How can you make more money or have more time with less effort?
How about ways to leverage your time, so you’re not constantly working your tail off?
You can leverage passions, processes, people, and profits.
Host and Cash Flow Expert, Chris Miles, will be teaching you how to do just that in today’s episode. Find out how!
Chris Miles Bio
Chris Miles, the “Cash Flow Expert,” is a leading authority on how to quickly free up and create cash flow for thousands of his clients, entrepreneurs, and others internationally! He’s an author, speaker, and radio host featured in US News, CNN Money, Bankrate, and Entrepreneur on Fire, and has spoken to thousands getting them fast financial results.
Listen to the podcast here
The Power Of Leverage Part 1
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I want to talk about the power of leverage. This comes up because I have a talk or speech. I’m teaching on stage about this concept. As I’m thinking about leverage because that was the thing that was most impactful for a lot of people here, learning about leverage. Even for those who have been in business a while and aren’t in business, leverage is something that we all want and desire, but we never know.
When I first started as a financial advisor, this was back several years ago, my belief was if I wanted to make the most money possible, I did it myself. I did everything by myself. I would try to do everything from insurance to security investments like mutual funds and things like that. I would do mortgages. I got a mortgage license. I had a license in all these different areas. I even did a little bit of debt pay-down programs and all kinds of stuff.
I was doing all these things, and I was working my tail off, but I wasn’t making a ton of money. It’s not that I couldn’t have made a ton of money. If I knew then what I know now, I probably would have done way better, but I was new in the business. The thing is that scarcity drove me to think that the best and most effective way to create more money was to do it myself and become the one-stop-shop guy.
I’m here to tell you that was one of the most destructive things. It was about April of 2006, and this was after I quit being a financial advisor. I had the a-ha moment. I started to understand that there’s an abundant world and there are more possibilities that you can have your cake and eat it too. It’s not about an either-or world, that you can have everything that you want.There's an abundant world with more possibilities that you can have your cake and eat it too. It's not about an either-or world. You can have everything that you want. Click To Tweet
The one thing that came to my mind was one of my friends said, “What are you doing right now?” I was like, “I’m doing mortgages. I’m teaching ballroom dance on the side. I’m not getting paid for it, but I’m volunteering. I’m teaching one of the dance teams there. I think I’d eventually want to start teaching that more seriously.” He’s like, “If money were no issue, what would you spend your time doing?”
I want you to ponder on that question too because this was essential for me. He said, “If money were no issue, what would you spend your time doing?” Up to that point, money has always been an issue, and maybe this is like for you guys as well. I thought, “I don’t know.” I noticed when people answered this, usually it’s whatever they don’t have at the moment. That’s typically what they’ll say.
The first thing I said was, “I guess I’d travel more. That sounds good. I’ll travel more.” He looked at me, disbelieving me and saying, “Chris, come on. What about the other 45 weeks out of the year? Maybe you’ll do that for 7 to 8 weeks out of the year. What about the other 40-plus weeks out of the year? What are you going to do to spend your time doing?”
I had never thought of that question before. I thought, “I don’t know. Maybe I’ll teach ballroom dancing. That’s what I would do because I had a huge passion for that.” He said, “Now we’re getting somewhere. What are you doing now?” I’m like, “I’m doing mortgages and things like that.” He’s like, “Do you like doing mortgages?” I said, “I like teaching about it. I loved some of the things I’ve learned about leveraging that. Honestly, I’m not a huge fan of dealing with underwriting and paperwork. Having them call me at all hours, trying to ask me how it’s going with underwriting.” He said, “Chris, why don’t you find somebody who does like doing that?”
Even though that idea crossed my mind several times in the previous years that I’ve been in business, it never hit me and struck me as true until that moment. I thought, “You’re right, I should. Do you have any suggestions?” He’s like, “I know some people that would be good people to talk to.” I talked to the owner of a mortgage company that I was looking to hang my license with anyways at that time. The owner said, “I know somebody a good fit for you. He’s someone who is good at that. He’s not the greatest marketer. He doesn’t sell himself greatly, but he does a great job.” I said, “That sounds like the guy for me.”
I met that guy, and I found out that guy was decent. He had good integrity and did a good job. I made the deal. I said, “If I teach these people, help teach them about the mortgages and get them to the point where they already know what they want, you have to do the paperwork, they’re already pretty much sold on it, would you pay me 50%?” The guy said, “Yeah, they’re ready to go. I’m doing the paperwork. You’re doing all the front-end type stuff. I do the backend and underwriting. I’ll do it.” He did.
When I was doing it myself, I had to discount my services. That was one problem. That was one reason why I wasn’t making as much money as I could have because I thought, “I have to be the cheapest guy out there. I’m living in that scarcity world. My value would be, “How can I be cheap?” That wasn’t the case. The case was I can get paid the standard rate of everybody else, the standard origination fee of 1%.
That guy, even though I cut my fees back to maybe half percent, that guy would charge 1%, which means that I get paid the same amount of money I would have if I did the mortgage myself, but instead, I spent about a half hour or so teaching people about the mortgage and what to do. When they were sold on it, they’re like, “Let’s do this. Who should I talk to?” I say, “Talk to this guy.” Because I was licensed in that profession, I was able to even split the deal. That became a business stream of income.
People call that affiliate relationship nowadays. For me, I was finding good referrals and good people to connect people with. I was becoming a connector. That was the beginning of what was creating great leverage in my life. I realized, “If I can do it here, where else can I do this? What other business owners do I send referrals to that I could ask them for whatever the fee might be?” Some of them would only pay me 5%.
I have had a jeweler pay me 5%, but there would be people occasionally that would mention that they’re going to get engaged, get married, or buy a gift for their spouse or their significant other. I’d say, “If you want to find a great wholesale jeweler that’s appointment only, you should go check out these guys. They’re exclusive, but they’re a third of the costs you’d pay in a normal mall or jewelry store that you go to.”The only difference between you and the ultra-wealthy is that they figured out how to leverage better than you have. Click To Tweet
I’ll hook them up. It would be a huge value add for them and it would be great for me because I get a nice little check of maybe $50, $100, or something like that. That’s how it all began for me. That’s when leverage became big. I want to talk about you in your life where leverage can be key because you can’t keep killing yourself to try to thrive or prosper, and you don’t have to. The only difference between you and the ultra-wealthy is that they figured out how to leverage better than you have. That’s it.
There are some mindset stuff too, belief levels, expectations, and things like that they expect you to do it. The more successful I become, the more I raise the bar on what I see as being reasonable or what I expect to be even a normal month or year for me. As that bar raises, so does my income. Everything raises with it. There is that mental game too, but I’m talking more about the strategy behind it.
The strategy behind that mental game is you’ve got to create leverage, and that leverage comes from three key areas. It comes from programs, processes, and people. I’ll keep it easy with three Ps. I mentioned this in the last episode when I talked about programs. This could be where you create something that has leverage. I love creating online-type programs, things that are digital and accessible.
Even in my own coaching, I had to create a program. This is part of the process too. In my own coaching consulting, I realized that people would ask the same questions. I felt like I had to keep teaching the same things over and over. I realized that if I’m teaching the same thing, I need to make that digital. I need to make that available that doesn’t require me to do it where they can listen to it when I’m sleeping at 2:00 AM or whenever they decide to listen it. I don’t have to be there teaching it over and over. If I’m teaching the same thing, it needs to be put out there.
This is why I started podcasting back in 2008. I thought, “Let’s take the frequently asked questions and turn them into shows and audio recordings.” When people say, “I’ve got a question about this,” rather than me spending 10, 15, to 20-plus minutes on that subject, I’d say, “Listen to the show.” It creates leverage. That’s the program. These are free and available for you, guys, but I could take these and go and sell them. I could package these best episodes, package them into a program, and say, “I’ll sell this to you for $20, $25, $50 or $100,” depending on the value that’s in them. That could be my show.
Who knows? This episode could be the very thing that I end up selling as a package. You might be listening to it now because it’s in a package. That’s the beautiful thing about creating programs. It’s nice when I have to keep teaching something over and over to be able to duplicate that. It doesn’t have to be audio. It could be a video. For some of you, a video could be the best thing, especially if you’re more charismatic, where people almost insist on seeing you. For me, my voice has been the thing for a lot of people. It becomes the voice of reason or the voice of trust for people.
It could be anything. If it’s a voice, it’s great. Audio recordings are wonderful. If it’s video or visual, a video can be great. It could be the written word. I know some people are eloquent when they do the written word. They may not be as eloquent speaking. You might even be disappointed if you hear some people speak that are great writers. They’ll say, “I can’t wait to hear him speak.” You hear them speak and you’re like, “Tell me when you’re writing your next book.” There are all kinds of things to do.
I personally don’t do a whole lot of the written word, even though I have those, just like I don’t do a whole lot with video, even though I have some of those too. That’s the key. My clients get an audio program that teach the same six lessons all the time. I’ll even tell them, “For the subject that we will be covering next time, listen to this audio.” They come prepared. They’re like, “I got the basic foundation.”
My whole goal when I do an appointment with my clients is, “Let’s clarify, answer any questions and figure out how to implement, and act on it.” I’ll have to go and teach all that stuff again. They already know it. They already had their a-has before that time. I’ll have to clarify and help them implement it. It made my time on my appointments way smaller. I could shorten my processes. I’m trying to create a lower price process that I can do with 2 or 3 meetings even. I have created it by now. It’s been awesome because some people don’t need that much coaching. It’s like, “Here are some quick ways to take action. You’re done.” It leverages my time, and it leverages them to get results in less time too.
The process is how you go about doing things. How do you go about creating or doing a certain way? For example, I had those audios created before for my clients. However, I had them broken up into three sections, and they were long. Some of them are an hour and a half to two hours long. I average about two hours or more per section.Leverage is the key to freedom. Focus on it, go after it, and make it a great process. Click To Tweet
I had a client that said, “Chris, can you shorten it up a bit? I’m ADD. Can you make it shorter?” That’s why I made it into six lessons. I even shortened the timeframe of how I taught it. I taught it more succinctly. Now, it’s an average of 35 minutes per lesson. It’s 35 minutes of education, and you’ll run to our meeting.
There was a process that had to go there, but I had to create that process. Even the process of how to go about getting people results, I’ve developed that over the years. I’ve been coaching this stuff for many years from this more abundant perspective, this perspective of leveraging, creating cashflow and things like that. You can bet that I’ve had to hone in and develop those processes over time. Even like how I get them started there, I have a welcome email for my clients that gets them started, “Here are your first action items. Here are the things and tools you need to have. Make sure you do this.” Rather than me having to always teach it, here it is. There’s a process there.
Even though I can customize it to them, I still have a typical process they all go through to ensure they get good results. After I address the cashflow and the big overall picture, and we deal with the money leaks in the cashflow, I’m going to have to protect them. Sometimes, I’ll flip it around. I’ll go about how to start creating more money, how to increase your income, whether it be in your business, investments, or whatever. I’ve learned through time that whenever I skip that and I ignore the protection part, something bad happens. That’s where I realized that I put the protection in the middle. That’s funny because that’s the part where people can get a little bit discouraged. They start meeting with more of my team. They’re like, “I feel like I’m in the middle of the forest. I can’t see through the trees.” That’s exactly how everybody feels.
It’s the least sexy part of what I teach, but I do that because I’ve learned that they get the best results. When they had their defense in place before we did a good offense, it’s amazing how they end up getting faster and better results, and they keep the money they make. It’s part of the process. Have I created ways to make it even better, more efficient, and faster? Yeah, of course that’s taken time. The processes make it easier.
I’ve started doing a side project with a lot of people that are high-income earners with jobs or even their businesses. They’re looking to do more than investing, but they want to create money in two places at once, how to leverage life insurance and things like that. I’ve been doing that for the last few months, and I had a ton of fun. I will probably do an episode on that in the near future.
It’s the same thing there. I realized that my time was getting consumed quickly, especially as there were many people coming my way. I had to create more of a process. I realized, “We’ve got to get the webinar out there.” We had a program in a sense. We had a webinar we did that taught education. If they haven’t watched that webinar, I invite them to watch a webinar before we have our first conversation because that answers most of the questions anyways. I started them there.
From that point, we can start talking about, “Let’s answer some questions.” I answered the questions. Now, I hand them off. This is where it leads to the third P, which is People. I asked our hiring person to be a contractor. I found someone who was great at processing, doing application work, and things like that. I knew it was a great investment. I didn’t care if it costs me money. It was worth the investment to be able to hire someone to do that. The wonderful thing is I have now freed up my time to make more money to teach more and do more of what I love anyways.
Like I mentioned, that earlier example of having people there, be able to leverage their abilities. I make less but ultimately, I make more because those people are in place. It allows me to do what I do best to play and stay in my strengths. As I stay in my strengths, I can get top compensation. Not to mention more energy and doing what I love.
The things I’ve done with that recent project, I don’t think I’ve ever had more passion and more fun in my business since then because of all of the things I’ve been doing there. Especially, it became more fun when I got the right people in place to help support me. When I surround myself with the right team of people, it helps.
I used to have a virtual assistant. As of the recording of this episode, I don’t anymore. I haven’t had one for two years. That’s because part of that leverage, and I think this is almost a bonus for you, is I got rid of unproductive activities or activities that weren’t my forte or my focus. I realized that my show is one of my biggest drivers of my business. I channel things through that. I channeled through that because I know I can develop a relationship with you. I can talk to you. I can teach you. If you feel I’m the right person for you, you’ll reach out to me. That’s been working like wonders. The nice thing is that if you’re not for me, you won’t care, listen, and act, or maybe it’s not the right timing. Eventually, it becomes the right timing down the road.
I love the ability to create that leverage. It means that I don’t have to talk to every single person. In fact, I’m talking to all of you, creating that leverage by creating a big audience. From there, you guys hand-select yourselves, whether you feel you’re ready for me or not. That’s what’s changed my entire business, and that’s why even with this recent project, I’ve had to create more leverage. It’s been going crazy, gangbusters busy. I am having my biggest years in business already because of this leverage, but I’m still not working over 40 hours a week. I’m still about 30 hours a week.
Creating that leverage where you can create more with less is the whole reason we want to do things. We, as humans, are geared and meant to become creators where we can create leverage. This is why we invented the wheel, the fire, and electricity. This is why we have the assembly line. This is why we have everything. Assembly lines are a great process.
We created all these things like the internet, all these technologies and tools are here to help us develop and grow more. There are many ways to leverage. Focus on programs, processes, and people, and figure out how to take your profits. That will be the fourth P. Take your profits and leverage that to create more passive or residual streams of income. Leverage is the key to freedom. Focus on it, go after it, and make it a great prosperous week. We’ll see you.