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Crucial Conversations: The Financial Impact Has to Hurt

Building Teams

What the heck is a “Crucial Conversation?”

As the name would suggest, a crucial conversation is a conversation that is crucial to the definition of your life or the life of your business. It has the power to put you on a totally new path or strengthen the path you’re currently on. And, it just so happens to be an awesome book I read a long time ago, too. 

I find myself having crucial conversations every. single. day. as a business owner and leader and most of them are related to the growth and development of our team, which, if you know me at all, you know is where my passion truly lies. 

I believe that learning to be comfortable with crucial conversations is a key skill every leader should have because, ultimately, these are the best way to get your team aligned with the direction of your business and ensure every person is as invested in the mission as you are. 

Today’s Crucial Conversation: The Financial Impact Has to Hurt

While I find myself having crucial conversations every day — sometimes multiple times a day — not all of them stand out to me in a meaningful way. But, this one that I’m about to share with you all did stand out, and I think it’s a great example of the true impact of these conversations.

Allow me to set the scene… One of our team members was recently put in charge of a brand-new initiative. Exciting, right?! And, while this team member has worked on the core business, this is their first opportunity to build out something new. It put them outside their comfort zone and forced them to take risks, and one of those risks they took is a financial one.

In our business, when we give a new opportunity to an existing team member, we don’t pay them for the new thing as if they’ve already done it. Instead, we pay them what they were making or, in some cases, even less depending on their updated roles and responsibilities. It may seem harsh, but knowing that the success of the initiative could be the difference between making good money and making great money is often enough to get our team members invested in building and growing. 

So, this team member is about a month into building out this new initiative, and the financial impact is starting to hurt. They’re starting to question themselves and their gut instincts. They’re not enjoying the work as much and it’s making them want to give up. 

It’s always emotional when these conversations happen because I never want to see my team members suffer. But, I’ve seen time and time again how the financial impact can hurt at one moment and be completely worth it in the end. I know that team members have to take risks in order to get to the next level. 

In this specific case, I know that this initiative has the opportunity to be a $1 million or $100 million arm of our business. But, it isn’t going to get there on its own. It will require working through the challenges, deeply understanding the offer, and paying attention. 

It’s like becoming a business owner inside our business

When we task a team member with building out a new initiative inside of Cardone Ventures, I like to compare the experience to being a business owner. New business owners are going through these exact challenges on their own, but they don’t have the safety net to fall back on like our team members do. So, a little financial impact is really the only way to motivate our team. 

The Lesson of the Day: Let it Hurt

This is where the crucial conversation really makes a difference; when a team member is feeling discouraged and is starting to feel that financial impact. It’s my job to put it all in perspective because that can be hard to do when you’re in the thick of this pain. 

My advice to this team member? Let it hurt. There has to be an evolution, and this is what they’ve been wanting. They had proven themselves and were seeking more responsibility, and this is the shot they were craving. Instead of letting the financial hurt get them down, they need to let it motivate them to keep on shooting. It’s not my job to come in and shoot the shot. 

As difficult as it may have been to hear, this particular crucial conversation ended well. It felt like the reset they needed to really sit in these feelings of discomfort and come up with the best path forward to keep the momentum going. What happens now? How do we move on from here? How do we get from a place of financial hurt to financial comfort? 

In fact, this crucial conversation ended so well that this team member actually recommended I speak about it on my podcast, which is exactly what I did and what inspired this blog post. 

Bottom line? Crucial conversations lead to a successful business

While I think everyone should be comfortable with crucial conversations — even ones that have that extra “punch” of emotion or pain behind them —, business leaders in particular should seek out these conversations because it’s the easiest way to make a lasting impact on the team and, therefore, the business.

All business owners, myself included, want their businesses to flourish and prosper. And, sometimes, you have to endure a bit of pain to get to where you want to be. I’ve felt it myself, and those moments of choosing not to give up have always worked out for me. 

So, if you have team members right now who you’re putting new responsibilities on and you’re scaling your business, be ready for these opportunities. Set up some guardrails and a safety net to allow your team to take risks, but don’t fall victim to the trap of swooping in to fix the pain when it inevitably happens. Growth happens in times of struggle, and it has to freakin’ hurt sometimes. 

If you haven’t already, I highly recommend you check out my podcast, Building Billions, where I cover topics like this and more as my team and I continue building a billion-dollar business. Check it out wherever you stream your podcasts!