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Chris LoCurto


October 11, 2012

EntreLeadership Q & A Podcast

October 11, 2012 | By | 57 Comments">57 Comments

Tomorrow I will be going into the studio to do a special EntreLeadership Q & A Podcast. Of all the Entre Podcasts that we’ve done, the Q & A podcasts have been some of the most downloaded.

So here’s is your opportunity to ask any questions you would like. Hopefully we will be able to get to them all. So feel free to leave your questions as a comment below.

  • preferred stocks

    you suggest meeting EntreLeadership’s admonition to hire slowly and cautiously in that environment? I can perform that duty nearly to perfection and am happy to offer my services.

  • Steve Pate

    Hey Chris and team, say I’m a leader in the Christian Camping world aka non-profit. I would like to suggest a pod cast for those who’s tax code is not for profit but still need to run a “business”. Why I ask this is, I’ve once had my own business and came to the non-profit world and I can see some times other leaders can get caught up on the word non-profit…in reality we need to make something to stay open. I know this would be a great topic for many of us! Thanks for doing this and being you


  • Riley Rogers

    Chris, I have a mobile oil change business that I run by myself. It is growing quickly and I see the time coming when I will need to hire an outside salesperson. I want them to be paid straight commission with a tapered residual that eventually ends to keep them motivated to sell new accounts. Do you have any tips on how fast to taper-off these commissions, or maybe a better option altogether? Thank you, Riley Rogers

  • Debra Ross

    Hi, Chris! I am the founder and publisher of a network of web sites that provide local resources for parents throughout the United States. One of our regions (Rochester NY) has been in existence for 11 years and does great in online ad sales, mostly because I live here and have nurtured great personal-professional relationships with our clients. It is now time to hire local salespeople for our seven other regions that have been active long enough to justify charging for advertising. The question is: When hiring part-time salespeople in a new territory, can I offer an exclusively commission-based position, or do I need to prime the pump with some kind of minimum salary because we don’t yet have a track record in that region? How would you word the salary part of that job description? Thanks for all of the virtual mentoring we have received from listening to your podcast! (P.S., Our VP of Operations will be attending the conference in Houston in a couple of weeks.)

  • brandon

    not sure where else to post this question.
    Will you be posting the follow up interview for the #30 KRA’s with Reid Hoffm EntreLeadership Podcast?
    Also you did not mention it during the interview, but was there going to be a follow up interview for #31 Personal Growth with John Maxwell?

  • Daniel Mays

    I’m 4 years out from retiring from the military and I’m looking at the option of buying a souvenir business that has been in the family for two generations now. They have three other team members working in this business also. What are some suggestions that I need to look at to ensure this business is making money and im not walking into a money pit. I’m planning to begin looking at the records next week. Any suggestions?
    Thanks Daniel

    • Matt McWilliams

      Thank you for your service Daniel!

  • Candice

    Hey Chris –
    I work for a very small cabinet/design company (4 employees). Getting any sort of systems in place to make things more functional is near impossible. All suggestions I have tried to make through the proper channels all the way up to the boss man go pretty much unheard. For instance, communication is very lacking, so I suggested we have biweekly meetings so we can all be on the same page. He initially agreed (back in June), but we have yet to have one as his partner and senior employee feel they are a waste of time. How does one work around this issue?
    Thanks for all that you do. Was hoping to make it to the Master Series, but my budget doesn’t allow. Hopefully next year.

  • Joshua Rivers

    I am wanting to transition from my full-time job to freelance web development. Any suggestions?

    I currently work about 55 hours a week at my job, plus I teach 10-15 hours a week. I don’t want to leave the teaching because it is a passion of mine and it pays my kids’ school bills.

    I know that the general rule is to start small and grow it until the income matches your current income, but I’m having a hard time finding time to devote to it.

    Thanks, Chris, Chris, Becky, and everyone else on the podcast team!

  • mkokc

    Thanks for the opportunity to ask questions.
    Here’s the transition I am in the middle of, as my company grows like crazy.
    How do you best build systems that work once you go from a solo operation to having a team?
    How I do what I do has always been in my head, but now it has to be translated into training, reporting and accountability.
    Is that something I should get help to put together and how much trial-and-error should I expect to come along with it?

    thanks, Mike Koehler, Smirk New Media.

    • Aaron Nelson

      Have you ever read “The E-Myth Revisited” – it has some useful discussions on how to make systems happen.

  • Tom Jaeger

    Hi Chris,

    I’m with everyone here, totally digging the podcast and wisdom dropped in it!

    I own a small business, that currently has 1 team member (in addition to myself). We keep hitting the point where we could really use another team member. I found it pretty easy to figure out when to bring the first team member on, but am struggling to know when the timing is right for a second & third. Any insight you can provide would be greatly appreciated!


    • Joshua Rivers

      I’m sure Chris will have better suggestions, but maybe you could look at someone for part-time/contract work to ease the load, yet still not “break the bank?”

      • Tom Jaeger

        Great suggestion, we did head down that path; it’s hard to find good people who will work on a contract basis and still allow us to maintain a decent margin (were in the web software industry). Which is what brought us back to hiring… Maybe we need to spend more time looking for a contractor that’s a good fit.

        • Lily Kreitinger

          They get to test drive you and you get to test-drive them. Everyone wins!

        • Aaron Nelson

          And also be sure to look at the ‘what can this person bring to our table’ point of view too.

          The right person in the position you’re talking about could impact your overall growth in ways you never imagined!

          So yes, I suggest it’s part of the hiring process you use in that you grab the best person for your job, but it’s also looking at what you expect this person to do for you.

          What kind of an impact do you want them to have on your company, and will that justify their expense on your payroll? (If you get the right person, it should more than justify. I’ve seen this happen in my company many times.)

  • Nevin from da UP

    Hey Chris, i am in the auto body repair business which in the past 10 years has significantly diminished due to rising cost of auto insurance and people not have enough coverage or not repairing there vehicles. There are only 5 employees at are shop and i am a painter. My boss is very cheap and only think short term. Im on straight commision with no bonuses. I have introduced entre one day, the podcast and offering to help anyway i can. What is another way that i can reach my boss to show him the ways of the entre? Its frustrating to see mistakes made over and no atta boys givin rarely. I goal is to move up to a team leadr but he seems he cant let go and deligate…. Help me please…
    Nevin from da UP ( upper peninsula)

  • ThatGuyKC

    What advice would Dave Ramsey give the presidential candidates?

  • Ralph Webb

    QUESTION: Will you go over the part of the EntreLeadership presentation where you describe how you manage your interaction with your direct employees in regards to emailing questions with at least two options, and no “do you got a minutes?”

  • Todd Liles

    My business is training. I launched a new division of class room training this year. It has significant cost compared to my consulting business. Part of this is because I have 2 people on staff to support that program. One does coordination, and the other teaches the program. They both serve in the sales department too. The program started at the first of the year, and so far, it is making a profit, but a very tiny profit. Small, small profit. I’m dedicated to giving this division 2 solid years to become very profitable (which it can, as long as momentum takes off.) As someone who has launched new divisions, what is a reasonable time frame to see big returns?

  • William

    Hey Chris, I want you to know that I love the show. Best podcast ever. I have listened to every episode multiple times. I would love to be able to find Entreleaders in my area. Is there a system in place for that? If not maybe y’all could implement some type of network that would link potential entre-team members with potential Entreleaders. I think it could work. I would love to join your team to get this material into every small business in the nation. I love what y’all are doing. Keep it coming please.

    • Joshua Rivers

      Very good idea…

    • Matt McWilliams

      Dang. That IS a cool idea.

      I would imagine it would be as simple (everything in IT is simple to me haha) as a zip code / mileage match, like finding an FPU course. Not sure if that would be a priority but would be super cool.

      I’m thinking EL Meetups.

      • William

        I love the idea of an EL meetup!

  • Carol Dublin

    Chris – I echo the others in that these podcasts are such wonderful learning tools. And I glean new info every time I revisit them.

    I am practicing the EntreLeadership principles and learning to be a better leader, but not all of the team members are doing that. Their lack of planning or lack of detail can seriously derail my days sometimes, if they need something from me and I have to keep asking for more information.

    My question is how do you lead laterally, when other team members (peers) are not buying into the EntreLeadership practices? I know I can be a good example but that only goes so far. Thanks for this opportunity for more learning!

    • Lily Kreitinger

      Mine did look at me funny when I presented the mini-version of the 1-Day. I think what shocks them the most is to see the principles in action when I suggest certain ideas and they wonder where that came from…

  • Mark Sieverkropp

    Chris, recently I was approached about taking a sales job with a small company that’s looking to grow. They also talk about selling or transferring the business to me when they retire. My question is, in this situation, what should I look for or negotiate for to make this the best possible deal for me and them?
    Thanks Chris!

    • Matt McWilliams

      I was hoping you would ask that :) Curious to see if that gets answered and if so, how.

      • Mark Sieverkropp

        I asked another guy a similar question, but I’m just not sure I can trust the advice HE gave me… :) so I thought I’d ask a professional! ;)

  • Aaron Nelson

    First of all, I just wanted to say how much I enjoy and grow from what you and your team do here. You always deliver high value and well…I really appreciate you all. :)

    My question is around these two points:
    1. When you have a hiring candidate that you’ve been meeting with for a bit, but then you decide that they are not who you’re looking for, how do you let them know? And what about when rejection happens immediately – do you have a nice rejection letter or process that you follow?

    2. I know you don’t fire easily, but when you do, what is the general process you follow?

    Thanks for your help.

    • Joshua Rivers

      Break it to them. Then show them a picture of a guillotine to show them that it could be worse.

      Wait…that was for the wrong blog. This is about EntreLeadership! Scratch that idea…

      • Aaron Nelson

        LOL good idea! I think I will build a special ‘firing room’ with pictures of guillotines, firing squads etc, etc. ;)

        • Lily Kreitinger

          You can always use “Don’t call us, we’ll call you”… High S-C WILL have a hard time rejecting people. I totally get that.

          • Aaron Nelson

            I’ve gotten better at rejecting, but I would like to learn how to do it more graciously. In the past, this would be a sleep robber for me – how in the world will I nicely tell someone ‘no?’ — Now that I’ve seen the results of hiring poorly…hehehe…far fewer problems to say no to the wrong candidate.

            • Lily Kreitinger

              Just think you’re doing them a HUGE favor by not hiring for a job in which they will not succeed.

              • Mark Sieverkropp

                I’m sure they’ll see it that way Lily ;)

  • Mike Chambers

    Hey Chris. I was wondering what you thought would be the appropriate or best set of priorities when being hired to run an already established organization. I was thinking that one should get a good handle on any employee or union contracts and documents like policy and procedure manuals and rules and regulations etc. Do you know of any type of check list or do you have a set of priorities you think work best.

    Thanks, Mike

  • Kent Lapp

    Chris, really enjoy these podcasts & blog, keep it up!


    Some weeks I’m on fire, focused, energetic & productive. Reading and growing and feeling great about life.

    Then I’ll go through a week or so where I don’t feel productive, focused or energetic at all. Books are replaced with TV.

    Any suggestions?


    • Matt McWilliams

      Hey Kent, I hope Chris gets to answer that but I have a question for you:

      How do you react to motivational material? i.e. speakers. Some people hear it and it goes in one ear and out the other, others are changed. Just curious because I’ve been (still am sometimes) where you are. But I have found some ways out of it.

      • Kent Lapp

        I’ll usually come away with 1-2 action points that I can work on right away.

        Too many more and I have a hard time doing any of it.

        I want to hear what you’ve found works, please share!


        • Matt McWilliams

          Here are my suggestions:

          You may have to go scorched earth on the distractions. You
          mention TV as a big one. That means getting rid of your cable and maybe the TV

          We god rid of cable over four years ago. TV is
          no longer a distraction.

          Man, I am no longer watching our guys live
          their dreams on Saturday and Sunday while I’m eating Cheetos on the couch. I’m
          not watching others win gold medals while I could be writing.

          Whatever the distractions are, you need to get
          rid of them. There will be times when you will want a distraction and there won’t
          be one, so you will just kind of find something productive to do. After a few
          months, it gets easy. Similar to trying to lose weight. If you tell me that
          Twinkies are your downfall…that you eat 2 every night because they are so
          tempting. Easy fix…stop buying them. Remove the temptation. I doubt that every
          single night, you are going to venture out into the cold, dark night, start up
          the car, and drive just to get your two Twinkies. Eventually you lose the
          desire and the desire for Twinkies is replaced by the desire to be thin.

          When you need a life, get a life. Listen to or read whatever you
          need to read. It may be the exact same thing every time or it may be some
          different things. Whatever gets your motor going. I used to think motivational
          speeches were corny but now I choose to react to them.

          I don’t know your style, so this might not be right for you, but
          I love Eric Thomas. Check out:

          if you have never heard of him. Then listen to all of his stuff.

          Find whatever works for you. A movie clip, a certain
          speaker, a book. Whatever works for you.

          Keep a journal. When do you get “down?” Is it after a real high
          (success)? Is it when you have relational problems? When you aren’t exercising?
          When you _____?

          This may take months or possibly years to really pinpoint but do

          I would write it out however you want and also keep a chart.
          Something like:

          Date – Emotional Status – Life Events – Today’s Objectives

          Something that allows you, over time, to identify trends. I’ll
          bet after 3 months (it isn’t a quick fix) you start to see some trends and
          start to make life changes that raise up your down times, shorten them, and
          make the time between them longer.

          I hope that helps!

          • Kent Lapp

            Good stuff Matt, thanks!

            We actually don’t have TV either, totally agree with you there.

            Rock on man.

  • Bret Wortman

    My initial business is going to be providing staff augmentation on federal government contracts. In general, the lead time from notification of a need to butt-in-chair is about 2-4 weeks. Given that I’m not in a position to be paying folks to sit around warming cushions right now, that means finding that person and getting them into the company in that time frame so they can get to the customer by the deadline.

    How would you suggest meeting EntreLeadership’s admonition to hire slowly and cautiously in that environment? I’ve considered pre-screening a bunch of people and keeping good candidates in the pipe, but it’s hard to know what skillset the customer is going to require, or how long a candidate is going to be willing to wait.

    And, as a corollary, this means that the first 10-20 of my staff will be dispersed geographically to remote work sites. Do you have any insights into how to build my team and my culture when we don’t have an office where everyone gets together on a regular basis and even I’m embedded at a customer location?

    • Mark Sieverkropp

      Bret, just so you know…whenever you want to pay someone JUST to sit around warming a cushion, I can perform that duty almost to perfection and am happy to offer my services :)

      • Bret Wortman

        I will absolutely keep that in mind, Mark. Though you might be overqualified for government work….

        • Mark Sieverkropp

          HA! Touché my friend. Just trying to be helpful to a friend ;)

        • Matt McWilliams

          He would break the cushion.

          Ah, snap!


          • Mark Sieverkropp

            HA! Well played. I actually think I would break all previous earning records ;)

          • Bret Wortman

            And in this case, that’s a $2,987 cushion!

  • Matt McWilliams

    Chris, this is a question I have wanted to ask for a few years.

    When you have a very small business and no brand like Dave Ramsey, how do you balance the need to be thorough in hiring with the need to make a sales pitch for the organization? Are the Entreleadership hiring principles and lengthy process practical for very small businesses?

    Thanks Chris!

    • Todd Liles

      Matt – that is the biggest push back I get from my clients when I bring up Dave. “I don’t have that kind of time. I also don’t have that many people knocking on my door.”

      • Aaron Nelson

        I had the same question Todd – and Dave’s reply in one of the extended interviews was simply this: You have to become the place where everyone wants to work, and where people are willing to wait to get into… And time: there’s something interesting in a few of the podcasts about recruitment. They say something to the effect of ‘budgeting for a position.’

        That hit me right between the eyes. When you hire hungry, you’ll make bad hires. On the other hand, when you are planning for and budgeting for a position before it’s active, then you have time to hire the right person.

        We started to do that and the results have been….awesome!

        We’re still working on becoming a high demand place to work but one step at a time, right?

        • Matt McWilliams

          Nice Aaron. What if this hypothetical business owner needs, say, 7 new people 3 weeks ago? :) HAHA

          • Aaron Nelson

            We had that happen just a few weeks ago. We had 4 openings that needed immediate filling. Clients were pressuring us for faster movement, but I just explained to them that I could get a warm body in their tomorrow if that is what they wanted. Or, if they were willing to wait, we could get a rockstar.

            It took us 2 months for one position, and 1 month for the other openings before mission was accomplished.

            What I learned: Never hire hungry, and never let your clients push you to rush what you know are professional recruitment steps, and never rush yourself to skip through those said steps just because there’s money on the table.

            Hustle, you bet. But never sacrifice professionalism. That was a hard lesson for me to learn – cus believe me, we are ACHING to grow.

            I think communicating what you’re doing and why you’re ‘taking so long’ can help you. Best of all for us, our clients really got it. After a week or two of pressure, they finally got our idea and relaxed. Result: super happy clients, and we get to add 3 rockstars to our team. :)

            • Matt McWilliams

              Awesome info. Aaron. I know it in my head…

              When I was in a position to reallllly wait, I did.

              1. I did an initial 15-20 minute call with someone and went throug their resume.
              2. then sent them through HR
              3. then I did a lengthy interview with them on site.
              4. then they were interviewed by two groups: their peers in the department and two other leaders. They always had veto power at this point.
              5. Lastly we did a spousal interview with me and 1-2 other leaders or peers.

              I also worked in at least 2-3 email correspondences to see what happened. If they were currently working, did they email me back during business hours? Not the best sign unless they specifically mentioned they were at lunch for example. If not working, how were their email skills? I usually did this early to set up the initial call, then in the middle and at the very to set up the dinner.

              I loved that process. I miss it. I will use it again!

              • Aaron Nelson

                I’m loving the e-mail interviews! So far that step alone has weeded out at least 20% of applicants. Fascinating stuff. :)

              • Wade Thorson

                I have never used the email side of that, but that seems very valuable. In interviewing a couple intern positions I did disregard a candidate for that reason but never looked at it as part of the interview process. Thanks.