"You have to empower your employees and your company to succeed without you" - Jason Helfenbaum
Jason Helfenbaum creates customized training and knowledge management solutions that address operational issues and opportunities.
As owner and founder of C...
"You have to empower your employees and your company to succeed without you" - Jason Helfenbaum
Jason Helfenbaum creates customized training and knowledge management solutions that address operational issues and opportunities.
As owner and founder of ClicKnowledge, Jason has worked with a wide variety of clients across numerous verticals, ranging from behavioral modification in retail pharma and sales, training in financial services, to support and training content in IT and manufacturing.
In addition to working with large enterprise clients, Jason also works with the SMB/SME market with ay focus on how by creating systems the business can become more efficient, resilient, and valuable
The Sell My Business Podcast is brought to you by Deep Wealth.
The Deep Wealth Experience has you learn the 9-steps of preparation in 90-days. At the end of the 90-days, you have a blueprint for optimizing the value of your business. You also enjoy the certainty that you capture the maximum value.
This podcast is brought to you by Deep Wealth. Are you thinking about a liquidity event? You have one chance to get it right, and you better make it count. The 90-day Deep Wealth Experience gives you the certainty to capture your maximum value. You'll master the 9-steps of preparation we created for our 9-figure exit.
Enjoy the interview!
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Your liquidity event is the most important financial transaction of your life. You have one chance to get it right, and you better make it count.
But unfortunately, up to 90% of liquidity events fail. Think about all that time, money and effort wasted. Of the "successful" liquidity events, most business owners leave 50% to over 100% of their deal value in the buyer's pocket and don't even know it.
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Don't become a statistic and make the fatal mistake of believing that the skills that built your business are the same ones for your liquidity event.
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Are you leaving millions on the table?
Learn how the 90-day Deep Wealth Experience and our 9-step roadmap helps you capture the maximum value for your liquidity event.
Enjoy the interview!
2021 02 03 Jason Helfenbaum Interview
Steve Wells: [00:00:05] I'm Steve Wells.
Jeffrey Feldberg: [00:00:06] And I'm Jeffrey Feldberg. Welcome to the Sell My Business Podcast.
Steve Wells: [00:00:11] This podcast is brought to you by the Deep Wealth Experience. When it comes to your liquidity event or exit, do you know how to maximize the value of your business? You have one chance to get it right, and you better make it count. Most business owners believe that business value is determined during the liquidity event.
Unfortunately, most business owners are wrong. Your enterprise value is a direct result of the depth and quality of your preparation. Who are we and, how do we know? We're the 9-figure exit guys. We said "no" to a 7-figure offer based on 3-times, EBITDA. Two years later, we said "yes" to a 9-figure offer based on 13-times E ITDA. Despite having the same people, the same company, the same services, we increased our business value 10 times.
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Visit www.deepwealth.com/success to book your free call.
Jeffrey Feldberg: [00:01:39] Welcome to episode 40 of the Sell My Business Podcast. Jason Helfenbaum creates customized training and knowledge management solutions that address operational issues and opportunities. As owner and founder of ClicKnowledge, Jason has worked with a wide variety of clients across numerous verticals, ranging from behavioral modification in retail pharma and sales, training in financial services, to support and training content in IT and manufacturing. In addition to working with large enterprise clients, Jason also works with the SMB/SME market with a focus on how by creating systems the business can become more efficient, resilient, and valuable. You can find out more by visiting Sell-your-business-for-more.com.
In response to the COVID related challenges. Many are facing. Jason has also started an online venture with his wife called A Better Me, which is a community that uses connection, compassion, and education to empower and improve people's lives in the face of the challenge.
Jason has four children and thanks to COVID recently got a puppy.
Jason. Welcome to the podcast. Absolutely delighted to have you with us today. You do some really interesting things that I want to do a deep dive in, but first, for the community and our listeners, why don't you tell us the story behind the story?
Jason Helfenbaum: [00:03:10] First of all, thank you for having me here. So, I would argue that I’ve always been a Jack of all trades and a master of none. And I have always wanted to channel my inner geek. So, every day I'm trying to learn something new and that's exactly what I'm doing. I have a knowledge management and training and development company.
So, every day I'm in a different vertical trying to figure out how can I make a company more effective? How can I make a company more efficient? How can we take this knowledge and make it more tangible and usable in the workplace?
Jeffrey Feldberg: [00:03:38] So, what had you realize that this was the path that you're going to go down?
Jason Helfenbaum: [00:03:43] It's interesting. I've heard people say before that there are broadly speaking, two types of people in this world, which are those who are business owners and those who work for companies. And when you take that business owner and have him work for someone, it's like a living hell for them.
And what was interesting is I was working for a software company, a startup. I was wearing a number of hats and I was not enjoying the process. I was not enjoying the glass ceiling that was imposed upon me. And I realized one of the many hats I was wearing was technical writing. I was writing the manuals, user guides, and doing some educational stuff and I just always wanted to branch it on my own.
So, I did, and just never looked back over 20 years ago.
Jeffrey Feldberg: [00:04:24] That's terrific. And so why don't you give our listeners a sense because you really run the gamut from the very large companies to the smaller companies to the ones in between. There's a big difference of the before and after. So, before Jason comes on the scene, after Jason leaves, there's big improvements and all the good things that as business owners we want, but often are too busy to do or to dive into.
So, what would be big picture-wise, if I'm a business owner for starters, what is it that you're doing for me and why would I want that?
Jason Helfenbaum: [00:04:57] As a fellow business owner, it really boils down to three letters, which is R.O.I. And a lot of times people view training or something like that is a necessary expense. I don't As I say to my clients if you have a problem that costs you $2,000 per year and we've cost you 50,000 to fix it, live with your problem.
It's not worth fixing. Having said that oftentimes when you turn the tables and don't see training as an expense, but an investment, you can often uncover ROI. And my mantra is to uncover ROI within six months.
Jeffrey Feldberg: [00:05:35] That's terrific. And Jason, what are you doing? And the reason I ask that in terms of what you're doing and how you're doing that, at Deep Wealth, business owners are coming to us and they're saying. I want to have a liquidity event, whether that be a full exit, whether that be a partial exit, or something in between, and it's not going to be tomorrow, it's not going to be even a year from now.
It could be two years from now. It could be five years from now. It could be beyond that. But what we're helping them do is on the preparation side, walking them through our nine-step roadmap so that they walk away with a certainty that they're going to be capturing the maximum value on their liquidity event.
So, when you're looking at business owners, you're looking at various businesses from a training perspective, from a best practices perspective, you must see some common traits that are blind spots for many business owners.
Jason Helfenbaum: [00:06:28] Again I have to speak as a business owner and speaking in full hypocrisy, as I say, this is that really, in some cases, what a business needs are a brain surgeon and you need a brain surgeon because the owner is the business. In order for them to be more efficient in order for them to get to the next level, in order for them to sell, they need to extricate themselves and their brain from the business.
And the way that we do that is simply creating systems. So, to oversimplify it, think of it as a franchise model, the same way that someone can open a McDonald's, open up a manual, and have people with a moderate amount of education, fully developed and serve customers speaks to that model. And there's no reason why a small business can't on some similar scale, have a similar system set up such that employees know exactly what they're doing.
And business owners are able to not be caught and bogged down in operations, but be more in the strategic mode. And I think that's a very important point. I think owners and the C-suite should not be focused on operations. They should be focused on strategy. And building the business and the future. And every time they get pulled back into ops, it's really pulling them away from where they should be focused.
Jeffrey Feldberg: [00:07:48] Jason, you're preaching to the choir. For us Deep Wealth one of our favorite questions is, does the business run without you? And unfortunately for most business owners, the answer is no, they are the business and the business is them. So, for a business owner, who's listening to you, Jason, they're thinking either, Hey, it's going to be too expensive or too much time, or I can't possibly do it as well with me not being in the seat as a center of the universe.
What would you tell them otherwise that would have them think twice and really have them start preparing that the business does run without them?
Jason Helfenbaum: [00:08:24] I think you have to expand it in fairness. Again, it does get down to ROI. So, the question is, what is your time worth? What is your hourly rate? And shouldn't you be doing what you're doing? No, I've heard stories for example, and I know this is extreme, but business owners feeling that they have to do payroll because no one else can do payroll effectively.
In dealing with my large enterprise clients on the employee side, we've had the, I'd like to use stronger language, but I'll say the, Oh my God moment. And the, oh my God moment is someone who's been in the business for 30 years is suddenly retiring in six months. And we have nothing written down of what they do.
And if we don't do something about it, they will cripple a business. So, the human nature is, you talk about Eisenhower's four quadrants. People tend to focus on things that are urgent, but not important. And this is something that is important, but it doesn't necessarily have an urgency to it until it's too late or until it becomes a crisis mode.
So, this is a proactive thing. This is something that could be done on an iterative slow basis. It doesn't require a person to say I'm going to document every aspect of my business right away. I always encourage my clients to figure out what's the low hanging fruit? Let's prototype this. Let's test. This.
Let's do something that is going to get you a home run at your first step back, and then let's take it from there. So, it doesn't have to be a huge investment. It's just to get the ball rolling and see if this makes sense. If it makes sense. Again, it’s ROI. How can we improve the ROI in this department?
How can we improve the ROI in that department? How can we protect ourselves if and when an employee leaves, it just, as a sidebar note, someone once said something to me that I found interesting that basically, your employees are in a lease, that you have them for about two to four years? And really what you're doing from their perspective is preparing them for the next opportunity.
And that may sound adverse or negative, but I think there is some truth to that. So, on one hand, you want to build up your skills, so they have the next opportunity, but at the same time, you need those systems in place. So, if, and when they go, you're not caught with your pants down.
Jeffrey Feldberg: [00:10:32] Absolutely. And not only the systems in place for the employees, but the systems in place for the day that you're not going to be there. Heaven forbid maybe it's an unexpected illness or something that comes up, or as we like to focus on Deep Wealth and I know yourself as well, Jason, for a future buyer, who's going to be coming in and too many buyers walk away from the table, because they know that when that business owner rides off into the sunset with a big check, the likelihood that business owner is showing up tomorrow, or maybe lights on nobody, home is significant and it's just too much of a risk. So, Jason, from your background and experience for the business owners out there that are thinking, I don't have the time.
Where can they start? What would be one take away strategy that if they did nothing else and they did this one strategy that would begin to make the difference for them.
Jason Helfenbaum: [00:11:23] It's a really good question. I think the first step would just to be mapping out. Understand how your company works and understand where you are at risk. And even if you just do that first step and understand where you're at risk and where you can mitigate that, if you do nothing more, I think you've added value already.
One of the mantras I go by that I think is very important for business owners. Is that whenever there's a task, the first question I ask is can I automate it? And if I can't, can I delegate it? So, if this is something that you feel is a burning issue, but you don't have time, the first question is can you automate it?
No. Can you delegate it? Yes. You can have someone interview you while you're eating your lunch and get the information out of your brain. And going back to automation versus delegation, you are going back to automation by creating a system you are now automating the process. If you feel your company is an elephant, then you can eat it one bite at a time. You don't have to do the whole thing at once. You can just say, okay, ops are really critical. And with an ops, we have this product that is our flagship, and we really need to document that process of how we create that product for argument's sake. If you get that done and nothing more, you're still further ahead than if you did nothing.
Jeffrey Feldberg: [00:12:36] Some practical advice there and something that really any business owner can do. Can I automate it? Can I delegate it? Two simple questions? Like the saying goes, if you want to change your life, change the questions that you're asking. So, Jason, as a business owner, if I were to bring you into my company and I were to say, I know at one point I'm going to want to have a liquidity event, but I also want to grow at the same time, I want to increase my efficiencies, increase my profits.
What would you do? What does that process look like for the first time when you're coming into a company, just to give our listeners a sense of what they can expect and what they should be doing.
Jason Helfenbaum: [00:13:15] So, whether you're looking to just get more efficient now, or you're looking to sell the processes pretty much the same. What we offer is a three-stage process. The first process is to create a needs analysis, which is basically like a cross between a roadmap and a business plan. And what that does, is it informs everyone of what the expectations are, what the parameters are really what we're trying to do. What are we doing here? What do we have consensus on? And once we have that consensus and we all agree, this is a roadmap of what we want to accomplish. We will take that and apply it to one small aspect of your business.
As I was talking about before, what's the low hanging fruit? What's going to be a win-win for everyone. What's going to give us absolute buy-in and say, yes, this makes sense? And once we've done that, and quite frankly, once we've learned from our mistakes and where we've succeeded as well, we will then expand that to the rest of the company and apply it to the rest of ops.
Then apply that to admin, apply that to marketing, apply that to sales and so slowly, but surely you are expanding the knowledge and disseminating that information on a platform that everyone can access.
Jeffrey Feldberg: [00:14:21] So, Jason, one of the things that you do, and actually many of the things that you do at ClicKnowledge is at the foundation of it you’re modifying behavior. So, as a business owner, what would be some areas where the behavior could be modified in perhaps how things are being done or how people are thinking or just classic areas that most business owners don't even realize something needs to be changed but can make all the difference. Anything that you can share with us on that?
Jason Helfenbaum: [00:14:53] So, with regard to business owners, the change needs to be that this business will succeed without me. I've taken it this far, but if I want to sell it. I can no longer be part of it. And even though it's your baby, even though you love it for sight and you've grown it from nothing to what it is, you have to start thinking of the business as a separate entity.
And if you want to sell you quite honestly have to be prepared to say goodbye. You have to start down that path, you have to empower your employees and you have to empower the company itself to succeed without you. As well, the number one frustration of employees with owners and managers is lack of clarity of what expectations are.
And so I think what's really important is to map out those expectations so that business owners are very clear with their employees and have some sort of transition plan or a plan of some sorts that employees can achieve what they want them to. Those are the main things, I think, as far as behavior modification.
Jeffrey Feldberg: [00:16:03] And so Jason, when it comes to the business owners, what's being put out there, you're absolutely right. In what you're saying that the business absolutely must run without the business owner. I know for yourself as a business owner, or certainly for myself, when I was running my e-learning company, I was the business and the business was me. The thought of the business running without me, the thought of not even having that business as part of my daily routine, that can be a scary thought.
And it can be a thought that for many business owners as well, why even bother, I just can't imagine life without that. If I'm honest about it, it feels scary. I'm not going to go down that path. So, with that in mind, number one, how can a business owner deal with those kinds of concerns and thoughts, and what's waiting for the business owner in your experience on the other side, once you make that transition and you have the business run without you?
Jason Helfenbaum: [00:16:58] I think the key word you said he was transitioned and transitions take time. For example, I just got myself, a dog, a COVID dog. It is three months old. I see it every day. I don't notice anything about it, but in a month, it's gone from 10 pounds to 23 pounds. So, if I were not to see it for a month, I would say, oh my gosh, this dog has grown double in size.
So, with transitions, it takes time. And if you're looking at any particular moment in time, you're not necessarily going to see or appreciate the transition, but I think it's important to say, I envisioned selling that business a month from now or a year from now or five years from now. And what does that look like? And why do I want to sell it?
And what would I do with that time? Perhaps I just want to spend more time with my family, or I have this other idea I really want to do, but I'm just maxed out in this business. I can't get to that business. What I've done with friends and colleagues before is just tell them to dream.
Don't impose limitations on what's realistic. What's not. And just as an aside, something I found very inspiring. I saw just this year for the first-time a down syndrome person finished the iron man competition. He did it with his father and the father said when he first started, he could do a lap and a half and he finished the entire iron man.
And he said, our mantra was 1% better. We just want to do 1% better this week than we did last week. So, if you have this goal of selling your business and you have this pipe dream of what that looks like when it's finished, I would encourage you to say, okay, how can I get 1% closer this week than last week to achieving that goal?
And if you build up that momentum again, you won't necessarily see that transition, but it will happen. And those dreams will become a reality.
Jeffrey Feldberg: [00:18:51] Jason, that's a terrific example of the 1% better and the whole transition time. Speaking of the COVID dog, we're hearing your COVID dog which is the sign of the times. For our listeners what's your dog's name?
Jason Helfenbaum: [00:19:03] His name is Cody.
Jeffrey Feldberg: [00:19:04] The COVID dog Cody. Now, speaking of the coronavirus and the pandemic things have changed here we are, and we're still going through the throes of this and the new normal, whatever that looks like continues to be redefined by the day. What do you see and what are you hearing out there what's changed from your perspective that our listeners should know about as business owners, as we continue to figure our way out through this pandemic?
Jason Helfenbaum: [00:19:31] That's a really good question. I think, first of all, it's mental resilience. I think there are several ways of looking at this. One could say, we have a lot to be grateful for. And I think that undermines that the difficulty that we are going through. So, I think you have to, first of all, be good to yourself.
And I think for better, for worse, you have to understand that you're not alone. I know lots of businesses that were very successful and they got hit hard by COVID and they're trying to figure out what to do. The second thing I think is we've all done this on one level or another is pivot. Understand how is our market changed?
Ask yourself lots of questions. Brainstorm, figure out what's out there. Figure what new markets are available or how you can solidify on existing ones. I think it's just by being fearless and asking yourself a lot of questions and not being afraid of the answers, I think is the first step.
Jeffrey Feldberg: [00:20:28] And as someone Jason who's in the trenches, you're working with businesses large and small and everything else in between, what would be two or three take-home strategies, that I should be doing that's going to help the business?
Jason Helfenbaum: [00:20:41] So, two things come to mind. The first one is simply to ask your employees. What can we do to make them happier, more efficient, et cetera, et cetera? Ask your customers, what can we do to keep your business? What can we do to increase market share? Who do you know that we should be speaking to? Those kinds of questions?
As far as resilience goes, it's interesting. I was reading in Good to Great. They would talk about the Stockdale principal who was a prisoner in the Hanoi Hilton. He was the longest prisoner in this system. And the reason why he survived and others didn’t is because people held out to a certain point in time. And they said, I will be rescued by Christmas or I'll be rescued by next year. And Stockdale's principle was, I don't know when I'm going to get out of here, but I know I'm going get out. And I think that's really the challenge. I, within my lifetime, I've never had an experience where what was happening today was not indicative of what's happening tomorrow.
Whether things are going to be open or closed, or my kids are going to be working. Schooling at home or whatever. It's been very topsy-turvy. And so, I think it comes back to resilience to say, I don't know when my kids are going back to school. I don't know what I'm going to be able to open my doors fully.
I don't know when I'm going to be able to fly out to my clients, et cetera, et cetera, but I know it will happen soon. And I think it's important. As I said before, we're not alone. I think it's really important to reach out in whatever capacity possible to figure out how you can get strengthened by those around you.
Jeffrey Feldberg: [00:22:10] Some words for the wise. Now, Jason, that you been working for quite some time with businesses to help them increase their value, to help them sell for more. Looking back over your years of experience, what would be the top three areas where a business is weak and they're not doing the right things.
And if they can change this, it'll make a difference for the business, but it'll also make the difference for the value of the business. What would that be for you?
Jason Helfenbaum: [00:22:36] I would say the top issue that comes to mind is silos. There's too often, you have silos. You see this, especially in Fortune 500 companies. And quite frankly, the reason for it is in the Fortune 500s. They just want to keep their head down because they're paranoid that someone else somewhere is doing the exact same job of them and they will be just be downsized.
So, just keep quiet and keep doing what you're doing. That doesn't really exist within the SMB market. However, I see no reason why, for example, sales and marketing cannot communicate better together. I find often they operate as separate entities. They sometimes do not have a sympathetic or cooperative relationship. But regardless sales and marketing should be working in concert.
Sales is out there and can give field research back to marketing as far as what they need. Marketing can work with sales and then further improve their penetration. But that's one example of many of how companies, unfortunately, have these artificial walls put up and it decreases efficiency that way.
The most apparent thing is to document everything in the sense that you have institutional knowledge and processes that are an oral tradition. And if it's an oral tradition, it's in jeopardy of not being maintained. So, I know I'm tooting my own horn, but I can't underscore that enough that you just expect that information to always exist, but it doesn't really exist anywhere. Therefore, it doesn't exist.
Jeffrey Feldberg: [00:24:07] And so on the documentation side, which is important, not just for today, but also will be key when you have a liquidity event, when you may no longer be running the company. How do you begin that documentation process in a manner that isn't overly cumbersome or expensive?
Jason Helfenbaum: [00:24:23] It may not be the most elegant thing, but if you just. Type out things and put in a word document for argument's sake or a Google doc or Google spreadsheet. That's a start. And again, it comes back to ROI. You might want to go more fancy, might want to have some sort of intranet or something like that.
But quite simply having it documented in a word processor is better than having nothing. So, it depends on what you want to do and how much he wants to spend and how valuable that information is to you. If that information is critical to your business, then you'll find a way to document it.
I know IT companies where the chief developer died of a heart attack and they couldn't access the source code and they had to reverse engineer the entire product. So, how much is it worth it to have that developer commit their code and their comments to something that other people can access?
Probably worth a lot more than it actually cost them to do.
Jeffrey Feldberg: [00:25:14] Jason, speaking of stories. Any success stories that you can share with us of a before and after with one of your clients in terms of what was done on the preparation side?
Jason Helfenbaum: [00:25:26] So, I had a client in the financial services sector that was a franchise model. And they were finding that people who bought franchises were overwhelmed despite having two degrees or more. What I was able to do is streamline the entire training process for them.
And as a result, what they were able to do was sell more franchises. So, they had a direct ROI by being able to sell more through more effective training. And people as well, we're able to generate more revenues through their services, which went back to the franchise. So, the franchise basically doubled down from an investment perspective on the training.
Jeffrey Feldberg: [00:26:10] That's amazing. Jason. So, here you are. Same system, same company, same people. You're focusing on one particular aspect of training and that just made all the difference for that particular company. So, if you take a look at that and you go out to the business community in general, we're both business owners and I don't think we'd be off base in saying that as business owners, we get busy, we get stressed.
Sometimes we can even get a little lazy. And so, what I'm hearing is that time put into something, an investment that goes into it. The return on investment to go back to your three letters, the ROI starts to become something significant. Now what about those business owners out there who are thinking I'm not a multi-national, I'm not a big company. This is my company and yes, we're successful, but we're not that big. Does it still apply to me? And why should I care?
Jason Helfenbaum: [00:27:04] Again, it gets back to automation and delegation, especially if you're lazy. You don't want to be spending time doing things you shouldn't be doing. And even if you're not lazy, you'd don't want to be spending time on things doing you shouldn't be doing. Whether you have 25 or 25,000 employees. There is certain institutional knowledge. There is a certain complexity, and you don't want to get entangled in broil that more than you need to.
As I said before, you need to be developing a strategy. Not in ops. And if you want to do that, you need to free yourself. ROI can be as far as financial, but it can also be as far as time goes as well. You're investing your time. How do you want to invest it?
Jeffrey Feldberg: [00:27:44] That's a terrific point. Now you mentioned that ROI doesn't have to be just financial. And I know most business owners got into the business because they had some kind of a dream that went beyond the financial side of things. And oftentimes a business owner will wake up and he or she will be in the seat for 10 years, 20 years, 30 years, or more.
And they're tired. They're burnt out. So, do those business owners who had better days behind them than what they think is in front of them, how can they get the joy back into their lives from a business side?
Jason Helfenbaum: [00:28:17] So, that's a really good point. And I think we've all felt that way at one point or another, whether it lasts five minutes or five years. I think we all have that feeling, especially because we have this entity that grows and sometimes it grows slower or faster than we want. And there's the complexity that comes with that.
I think it's about asking yourself, why did I get into this business? Or why do I want to get out of it in some cases? Why did I start this? What do I want to be doing? How do I want to be spending my time? And then it's about developing a plan to make that come into action.
Jeffrey Feldberg: [00:28:51] Interesting. One of the things that we do, Jason, in a Deep Wealth Experience, in fact, it's our first module. We call it X-Factors to insanely increase the value of your business. And I never quite thought of it this way before, but as we're talking about it, really one X-Factor is training. Training in the right area, asking very specific questions can make a difference.
Jason, am I just drinking your Kool-Aid on this podcast, or is there something to what I'm saying as business owners are listening in and asking how am I going to increase the value of my business?
Jason Helfenbaum: [00:29:25] That's a really good question. What comes to mind as you're talking is this concept of just-in-time training. In other words, what training do I need to have right now is one thing. The other thing as well as it's basically going back to things, we've talked about already is. My biggest asset in most cases is my employees.
So, how can I leverage that? How can I leverage my employees to grow my business even more? Nine times out of 10, the answer is going to be training and it doesn't have to necessarily be a formal training program, but there has to be something where you are making your employees better or more efficient and having an exponential effect on your business as a result of that.
Jeffrey Feldberg: [00:30:03] So, just to recap, what we've been talking about is how training can really unlock the doors to the success that perhaps has always been there, but possibly out of reach. Asking two simple questions. Can I automate this? Can I delegate this? To begin that process of getting your time back and having the company run without you. Small steps that really day over day. You're 1% better each day or each week adds up cumulatively over time to make all the difference. So, from that perspective, let's change gears for just a moment here. And we talk about fulfillment and we talk about joy and I know you've done something very interesting in the COVID times that we're in. You've started something called A Better Me.
So, for our listeners, what's A Better Me? What's that all about, and why did you start it?
Jason Helfenbaum: [00:30:55] Yeah, it was an interesting thing is what my wife and I realized my wife amongst other things, as a gerontologist and a licensed social worker, she has her MSW. We were trying to think, what do people need? What's needed in the world.
And what we really realized is there's a lack of compassion, not so much for each other, but for ourselves, is that we tend to be a bit harder on ourselves. So, we decided to start a movement, so to speak called A Better Me where we would give people tools and enable them to have a better version of themselves by being compassionate to themselves.
And so, we offer a number of courses and one-on-one counseling to help people through hard times, whether it's COVID or other, such issues. We basically want to arm people with knowledge of how they can be compassionate to themselves. And by treating themselves better live better lives.
Jeffrey Feldberg: [00:31:51] What's interesting about that. As business owners, we want to get the best out of our employees, the best out of our team, make sure we're giving maximum value to our customers in the marketplace. And oftentimes the place where you start is you look at the person staring back at you when you're looking in the mirror.
And so really it starts and stops with you. And so, when you improve yourself as a person, as a leader, as an owner of a business, and all those different hats that you wear, it begins the ripple effect of not just with you, but those around you. And so, Jason, that's wonderful and congratulations on doing that. So, how's the response been and what have you been seeing?
Jason Helfenbaum: [00:32:34] The response has been great. What I find really interesting is people come and have a misunderstanding of what we're about. And then that light goes on and goes, Oh, I get it. It wasn't what I expected, but this is what I needed. So, it's been really gratifying to work with people and give them a different perspective.
I think a lot of times when people use the word compassion that they think of it in terms of being weak or soft or something like that. I'm a very driven person, but at the same time, I find when I'm compassionate with myself, I'm able to accomplish a lot more.
Jeffrey Feldberg: [00:33:12] And it's interesting. We'll put this in the show notes by the way, but the site, if you're listening, it's aBetterMe.live. And so, one of the questions for you, Jason. For most business owners it's 24 seven, busy, and not taking some time off. How do you speak to that from leader to leader a business owner to business owner perspective in terms of taking the time off just to recharge and re-energize, so you can be more resilient?
Jason Helfenbaum: [00:33:39] Yeah, I think it's really important to see downtime as an investment because you can only burn that candle for so long. What I find invaluable, this is a really low tech, very inexpensive thing. Go for a walk. I just find going outside, especially if you can be in nature and just being really quiet enables you to have clarity. Even on a professional side, whenever I am stuck or have so to speak writer's block within one of my training programs, or I'm not sure how to handle it. A challenge. I just go for a walk and just getting a bit of the oxygen and blood flowing and being quiet. I find really invaluable. But even beyond that, I think we tend as a rule to put our own needs aside. We tend to focus, let's say on family, on business, on employees. The possibly overused, but really important to the analogy I like to use is the whole oxygen mask on the airplane.
One, you got to put yours on first, before you put your kids on. And it's the same thing here. If you're just investing in your business and not invest in yourself, then you're going to burn out. And the business needs you, but you won't be there because you don't exist anymore. I think it's really important to find that invaluable and to articulate that need, even if you can't do it, even if you're working 80-hour weeks and you can't see the end of what's going on, I think it was really important to say, you know what.
Within a month, we'd like to binge on Netflix. I, within a month or two, we want to drive somewhere. I think it's important to just articulate those things. And I find in my own experiences that simply by articulating them, they eventually happen. And when I don't articulate them, they don't happen.
Jeffrey Feldberg: [00:35:21] Great suggestions there, Jason, and not just for the owner of the business. I would imagine that taking that strategy and having it available really to the entire team, to all of the employees. With the pandemic. So, many people now are working from home and many advantages that come from that.
But what I hear so much from different business owners, different employees are just the mental health and the burnout that's going on out there. So, as a business owner, looking to my team, Jason, what kind of strategies should I be encouraging my team to do from a mental health perspective?
Jason Helfenbaum: [00:35:57] Find reasons to laugh. I think it really does depend on your culture. I think one of the advantages of small businesses is that you have more of an opportunity to have stronger interpersonal bonds. It's more task-based than role-based. I find a lot of businesses in the sense that when you're dealing with large companies, you have this specific role within marketing and you don't go left or right of that.
Whereas in small businesses, you roll up your sleeves, whatever needs to get done gets done. And today I'm wearing this hat or I'm wearing that hat. And I think by working together in that capacity, I think you have the ability to build strong bonds that way. And I think it's great. And I think it's to small businesses advantage, take advantage of those bonds and build with them.
I think it's important for people to articulate. I'm not having a day where I'm having a great day or have support systems within the businesses that people can help each other and be there for each other. Be empathetic. I'm not saying have things plummet, but I'm saying just to have an understanding and allowance for what's going on.
Jeffrey Feldberg: [00:37:01] Some great advice there, Jason, and as we begin to wrap things up, one of the things that we do on the Sell My Business Podcast is we ask every guest this question. And I want you to imagine that we're going back to the future. So, knowing what you know, where you are today, Jason you're in the DeLorean.
You're back to the future. You're going to the younger Jason, whatever age that may be for you, what would be two or three things that you're telling the younger Jason.
Jason Helfenbaum: [00:37:30] Learn from people. Don't be afraid to ask people questions. I think quite candidly when I was younger, I didn't seek out as many mentors as I should have. And I have found later on whether people are younger or older than me, everyone has something to teach me. I learned a valuable lesson from people 20 years younger than me and 20 years older than me.
And I think just having those conversations are invaluable. You want to get back to ROI that cup of coffee pays itself a hundred-fold just by sitting down with someone and just picking their brains on anything that's going on in your life. I found that really invaluable.
Jeffrey Feldberg: [00:38:08] Thank you, Jason. That's terrific. And we'll put this in the show notes for people who would like to find you online, where's the best place that they can look?
Jason Helfenbaum: [00:38:17] So, if you want to reach me personally, you can reach me at jason[at]clicknowledge.com. I'll spell that for you because many people misspell, click knowledge at C L I C K N O W L E D G E.com or click and knowledge, but just one K, not two. And if you'd like more information on how I can help you sell your business for more you can go to sellyourbusinessformore.com with hyphens in between each word.
Jeffrey Feldberg: [00:38:45] Thank you so much, Jason, really appreciate your time today and wishing that you stay healthy and safe. Thank you so much.
Jason Helfenbaum: [00:38:51] Thank you. And the pleasure's all mine.