. I'm just not good at it, so I shouldn't do it. Vice versa. I really am really good at it. I actually really good at process mapping. I'm certified in process mapping. Guess what? I don't like it.

Mario Dattilo:

Susan is very good at it. His wife is an absolute rock star in it. That's the one who handles it, not you.

Gary Harper:

Right. I come in from what we call a champion of the process to look at it and go, change this, change that. Let's fix this. Where's that problem from? Why? Because what I am good at, what I do like to do, is identify and solve problems. Right? And so I like to hole poke. I like to challenge the status quo and process and mapping it and document it allows us to do that thing, and I think that's where it becomes fun for me. What doesn't become fun is designing the box and typing in the box and creating the lines of the box. Not that sexy to me. I don't know about you, but I.

Mario Dattilo:

Just don't enjoy drives me nuts, man. The best feeling, though, is when you're in a group. I just took a picture of our L Ten meeting on Tuesday. Our group meeting on Tuesday. They were talking about a process map that they built out, and it was all complex. It was a pretty complex system or a process, I should say. They were all talking amongst each other about how they built it out and how it's working. And I'm like, yes. I wasn't even involved in this. That's the best part about it. Yeah.

Gary Harper:

I mean, that is the best part. When you get people doing the things that you don't like to do or you're not good at, and when they energize like you saw them, they get excited, and it's an emotional paycheck for them that's the win. Right. As an entrepreneur, long winded answer to your question. Mario I think it's complex because hiring people can be very complex. To simplify down, like lead, you find the things you're not good at you don't like that don't energize you and stop doing them. I would say that carries over in your personal life, too. Right. Like, there are things personally that I just don't like to do. Right. I have somebody that cuts my grass and you say, well, that seems a little self indulgent to have somebody else cut your grass like you can't afford it means you were above cutting your grass. Okay, so that's not the reason why I have someone cut my grass. The reason why I have somebody cut my grass is because it does deenergize me. I'd rather go pay pickleball for energy. Right. I'd rather go play pickleball than cut my grass. What it does allow me to do is it allows me to stay at my battery at a higher level so that when I do go do the things I love to do, I have enough energy for them.

Mario Dattilo:

That's good.

Gary Harper:

Yeah.

Mario Dattilo:

Mowing, all that stuff.

Gary Harper:

Mario there is nothing worse in this world than to be an entrepreneur and start to resent the things you love to do because you don't have time or energy to do them.

Mario Dattilo:

That's good. You've built a pretty phenomenal team throughout your companies. One thing that I would say is kind of interlaced throughout all of them is that you've got a lot of family within your organization. My dad and I are business partners. We started the company together. A lot of times when I tell people that my dad is my business partner, they kind of look at me and go, what's it like to be how's that going? And I'm always like, great. We trust each other, we love each other. We are looking out for each other. Like, there's a lot of reasons why what him and I do together are just very good. Could you maybe talk about how working with family has been such a success for you?

Gary Harper:

Sure. First of all, I would say it's not for everybody. Don't look at our business to say they do it, we can do it, too.

Mario Dattilo:

Right.

Gary Harper:

I do think it takes, and this is going to sound a little braggadocious, but I think it takes really strong leadership to be willing to lead family. And what does that look like? It looks like being willing to fire family. Right. You got to be willing. The other thing I would tell you that it becomes a much easier in business when you stop looking at the business like it's yours and you start making decisions based on what's in the best interest of the company. If it's not in the best interest to hire a family, then you should not hire family. If it's not in the best interest of the company to hire someone who has no experience in a certain area, then you shouldn't do that. You're setting yourself up for failure. I think a lot of the reasons why people don't succeed in working with family is because they do them a favor versus what's in the best interest of the business.

Mario Dattilo:

Yeah, they're trying to hook up their family member and not get the best person for the seat.

Gary Harper:

Yes. And so I don't do that. Nor Do I. When I feel like I've made a decision or the business has changed and the business can't It's not the best of the business to have that person. I will not keep them around. And I'm very straightforward with that. When I hire them, and so it's easier even now. Probably the first three or four people I heard that were family like, that was kind of a question. Would He really? Right now. It's not really a question anymore. No, He Will. Right. I think everybody understands and respects the fact that it's not about them and it's not about me. It's about what's in the best interest of the business, which includes me, by the way. If I'm not the right fit for this organization anymore, I mess up, I do something wrong, then I may have to step away from the company. Doesn't mean I lose the owner's box, but I might have to step away from working in the business. If I do that, which I've done not messed up, but done in a lot of cases out of working in my businesses. The only one I still work in is consulting business. Because I Enjoy It. It actually gives me energy. And I have the time, too. So That's Freedom. To me, freedom is not about, like sitting on the beach somewhere. Freedom is about doing what you want to do in life. And I want to consult. I literally find joy and comfort and peace in helping people grow. That area is only place in the business I still live in. At any point, I feel like I forfeited the right to set. I see I would vacate it for the best interest of the business. Right. I wouldn't take the whole company down just because of ego. Nor should any family member my mom gave me. I Love My Mom. We're Best Friends. We've always had a great relationship. My mom and dad have been my biggest fans my whole life. They've always invested in me. They've always seen in me what I didn't see, even when I wasn't a good kid. They've always encouraged me to pursue my dreams. My mom came to me not too long ago, and she's up for an age, and she's like, hey, Mom's. Little bored. I don't have a lot to do. I think it would be good for me to work and stay energized and things like that. And I said, mom, that's great. I said, I do have some openings. I think you might be good for it. I actually personality index test of my mom, and she came back with the profile that would fit the seat. There's other things that happen with people. You don't just hire a profile. You hire education. You hire strengths, weaknesses. The whole person shows up to work, not just their behavior.

Speaker 3:

Yeah.

Gary Harper:

Hiring there, I brought her on board and I had her shadow these meeting moderators, which I was going to have her do. A couple of weeks went by, and I remember asking the leader of that department, I said, hey, how's it going? She says, oh, I think it's going good. I said, So my mom is moderating? And she's like, not yet. I said, oh, wait a minute, what's our process? She said, well, two weeks of shadowing. I said, So she'll start moderating on Monday? Probably not.

Mario Dattilo:

Okay, why not?

Gary Harper:

Did we change our process? Well, no, you need to give her more time. No, we don't. Our process is two weeks. Yeah. It's not in the best interest of the business to give her more time. Is she the right person or not? Well, she seems to really enjoy wanting to watch the moderator, but she doesn't really want to engage in working as a moderator. That's not what I hired her to do.

Speaker 3:

Right.

Gary Harper:

I called my mom and I said, hey, mom, what's going on? I said, how much do you like working in the business, Gary? I really like it. I like it a lot. It gives me something to do. Good. Hey, our two weeks is coming up and our processes that you would start moderating Monday, are you ready to do that? No, I don't know. I don't think I'm ready to do that, but I really enjoy watching them. Okay, yeah. I can't afford you to sit in a seat that you're not going to work in. I said, I appreciate the fact that you enjoy watching it, but mama, if you can't do the job, do you think it's in the best interest for our company to have you set an Se. She's well, maybe, probably not. I said, okay, can we do this? Can I do this if I find something else that might be a better fit, we'll try that too, and maybe just keep trying some new things until you figure out something that you want to do that fits your profile. She says, yeah, I don't mind that. That'd be a good idea. Mario, would it come down to is I don't really have something that somebody can sit there and watch someone else do. Right. I said, hey, mom, what if I just paid you not to work for me?

Mario Dattilo:

It's the nicest fire I've ever heard.

Gary Harper:

She says, Well, I appreciate that, and I could use some extra money, but I still want to fulfill my time with someone. I said, mom, don't you love helping the church? She said, I do love helping the church. I said, they have this new whatever it was. I said, you could go there and be a part of that. If you were being paid by me to go do that, how is it any different than the ones being paid for me to a job? She says, Well, Gary, I don't want you to pay me to go do something like that. Mom, why do you not love that? Do you not love the idea of doing that, Gary? I'd love that. I said, well, then that's what I think we should do.

Mario Dattilo:

That's so cool.

Gary Harper:

Really. You understand you can hire and fire people and family members without being a jerk, right. You have to make those decisions based on what's in the best interests of your business. Okay. I did feel like it was the best interest of my business for this profile, this person, and my mom, who has all this experience to do that, she'd be very nurturing in a meeting to help people keep focus. When her desire did not match up to her ability, then I couldn't leave her in the seat.

Mario Dattilo:

Yeah, you just can't do it because I think that you can't just do favors for people. Otherwise, company goes under just helping people.

Gary Harper:

Yeah. I'll tell you, there are two things that we measure with family. One is, are they a high trust person? I don't trust all family. Just being honest with you. Okay. I don't say yes to every family member. I don't trust them as a person. That's number one. Number two is do I trust them to perform? If I can't answer all of those questions, I don't hire them. But you know what? That's no different than anybody else. Mario, me and you work together. I'd ask you the same questions. Once you start doing favors versus what's in the best interest of the business, you put yourself in a very vulnerable position with family, and it's not going to end well. If you can distinctly keep those separate, then I think you're healthy.

Mario Dattilo:

It's good. I saved the best for last, though. Gary, not only have you brought family into your business, but even the listeners can tell just in conversation. You've definitely brought faith into your business, and you're very open about it. You do a lot of educating as well, and just kind of hearing that interlaced throughout the entire everything you do, obviously, you're bold about it. Has that ever affected your business? How did you get comfortable doing that? Most importantly, what's kind of been the effect of that?

Gary Harper:

Well, when somebody asked me that question, what's that?

Mario Dattilo:

They said, because a lot of people are afraid to, is why I'm asking.

Gary Harper:

Oh, I see. Yeah. I think when I get asked that question, I've been asked that question a couple of times, what the effects of that on your business are. I think the word effects on what you're referring to is what's the negative impact of it? For me, the negative impact would be allowing myself to do something I'm not, and the negative impact would be working with somebody I shouldn't have. Right. The effects of it is it keeps us healthy and it keeps us hungry. Right? Healthy and hungry are two very good combinations as a business owner. I think at any point, even with my staff, if I get to a point where my culture, my internal and my external customer doesn't align with my purpose, then it's unhealthy for me to be a part of it's.

Speaker 3:

Good.

Gary Harper:

I've worked with clients before that didn't share in faith, and that's fine. It could still be a healthy conversation to be a healthy business. I can still help them as long as they don't mind that I'm still who I am. Right? When people ask me to accept an allergy or something that is not who I am, it becomes unhealthy for me. Nor would I ask them to do that. I do accept people for who they are. I think Jesus did that. Of course, Pharisees did not. The Bible talks about a Pharisee versus Christ. And Christ accepted everyone. They came as they were and with the idea of belief like he wants us to have. We're the only creatures God ever created that gave us the open mind of make our own decision and to choose have the power of choice. That's what I don't like about whether Christianity or I don't like about even government, is where they take away your power of choice, because weren't designed to not be able to choose that. God did not design it that way. We were designed in the area of choice. This is my choice, and this is healthy for me to be bold with my faith. I do think you have to be careful with it, and I'll tell you why. Because we serve a very sovereign God. We serve a God that is very loving and can come across at times of being a race of Christians can. I think we have to be careful of that because he's not that way. The other thing, too, is that we have to be careful on how we protect Him, protect the name. If we're going to be bold with it, we have to protect it. I need to be very clear to you, I am not a perfect individual in any way, okay? Nor do I represent God in a perfect way. I'm going to say I'm going to do things wrong. None of us are completely immoral all the time. Right? We can make mistakes. Anybody who says or not, I would really run the other way because they're lying to themselves. That's a pretty dangerous place to be, is be around somebody that doesn't even see that. One of the things in our business is I don't want to create a reflection because my purpose is to do a good work and to change for that. I want to support God's work. So do good work. Support God's work. Doing good work for me is the quality of work. The Bible only talks about success one time. It's in Joshua, chapter one eight says, to have good success doesn't have great success. It says good success. God measures the quality of success we have, not the quantity of success we have that's good to do a good work. We work with somebody, I do not charge them in full until we're done with our service. Why is that? Because if I didn't deliver value over price, I don't want to be paid.

Speaker 3:

Yeah.

Gary Harper:

I'm going to be honest with you, I had a client recently, Mario, that reached out to me and he says, hey, you charged us X. I think we got a Y in value. Probably one of the first times his business is a little outside the normal way we work with. I was like, okay, that can be possible. Now, the circumstances were this. We were supposed to work with him three days after my dad died. I ended up sending a different coach for the first day versus me and a different theme from the person that I was going to send originally. His perspective of what he was going to get versus what he got was different. And it's understandable.

Speaker 3:

Sure.

Gary Harper:

Did we deliver the same product? I think we did. Okay. I really, truly in my heart feel we did. But his perception is our reality.

Speaker 3:

Right.

Gary Harper:

He's like, and honestly, I'm going to go ahead and pay you, but I just wanted you to know because you say that. I said okay. I appreciate that. I said, what can I do to make that right with you? He says, what if we just had three more process documenting sessions? I feel like that would do it for me.

Speaker 3:

Yeah.

Gary Harper:

Now, was he trying to get more services out of us? Maybe. Right. At the end of the day, because this is my purpose and because I want to protect my image and the image of God, I said, okay, I do want to do that. But here's the thing. I'm not only going to do that, I'm going to come back and do another one day with you for free.

Speaker 3:

Personally. Yeah.

Gary Harper:

He was like, oh, you don't have to do that. That's not what I'm asking for. I said, no, but I never go to the level of expectation. I always go to the level exceeding expectation because I'm going to represent God and do a good work, then I want to be done in the right way. I want you to know that the value was brought because I never want to reflect negatively on that. That's why I think we can be bold about it because we're very precautious and protective of it.

Mario Dattilo:

That's awesome.

Gary Harper:

Yeah.

Mario Dattilo:

You stand behind it. I love it. So we're running out of time here. I wanted to just give everybody the opportunity to connect with you, Gary's, on all the social media platforms. I don't know if he knows his own social media titles or not, but we'll definitely put them in the description of the show so you guys can connect with them. He's putting out a ton of good content, like things like what we talked about today. I was really looking forward to doing this interview, and we've been talking about it for a while, and I see him every quarter. I've really been looking forward to doing this interview because I knew it was just going to be deep, and it was. I think we covered so much that the listeners and myself can take and run with. Like I said, I got an entire page of notes, and I'm literally out of room on my page. What we've done is I've actually teamed up with Gary to create a service offering a company called Creops. You can check that out at creops. Biz. You can also go to Creepsprocess.com, but what it is a service offering for commercial real estate investors like myself. Whether you're in the mobile home park space, self storage, apartments, whatever, any type of commercial real estate or commercial real estate management, we've basically put together exactly what we've been doing in my company that can be offered to other business owners or other commercial real estate investors so that it's customized to you. It fits your business model specifically. I'm super excited to be working with Gary on this. There's no better person and no better team to be doing that with. So I appreciate that. Gary, and we're in the works of he's going to be doing some content for the MHP Tribe course that we're putting out here. The new course that we're putting out. He's going to be in there talking about some systems and operations and process procedures, policies, all that. What we talked about today, but pretty in depth. Just great to have you as a friend.

Gary Harper:

Gary.

Mario Dattilo:

I appreciate your time today. Make sure to connect with Gary on all the socials and I appreciate your time, brother.

Gary Harper:

Yeah, I appreciate you, too. Very unscripted and straight from the heart. And I love these type of interviews. So thank you for allowing me beyond.

Mario Dattilo:

Hey, guys. I'll see you on the next episode.

Gary Harper Profile Photo

Gary Harper

CEO Sharper Business Solutions

Entrepreneur ๐Ÿ™‹โ€โ™‚๏ธInvestor ๐Ÿ’ต Business Coach ๐Ÿ’ฏ Christian ๐Ÿ™ (Purpose is to do a good work to support God's work)

๐Ÿ‘จโ€๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€๐Ÿ‘งโ€๐Ÿ‘ฆ Husband & Father

๐Ÿ“ˆ 13 years of corporate executive

๐Ÿ˜ 16 years of active real estate investing
My brother-in-law and I build a team doing up to 300 deals a year from 2011 to 2016

6๏ธโƒฃ Six Sigma Expert - built thousands of REI processes

๐Ÿ“‡ Predictive Index Certified Partner

๐Ÿ‘จโ€๐Ÿ’ผCoached over 300 RE Investor how to build a business not how to do deals.

๐Ÿ“ Implemented EOS in hundreds of businesses, mostly real estate.

๐Ÿคฏ Member of 7 masterminds

Owner of 10 Businesses:

Sharper Events
Sharper Consulting
Sharper Process
Sharper Personnel
Sharper Ministries
Sharper Ventures
Sharper Education
Empire Operating System
Letter Ninjas
Monster House Deals

โœ๏ธ Author
Is Your Business Sick? - Amazon
Thriving Through Hard Times - Ebook
The Master Of Time - Time and Productivity - Ebook