Dean Harisis; Small Business Advisor

Starting and running a business takes a lot of work and a lot of time. If you're looking for help on how to maximize outcome while minimizing input then Dean Harisis has some advice for you. He and Jordan sat down to discuss some of the help he offers small and medium business owners. If you're looking for advice and help, then you need look no further.

Episode 31: Dean Harisis; Small Business Advisor – Full Transcript

Dean Harisis 0:00
We'll assume their best most trusted people would fall in hand-grenades for them. And a truth be told as a Muslim are playing scared. You know, they're they're trying to get through their own lives, manage their own families, and their own their own dreams. And they play scared instead of playing to win. And so what I try to say that you're talking about the employees and the employees, okay, and, and so how I saw for that is to perform a deep dive on their management team to understand what motivates them as well as working with ownership that put into place mechanisms that make key employees more sticky. And what I mean by that is that could include long term advancement and succession planning, determining a debt to their bench, and also perhaps putting into place financial mechanisms that motivate and lock in and employee to the business so that they play to win every day.

Narrator 0:49
Picture a world where costs are down and customers are clamoring at your door. You're listening to Let's get up to business from Jordan. Our interviews with business owners, service providers and area experts can teach you how to create a world of success and profitability. If you're looking for an attorney to assist in your business formation, employment agreements, or other legal business needs, contact Jordan law at 40790655 to nine. You can also reach us on the web at Jordan law fl.com. Jordan law, we protect you and your business.

Jordan Ostroff 1:46
Hello, and welcome to Let's get up to business with Jordan law. Joining me today is Dean Harris with heart 90 Consulting. Thanks for joining us, Dean.

Dean Harisis 1:54
Good morning, Jordan. Thank you for having me.

Jordan Ostroff 1:56
So tell us a little about yourself and then we'll get into more detail about how Come your company and companies like yours can help business

Unknown Speaker 2:02
owners. Sure, Jordan for the last 35 years, I spent majority of my time working for Fortune 500 companies at a rather high level senior leadership positions, and eventually decided to retire back to my home Florida. And after doing a retirement gig for about a year decided, you know, I missed the game. I miss being in the action, I missed the people. And so I started my own consulting company.

Jordan Ostroff 2:26
So we have people listen to this. They know they need some consulting help they they love the background of working with the fortune 500 companies, what's the best way for them to get in contact with you?

Unknown Speaker 2:35
The best way would be probably buy my mobile phone 386-689-3532

Jordan Ostroff 2:41
and that'll go directly to you. Yes, it will.

Dean Harisis 2:43

Jordan Ostroff 2:44
So with that being said, I mean, tell us more about your work experience that you bring into the consulting stuff that you're doing now.

Unknown Speaker 2:51
Certainly, yeah. During those 35 years, I worked both domestically and internationally, everywhere from doing a mergers and acquisitions, work to studying You have joint ventures to setting up whole operations both domestically and internationally, leading small groups, a couple hundred employees up to 4500 employees. A couple

Jordan Ostroff 3:10
of hundred, I don't know that that's small most most of our listeners, I think you're going to be in that 10 to 50 employee range.

Unknown Speaker 3:15
That's fine. It's all relative Jordan, because at the end of the day, it's it's how you manage the people that do the work for you.

Jordan Ostroff 3:25
So have you worked in a specific industry consistently or worked across different industries as well as working, you know, domestically, internationally,

Unknown Speaker 3:34
more recently, the last 20 years, I work more specifically in the title insurance industry, and the real estate database industry. Prior to that, I worked in alert work for a very large Petroleum Company. And I also work for large payroll processor, as well as a large bank.

Jordan Ostroff 3:54
Okay, so when it comes to, you know, working with your business clients now, I mean, obviously, it may be helpful For those who've been from one of those industries, but also with you having such a wide swath of knowledge, you can really help anybody.

Unknown Speaker 4:06
It's very applicable to any business enterprise. All right.

Jordan Ostroff 4:09
So from that standpoint, I mean, what Who's your ideal client? I mean, what's the ideal business that you want to work with?

Unknown Speaker 4:16
ideal business would be a single proprietor or a mostly, you know, private companies, not necessarily public companies like that, certainly, you know, work my way through a public company, but working with smaller private companies that are on a, either a decent growth trajectory or are maybe stalled. And they need some outside expertise to help them get to that next level. Also looking very closely at their, their bench strength, working with their senior management team, understanding what drives them, and helping the owner perhaps put together succession plans that will enable them to continue to grow but you know, sizes is relative again, Jordan, it could be A 10 employee outfit, it could be 50

Jordan Ostroff 5:02
employees. And what about the length of time this business has been operating? Is there a sweet spot there where you're trying to target or just any new? Is it really more about the issues they're facing? Good question,

Unknown Speaker 5:13
they typically should have been in business for at least two to three years and gotten their feet wet. And usually those are when the growing pains start to come about. And a lot of times they don't necessarily have the answers themselves, and they need to seek outside counsel to help them through those

Jordan Ostroff 5:29
want. It's interesting, you know, you mentioned they're getting their feet wet, but I think a lot of it is also in addition to that kind of takes you that long to realize what you're actually selling and who you want to sell it to. And then that way, it makes it much easier to bring in outside help.

Unknown Speaker 5:43
Again, it all depends on that that level of of experience naturally, somebody who's only been doing it for a couple three years is going to need a much deeper dive to enable them where someone with five to 10 years of work experience. We won't have to go peel the onion as deep to determine what exactly is it that they need assistance with?

Jordan Ostroff 6:05
Well, you know, I work with some, you know, not necessarily younger, but newer lawyers at least newer to running their own practice. And it's amazing how you know, you talked about that onion peeling, but really sometimes that's the most helpful thing you can do. Because a lot of business owners have never really peel that onion, correct. I mean, it's amazing to me to ask people, you know, who's your ideal client, and they just stare blankly. And you know, from my standpoint, if you don't know your ideal client, then you don't know where to spend your marketing money. You don't know who you want to network with. You don't know where that clients going to be who they're going to talk to, how they're going to find you and you're just throwing money, which don't get me wrong. I threw a ton of money at really bad ideas, because I didn't answer that question. But it's just amazing to me, you know, you can't really decide success until you know who is the client you're trying to bring in?

Unknown Speaker 6:49
True. There's there's two sides of that. Obviously, you've got to deal and adapt with a certain level of failure, right exceed but also like to tell people This is a baseball metaphor, you can't steal second if you keep your feet on first. So you've got to take risks, of course, get ahead. And and sometimes businesses take blind risks and get called out, or they take calculated risks and they're safe because they've, they've done the math.

Jordan Ostroff 7:21
So when you're sitting down with a, I guess, I guess, walk me through the beginning of the process of you working with a company. I mean, are they coming to you with a decent idea of the problem? Or are you trying to figure out what their problem really is? Or how does that work?

Unknown Speaker 7:37
It's actually both sides of the coin might be a situation where, for example, most businesses are a owners greatest asset. Without that business, they have nothing else.

Jordan Ostroff 7:49
I hope so. Not the first part, not necessarily a

Unknown Speaker 7:52
second part, the greatest asset part. I'm not suggesting they're going to be you know, bagging groceries at Publix, but, but they have nothing else going on. That propels their dreams and their desires and their life. What what I try to help them with is to realize that that business being that their key asset, how often have they subjected it to any kind of like annual physical, you know, we do that to our own bodies to keep ourselves healthy. But our businesses we usually don't we're not, we're afraid to to ask for somebody else to take an inside look at what we've created, and to be open enough to take constructive criticism and inputs from a complete outsider in the, to the benefit of them long term. And that's what I tried to do when I when I look at businesses, it could be a holistic view of the entire organizational structure, the management team, there's their supply chain and the management of that their customers or it could be just a component of that it may be they feel they need more assistance with. It could even be that just just looking at the cash flows of the financial side of the business, which to me is that the easier part to do given my background, but the I love diving into the people part of the businesses because that's where the magic really is?

Jordan Ostroff 9:16
Well, it's interesting, because I love you work closely with some accounting firms to kind of go through the numbers. But then obviously, you talked about the people in that human connection. I mean, that's, sometimes that's more important than the numbers. Sometimes it's less, but I guess knowing which one it is, is key.

Unknown Speaker 9:30
It's true. And I'll tell you when when you go through a retirement stage someday, you're not going to miss the work, but you will miss the people.

Jordan Ostroff 9:38
I mean, that's how I feel I love to say it attorney's office for something years ago. And you know, I don't miss being a prosecutor at all, but it was it was nice when you have people's birthdays and you had, you know, an office of 150 instead of an office of 10. Although Thankfully, there are many fewer people that I work with now that I don't like as opposed to in an office of 150. Won't that won't drop any names. Hopefully, maybe some of them will be listening. But now it's, it's interesting because, you know, a lot of times, you know, like we talked about, there's a concept like profit first, you know, from a from a financial standpoint it talks about me and making sure you pay yourself first and then have enough left over for the business because from a normal household standpoint, you want to put away enough for retirement and then do the discretionary spending after that. But a lot of business owners don't really treat their business the same way they treat themselves which goes back to your physical point,

Unknown Speaker 10:29
right. And another thing that I've learned to just looking at businesses is that a lot of times an owner will assume their best most trusted people would fall in hand-grenades for them. And a truth be told as a Muslim are playing scared. You know, they're they're trying to get through their own lives, manage their own families, and their own their own dreams. And they play scared instead of playing to win. And so what I try to say that you're talking about the employees, the employees, okay, and you So how I solve for that is to perform a deep dive on their management team to understand what motivates them as well as working with ownership that put into place mechanisms that make key employees more sticky. And what I mean by that is that could include long term advancement in succession planning, determining the depth of their bench, and also perhaps putting into place financial mechanisms that motivate and lock in and employee to the business so that they play to win every day. So you're you're going to go as you're going to go so far as to sit down with the owner to come up with a bonus structure that will help motivate their team the right way. It could be a bonus structure, it might be an equity stake at some later date. It could be especially in a right to work state like Florida, it could be a an employment agreement, where how many of us would love to have an employment agreement where we have guaranteed compensation outside of doing some nefarious you know, act, right, or breaching it in whatever capacity but to to work with that would be tremendous. I did a lot of m&a work. And that was typically how we tied in a previous owner of a company to help us with the succession and integration of the businesses, they would get two or three year employment agreement. And as a worker for Fortune 500 company, you know, used to like roll your eyes and go, God, I wish I had that. But I think it's a very powerful tool for even a small business owner to consider with respect to retaining and developing their best.

Jordan Ostroff 12:27
Gotcha. So, I mean, I guess it's going to be different for every business and every situation. But when you're coming up with this sort of system, I mean, are you looking for certain? What's the KPIs, the known performance indicators? So you're trying to come up with those to figure out what the way to measure the growth the right way for these or measure benchmarks for for success, or is it not even that consistent across the different businesses it's actually a balance you've got to understand what keeps He is drive the business and what KPIs drive the individual,

Unknown Speaker 13:05
okay? And and then you've got to marry the two so that there's a win win involved. Because at the end of the day the business has to succeed. And that's the owners primary focus, and it should be, but at the same time, they've got to surround themselves with good people, you know, Steve and Steve Jobs with Apple's widely quoted as saying, you know, I don't I don't want to hire people like me, I want to hire people smarter than me. Right? And, and business owners, small or large should think the same way with respect to how they surround themselves with talent, and nurture that talent.

Jordan Ostroff 13:42
So can you walk me through kind of, I guess, is there a way to walk through how you come up with those KPIs or that's going to be to case by case specific for us to kind of go through the

Unknown Speaker 13:53
Yeah, depending on the size of organization. It could be, you know, rather deep and extreme with a lot of say personal interviews with them. managers, okay, with a smaller business, it might be more of a roundtable session, kind of an airing out where, you know, there's a an agreement at the beginning that says, look, you know, what we say here stays here. But our whole point of going through this exercise is to get some things out on the table that need to be discussed with a mediator in a room, or samata. Moderator however you want to call it and enable them to, you know, share some of the observations that they've had more in a public environment and say, a private one, I prefer to go the private route because I can speak more eloquently with the owners principles of the business without necessarily breaching any kind of, you know,

Unknown Speaker 14:46
security or, you know, privacy in those cases.

Jordan Ostroff 14:49
And obviously, when you're looking for what motivates the individual, you know, you have to talk to the individual.

Unknown Speaker 14:53
Absolutely. And everybody's going to have a different view on that. And also, it's sometimes difficult to get them to talk right? And I've, we've done what I would call 360 interviews where we, we, we researched opinions from, say like I was a senior vice president, we would seek opinions from the Presidents above me, the senior vice presidents or peers beside me and the vice presidents and below me and directors and get all their inputs and what they thought about Dean. And we would use that tool as a way of evaluating what is Dean need to do differently with respect to his own personal growth path? Is he consistent across all those different layers of management, which is really key,

Jordan Ostroff 15:39
right? That's because I'm imagining you get people that have a much different viewpoint from their superiors as they do from their underlings. Absolutely.

Unknown Speaker 15:46
And then, and then you also learn through those processes, some of the mistakes that people make as part of their career path, and that includes owners alike, and I'll give you my biggest mistake when I was a young gun and really going at it. I want to boil the ocean.

Jordan Ostroff 16:03
What do you mean by that?

Unknown Speaker 16:04
Well, I wanted to win every battle. Okay, and I learned that you need to choose your battles. It's all about winning the war.

Jordan Ostroff 16:11
It's like marriage. Yeah. Good say that you don't have to win every fight you have. That's right, you have to pick the couple that are important. But

Unknown Speaker 16:17
But once I solve for that, Jordan, I realized that I wasn't going to win every battle. And I was more focused on the greater good of the whole, the whole, the business. Senior management took note of that, and that's when my trajectory happened. Because then they saw that with somebody I could trust that I wasn't out to just get it get everybody or or win every event. It was more about the end zone. And that certainly was a like a hockey stick, you know, inflection point in my path.

Jordan Ostroff 16:50
Well, it's interesting to me, you know, you talked about the people being uncomfortable talking with you, the outsider in that timeframe and all this, but I gotta tell you, I mean, the thing about you I like the most is you've got this really nice disarming personality where like, you just come off very nice and likable. And so there's, I don't know if that's something you intention of something that you naturally had or something you worked on. But I can imagine it makes it a lot easier to come into these places having had that viewpoint of, I don't need to win everything. I just want to be likable. So people will talk to me or I can pick what the issues are going to be.

Unknown Speaker 17:20
It was a work in progress. This it happened overnight. I had to, I had to cultivate that. Not just the mindset, but just how I carried myself. And that was a result of actually just experienced points running into different leaders, different managers, and taking elements of each of them the elements that I embraced. Like I look at somebody and say I like the way he or she handles that. I'm going to start doing that. And I also took the negatives too. I had a leader that I just despised, I showed up to work late every day just just to piss them off. Okay, but I stayed out After I always put in the time, right, but I did little things to agitate him because I just didn't like his his his style. And so as I moved up in a in a different channel, I ensured that I never mimicked the things that he did irritate me,

Jordan Ostroff 18:15
which is interesting. You know, I always, I always tell people, the mark of success is being able to be you and let the dominoes fall. Because, you know, you'll get those people that for you, it's a toxic work culture, but then there's like, a bunch of idiots that love working for him just because of, you know, the micromanagement or whatever it was that pissed you off that they like, so it's interesting, you know, to try and I really think that you just have to figure out what you think is best for yourself from what you see in other people but understand that even then you're gonna rub some people the wrong way still and really be liked by other people. Just because you know, people are different, but you're being the best you right? Because you know, it's I always tell like a coach trial team over at Barry and they're like, Oh, I want to you know, I want to advocate like you and I'm like, No, you don't. You don't you don't want to be me. You want to be the Best version of you because that's going to be authentic. That's great. It Well, it's interesting, you know, you get people who read the biographies or whatever, have all these people and think, Oh my god, I got to do this exactly the same way and then wonder why they fail. Because you know, there's a billion other things about you that are different than Bill Gates or Steve Jobs or Mark Zuckerberg or you know, whoever it is, you're reading this wonderful biopic about. But I like the concept of focusing on I saw this person do this when I liked it. I'm taking it I saw this person do this way I didn't like and I'm running away from it. It's very, it's a very good way to be you.

Unknown Speaker 19:34
Totally agree. It's worked. It worked for me. I'm not suggesting that it's going to work for everybody, but it's a it's a good plan, and I always advocate have a plan before you dive into something. I did a presentation for a lot of leaders at the last company I worked for, and I used a gentleman who's a free climber. His name is Alex Honnold. Maybe you've read about him, he climbed El Capitan without a rope.

Jordan Ostroff 20:00
Oh yeah, let's see the one in free solo. Yes. Okay, and say the name sound.

Unknown Speaker 20:04
And how I opened up the presentation was I showed a picture of him standing on Half Dome, with this very scared look on his face. And he was headed back to the wall, and 2000 feet below on sheer cliff. And I asked the audience, I said, Do you think this guy has a plan? And of course everybody laughed and went, you know, not like me. No, Hell no, he had no plan. The truth be told us before he even ascended Half Dome without a rope. He used ropes and carabiners and climbing equipment several times until he had mastered the path. So he did have a plan. He did the same thing with El Capitan, a much, much more difficult climb. But in both cases, he didn't have a death wish he had an actual plan, work through the problems, build up his confidence. And then he goes forward. And he's he's a success.

Jordan Ostroff 20:52
Hopefully he talked to his lawyer about making sure his estate plan was in place just just just on the true rain. No, yeah. No, it's

Unknown Speaker 21:00
But but having plans key and that's why I bring Alex that because he's a classic example of on the outside, you wouldn't have a clue that this guy was smart cookie, but he's sharp.

Jordan Ostroff 21:12
I'm wired differently. Yes, the I got a buddy of mine he does actually just started doing BASE jumping was doing in jumping out of a plane, we've had this literally this exact conversation about, you know, the difference between being an adrenaline junkie and having a death wish. And for those of you that don't know, I mean, please go Google El Capitan and see like it is it looks like you are straight up. I mean, I'm sure there's, you know, some angle to it. But I've said at the bottom and it's very imposing, I can only imagine standing well set at the top two but not not on the edge. Now, so you know, you've got so much experience here and so many different things across a bunch of different companies. So walk me through you know, you talked about the bad management that bad manager you had to some extent, but what are the most common problems that You see in business owners or in businesses as your as you are a part of them. And now as you're doing the consulting work for them

Unknown Speaker 22:07
afterwards, the easiest one to recollect would be just the ability to give up control on certain elements of the enterprise. You know, it's a small business owner, you have to have your hand on all the levers, and that will work up to a certain point. And then the growth will kick in. And you have to give up control to trusted resources. You've got to put people in a position to succeed and have the confidence that they'll do that, but still have their back, you know, you gotta hold their hand across the tightrope at times. Some people are more self starters than others. But coaching and counseling is key, giving them the confidence that they can do the things that you expect them to do with clear instruction, and give them an opportunity to run and if they fail, then let's understand analyze what what went wrong and Make a course correction I had in mind and belief that everything can be ultimately you know, fixed. But you've got to start with a solid foundation of circle of people around you that not necessarily believe in you and your goals but but are comfortable in their own skin and feel that they have a future path, a clear path to their own success. However you measure that, for some people just putting in doing what they're doing, which they assume they do it well and just putting in an eight to five, five days a week and they're comfortable with that, as an owner, you have to embrace that, that that's they're happy, they don't want more responsibility. Hopefully that that doesn't put them as like as the weakest link in the chain because those are the ones you do have to make changes with. But except the folks that are are content with where they are, but recognize those that want more and embrace that and help them help them be the best that they can be.

Jordan Ostroff 24:05
Well, it's interesting, you mentioned it from that standpoint, because I always, you know, when I deal with with a lot of my clients, I always have to use metaphors. And so the two that always keep coming up, or I compare us as lawyers to doctors, or compare us as a law firm to a restaurant, and you know, it's, you know, you look at it from a restaurant standpoint. So you know, you've got the, you've got the waitstaff, you've got the bussers, you've got the chefs, you've got the sous chefs, you've got the purchasers, somewhere back there, you've got the farmer that you know, grew the stuff that's being cooked. And all of those things, you know, those 810 1550 people that through this chain may end up with you having that meal, even though the waitstaff may not be able to be a good chef, even though the chef may not be able to raise the cattle or, or grow the carrots or whatever it is. And so a lot of people don't really apply that in a normal business and they think everybody needs to be able to do everything so well when that's not the case.

Dean Harisis 24:58
Yeah, certainly about the small business. This is there are a lot of multitasking.

Jordan Ostroff 25:03
Oh, yes, absolutely.

Unknown Speaker 25:03
And so sometimes maybe that, that that mix isn't appropriate for everybody that's part of that, that process needs to be adjusted. And sometimes a business owners too busy to really see that and doesn't take a step back. Dead Poets Society is one of my favorite movies and I like it only because it teaches you to, you know, stand on the desk occasionally, and take a different perspective of what you're trying to deal with, you know, step back, go to a different corner of the room and appear to at the challenge of the problem differently. And it helps you to see clear, and I've done that a lot in my own, in my own experience, not standing up on desks per se, but but metaphorically, yes, challenging people to take a deep breath step back from their, their challenge that they're dealing with, and try to look at it through a different perspective.

Jordan Ostroff 25:57
We'll see a lot of times I talked to people about take vacation. Disconnect, and then see what happens. You know, you get a lot of talk to a lot of these business owners and they're like, Oh, I'm going on the cruise, I gotta get the internet package, I've got to check in with the office. Like, if you've got the right people in place, if you got the right systems, if you've got, you know, the right structure in place, you should be able to go away for three days, four days, five days, and not come back to you know, a chart wreck of where the office used to be. You know how I managed that was really simple. Jordan, I did take a two week vacation one time to Hawaii. I didn't. I totally

Unknown Speaker 26:29
just decompressed It was such a decompression. I came back. I actually felt lost. You know, you'd pass people in the hallway and you're like, sad Joe or Bob. I'm trying members, you know, honest to God, I really decompress. That is a hell of a vacation. It was it was a wonderful restful vacation. But what it taught me was that I still needed to stay just connected enough to keep myself abreast of what was going on without making decisions for others. Okay, so what I ended up doing after that, especially with the advent of the smartphone, it was very helpful was I always would tell my staff Look, I'm gonna be gone for a week. Every morning, I'm still gonna have my cup of coffee, whether I'm here or halfway around the world. And when I have that cup of coffee, I'm going to spend an hour looking at my emails. And I'll respond to the ones that need to be responded to. And I'm gonna ignore the ones that don't need to be responded to. And that's all the time you're going to have to communicate with me for the week I'm gone. So if you have something important, crank out it crank out an email, explain to me the problem. I will respond to it, but it might wait till the next morning depending on the time zone I'm in. But it gave me an opportunity to stay connected without ruining my vacation and it really didn't change my my flow my my daily work plan because I would do that anyway when I was home or abroad.

Jordan Ostroff 27:53
It's not a it's not a better way to do it. He said he set some ground rules and boundaries and still there the Support Center them in the safety net

Unknown Speaker 28:01
by Tom, you know, the kids or the wife are up and ready to go do something fun that was behind me and I could let it rest.

Jordan Ostroff 28:07
So I mean, that kind of sort of goes still into our kind of delegation issues or you know, getting stuff off your plate. Are there any tips or tricks you recommend for business owners or higher level execs on how to delegate more?

Unknown Speaker 28:23
Yeah, let me think about that for a moment because every situation can be different. Again, that depends on the size of the organization, right to a greater degree. I think the first thing any leader should do is sit down with each other key people individually and ask them some really important, open ended questions about what drives them to come in. Not literally, but what drives them each morning to come in and do what they do.

Jordan Ostroff 28:52
If somebody says their car, maybe they don't have that long of a future of the

Unknown Speaker 28:57
company though, but you also want to understand what Causes any hesitation? What are their own personal dreams and aspirations? What are their family goals? Where do they see that? I love this question I always ask all my employees, where do you see yourself in five years and 10 years and have basically create vision. I did that when I was really young. I was in college. And I got married young, still married 36 years later, gratulations Thank you. And but I was, you know, married, married at a young age. And I immediately made myself two goals. And one was, in five years, I want to own my first home. And then with and before I turned 30 I wanted to be a dad. Well, for years and 11 months, I bought my first home. There you go. And at 29 years, eight months, I became a dad Hey, now, it just didn't work out that way. I think by placing that goal in my head, those visions enabled me subliminally to do the small things that got me there.

Jordan Ostroff 30:13
Right? I mean, that's the same thing they talked about with a vision board, you know, just just because you put a picture on the board, doesn't mean that that's going to actually make it come true. But looking at it and internalizing and thinking about it, it makes you make the thousand decisions that you make in the intervening time to get to there. So getting back to a business, I would ask an owner, you know, where do you want to be in two years?

Unknown Speaker 30:33
So that's a reasonable amount of time. It's not too far out five and 10 is a very long term plan. And like any budget, it becomes stale The moment you print it, right. So I would ask him for you know, give me a two to four year plan of where you see the business. And also ask the employees the same thing where not only where they see the business, do the to jive, but also personally Where do you see yourself personally in that time period inside that business Do you still see yourself doing the same work? Do you see a promotional opportunity head where the business is going to evolve to the point where they're going to need somebody to manage a completely different vertical or a completely different aspect of the business that wasn't there today, but it's tracking to get there.

Jordan Ostroff 31:15
When you say vertical just for for people like me that don't understand business speak?

Unknown Speaker 31:19
Well, for example, you're a law firm, and you specialize in criminal law.

Jordan Ostroff 31:24
Correct. We're focusing a lot more on the business and personal injury stuff but as we do a lot of criminal law so

Unknown Speaker 31:29
so criminal law is one vertical business laws a second vertical, okay, you might go into perhaps Patent and Trademark Law at some point, that would be a third vertical, and a complete specialty, but still within the vein of being a law firm.

Jordan Ostroff 31:43
Alright, so when you say vertical, you're talking about different offerings of the business, different

Dean Harisis 31:49
things typically in a larger Corporation common division.

Jordan Ostroff 31:51
Okay, gotcha. So, I mean, I guess from my perspective, and maybe this isn't correct in From your perspective, I've always found that my best employees have been the ones that have that goal. They're coming in as a legal assistant, within the next five years to go to paralegal school, become a paralegal, they're coming in as a paralegal, the next five years to go to law school, come back as a lawyer, mean, those always seem to be the people that do the best time here. Maybe that's because of our size. Maybe that's because of our interest in developing our employees. Maybe it's just random chance culture,

Unknown Speaker 32:26
culture is huge, okay. Don't underestimate how important culture is to a business. And the owner dictates that if they, you know, rule with an iron fist, that's going to create perhaps an ominous culture to work within. But if they roll with an iron fist with a velvet glove, that can change the viewpoint of the employee to where they actually might respect you. Because while you are pulling the strings and running the show, there's a softer side to you. There's a more Delicate more political side to you that's balanced where you're fair. And so you can be a tough guy or a tough gal, but still have people respect you and, and that that's the most important attribute that any owner can has to work toward, is to get the employees respect because once you have respect and trust develops from that and everything else just flows, but without that element, you're always going to have

Dean Harisis 33:32
nots much challenges you're going to have

trying to think of the right word here.

You're going to have friction.

Unknown Speaker 33:43
And that friction boils over into other things that has nothing to do with the business or the or the process or the plan. And it just creates turbulence that you don't need

Jordan Ostroff 33:53
your day to day. Well, it's interesting so for me, you know when the when the show the office when that first came out was before I ever had a real office job. You know, in high school, I worked at a flower store, it was totally not an office job. And so I like didn't think the office was funny. I didn't get to know those people. And then you know, rewatching it when I was at the State Attorney's Office and re watching it now I'm like, Oh, my God, this is so true. Now, obviously, I think Michael Scott teaches you how to be a boss and what not to do. But it's just an interesting concept of, you know, being able to really nail down this stereotypical office

Unknown Speaker 34:28
culture, for better or worse. And trust, again, is key because now you can eloquently challenge your boss, because they have mutual respect. And that trust allows you to challenge them to tell them I don't agree with you. And that's what helped me in my career, moving up the, the the ladder, so to speak, was I was one of those employees that wasn't afraid to tell my boss that I disagreed. And he these are the reasons why Whether I was right or wrong was second to the fact that I wasn't afraid to challenge them in a respectful way.

Jordan Ostroff 35:07
Well, a lot of times, you know, being able, being able to explain to somebody why their idea isn't the best idea can still help you. confirm for you why the other day is better or figure out exactly what about the other idea does make it better. So there's, you know, there's a lot of benefit, even in being wrong if you approach it the right way, exactly.

Unknown Speaker 35:27
As as an employee, you're going to win either way, you're going to get better because you were wrong and you learn something new. Or you actually were smarter than a boss that day or that moment, and you got some brownie points as a result of not being afraid to speak your mind at the right moment. You know, there's there's a bit of a art and science to how that how that's managed, right? a bull in china shop doesn't work

Jordan Ostroff 35:49
well that or six months later, after the business has already wasted, you know, $50,000 on this terrible idea, and you're like, Oh, I knew this wouldn't work out. Exactly. So that I mean, that puts us at about the 35 40 minute mark, I mean, in in five or 10 minutes, you know, any other major problems that we need to cover? Because I mean, obviously we could you and I could talk all day about all this stuff. And then we're both we speak the same language here.

Unknown Speaker 36:12
I think you talked about,

Unknown Speaker 36:15
we talked about, you know, things we learned when we were younger, I talked about, you know, choosing your battles. And I think really another important piece of professional advice that I could give to your listeners today is to trust your instincts. You know, hard data is good for many moments, and many decisions, but sometimes you have to go with your gut instincts on certain matters, especially when evaluating people and potential employees. So, you know, if the data runs out, trust your gut.

Jordan Ostroff 36:44
Well, it's, you know, you It's interesting, because you talked about, like, there's so many of these giant companies now, like, if you were sitting in a pitch meeting 15 years ago for Uber and somebody was like, Hey, why don't we have random strangers drive other random strangers around anybody with anything? concept of data or common sense, or whatever would say that's the dumbest that they've ever heard. But these people push forward. And now you know, you've got this huge, gigantic company. That's, I think, still losing money, but losing less money with a bunch of investors that's trying to get into, you know, self driving cars and all those things off of what any normal person would tell you is probably a terrible idea.

Dean Harisis 37:22
Yeah, I think in more recent times, that's a great example.

Unknown Speaker 37:26
People that have just come up with that disruptive technology or disruptive idea, have actually figured it out before the rest of us did. And I agree financially, it's maybe not working out as well as it should conceptually, it's brilliant. I've used Uber many times and love the convenience of it. But again, financially, it's remains to be seen whether it's a viable business model or not,

Jordan Ostroff 37:52
but you get enough people that trusted their gut through I'm sure everybody telling you that they're wrong or that it's not a great idea. And now I mean, who knows? They're worth billions and billions and billions of dollars. True. Okay, so So trust your gut, you know, delegate stuff, be it be willing to have a back and forth, set the office culture. I mean, what else

Unknown Speaker 38:14
we have a lot of good gems here. I mentioned, I mentioned earlier that I have a lot of international experience. And most small businesses, they may or may not realize how connected they are internationally, whether they realize it or not, mostly to their supply chain management. And they don't give it too much thought that they're, they're either delegating that or managing it themselves, but but you got to have an international view of the world. Now, even if you're just a small business based in Orlando metropolitan area, you will be impacted internationally at some point during the lifecycle of your business. And that's some of the expertise I also bring into is you know, how you navigate that how you deal with different cultures how you maximize leverage the world for the betterment of your own business

Jordan Ostroff 39:02
and talking to one of your high level executives about a tweeting about a Pro Hong Kong or or whatnot. Oh wow globalization of that.

Unknown Speaker 39:09
Yeah, you know social media gets so many folks in trouble and and you know, that's message for the younger listeners out here is it don't don't ruin your your future with making random comments online that may come back to haunt you

Jordan Ostroff 39:25
it's it's interesting you know, we look at the more we can globalize, the more there are positives from that, the more there are negatives from that. And so it's, it's interesting for businesses to have to think about, you know, where am I getting this product from? Or what could be going on in those countries to disrupt my product line? Or, you know, do I want to get the cheapest product while I'm supporting these human rights violations or do I want to spend more and get them from America but uh, you know, much higher cost, it's an interesting, moral but also business decision that a lot of Companies have to make because I can imagine like, you know, you don't want to order your key product from Somalia or something like that.

Unknown Speaker 40:06
True, especially if your primary customers and their lot of times your customers are larger entity than you are. And they come to light of that. And that changes their perspective on you as an individual as well as a business because you've may be crossed a line that may or may not have been a taboo in your own mind initially, but now you realize it has. So you have to be sensitive to that. It's not that it changes your your ultimate decision. But you have to bring that up in the equation of when you when you manage supply chains, for example.

Jordan Ostroff 40:38
Okay, any other major things we need to cover? I mean, like I said, we're, we're just the tip of the iceberg here on this conversation. And I think we've outlined a lot of it.

Unknown Speaker 40:48
But just in closing, I just love to be able to work with owners that are not afraid to have the courage to allow an outsider peek into their business and give them good advice and not just toeing the line, I'm not doing this just just to earn an extra little paycheck here and there, I'm retired fully right now, I don't have to do this. But I want to do this, because I have all this knowledge in my head and all these experience points. And I want to see others benefit from that, and grow. If they only just, you know, open up your mind a little bit and be willing to take that call courageous step to let an outsider take a look at your business and help them

Jordan Ostroff 41:27
well and make sure they have thick skin.

Unknown Speaker 41:30
Oh, definitely. It's interesting, you know, like I tell people, as as much as it stinks, paying somebody to tell you all the things that are wrong, it's a lot more beneficial for you than paying them to just confirm that everything's going right. Well, and I'll also in my in my work, I not only obviously outline the things that need to be focused on and worked on, but emphasize those things that they're doing very well and why they should continue doing that.

Jordan Ostroff 41:55
Alright, so now so we've got those business owners. They've been listening for the last 40 or so minutes, you've really hit not hit a nerve. You really struck a chord with them. You know, you're you're talking about some of the issues they're going through. They know they need your help. Can you give us the contact information again? Sure. I'll give the phone number first name, email address they can send to me.

Unknown Speaker 42:14
Okay, that phone numbers 386-689-3532. I'm based in New Smyrna Beach that I travel all over an email is I'll spell it because my last name Harris's has a little bit of a tongue twister to it.

Jordan Ostroff 42:32
It's just it's one fewer are than I backed

Unknown Speaker 42:34
up exactly. But the email address is d s. Harris's d s h, AR, ISIS at gmail.

Jordan Ostroff 42:46
Okay. And obviously, although this is a only being audio recorded, when we post it anywhere, we'll make sure they have your name so they weren't sure the problem. Alright, so with that being said, this should be Episode 2829 of the podcast, were available on iTunes, Stitcher, last FM, Spotify, even on Spotify, found that out the other day, that was pretty cool. So anywhere they'll let you post the free podcasts, you know, we're there. So if you're on any of those listening to podcasts, you know you like us, or at least you like the guests that I bring on. Please, please, please leave us an honest review. Hopefully, it's five stars, but an important that it's honest. And then, you know, we'll wrap up the same way we wrap up all these. So if somebody has listened to this podcast, and they take absolutely nothing else from it, except what you're about to tell them. What is that one piece of advice, you want as many business owners as possible to now

Unknown Speaker 43:43
open up their network. They might think they have a good network, but they need to continue to develop that. broaden it, bring in as many inputs as they can, and then let their gut take over to kind of sort those There's a lot of data points. But the more data points you have, the better decisions you're going to make.

Jordan Ostroff 44:05
The we could easily do another podcast just on that. I mean, you're you're speaking the same languages may hear, you know, and it's amazing to me, the more the more access you have to people from a truly honest and caring and interested in them and vice versa standpoint, the more you the more potential you have to avoid recession downturns, etc. Because you'll get people that genuinely care about you. They can't just be you know, bought out by somebody else. You can't just have somebody else throw $30,000 on Google ads to ruin all your ads. But also there's those people that you know, when you generally care about them, and vice versa, will help you through whatever problem it is whether it's a financial issue, whether it's a staffing issue, whether it's whatever so that is true. That is a very good open up your network. I like it.

Unknown Speaker 44:59
I'm joined again thanks you very much for having me on today. Appreciate the opportunity. Of course

Jordan Ostroff 45:02
we always love having you here.

Narrator 45:08
You've been listening to let's get up to business from Jordan law. We hope you enjoyed the podcast and would consider sharing the show. We would also love an honest five star review through iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, or whatever pod catcher you use. If you are interested in being a guest on the podcast, please contact producer Mark through email at mark at Jordan law f l.com. Use this subject line podcast guest in your email. Thank you. We look forward to speaking to you again soon.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai


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