Align your professional and personal goals with Ryll Burgin-Doyle

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Guest

Ryll Burgin-Doyle

Co-Founder & CEO
Burgin & Doyle

Ryll Burgin-Doyle is an Australian entrepreneur and coach, and the Co-Founder of Burgin & Doyle, a Business and Brand Strategy firm.

Sean has founded multiple companies and done multiple 8 figures worth of business.

He’s currently advising, consulting, and investing in business just like yours.

He knows where you’ve been, and he knows where you’re going.

Book a call with him today to see how he can help you get there smarter, faster, and in a way that aligns with your life goals.

Timestamps

00:00 – Guest Introduction
02:07 – Ryll’s Background
03:14 – Setting the baseline for your business
10:56 – Surrounding yourself with successful people
13:47 – Fastest way to reach your business goals
15:50 – Importance of using data to strategize
20:10 – Ryll’s passion for helping businesses
25:08 – Ryll’s inspiration to be an entrepreneur
30:45 – Building a great mindset
38:57 – Important life lessons
40:13 – Follow up with Ryll

Transcript

Read the transcript
Sean Weisbrot:
Welcome back to another episode of the We Live to Build podcast. Our guest today is Ryll Burgin-Doyle, an Australian entrepreneur and coach, and the co-founder of Burgin & Doyle, a business and brand strategy firm. For the last 29 years she has been growing her own or other people’s enterprises from startups to thousands of small and medium enterprises to 100 million, 400 million and $1 billion businesses. She’s spoken on world stages on business growth. She’s a published author and an expert on the subject. She helps business owners become crystal clear on where they want to be in predefined periods of time. Then they work together to identify the key leverage points and exact steps to achieving those goals.

We discuss how to figure out a baseline for your business. When is the best time to think about your business goals? The importance of surrounding yourself with people who are more successful than you. What’s the fastest way to reach your business goals once you set them? The importance of analyzing data to drive your strategy. The most important data points to measure, Ryll’s top three favorite things to focus on with clients and much more. So, let’s give Ryll a warm welcome.

Welcome to We Live to Build. My name is Sean Weisbrot and I’m an entrepreneur, investor and advisor based in Asia for over twelve years. Join us every week to fast track your personal growth so you can meet the ever-increasing demands of the company or companies you are passionately building. Time waits for no one. So, let’s get started now.

Sean Weisbrot:
So, thank you for taking the time to talk with us. Welcome to the show.

Ryll Burgin-Doyle:
Thank you so much for having me. I’m thrilled to be here. Very excited.

Sean Weisbrot:
Take a minute or two and just explain to people why you are the person to talk about this topic.

Ryll Burgin-Doyle:
That’s a great question. I have been growing my own or other people’s businesses is for the last 29 years. Next year is my 30th year anniversary actually doing that. And I’ve worked on every kind of business imaginable from startups to billion-dollar enterprises. I’ve been the CEO of 100-million-dollar company. I have had some very successful ventures, had the 11th fastest growing company in Australia at one point. I’m in the top 50 female entrepreneurs here and have been a finalist in what’s called the Telstra Business Award, which is a big deal down here.

And really the big thing I’ve noticed is that many business owners and many people who want to go into business don’t understand strategy enough. And they certainly don’t understand that they, and what they want matters as the means to set their strategy. So, I worked with thousands and thousands and thousands of people to do just that.

Sean Weisbrot:
Brilliant. Thank you for the introduction. It’s definitely nice to speak with someone who is as entrenched in the business world as you are. So, where do you start when you talk to someone for the first time about their goals or strategy, things like that? How do you get a baseline for them or how do you help them to figure out a baseline?

Ryll Burgin-Doyle:
If we’re talking about someone who is in business or wants to go into business, there are four main things that I’ve seen over the years that are why people want to go into business or why people have businesses. One is wealth creation. They think they can earn more there than they could in a job. The other is lifestyle. So, they want to have freedom and flexibility and be their own boss. And the other is that they usually have some kind of commitment to make a difference to some kind of sector or some way that business is being done. And then the fourth one is their identity, their self-expression and their identity. So, all those four things drive them.

And when I’m first talking to people, I’m confirming that those things are why they’re in business, what they wanted out of it. And then, really what I see happen a lot is that people get very, very busy and whether they buy a business, start a business, or already entrenched and running a business, people very often get so busy that they forget that what they want actually matters. They’re so busy delivering as entrepreneurs to their clients, to their teams, to their communities, to their families, that they can forget about themselves in lots of different ways. But one of the ways that happens is they forget to really sit down and think about what they want. Because the business, the business is a vehicle that should be designed to give you those four things and businesses either by default or by design.

So, you have to get very, very clear on what you want and then design the business around that. So, I first get people present to what is it that they want, by when? So, what is it they want the business to give them in terms of profit and lifestyle and contribution and impact, by a certain time frame might be 2025 or 2030. What do you want the business to give you? And then once we clear on that, or even valuations, once we’re clear on all of that, we then figure out what the gross revenue needs to be and then you get into the strategy. How do we achieve that, with whom, in what markets and how many of and what’s the way to get to that market and how do we deliver and all of that other stuff.

Sean Weisbrot:
I was just thinking while you were saying that. Shouldn’t that be something that they think about before they start a business, not after they’re already in the middle of the business?

Ryll Burgin-Doyle:
It should, but very often. I mean, I literally did a two-day strategy incentive with business owners yesterday. Married couple who are in business. They’ve been in business for six years now and they’re beautiful and amazing, and they just got in like most people, Sean. What people do is they have this idea and they might have an initial plan where they think it’s going to go like this. “I think if we get into it and we’ll do this, and we’ll do that, and we’ll do this, this is what will happen.” But then, they get into the business and they get super busy, and then, they just get entrenched in the doing of that business and they forget about themselves, they forget about what they really wanted or they lose sight of what they really wanted because they thought the business was going to be different than it is.

So, those people have been working their little butts off for the last six years and they’re just now at the point of going, “Phew, we thought it was going to get easier at some point,” but it’s not because they were just going to keep working. They added 938 new customers last year, this year in Covid, and then, they wondered why they were tuckered out. But at the same time, they weren’t really not really making the profit they need to be making because they haven’t got the right strategies in place. Because they haven’t stopped to go, “Hang on. Hang on, hang on. Now that I’m in this thing and now it looks like this, what is it I now want?”

So yes, you should definitely do it before you start. What do you want the business to give you, in terms of profit and lifestyle impact? What is the business therefore need to do in gross revenue, and how are we going to get that done? But if you’re already in business, it’s time to take a pause and do that exact work.

Sean Weisbrot:
Now that I think about it, it makes sense to me now. But when I started my first company, I didn’t think about those things and I think that’s why I went broke and had burnout doing it. I guess if I had known that then, I might still be doing that business now, and we may have never met, because I’d probably still be in China and not running a podcast globally.

Ryll Burgin-Doyle:
Well, I’m glad we met. I’ve gone broke myself, so I’m sorry that you had to go through that. It sucks and it’s a big fat learning experience. Yes?

Sean Weisbrot:
Sure. I mean, I was 27, so it wasn’t a big deal. It was quite easy to make money again because I ended up having a mentor who saw what I was going through and he was a fan of what I was doing because it was events and all that, a lot of social success, and he loved what I was doing, so he wanted to teach me how to make money. And then, I became very successful very quickly because he helped me to understand the right mindset. If I had known that going into the business, it probably would have been very successful. But it’s okay, because going broke led me to learn how to become successful and that was what I needed to do and that’s okay. I think a lot of people go through that.

Do you have some kind of worksheet or workshop? How do you go through these things with them? Because it’s one thing to tell people you need to figure this stuff out, and it’s another to sit down with them and work through each of these factors and help them figure out for themselves what they want. It’s almost like I think you need to hold your hand like a therapist and say, “Let me help guide you through this situation.” Am I right or am I wrong?

Ryll Burgin-Doyle:
You are completely correct. The thing is, your business will never outstrip you. Your business will never outstrip you. In my world, your business will never outstrip you. Your leadership, your mindset, it’s never going to outstrip you. So, that says a couple of things to me. One is that you have to keep developing. We all have to keep developing and doing things like listening to podcasts and going to transformational programs does all of that. As long as you implement, obviously, because awareness is one thing, action is another.

But the other thing is that it’s a certain kind of thinking that gets you to where you are. And I’m not just saying this because I do this kind of work, but doesn’t matter who it is. Like you found a mentor. That mentor had a different mindset, a different way of thinking, and gave you an access to then be able to think that way. Right. You cannot do this stuff in a vacuum, because you’re your own little vacuum. You’re your own little cosmos of what’s possible, not possible. But when someone outside goes, “Well, how about this? And what about that? Have you thought about this? And I’m sure you could do this.”

I mean, this couple I was with the last two days, I have absolutely no question about their ability to grow a $15 million business in the next five years. But they didn’t necessarily have that listening of themselves. They had kind of a vague idea, and they wished it could be something along those lines, but that’s beyond what they would have thought of on their own. So, absolutely, people need a mentor or someone to work with to really answer some of those, “What do you want?” Most people can tell you what they don’t want. They can’t tell you what they actually want. They’ll say, “Well, I don’t want this, and I don’t want to work 24 hours a day. What do you want? Well, I want a million dollars paid to me at the end of every year, and I want six months off a year.” Okay, that’s clearer.

Sean Weisbrot:
I think everybody would be okay with that.

Ryll Burgin-Doyle:
Well, and the other thing that happens is when I have those conversations, they either embiggen themselves, which is unnecessary, where they go too far beyond what you could say is the realm of the reality for that business, or they diminish themselves. They make sure they play a much smaller game than what’s possible, because smaller is safer, and they don’t want to look like an idiot or like they showboating or something. So, they’ll diminish what they actually want, or they’ll embiggen it. So, again, you just got to find that middle ground that is enough to stretch the leader of that business and excite the leader of that business.

Sean Weisbrot:
Yeah. A lot of people I speak to are from either middle class or poor families when they begin their entrepreneurial journey. So, for them, the idea that they could run a multimillion-dollar company is just insane because they’ve never heard of that number. They’ve never worked with that number. And so, the idea of having that number to play with just seems out of the realm of reality for them. I think, as you were saying before, if you are not from that kind of a background, you need to befriend people that have been there, so they can explain to you what it’s like to get there and what it’s like to stay there.

Ryll Burgin-Doyle:
Yeah, absolutely. And for example, for myself, most of my friends from high school, beautiful, amazing friends of mine, and they have no reality, no reality around the world I swim in, the business kind of life I live. They’re very proud of me. They’re very happy. But they’re not people I could talk to about whatever I might need to talk to about out as a business owner and entrepreneur, right? Because they don’t have that. There’s no context for that. It’s like saying, “Well, I’ve swim and you run. Now let’s talk.” One is not better than the other. They’re just so different that I can’t talk about the nuances of swimming with someone who’s never swung and can only run, and there’s someone who’s only run, but it’s never swam, can’t talk to me about the nuances of running because I wouldn’t have a clue what they’re talking about. So, you have to surround yourself with people who have some kind of shared context for what you’re out to create.

And also, the other piece, people who’ve been that, walk that path is what you said is absolutely true in my world. Sean, you definitely need those people around you, the other people you need to surround yourself with, the people who ask more of you than you ask of yourself inside the game you say you’re playing and that you want. You have to have people around you that go, “Well, hang on a minute. You said you want to play this game at this level, but you don’t get to be like that now. Cut that out, man, that’s not going to work.” So, you got to have the two types of people, those people around you have got to have a shared context and pathway to support you and an ability to support you with accountability also, and demand more of you than you ask of yourself at times.

Sean Weisbrot:
Yeah, one of the things that I enjoy is challenging my friends, because a lot of them are still or some of them are still working for other people and they want to be entrepreneurial, but they’re just not putting themselves in the position to get there, and then, wondering why they’re not getting there. And so, I’m like, “Look, just stop doing it. Whatever you’re doing, I know what you’re doing is wrong.” You’re making the wrong decisions. Just stop prioritizing making money right now to figure out how you can build this thing that’s going to make you money later. It’s a patience game. Like, you have to build, you have to wait. It’s not something that comes overnight, and if it does, be careful because it’s probably going away tomorrow.

Sean Weisbrot:
So, once you work with them and hold their hand and help them to figure out what their strategy should be based on the lifestyle that they want to have, what’s next?

Ryll Burgin-Doyle:
Well, getting clear on what they want and getting clear, therefore, on the size of what the business has to do, gross revenue wise, then it’s about the strategy. What’s the fastest? And again, most people don’t understand what the word strategy means. Strategy is a plan of how to go from where you are now to where you want to be in the fastest, easiest, most profitable and effective way.

So, to give you an example, I did some work with a construction company, had been very heavily hit during COVID with that leadership team and had them get very, very clear on what is the business owner want, what do we all as a group say is possible for this business to produce? What is the gross revenue needs to be? And then we looked at each of the three divisions, and when we started, the leaders of each of those divisions, there was absolutely no chance that the group was going to get to 50 million. They’re like, what, “That’s like talking about getting to Mars?” But when we sat down and went, “Okay, well, let’s just play the game,” let’s just say, well, “Okay, this part of the business is going to do 15 million.” How would it do 15 million? And by the time we went through everything, what it came down to was because of the power of compounding client bases and all sorts of things, they need to add two builders as clients every year in this particular builder, this particular joiner business needs to add two builders of a certain size and nature every year, consistently over the next ten years, and they’ll hit 15 million.

But just identifying that they already smashed their 2021 goals in 2020. Then we looked over because we got really clear on that strategy. The fastest, easiest way to get this business for 15 million is two builders of this type every year doing this level of business with us. Now, that’s one example, but I could give you thousands like that.

So, once you’re clear on what you want, then you know, therefore what the numbers need to be for the gross revenue, then it’s how do we do it the fastest possible way? And then you got to implement, implement, implement, actions.

Sean Weisbrot:
I’ve come around recently to the idea of using data to measure parts of the business. Now, obviously we’re pre launched still, but we’re in the process of developing ways to create data so that we can then analyze, measure and take action based on that.

What percentage of the companies you work with would you say have no data driven decision making strategy or a poorly defined or poorly managed strategy around data?

Ryll Burgin-Doyle:
Almost every business I work with. I was working with a business a few weeks ago, and the owners and leadership of the business were saying, “Well, our average XYZ, is XYZ present.” And I’m like, “Okay. Really?” “Oh, yeah.” “Okay, well, let’s just check.” And then, we do the analysis of the numbers, and every single number they gave me qualitatively, anecdotally was incorrect. Not one, not one answer was correct. So, what they thought they knew about the business, they did not know.

Sean Weisbrot:
What was the response to that?

Ryll Burgin-Doyle:
They were shocked. But we did the numbers together. Like, I showed them how you actually work that data out and how you did, “Let’s not take our word for it. Let’s prove it.” Because I learned a long, long, long time ago that what we feel sometimes to be true isn’t when you actually run the numbers and check. Now, I’m not a traditional numbers person. I do things by intuition and gut, but I will always check that via the data. Is the data telling me I’m right or I’m on track, or I’m off track? And what do I need to change to have it be on track?

But most business owners, they’re so good at, they’re good at what they do. Even people who are going to start a business, which I know some of the people listening to this that you have are in that space. They’re typically really passionate about what it is that their business is going to do, what they do. They’re not great at all the business stuff that wraps around that, financials being one of them, really understanding the financials of the business and being able to understand and read that data as it applies to marketing and sales.

So, if you don’t know what your average transaction is, how are you going to lift it, which is the leverage point in the business. If you don’t know what your conversion rate is, how you’re going to lift it, and every business you ever ask will tell you their conversion rate is 80%, 75%, or 80%. It’s not. I guarantee you it’s not. But the minute you track it, you can figure out what it is and then you can lift it. So, that use of data in that way for meaningful either understanding of your customers or understanding the sales and marketing process better, understanding where your customers are experiencing a fabulous brand experience with you or not, is incredibly important. And I would say, yes, the vast majority of businesses don’t have a handle on the right data.

Sean Weisbrot:
So, then what would you say, for the average company, the most important data points would be to measure.

Ryll Burgin-Doyle:
So, I’m looking for what are the leverage points that are either going to have this business grow in a more easy and effective way, and or there might be things that are going to block that, so we have to handle them as well. But I’m looking for leverage points. And leverage points are things like our conversion rate, number of inquiries to actual quotes or to actual estimates, or to actual becoming customers, what they average, all your different customer levels or client levels and what they spend with you. And it doesn’t matter what type of business it is, from an IT company that I was just talking to, I was just working with a business that does massive flexi tanks. So not hard sided tanks, water tanks.

So, it doesn’t matter if your average sales is 300 grand or 30 grand. You need to know what it is and then you need to focus on driving that up. Your profitability points. There’s lots of different profit points. Yeah, there’s many to look at, the rate of returns, the rate of repeat sales, the average, the lifetime value of a client. There’s a lot, but every business will have its own version. But what you’re really looking for is what are the levers, what are the points in the business that would if I just tweak this, it will grow the business. Those are the numbers to be looking for.

Sean Weisbrot:
What is the most favorite part for you about doing this? You said it was growing businesses. Maybe you can go a little bit deeper and explain what part of this process is your most favorite.

Ryll Burgin-Doyle:
So, it’s probably two things for me. One is my most favorite part of the process is having someone figure out what they really want and then making sure that the vehicle they have called their business can actually deliver that for them. And here’s how, “I’m figuring out, well, if you just do this, this and this, then that’s going to happen.” And for most business owners and entrepreneurs, that is mind boggling because they’ve been looking at this thing and working on this thing, and it hasn’t given them what they wanted yet, fully in all areas. But when we stop and we think and we strategize and we come up with the plan, it suddenly becomes infinitely clear that it’s possible, because they can see exactly how to make it possible.

And the second part of what I love the most is just the joy and renewed hope and excitement that business owners and entrepreneurs get when they get really clear about that stuff. Because let’s face it, you’ve had a business, you’ve got another business now. Anyone in business is sort of a go getter type person. They’re not sitting around twiddling their thumbs. They’re committed. They’re up to something. They want something. And then, they get really busy and sometimes overwhelmed and don’t know which pathway to take. The minute they have that clarity again, they’re off and they’re out making stuff happen again inside an inspiring context, and they feel joyful again. It’s such a gift to be able to work with people as they go through that process.

Sean Weisbrot:
It’s funny. I don’t know why, but when you were talking about that, it reminded me. I’ve seen Hell’s Kitchen or Nightmare Hotel or whatever it is where, like, he goes in and he looks at everything that’s wrong. He tells them how they’re screwing up and how they could fix it. And by the end of it, they’re like, “Yeah, we’re going to do it. We’re going to change our business. We promise we’re going to change.”

And then, like, a few months later, he goes back and checks in on them. Some of them are successful in the change, and some of them have fallen back to the way they’ve done. And I’m sure you’ve probably had people you’ve worked with that said, “Okay, we’re planning on doing this,” and then maybe there isn’t a result. And it’s not your fault, it’s their fault for not changing.

Ryll Burgin-Doyle:
Yeah, absolutely. Well, if I was known for any kind of mantra, it would be your business is a reflection of you. Your business is a reflection of you. So, whatever stuff you have, that’s what I said before about your business will never outstrip you. So, if you haven’t handled something in yourself, it is going to show up. The biggest personal development program on the planet other than having kids is having a business. There is no better place to develop yourself as a person because all of your stuff is going to show up in reality in the business.

Sean Weisbrot:
That is fantastic.

Ryll Burgin-Doyle:
You are going to confront every belief you’ve ever had about money. You are going to confront every belief you’ve ever had about yourself. You’re going to confront every belief you’ve ever had about what’s possible, what’s not possible. You’re going to put a ceiling on yourself without even knowing you’re doing that. Then, you’re going to hit that ceiling and have to figure out how to break through that ceiling. You’re going to have to deal with people, the clients, the team, the suppliers, the funders, the banks. Oh, my Lord. There’s just nowhere else that you get stretched as hard other than being a parent. In my view, and I’ve been both. It’s also what is so incredibly exciting and rewarding.

You know, I was with probably 20 business owners this morning, and the general theme was, “Holy schmoly 2020 has been a tough year given what’s going on, but boy, have we grown.” And these are business owners that are starting out or business owners that are very well established. And there was a couple of them saying it was their best year or ever. And not necessarily financially, but because they feel like a completely different human where other stuff is now completely different and possible where it was not before. One of the most rewarding things is that personal growth and personal development that you experience inside being a business owner and entrepreneur.

Sean Weisbrot:
Yeah. And through Help a Reporter, which is how we met, I’ve met a lot of other people that had similar stories, like, 2020 has been really hard, but it has changed my life. For example, one guy’s name is Brett Downs. He was working for a company that helped people get back links for their website, and often, their clients would have them use Help a Reporter to get these backlinks, and his company that he was working for shut down. And he decided to take all of the clients he was working with and start working with them directly. And within a year, he now has multiple employees and makes tremendous amounts of money he never even imagined was possible. And he’s just trying to figure out how to keep it growing and make it make sense without going insane. So, I love meeting all these just random people around the world who have these incredible experiences that are so different from my own.

Sean Weisbrot:
I’m curious, what made you know that you wanted to spend your life doing this? What got you excited about entrepreneurship? When did you know? Who inspired you?

Ryll Burgin-Doyle:
I think my mum, my mother. Sounded very Aussie then didn’t, my mum? But it was my mom, really. So, I’m 50 and, so, my mum had her first business when I was three. So, if you imagine in 1973, she didn’t have any money. So, my father is an engineer, so he was doing that, and her and her best friend decided they were going to have a business. And so, they opened up. My mom used to be a model, so she opened up a fashion boutique and they went to all the fashion suppliers in our city and convinced them to give them the stock on consignment, which was not done.

So, for me, I started in grade one when I was six. I would, on occasion catch a cab from school to my mother’s business, which is unheard of, you wouldn’t ever do that now, but you think about the lack of support that she had. The child care structures that exist now didn’t exist then, so what they would do is one mum would have her best friend, had two sons, so one mom would have the three kids for three days a week while the other one was in the business, and then they swap and the other one would have the three kids for two days and the other one would go in. So, you know, I grew up in that environment and when I say she pretty much had businesses most of my life in one way, shape or form, and so I guess that just was in my blood from always, and so I went to uni to do a degree, not really because I wanted to go down a pathway, I guess, and then I just got very interested in, there’s got to be a better way to do business and I think it’s such an exciting opportunity. And the other thing I wanted to have my first business, I was 15, but I wasn’t allowed, so it’s just been in my blood all the time.

Sean Weisbrot:
Now, did you ever spend any time in her business as a kid? Were you like selling, you were selling things for her and all that?

Ryll Burgin-Doyle:
Yeah, all the time. So, when I was in my teens, for example, my part time job other than babysitting was at the shop and it was a high end by this time, this particular business that they had, my parents ended up having this business together and it was the first business my father had ever been involved in that we’d owned, otherwise, it had always been mum. So, I would work there on a Thursday night and a Saturday morning. And then, in school holidays, mum and dad would go and have a couple of days off and leave me to run the business.

So, I’d be 16, running the business while they were having a break, I was at school holidays. So yes, definitely. I’m very clear that that experience of being in those environments where you’re dealing with the public gave me training in being able to speak to anyone, anytime, about anything, being able to just quickly relate to someone. So that was the real gift from them.

Sean Weisbrot:
I totally agree about being put into this kind of adults’ world type thing because when I was in high school, I worked for my dad. He was a dentist. And so, a lot of what I did was in the front office calling insurance companies, verifying patients’ insurance, calling patients to confirm their appointments, saying hello to them, getting their charts, making small talk when they leave, collecting money and all that. That was in my teens, talking to people in their twenty’s, thirty’s, forty’s, fifty’s, sixty’s, seventy’s, eighty’s, ninety’s.

It gave me this incredible opportunity to spend a lot of time really talking to them. That also, I think, put me in a good position because at the same time I was also involved in a teen youth group and every semester I would be on the leadership board of the chapter, sometimes being like the treasurer or the vice president in charge of finding new members and then recruiting them, bringing them on and training them so that they understand how things work. I think all of those things combined really gave me not only the ability to move between different worlds, but also to not be afraid of expressing myself and learning more about other people and all that. I think that’s definitely one of the reasons why I’m in business now.

Ryll Burgin-Doyle:
I was on a student union as well at my university. My first sales and marketing role was I was the director of PR for our student body, Student Union. It was a good little practice, though. Good a little practice run.

Sean Weisbrot:
When I was in college, I never really had a job except for being like a summer camp counselor. I was very fortunate that my parents had paid for my college. When I was a kid, they prepaid for college and then they bought a townhouse so that I could live there and not have to pay rent and all that. And so, what I would do was it was a two bedroom, so I would rent out the other room. I’d have to find the person; I’d have to get them to give me the rent. I’d set the rates and all that, and then I would pay the bills every month with that money, and whatever was left over was the money that I could spend that month. And usually, it was like $150 and $200. This was 2004 to 2008. It wasn’t that long ago, and that didn’t really last very long, but I somehow found a way to make it work because I didn’t have to pay for rent, which was the most expensive thing, and I didn’t have to pay for school, so I didn’t have any student loan debt.

So, I was very fortunate that my parents set me up right in that regard, where a lot of my friends didn’t have any of that, and they are still, to this day, paying off their student loans. So, I’m very fortunate for my parents for giving me all of these experiences, and I hope that I’ll be able to do the same for my kids.

So, what is a question that I didn’t ask so far that you wish I’d ask?

Ryll Burgin-Doyle:
You can ask me about mindset.

Sean Weisbrot:
Okay, go for it.

Ryll Burgin-Doyle:
Well, I mean, this year in particular, people have asked me a lot about what should people be doing in Covid and even 2021. 2021 in my estimation, is not going to be a picnic either, probably even 2022. But the thing I’ve been working with clients on a lot this year has been three things. One is perspective. Two is strategy. And three is action.

So, perspective being really, really important. I’ll give you an example. So, for me, I was one of those people at the end of a little cheerleader for possibility in late 2019. I’m like, woohoo 2020 to 2030, it’s going to be the decade it delivers. I’ve called it that. I had a whole campaign and a webinar, the whole thing about the decade that delivers, that this was going to be it. And I’m very committed, and I actually still am, but I was very committed that for our clients and our community and my family and the larger people that we deal with, that this decade was going to be the decade that delivers.

And then in Australia, we had the bushfires, which were just unbelievable and tragic. And then, of course, we just started to come out of that and then Covid hit. So, for a minute there, I was like, “This 2020 business, there’s nothing decade that delivers about this.” And then, I got my perspective right. “Hang on a minute. Hang on. 2020 is one year out of ten, and 2020 is going to be what 2020 is.” I’ve been interviewing business owners every week through Covid, and the stats I have is 67% of businesses have been negatively affected in their revenue by Covid. 20% also have stayed the same, and 13% have grown. So, the vast majority of people 2020 is right off whatever it is, what it is. We all know what it’s been. So, if you think about it, though, what I’ve been saying to people is just, you got to think of it like this.

“We’ve got one year that’s like that, and then we’ve got nine years. Nine years to make this the decade that delivers. Absolutely can still be the decade that delivers.” It’s just what are you going to do in the next nine years to make that happen? And keeping your eye on that long term prize, we call it brightness of the future is part of having a healthy outlook and ability to deal with all the stresses that Covid has brought, that 2020 has brought. Because if you lose sight of that future and you don’t have that future to live into, it’s not going to be a great outlook when you’re just like this, head down, trying to deal with the challenges that 2020 has brought most businesses. So that perspective, that long term perspective, having that long term view is incredibly important to a healthy outlook, a healthy mindset. And remembering that business is a marathon, not a sprint. It’s always been a marathon. It’s never been a sprint.

And this year we just hit that; they call it the wall in the marathon world. We just had gone through a wall. That was not what we expected and that was harder than we ever thought. But now we’re on the other side of it, and now it’s about that long term perspective. Keeping your eye on that prize and remembering this is a marathon this year has taken resilience and stamina. So that’s the piece I work with people on around perspective and then strategy we’ve already talked about.

And then actions is very dangerous and very common for people through this year to be so focused on the short term, acute things they had to handle, which we all had to handle, that they make errors in judgement and they don’t take the right actions. There was a whole bunch of people that were in the wait and see, what I call the wait and see, hope and pray back. That’s not where you want to be. You want to be in the I’m on the front foot. I’ve got my own prize. I’m making decisions in this moment based on that long term context and what I have to handle. And I’m not going to wait and see. I’m going to get on with it. So, I guess for me, those three things are key to being able to have a powerful, positive mindset in the midst of all of this.

Sean Weisbrot:
I totally agree. Those things are really important in terms of perspective. I know a lot of people that I spoke with, they kept saying, “oh, my business, my business, what am I going to do?” And I was saying to them back in April, May, like, look, this is going to be 24 months. Just get over it. You need to stop thinking about life is going to come back. When are we going to go back to normal? And I just go like, that life is over. It’s never going to come back. Whatever the future looks like, it has nothing to do with what the past was. We may for the next decade be socially distancing and wearing masks, even if there’s no virus, because we’re afraid of another virus, who knows? But whatever happens, it’s not going to be that life. It’s never going to come back. Stop thinking about it, get over it, and start thinking about what you’re going to do about it.

And the second point related to perspective is that I think it’s actually been great because you see, in times of turmoil, the weak businesses flush out and the strong businesses thrive. And in particular in my sector, in remote work, it has become one of the most important industries in the last year just because of the virus. And where people were starting to think about AR and VR being something that could potentially be important in five or ten years. We’re kind of playing around with it now. It’s now suddenly much more important and much more viable, and a lot more money is going into it.

So, a lot of industries are basically being disrupted on a very short time scale because of the virus. And so, I think it’s a great opportunity to reinvent your business in a very short period of time. And as you said, taking action, while dangerous, is also something that can help you survive or fall apart very quickly. And so, I also know people who say, “I’m going to just wait and see this and that.” And I said, “You know what? We need to cut our costs in half, and we need to figure out a way to survive,” because we’re still developing the product. It’s not like we have revenue or customers to fall back on.

We have a limited runway, and we have to make sure that we can get to launch. And so, we cut salaries, and we let go of a few people and some contractors, and we did what we had to do. But here it is almost a year later, and we’re thriving very well. So, we made the decision we had to make, and we made it on April 1. We were probably one of the first companies that I know of that acted, and it was the right thing to do. And I think a lot of people who thought, “oh, it’s just the flu” in May, June, July, “oh, it’s just the flu, it’ll go away.” And so, their businesses may not be here anymore, or they may have lost out to other competitors because they weren’t taking action. They weren’t thinking about the perspective of what they need to do to survive. They weren’t creating a strategy to do it, and then they weren’t taking action on that, and they lost out.

Ryll Burgin-Doyle:
Absolutely. And that’s all perspective, right? You can see it as the age of opportunity or the age of loss. It’s the age of opportunity. It’s so few moments in time that you get such big changes in consumer behavior. Which mean opportunities have opened up, if you pay attention. Unbelievable. Unbelievable to be alive at this time and in business at this time. This is an unbelievable age of opportunity. If you are willing to look at it like that and then get your strategy right and take the of redactions to tap into that. But you’re not going to be able to do that if you’re doing that whole wait and see what was mean stuff. It’s got to be you got to go, okay, where is the opportunity in this thing? I have to find the opportunity in this thing.

Sean Weisbrot:
Yeah. And the opportunity is all around us. If you look at the Great Depression in 1929 to 19, let’s say 36 or so, the people who made the most money were the ones who had cash ready to buy assets that had fallen apart, that had been depressed. People lost their homes, lost their businesses. That was one of the greatest opportunities for wealth transfer in our known lifetime. And 2008 was another example of that. Whenever you see the bottom of a market cycle, that’s when the smart people have their money ready, when all of the other 99% of the people lose their money. And then people wonder, why is there 1%? Why are they so successful? It’s because they have a different mindset than everybody else. And when they see things going down, they’re not selling. They’re waiting to buy. They’re the ones that know how to create this wealth generation.

Sean Weisbrot:
So, what is the most important thing you’ve learned in your life that hopefully everyone can learn from?

Ryll Burgin-Doyle:
That’s a big question. The most important thing, personally, for me, it is I’m having a focus on being of value, being of service, being a contribution. If you come at life from that perspective as a person, if you come at that business from that perspective of, how can I add more value? Whom can I add more value to? How can I be of more service? How can I be a greater contribution for my market, for the people I’m here to serve? The business will grow. So that’s probably the thing I’ve learned over and over and over again that the more you’re of service, the more you add value, the better the business will be and the better your quality of life will be. Have your attention on others, put your attention on others, and you get what you want.

Sean Weisbrot:
I totally agree. I think people sometimes are too worried about themselves or what other people think about them, or all sorts of negative garbage just running around in their mind, preventing them from being more realistic about life in the world. So, hopefully that will remind people to be more mindful of themselves.

Sean Weisbrot:
So, what is the thing closest to you right now that people should know about? I guess that whether you have a podcast or a blog or something that you’re doing that you want to draw attention to.

Ryll Burgin-Doyle:
Just go to my website, which is realburgindoyle.com. There is an opportunity there to watch a webinar where I talk about a nine-point strategy for massive growth. And there’s also materials there where you can download workbooks and all sorts of cool stuff.

Sean Weisbrot:
Great. So, all that will be in the show notes at welivetobuild.com/listen. Brilliant. Thank you. It’s funny that you mentioned about entrepreneurship being a marathon, not a sprint, because that’s my motto for this podcast. So, it’s something that I say at the very end of every episode. So, I’ll say that now. Entrepreneurship is a marathon, not a sprint. So, take care of yourself every day. Thank you very much, Ryll Burgin-Doyle.