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August 18

001 — Mike Took A 6-Month Vacation While His Businesses Grew

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In this episode, Christina interviewed Mike Harvey. He owns four different businesses and was able to take 6 months to travel to spend time with his wife and kids while his businesses continued to grow.

Let’s look at how he did it.

Questions and Answers

  • 00:23 What do you do?
  • 02:07 What did you do, where did you go?
  • 03:36 What goes into preparing a team?
  • 04:45 How did you manage your contacts?
  • 06:04 What key roles inside your company enabled this?
  • 07:19  How long have you been in business?
  • 07:41 What did it look like while you were away?
  • 08:47 How did you prepare your employees in advance?
  • 09:21 Is there any other advice that you have?
  • 10:57 Where would someone go to hire you?
  • 11:25 Join ETA

Links and Resources


Read Full Transcript

Hi, I'm Christina Hooper and I am here with another entrepreneur taking action, Mike Harvey.

He did something really cool that I know a lot of us want to do.

He took a six month vacation from his business and I'm going to get the scoop today on how he pulled it off.

So Mike, before I start picking your brain, tell us a little bit about you, what you do.

All right.

Yeah, so I've, man, been in, business 20 plus years across various different industries and launched different businesses, exited businesses, helped other people launch businesses and yeah.

So currently we own four different businesses.

Three of them are service-based businesses.

So we own a, IT services company. We own a cyber security service company. We own a digital marketing agency, and then we have a coaching business as well.

The coaching business is where I spend the bulk of my time. Because that, you know, requires some interaction with myself. 

But. The, business has the coaching part of that I've been doing for years.

Right.

But I only in the past you know, six, eight months have I become like, super intentional about that and made it its own brand and separated all that out.

So now what I do is I help entrepreneurs and other business owners figure out how to stop being the technician in their company and really lead their company forward so that they can, you know, take a vacation at least a week or two and shut off their cell phones and live the life that they really desired when they got into business in the first place.

I think that is absolutely awesome.

So not only did you do it for yourself, but you actually go out and

help other people do the same thing. So this is going to be an absolutely amazing interview and I know it.

So like you took a six month vacation. What did you do? Where did you go?

You know, I traveled around the U. S. a lot.

Which is kind of interesting, but because it, because it's COVID right, it was during COVID. I live generally in California. Right.

But I was like, well, California's locked down, so we're going to get out.

So, that's what we did.

We, you know, we still have, and had our home base, you know, in California, but we spent a lot of time outside of the state for those reasons.

You know, we didn't want to deal with all, all of that. My wife was going crazy and everything else. So, I said, you know, let's figure out how we can do this.

And I had been kind of preparing for this you know, taking that break for gosh, at least a year prior to that. And, you know, I did the exact same things that I've shown other businesses that I do for, you know, years.

And you know, now we intentionally do through the Business Growth Domination brand.

Make sure we had a solid team in place. Make sure we had solid systems, processes and tools.

And we had, you know, the strategy of course was already existing, but we had a solid strategy for how that business can function without me.

And allow me to just be the leader of the company rather than the doer or the technician that so many business owners get stuck in.

Let's speak to that for a little bit. Like what goes into preparing a team? 

I mean, they obviously had to keep everything running while you were away. Like, how do you even go about approaching building that kind of team? I know that's a big loaded question, but highlights.

Right.

So, you know, the way I look at at you know, of course as CEO, you know, there's leadership and, you know, you need to lead your team.

And I never stopped leading them from a perspective of, you know, show my face, make sure that they get, you know, some interaction from me and encouragement.

And really, I see as the CEO, your role is culture, vision, and key relationships.

So, that third part always stayed.

Right. I always made sure to cultivate and keep those relationships. As far as the tasks go, depending on the department, right?

I had people in place for sales, marketing, operations, and finance, and not just, you know, the people, but also leadership in those positions as well.

Okay. So what about like your customers and stuff and the people that you would interact with? How did you stay in touch with them? Or how did you handle that?

You know, people that were used to you'd be in there all the time and now, you know, even if you are checking emails, I'm guessing you're not doing it as frequently while you're gone.

Right. So again, that was that whole, you know, year prior of me making sure of handing off those relationships, making sure that the customers were already used to not interacting with me a whole ton prior to that.

So when that time came, it was already in place. It wasn't like, I just decided, well, business is functioning in the centerpiece of everything, and tomorrow I'm going to go away and, you know, not talk to anybody.

So they already had a pretty good relationship with somebody on your team. They knew who to contact if they needed something.

Exactly.

I always make a point to elevate my people and, you know, I make a point with any clients or whatever. Hey I can do this for you, but, this is so-and-so's department and they're going to do such a better job of taking care of you on that than I'm going to do, because they're still solely responsible for that.

Whereas I'm responsible for relationships and leading the company.

And what do you think are some of the key roles that you have in place inside your company that helped enable this?

Like who are your internal leaders? What kind of jobs are they doing?

So, the finance and making sure that I had a structure there, right? Not just a bookkeeper paying the bills, but someone overseeing that and making decisions in that regard as well. Right.

Marketing, sales, the same thing, making sure that there was leadership and not just doers, but actual people that, you know, to borrow a term from the network marketing industry, like my downline, if you will, right?

Yeah. I've heard people bucket them into thinkers and doers, as well as another term, I've heard used a lot.

It's like you have to have thinkers in certain positions and you need doers in other positions.

I mean, it sounds like you already kind of, even before you started looking at this, you already had a good team of doers.

Cultivating your thinkers was really what you spent that year doing. Is that right?

Yeah.

And again, we've been doing these businesses for a long time, right? So this was not something we just flipped a switch overnight.

How long have you been in business working on steadily building up to this point? 

Consistently in those businesses, you know, anywhere from Five to 15 years.

Oh, wow.

Awesome.

That's pretty cool. I know people that have been in business for 20, 30 years, they still can't, you know, take time away. What did that look like while you were away?

I mean, you mentioned kind of having to check in, did you have regular, weekly check-ins were you answering emails?

What did that look like while you were gone for six months?

Man, I gotta think back a little bit, but, I always stayed available to my leadership team if they wanted to call me or they needed something, but I made sure that they were equipped to where generally they didn't.

Right.

So I would, from a relationship point, check in on them to make sure they're all good. But outside of that, you know, I made a point not to be super involved in the day-to-day.

Just letting them know, like reinforcing that you trusted them and reinforcing them.

Yeah.

And equipping them and empowering them to do their job.

You know, as CEO prior to that is building the trust relationship and then removing the bottlenecks and the things that stop things from moving forward.

So they were empowered to make decisions and, you know, things like that. That's a really good point too. Like, so while you were still there.

What were you doing differently to make sure that they felt prepared and felt confident when you were going to be gone? Like how did you prepare them in advance?

Well, communication's big, right?

Always big.

Kind of let everyone know what's going on, but I started treating that as if I were gone, you know, quite a ways prior to actually being gone,

They kind of got to dip their toes in the water and do a test run while

you were still there as a backup. 

Exactly.

That's really cool.

I mean, I know I've asked you a bajillion questions.

We've gotten lots of really good information about this.

Is there anything else that you just think, like any advice or anything you'd want to share to somebody that's sitting here going, man, I want to be you. I want to take six months off. I want to build this team.

Like, I know you said it's something you help with too.

So pitch that too tell us where to go, if they want to just hire you to make it happen.

But what's some final what kind of tips?

Yeah, so really, doing this boils down to three things, right?

You got to have a good strategy for how you're going to run your business or how your business is going to run like independent of you.

So you can be that visionary, that leader and, you know, having a, to borrow a term from EOS, if anyone's familiar with that.

It is, you know, having that implementer in place.

Right.

And not that we run strictly EOS, but we do borrow some things from there, and some things from some other places and just personal experience and all of that. But you gotta have a scalable strategy for your team to implement.

You have to have a solid team of not just doers, but the thinkers.

Like you mentioned, Christina leadership to lead that company foward.

And number three is you need to have the tools and processes in place so that your team can implement that strategy.

So, those are really the three big, big components of that. And then there's a whole bunch of sub things that break down in there.

There's a lot more to it, but that's at a high level, what it takes.

And if somebody wanted to just hire you, where would they go for that?

The best place to get in touch with me is go into our Facebook group and you can get there by mikeharvey.co/group. And then, you know, we'll make a point to connect with everybody who joins there.

And I'll pop that link in the show notes and wherever you're watching this video from that link, will be hanging around somewhere.

But again, it was mikeharvey.co/group.

So really great nuggets here, guys.

I know, like, I'm one of these people that's been digging towards making a scalable business that I can step away from. And I've heard a lot of this advice over and over again from other experts like Mike.

It's something you just gotta dig in and do, get that advice. Join his group because you're just going to keep getting more and more nuggets.

You know, Mike, thank you so much for taking this time today to share your insights and experience with our audience and guys to all the entrepreneurs that are listening to this right now, this is your moment to decide to take action.

That's our whole thing at ETA, Entrepreneurs Taking Action.

Join our community, learn from experts like Mike.

We're bringing cool people in all the time to teach you guys things, to answer questions, to help you advance and to get where you can enable your lifestyle with your business instead of letting your business run your life.

So that's the goal guys, and I'll see you here again at the next interview.

Bye.

And until then have a great time.

Bye.

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