3 top tips from Ryan Goodwin:
1. We get caught up in the machine or chasing a snowball down a hill, or pushing one up a hill. But really, we do forget to stop and think about – is this where you want to be? Is this the lifestyle you want? Is that the vision that you’ve had? How much time you spend doing what you would like to do. We have the chance every day to do things that we love, don’t wait for 5 10 years or a lifetime to look back and say that you should’ve changed things. Consider doing what you love, your passion.
2. Turn up every day when others don’t. It’s about consistently turning up, consistently evolving, challenging yourself, asking the market and consistently being better. And even if you are the best, you just need to keep showing up. Most people around the world, in all industries, want consistency, they want history, they want experience. They want to know where you’ve been and who you are.
3. Review where you’re at and identify what you’re good at. Think of the things that you wanted to do – those you were great at, what allowed you to sleep well at night. If you’re taking on a risk, and you’re not delivering to the level of quality that you want, then you’re not going to feel good about it. Don’t just be a hamster on the wheel saying yes to everyone – that’s where burnout can be found. That’s where stress, risk, loss and issues at home start. And all sorts of stuff can come from that level of productivity that doesn’t give you the return on energy.
people, meetings, business, years, months, team, projects, delivering, forced, clients, turning, challenge, couple, managing, listeners, day, leadership team, business owners,
Debra Chantry-Taylor 0:04
Welcome to another episode of Better Business, Better Life. I’m your host, Debra Chantry-Taylor. I’m passionate about helping entrepreneurs and their leadership teams get what they want out of business and life. On the show, I invite successful business owners and expert speakers to share their successes. They are open and honest about the highs and lows of business and also life as a business owner. We want to share those learnings with you to inspire you, but also to help you avoid some of the common mistakes. My hope is that you take something from each of these short episodes that you can put into action to help you get what you want, not only out of your business, but also your life. So good morning and welcome to another episode of Better Business, Better Life. Today I am joined by Ryan Goodwin, who is the founder and Visionary I guess for Mode Group, which is a building construction – I don’t actually know exactly, what does Mode do? It’s in the construction industry, right?
Ryan Goodwin 0:20
It is yes, we’re an award winning renovation and new home custom builders in Melbourne, Australia.
Debra Chantry-Taylor 0:26
Much better described than the way I could do it. Okay, cool. So I actually met Ryan through Business Blueprint, he was a speaker at the conference we went to in Fiji. And he talks about his journey in the Mode Group. But what you probably don’t know about him is that he’s actually been an entrepreneur since the age of 14 years old, sort of mowing lawns, and all the usual stuff that we do as teenagers. And he’s actually had the business for about 13 years, but only really stepped back into it about five years ago. And I think since you stepped back in, that business has actually grown quite substantially and change quite significantly. Is that right?
Ryan Goodwin 0:57
Yeah, absolutely. Yeah, we’ve been lucky enough to now see a team of about 33 people and turning over about 8.3 million per annum.
Debra Chantry-Taylor 1:07
Yeah. Awesome. Okay, Ryan I’d love you to share a little bit of your story with the listeners just so they can get a sense of you know, where you’ve come from where you’ve got to, and then perhaps a professional and a personal best as well.
Ryan Goodwin 1:18
Yeah, great. Well, look, you mentioned that I’ve had the business and I have had the brand for about 13 years now. But about five years ago, I had actually for, go back about 10 years ago, I’ve been in the business for a few, but then decided that, along with some other skills, I’ve learned through a coaching, performance management and consulting, that I wanted to try and blend those skills within my industry. And I decided to take on some larger senior national roles. So was financially reporting on large companies as director of a couple of Home Improvement brands, and spent about five to six years, I guess, doing my second apprenticeship and really learn out of some great mentors and got to understand what it was like to be responsible for very large business, we had some three to 400 staff members in one of them financially reporting growing teams and understand the operational value of the skill set the commercial experience that most business owners don’t learn, we learned by accident and through experience. And so learning with other businesses under some great mentors really kind of was amazing for me, but at about five years ago, is when I realized I left the role of a state level director and sitting on the board of a national brand. That was a young dead, and starting not to see my at that stage, my first daughter, who’s now seven, but just not seeing her for a few days at a time decided I wanted to be a father and not be absent, like some cans. So about five years ago, I decided to step back into my little brain, my little business was just ticking over in the background with a couple of things really not much happening. And one of the lessons that I use is really in sharing is about doing what you’re passionate about, doing what you love. And so it was always something I was good at and enjoyed helping people find solutions and delivering value to, to those homeowners in my space. And my skill set takes me there. So I was able to make that decision step back into my business about five years ago. And I call it a bit of a reset, because although we’ve been around for a very long time, we really were drawing a line in the standards saying, Okay, if we’re, if I’m going back into this, what does it look like? And what does it need to be? And I guess from that stage, I’d already had some commercial experience and lessons and read a lot of ton of books and listen to some great speakers. And I knew that I wanted to try and try and design the business that would serve myself and my lifestyle. I won’t say it’s all perfect and done well. But the decision was deliberately high paying high responsibility role to step into something had no guarantee that was going to work out. But the most important driving factor for me was about creating something that was right for my family. What drove me was that passion and confidence to know that if I kept turning out then then things would be okay. You know, I touched on it a few times. But here we are five years later. We’re a multi award winning builder in the renovation new custom home space in Melbourne, we have a fantastic showroom and interior designers on staff and a team of some 25 guys on the ground full time and 10 or more people in our office and a really proud moment now to say that I’ve we’ve got a really great family unit and business that are slowly starting to operate without me. And there’s been some successes, they’re really great to see the recognition for our team, but most importantly working with great smart people who are passionate as I am to serve our community to serve our market. And today sees us doing really close about 100 projects a year, both small medium, and large. And we’ve got a great mix of that. So yeah, after five years, we’re now kind of at that point where we’re turning over multi-millions. And you know, the role has changed for me and things have changed but what’s important underlying all this is I’m still passionate about turning up every day and love what I do
Debra Chantry-Taylor 4:48
Doing what you love with people you love, fabulous! So what would you say? I mean, because you obviously went into this in order to get some of that family life back, has that happened.
Ryan Goodwin 4:56
Look, it’s been as a kind of Cyril entrepreneur, I’m sure you can attest to this, Debra, it’s, it’s funny, you start out. And I think I’d become sophisticated at a younger age in business because of my exposure and experience. And I’m very humbled and grateful for that. So being very deliberate with the steps and stages and the framework that I used or followed. However, I’m also addicted to working hard, like many great business owners, and I love what I do. And so sometimes it’s hard to peel yourself away. So I would say that we, I have gained a lot of those benefits. But I’ve also created much more, many more targets ahead of me to chase. So I’ve gone from working hard to getting there and saying, ‘We could do a bit more, we could do it differently’, or ‘We can have more insight worked hard again’. And so I keep seeing myself probably you know, every 6 to 12 months, trying to evaluate and consider, you know, sometimes we need to remind ourselves to look back and realize how far we’ve come. And that’s a great, that’s a great reward and something to really recognize. So for me, as I get a little older, I’ve got to remember, I can’t keep running a marathon, or racing, maybe I need to slow down and run the marathon is a better analogy. But so the short answer is yes, we’ve seen many benefits, I spent many weeks and months away traveling again, with my family, being able to be around and be flexible in my own business not far from home. But in saying that I’m a driven individual. So that seen me challenge ourselves and push ourselves and which in turn makes you work harder. And, you know, put your finger in many more pies. So at the moment, I’m going to say, I absolutely recognize some of the benefits of the effort and our plans. But also, I’m right in the midst and right in the middle of pushing hard and working for that next level again.
Debra Chantry-Taylor 6:36
Sure. But we did actually share when we talked before the podcast, you know, you’ve been away and spent a number of weeks away in a beautiful place. Magnetic Island and were able to kind of go away with the family and still do some work, but have some time with the family as well. Right?
Ryan Goodwin 6:50
Yeah, the balance there is really great. In fact, we’re back there in a few weeks. And so just about a state a beautiful house 100 meters from the beach. Actually, my mornings were literally, I wish I could manage them full time. And I might aim for that. But it would mean an early, you know, start like every day a coffee, the kids and my wife will slowly get up. I’ll do three to four hours work. And by about 10 o’clock, my kids are tugging at me saying ‘Dad, can we go to the beach?’ Or ‘Can we go to the park?’ I close the laptop. And if I go from time to time, I’ll open it again. A couple of zoom meetings a week. But aside from that, yeah, while I’m there, it seems to work. And I think it’s a good lesson for individuals, we need to put that first I think and make it work, not just hope for it. Because it might come.
Debra Chantry-Taylor 7:31
Sure, cool. So your business has grown quite significantly the last, in the past five years. So if we go back five years ago, I mean, how many years were you in the business then?
Ryan Goodwin 7:39
I was literally myself, I came back into the business. And I said I’m not sure. It’s funny actually, I had a beautiful sports car and a really healthy salary, the typical executive in a large organization. And I literally said to my wife, I’m not sure how this is gonna go, I trust in myself my abilities and my history and experience, but I’m still being cautious. I’m not sure how that’s gonna go. I’m just gonna get rid of the sports car and then buy a ute. And I’m gonna see how it’s gonna go as a builder. And so I still have that ute today because one lesson I learned from a mentor many years ago was to drive the cheapest car your ego will allow. And so I was still driving. It’s pretty nice ute but I’m still driving it. But it was literally myself and a subcontractor and we just developed within six months, I had a few guys with me and a couple of projects within probably nine to 12 months, I had a part time admin person working next to me and my home office, we shared a very big desk. And actually, within about a year, we took on a beautiful showroom where we’re now base. We’ve been here nearly five years. We house about 15 staff in here and a showroom and we outgrow it. We’ve already outgrown it once or twice. So yeah, it was it was kind of at the time, I guess a metaphor of taking, taking the plunge or taking a leap of faith, but trusting myself, I guess, and here we are.
Debra Chantry-Taylor 8:55
So tell us a little about some of the highs and the lows on that journey.
Ryan Goodwin 8:58
Well, it’s been a really interesting, kind of few years, I think the first few years Listen, look, we’ve seen massive growth year on year for five years running, in fact, probably broken some records, I would think. Not by accident, I’m trying to take all the time it was more just I think, be understanding our market and what our consumers want to see. They want to see trust, they want to see a brand they want to know that their money can be in good hands, they want to know that their journey through a building project is with the right people character. The authority marketing kind of put us in the right position. So the growth I’d had, I’d have to say is one of our biggest successes and you know, it’s been year on year, you know, huge, huge growth percentages. The challenges, some would be with the success of growth, bring the challenges of things like you know, managing people, hiring, recruiting, managing more people. So I’m a great designer. I’m a great builder good in my hands, but I spend more of my time managing people’s problems now, as I’m sure many of your listeners will probably agree that maybe at a management level or business owner, they’re probably faced with the same, you move away a little bit from the things you love. And you need to find a balance in that as well or put people in place. But look, we’ve had great success for that. And I’m pleased that in my previous roles have had some experience doing that. And so that hasn’t been a huge challenge for me. But probably, our growth and success through our numbers and returns, happy clients numbers of projects, our we’ve won quite a few awards year on year, actually. So those are great, the last couple of years in Melbourne, and in our construction industry have been really tough with COVID. So started out with being a huge success with the government incentives and grants. In fact, grew our business, you know, again, last year with a few million dollars worth of extra projects supported by government funding to our clients. And so I just kind of we had this floodgate open up and everyone coming in and throwing money at us, and we grew our team again. And it was like, wow, whatever, you know, we’re riding this wave this, this, we’re going to be great for the next 10 years. And this kind of last 12 months has actually been the opposite. It’s been the challenge of material shortages, issues of the COVID kind of rollout. In Australia, we’ve had large national flooding multiple times fires multiple times. And so what they did was actually damaged things like our material plantations, you know, timber plantations, and it took a bird down sawmills in certain kind of production facilities. And now this year, we’re battled with increased material pricing, a labor shortages, and the like. So we’re trying to send negative, those huge highs have been really massive, and albeit I never assumed would be sustainable for a long period, it’s been really great to see everything climb and get bigger for us and see some successes with our team. But yeah, at the moment, probably some of our biggest challenges have been, I guess, not being able to control the market around you, even though you know, a confident young guy like myself thought I was pulling all the strings and the levers out there. Mother Nature, or the universe really kind of can take that away from you at the same time. So that’s any negative, it’s it has actually forced me to come back to the drawing board a couple of times, and really look at our strategy, our framework, our accountability chart, and what we want to be who we need to, how we need to become, who we need to want to be moving forward. So I think there’s positive I’m not trying to say negative, but there’s definitely some mega challenges in my just kind of stressful period working through that in the last year, especially.
Debra Chantry-Taylor 12:29
Sure. But I think what I’m hearing you say is that because you’ve got the framework, because you know, you know that you have to go back to those so they kind of have each other’s strategies. So what you’re doing, you actually focus on the things that you can control or change, not the things that you can’t.
Ryan Goodwin 12:42
Yeah, basically that said perfectly, that’s probably a point I’ll raise throughout today’s chat with you, Debra, it’s really has been – I would probably say forced, although I’m not going to say that I’m a victim in that situation, I’m usually very, well I’m very actually very strategic. And I’ve always got a plan A B and a C, depending on where things go. And also, when you have that dream of how your life’s might look. You know, sometimes it’s not the model you’re operating under, but you know, you need to work towards it. So I’ve always got a plan B and a C. And I don’t want to say force, but it has absolutely brought forward I should say maybe that way of thinking more. And I think you know, I’ve I’ve had an I think to be in some way success, we need to have a healthy ego, right? Or business owners need to have the guts to turn up every day to do the hard work. The dirty work, mine has been quite healthy for a number of years. But I must admit, many years ago, I realized that it was no longer about that it wasn’t about the numbers and the income and you know, all those sorts of things, which many of your established listeners would also share. But effectively, I’ve had to rethink, you know, how many people do I need? How many team do I have to hire and fire and train and how many clients do I need? Because not all clients want to be a good client? Not all projects run smoothly? How much risk do I want to take on? And if it comes back to lifestyle? You know, how do you get there? And is that just by doing more? And often it’s not?
Debra Chantry-Taylor 14:09
Interesting. So tell me what is your role now in the business would you say?
Ryan Goodwin 14:14
So I am the Sole Director, effectively CEO of the business, I am the leader in the company. I have still play a little bit of a role across different divisions or departments. So I am still seeing some clients and managing a sales flow inquiry to sales flow. Albeit I used to do it all 100% And people would only call us looking for Ryan and walk into our showroom asking for Ryan and everyone was referred to Ryan which was you know, amazingly flattering. Until you realize there’s no way in hell you can service everyone and if we’re to grow it has to be not just myself. So I still do see a few I see some tricky jobs or things that need maybe my authority to be involved in the relationship. But otherwise, I have other a couple other team members that do that. Look, I spend more time these days managing, leading and coaching my team, managing our meetings, our workflow, kind of setting priorities in our business, being the strategic leader in the business as well, overseeing our marketing team and our sales and operational team and a little bit of the problem solving for our construction team as well when needed, but absolutely have tried to train and develop and empower the people are those managers per division, so that they can do more of their work. But look, I’m active across the board, but it’s much more strategic, and much more limited, I protect my time a bit better these days. And also really do trust in the people have around me. So empowering them to do their work and to take responsibility has helped a lot.
Debra Chantry-Taylor 15:49
And, you know, we talked about doing the things that you love within the business and making sure your passionate for what you’re doing. How do you ensure that you stay within that sweet spot? We call it the unique ability or your God given talent? What are you do to make sure that you are in fact, not just you, but all of your team are actually working in that beautiful zone that will get the most value for you?
Ryan Goodwin 16:08
Yeah, look at a really good question. I thought you’re gonna ask where is my sweet spot? And I think anyone could share that. But I think your question is even better, how do you ensure that you are staying in that sweet spot? Because I don’t think everyone would be able to answer that or understand the strategy? It’s a very good question. Look, I think not being too far away from everything that’s going on, we have quite an open office. And I hear and know everything that’s kind of happening. And with that, I’m absolutely not a micromanager. And I say that proudly to my team. But I’m really not too far away from a problem if there is one, I care enough for my people to understand where their strengths or weaknesses are. So that developing them. It’s also a passion of mine. I’ve become a performance coach and NLP practitioner, a few other consultancy type training and lessons I’ve learned over the years. So I think for me language and management leadership, those sorts of things are a little more natural. So I think that’s also an enjoyable part of what I do is be able to to step in and help and reward and champion and empower other people. So that’s one thing that I think I do well. And I manage that by just kind of keeping my finger on the pulse in the office and with the energy levels of individuals and teams. I am probably still remain in a little bit of that reserve sales area. So I guess without saying on the face of the business anymore, our brand really stands for itself. But a lot of the marketing material and collateral we do is still with me so that people think they’re close enough to me, but I think it’s strategic because they’re seeing my videos, I get often people in our showroom I’ve never met and I say ‘hi’, as I’ve walked through, ‘Oh, Hi, Ryan, I’ve watched all your videos.’ And it’s really a very humble and it’s really cute. But also kind of means the strategies working where I can be in the right position or be at a recording or some information that we’ve built for someone. So I think really, it’s about managing my time managing my diary and exposure, making sure I’m available enough to the teams and the leaders that need it, which I hope will give me just enough time to make sure I’m still saying and sitting in those positions, which I love. Which is dealing with some clients dealing at strategy level. I’m a commercial thinker, so I really enjoy business. It’s not all hard and ugly for me. I’m a great technician. But I’ve also enjoyed the journey and learning. So I really actually enjoy the game of life, to be honest. So to be able to sit a little bit just behind and still have an ability to get these hands dirty is great, but also to be able to pull the strings and levers which enables me to be that entrepreneur works well. I hope I’ve answered the question. I’m not sure I’ve jumped around a little bit, but hopefully there’s an answer somewhere.
Debra Chantry-Taylor 18:44
I think there’s an answer in there somewhere, that’s good. I’m interested, the listeners – I can see the big whiteboard behind you. We want to know what’s on your whiteboard, what do you measure? What is this keeping track of?
Ryan Goodwin 18:56
Sorry I should have set in a beautiful coffee shop or in a garden or something.
Debra Chantry-Taylor 18:59
No, I loving this.
Ryan Goodwin 19:00
These are just it’s a really visual tool. And I’ve actually had them in many of the businesses I’ve run typically mainly just for myself, this isn’t for anyone else. But I do for my team come in and they all list and look and so effectively from one side of the board, I’ve got one project managers projects I’ve actually got through here and then some inquiries over here, it’s a little bit may seem scrappy, but they’re literally a list of as you can probably see every line times 3123 It’s probably 50 to 60 clients up there, I would suspect so they’re names and we’re prioritizing across months. Effectively jobs start to project start and when we might see them coming through from a funnel and that then helps me visually understand our priorities and how we then I communicate to my internal team operational team interior designers etc. And how we prioritize the workflow on a weekly basis. So it is a bit primitive. I get that and I love it. But for me personally and what you might like there is they’re all magnets. So I can just Drag and Drop and move a few around and in a heartbeat, a five minute conversation, we can start shifting those priorities. And then it does. It is really just for me, but I do know the power of a visual tool in the office where someone can walk in and just say, Oh, that one’s been moved around or go work on something else. But that’s the basis of where I then can communicate outward to my team within the business.
Debra Chantry-Taylor 20:20
So what kind of meetings do you want in your business?
Ryan Goodwin 20:23
Always a level 10. It’s the right answer now that we have our leadership meeting once a week. And then what I really love seeing, we’ve been implementing EOS for, I’d say nine months, maybe not quite 12 months, but something like that and had been now seeing and I really love it, to actually sit in on one of my department meetings, it could be operations for our workflow and designers and internal staff, it could be construction, etc. But now those leadership team or those department managers are also running our level 10 meeting, same template, same ethos, same times. And it’s interesting, I do see some of the water getting a little muddied as the level, you go down in our staffing hierarchy. But it’s great to see that the education is there around why we’re doing this and why it’s important and why the framework is there. And even just seeing that same language. And I’m sure you get to see this all the time, but just the same language that to be said and spoken. And, you know, to have people walking out those meetings holding up no pay talking about their rocks. I can tell you a year ago, no one understood what a rock was in that format. And so that, for me has been really good. But yeah, so we effectively employ those level 10 meetings through divisions, I let my managers or leadership team have their own meetings. Otherwise, for me, it’s really checking in with my sales and marketing team. Individuals and you know, trying to be strategic, but again, I’m not a micromanager. So there’s plenty of meetings in my work, that’s for sure. Probably too many. But a lot of it now is oversight. A lot of its strategy, a lot of its quick decisions, a lot of it’s okay, you know, I your trust, you understand what I mean your golf and do it. Or you make a start and show me next week, often I’m very regular, saying perfect progress over perfection. So I’m very big on helping people get and build momentum. And often momentum builds traction itself. And that’s more important than stopping slowing down and aiming for perfection.
Debra Chantry-Taylor 22:13
And it’s a trap we can all kind of fall into I think particularly was when we’re driven or motivated as we are looking for it to be.
Ryan Goodwin 22:21
I think I was quite guilty. Well, I think we’d all be quite guilty that for many years, but even probably recently, probably up to a couple of years ago, and I just couldn’t I just can’t. I was so aware or self aware that how many things were hinged off my ability to be available and my timing or my next meeting. And I could just see things slowing down around me because it was all on my desk waiting for Ryan’s okay are waiting for. And so quite deliberately for a period I just said, You know what, you know, these people are here for a reason. I love them. I trust them. They’re my family. They’re my, staff and my leaders. And yeah, so more often than not, now I just say go and do it. And you know, to trust again, they know what they’re doing. And we can tweak things later. Or if it’s really critical, they will always wait on me. But at the same time, it’s really about getting out of the way of others to allow them to succeed in their own way.
Debra Chantry-Taylor 23:13
Talk about letting go. And it’s really it is really important. But I think once you’ve got the right structure, and you’ve got the accountability chart, know what people are accountable for. It just makes it a wee bit easier as well to actually go okay, we’ll let you get on with it. Interesting. Just about level 10 meetings. I mean, a lot of people kind of go ‘How can you possibly have the same agenda for a leadership team meeting as you can for a department meeting or even a sub department meeting.’ And I’m always fascinated and say ‘Just give it a try, see how it goes.’ And then they will say ‘It works.’ And then they start using ideas in their family, their family meetings, as always. So it’s kind of fun.
Ryan Goodwin 23:46
Haven’t taken it home yet, Debra.
Debra Chantry-Taylor 23:50
Really great EOS family planning tool, but I’ll know I won’t, I won’t give you that just yet. It’d be interesting. So tell me, you know, in terms of the department meetings, it would have been interesting for them to suddenly have this structure, which probably wasn’t there before. How has that been accepted? And how to translate it?
Ryan Goodwin 24:05
Absolutely. And if I use the example of maybe my construction team and not to call them the lowest common denominator, but often you find trades people and who become supervisors become a project manager or and they worked their way up but never had they been taught commercially, you know, a lot of things outside of their skill sets. So it’s a great example to use, but my guys are my the people who would sit in that but it’s on everyone. It’s just the project manager supervisor. I think the first thing to go back a step having a leadership team that took the time to retraction or listen to videos or content and suddenly understand, ask questions, to give them the respect and time to develop things together and kind of not embed it because I don’t think we’re perfect even now but to allow it to be unfold and unpacked or slowly embedded into a leadership team. And then made it was a very casual, easy conversation great the same language back into their meetings. And so we also supported that divvied or depart leader by myself and my implementer. Also in the meeting for the first few days, okay, guys is what we do. And this is what it means. And here’s an explanation. And so we kind of took it lightly, I guess a couple of meetings and unpack that with them, and then help them set some rocks. And then, you know, the next couple of weeks realize, that their to do list had to be done. And there were consequences if they weren’t, and so, you know, not force it down their throat, but really just help maintain structure around what that looked like and what the benefits were. And to be honest, within a few weeks, it wasn’t really even a confusing process. It wasn’t challenged, that was just that’s what we did. And, you know, I think the little things like the guys giving the meeting or writing at the end of it, you know, they will get a buzz and a kick out of it. And there was always a joke, because you said one joke joke wasn’t funny enough than the writing went down, or there was a little bit of context that actually helped also be a part of you know, and a little laugh and a giggle that also got to kind of be a part of that meeting. And the framework that we were trying to implement. So look, it’s been to your point, it’s been, they’ve been taking taken on really good. What’s been interesting for us, and now we kind of, say 90 sorry, not 90 days, but your bet 90 days, probably more. Sorry, nine months, I should say to work with with ours, but then maybe 90 days into this is seeing what happens after a 30 day rock or a 90 day goal is actually achieved. And often for us, we were similar creating phase. So we’re creating better systems, we’re creating better processes, we’re creating tools or work on many projects that have gotten better at what we do and how we deliver service. And so it’s nice to achieve that what I’ve learned through watching others. I’ve been really grateful to see my department managers pick up on these, it’s okay, guys, we hope that 90 Day goal ticked off. But what’s the next one? Are they setting the same rocks are similar for the next 90 days, but they’ve kind of said, Hang on a moment, we’ve just created this cool tool in a process last 90 days. But what do we do now. So part of our next 90 Day rocks will also be to be more of the implementation, or might be a more of a review process, or we’re going to roll it out and then check on it. And then by the end of this 90 days, we’re going to have that created document a tested reviewed feedback and I’d be really jagged or crowded. So what I appreciate with that is it isn’t just the meeting and having them think about goals and more so about the business and departments, but it’s actually changing the how they think about okay, cool. Well, that was a benefit for us to think about talk about document. But now what, you know, how do we actually roll it out? How do we see the value in it? How do we pick up the efficiency or get the saving of time or money, whatever it may be, which was the whole intent and purpose of doing it in the first place?
Debra Chantry-Taylor 27:41
So it is their thinking, isn’t it?
Ryan Goodwin 27:42
It is. Were saying it’s like stage one was thinking about what a rock, and can we make the deadline? You know, pretty pretty basic. Can we get across the line? You know, can we cram? But stage or level two or stage two of the the reward here for all of us is the thinking of okay, well, we’ve got that done. But now how is it implemented? And how can it benefit us? And how can we enforce our teams to make sure they use it? Or how do we communicate better around it? So and I think it’s a perpetual thing, Debra. To be honest, at some point, some of those gifts will keep giving for many months, and many years in the future. So yeah, pretty great.
Debra Chantry-Taylor 28:15
Lovely. Cool. And what’s been the biggest challenge that you’ve had you think in your business the last five years? Problem with shortages? If you’ve got Jim showed us over there as well.
Ryan Goodwin 28:23
And we got Yeah, we do. We’ve got, it depends which month it is I’ll give you a different answer. Look to be honest, without making it the easy one. But I’ve been in construction management construction about 25 years and in some way of management or leadership roles for some 20 years. And I just haven’t seen a challenging time in our space like the last 18 months. And that’s due to external factors in regards to post COVID in the world and supply materials, labor shortages. So it’s probably a pretty predictable answer for your listeners, I’m well aware. But I’ve been through quite a few shifts in this industry in quite a few different areas and niche products to luxury brands to Home Improvement brands to you know, it all kind of levels from mid to senior to executive leadership roles. And I’ve just never seen it like this time. So there’s a lot of factors there. We’re definitely not playing the victim. You know, we’re just modifying who we are what we do to make sure we’re sustainable. And we’re still leading the market moving out of this. But it’s been really unpredictable. That’s probably perhaps like most of entrepreneurs, you may know – we’re control freaks in our own right. Business owners, we like to be in control. And this has been one time or chapter that there has just been little to no opportunity to control the things around us, which has been really challenging. But aside from that, Debra because I think that’s the easy answer everyone might predict for me later. I would say possibly the growth and the things that have come through growth and of course I was chasing growth for a number of years. The growth brings with it growing pains. So growing pains being you need to hire you need to fire you need to manage differently you need to recruit. And then it’s about us we need the systems, how come they’re not doing the way I do it? It’s, it’s about then saying, well hang on, what do you mean, we need another CRM or a bigger software package or more this and more that. So they’re absolute benefits and rewards out of acknowledging that the business has grown to those levels. But it does change your focus, especially as a business owner, as well. And so the challenges there were about keeping up. And probably for about three years, I’ve complained to anyone that would listen about the challenge of the business needing to keep up now. And that’s keeping up with itself, you know. We, all of a sudden had a brand that we haven’t advertised in over five years, and we always booked out for nine months in advance, we just perpetually always doing more work, we’re multi award winning with all of these great things. And the phone keeps ringing and we struggle to keep up and we need more people. And it’s the snowball has kept rolling, even without me pushing it. And then it’s about keeping up, you know, do we have the right structure? The right systems, the right software, the right people? The right, you know. Do we have enough to keep up? Absolutely, absolutely. So I think, you know, the post COVID life in our, in our industry, at least, has been a challenge that I’ve just not seen in my career. But I do trust that we’ll see a way out of that. And there’s already some silver linings there. But to answer you, I think, yeah, both the success of growth and the challenges that come with such growth would be the challenge – the probably the biggest challenge that I’ve faced with everything chasing that snowball down that hill.
Debra Chantry-Taylor 31:42
Yeah, we’re running out of time, I can’t believe it’s gone so quickly. And I thought we could talk about construction for so long. Love to get some tips from you that I can share with the listeners that they can actually go and do you know, in their own life. So what would be the three kind of top tips that you have, either from a personal or professional level would like to share?
Ryan Goodwin 31:59
Well, there’s a couple of things that when asked this, or, you know, I feel that just naturally comes up in conversations with me, and I think I’ve even raised it once or twice already in today’s chat. But one of them is really focusing on and if you haven’t recently been getting back to considering doing what you love, in regards to being passionate. I’m sure this talks to the EOS lifestyle, planning and all those sorts of things. But you know, cutting all the frameworks out of it. It’s just being true to yourself. And by way of saying that sometimes you need to force yourself to sit down and think about that. Because obviously often as business owners, we just get caught up in the machine or chasing a snowball down a hill, or pushing one up a hill. But really, I think often we do forget to stop and think about is this where I want to be? Is this the you know, is it the lifestyle I want? Is that the vision that I had? And I mean that personally for an entrepreneurial for a family, for children, for a future, for a lifestyle – how much time you’re doing what you would like to do. And I heard a great speaker recently kind of challenge us about well, if you were to start tomorrow, what would the business look like? Who would the clients be? What would you earn? look at your numbers? And I think it’s a really great test for us to challenge ourselves with what would it look like if we had the chance? And then realize that we have the chance every day to create that. And often we’re just not. And sometimes we’re waiting a year 5 10 Or a lifetime to look back and then say, Geez, well, I should have changed that earlier. And we bring in consultants to tell us to stop and play differently. When we knew it all along, we’ve may just not have had the tools or the guts. And I even know myself I’ll go years without stopping and thinking I’m chasing the fame, glory and the growth but I’m just not – that was taken of many years ago. So one bit of feedback would be to consider doing what you love. Consider what your passion is, what does your lifestyle need to look like and start planning towards that, not about the business and always about the business. And I believe a business should be the tool in which you create that lifestyle with and not the other way around. Another might be for me just about turning up every day. I truly believe at least in my experience and in my industry, It’s about turning up when the others don’t. And I mean playing the long game. So if you’re going to be the best business coach, you got to be the best electrician, you’re going to be the best cook, or the best Cafe shop on the corner. It’s about consistently turning up consistently evolving, consistently challenging yourself consistently asking the market consistently improving being better. And even if you are the best, you just need to keep showing up and offering consistency because most consumers at least in my space, but I think and feel that most consumers across the globe in all industries want consistency, they want a history, they want experience. They want to know where you’ve been and who you are. But if you, my belief is if you’re doing what you love and you’re passionate about it and you just get to keep showing up every day. Life gets easier right? But people love you more for because you can see still delivering upon something you love. And people understand that as well. So I think, keep turning up, and choosing who you are when you do turn up every day is really important. Maybe my last one is, I probably touched my first point about reviewing the model, you operate on that now – this talks to choosing the lifestyle aiming for the lifestyle that you want. But a very, very quick explanation that is just recently, probably nine months ago, 12 months ago, perhaps I kind of forced to take a formal review of the business, we do a different range of products in different areas, small, medium, large, etc. And just really realize that the ego in which I was displaying at the time, that of which would say we can do anything better than most.
I’m someone who likes to please people and my clients, I’d rarely say no. And so all of a sudden, I was catching myself out with a much greater risk doing a certain range of products, or building certain type of projects for people, we had dozens of them a year we’re doing. And really they just weren’t performing for us. And we’re boring client to say we weren’t performing well enough to make a good return from those projects. It’s all of a sudden, I realized that I was employing perhaps 30% of my team, 30% of energy, you know, a high level of risk for these certain types of projects, because we just weren’t doing it well enough. We weren’t quite on time. Our quality just wasn’t quite there. And what it all boils down to is that – I needed to start saying no more often, I needed to focus on what we were good at. They have a 21 I’m really good at all of them. But I’m not a no all, as a team. We weren’t delivering in some areas. And the reality was that we didn’t need to do that, we needed to choose and review was it because we love doing it. And if so within it, we put more energy in team or we get better. What was it just because I needed to start saying no and people and in fact, maybe we shouldn’t be everyone to say everything to everyone. And so I guess my third and last one is about reviewing where you’re at, identify what you’re good at what makes what’s more profitable for you. So for me, it was identifying that I want it I was sitting in that part of the market and employing maybe 30% of my team for no return and with greater risk. So it forced me to realize what we wanted to do, what we were well known for, what we were great at what brought us better returns, what allowed me to sleep well at night, what allowed me to know that we’re going to deliver more quality, more regular to more people. And so that allowed me to get out of trying to drive in a lane that we weren’t as comfortable in. Which brings me back to the first point of doing more of what you love to be rewarded by.
Debra Chantry-Taylor 37:44
And there’s the hedgehog concept from Jim Collins in terms of you know, you never gonna die of starvation. There’s so many opportunities out there, but the clearer you can get about what you love and what you’re the best in the world out there, the easier life becomes. Yeah,
Ryan Goodwin 37:56
Yes. 100%. And so that that was a forced, I wouldn’t say structural change. And we’ve already stopped taking on a certain type of project that we’re doing doesn’t have a year multimillion dollar turnover just in that area. And already, we’re starting to see a trend and a shift, our risk is lowered. We’ve still got a few on the books, we’re wrapping up. But that’s deliberate. And for me to share with your listeners why that’s important is because we sometimes get caught out just doing things because people turn up while the phone rings, or you think that yes, I should take that on because it’s more revenue. When revenue I’ve learned means nothing, you know, it’s the profitability margins lifted. The bottom line is what gives us the opportunity to have those lifestyles.
Debra Chantry-Taylor 38:36
And how you feel about it too. Because I think you made a really important point is that if you’re taking on this risk, and you’re not delivering to the level of quality that you want or consistency, then you’re not going to feel good about it either
Ryan Goodwin 38:46
100%. And it extends to being a hamster on the wheel to you just continually just running and chasing and delivering. And if you can lower that and still make the same or have a better outcome or balance them. So yeah, that was something I would say I was unaware of it. I was just watching it for a while and kept seeing it. And I knew what. But it was really about it. Maybe it was a COVID situation and some challenges in. But it really forced me to sit down and say, You know what, it kills me to say that we’re not doing this really well enough. But also made me face that whole ego discussion of, well, who are we doing this for? You know, and do we need to do this at all. And so we’ve just taken the last kind of 12, nine to 12 months, we’re just shifting, we’re just turning in a big boat, we’re just swinging around a couple of degrees at a time. And we’re just doing more of what we’re great at more of what supports and sustains us and more of what we love so and to be honest, it’s also minimizing my risk. Meaning if I’m going to do 100 projects a year or, you know, build the projects that we do then, we want to know that there’s you know, both myself and my clients have the best and most certainty around what we’re delivering and we’re giving him the best outcomes so It’s been a huge shift for me. So to boil that all the way down to a little bullet point there would be stopping, looking back seeing what’s working within your business planning ahead and making sure that’s part of your planning, don’t just be a hamster on the wheel, and keep turning up and saying yes to everyone, because I feel that’s where burnout can be found. That’s where, you know, stress and risk and loss and issues at home. And all sorts of stuff can come from that level of productivity, that doesn’t give you the return and energy that we expel, that may not support us. So for me, that’s been a big shift, it’s a big shift in minus six to 12 month turning, we’re over halfway there, and I can see the silver lining, again, it’s going to put us in a much better position post COVID, as well. So I’m quite grateful
Debra Chantry-Taylor 40:44
The opportunity cost if you’re doing that sort of work, that isn’t the work that makes your heart sing that you can really deliver the best possible value on then you actually taking up time that could be useful things that you are much, much better at.
Ryan Goodwin 40:56
Yeah, you’re 100%, right, and dispelling that energy in areas that don’t support or sustain you the business or the team. You know, it just it’s okay for a little bit. And I know as your listeners and business owners will, you know, we see it every day, you know, the unproductive time or hours spent, but there’s nothing better than you know, having your team do things that you love for happy clients and also being well rewarded for. And for me, we’re just become a popular brand. I wouldn’t call it an overnight success. We work very hard, but it’s we literally can’t keep up with inquire anymore. We don’t advertise which is all great. And so it’s kind of forced me also to be selective, I just we cannot anymore, even contemplate supporting everyone and working with everyone. So it’s really, you know, forced me to consider, especially to a challenging time in the industry, what we’re good at and where we should be heading.
Debra Chantry-Taylor 41:46
Fantastic. Hey, look, congratulations, where you’ve got to it is just phenomenal to see. I look forward to seeing the growth over the next few years as well and seeing you spend time with your family and do the things that you get to love outside of work. Thank you for sharing with us today. It’s been really, really helpful to hear your perspective on things and yeah, and I look forward to catching up with you in person when we get together in Sydney.
Ryan Goodwin 42:07
Yes, looking forward to thanks so much for having me on Debra. It really Yeah. Quite honored to be offered the opportunity. And yeah, love what you do. And yeah, hopefully today has been okay for your listeners. But thanks again for having me.
Debra Chantry-Taylor 42:20
Now. But one last thing before we go if people want to get in contact with you, how would they get in contact with you?
Ryan Goodwin 42:25
Yeah, great. So mode, M O D E group.com.au. We’re based in Melbourne. We do get to work around the place. But yeah, that’s probably the best place to find me, see some of my videos and some information about our beautiful work and our great team and yeah, if you’re in Melbourne or need a good build or some advice in Australia, or anywhere, love to help reach out.
Debra Chantry-Taylor 42:47
Thank you. Thanks, Ryan. Really, really amazing. Really appreciate your time.
Ryan Goodwin 42:51
Thanks for having me again. Thank you
Professional EOS Implementer | Entrepreneurial Leadership & Business Coach | Business Owner
Professional EOS Implementer New Zealand
Professional EOS Implementer Australia
Professional EOS Implementer UK
Professional EOS Implementer NZ