Exiting Your Business without Exiting
Exiting Your Business without Exiting
In this, The Faces of Business, The Real Jason Duncan, Founder, TRJD Enterprises, talks about exiting your business without exiting. TRJD Enterprises upskills business owners to exit without selling their companies.
The Real Jason Duncan has been a business owner for more than twelve years. He is a multi-award-winning entrepreneur. Jason, an educator-turned-entrepreneur, now runs The Exiter Club. This training platform teaches entrepreneurs how to live The Exit Lifestyle, using a method he calls Exit without Exiting, which focuses on four core principles that we can use to declutter tedious business operations. His mission is to assist entrepreneurs in achieving the desired results from their businesses without having to be present on-site every day.
Damon excitedly welcomes The Real Jason Duncan to the Livestream. Damon invites Jason’s comments on his background. He says he wanted to design cars for a living. Even he was accepted to two art colleges as an industrial designer. That was the plan. Conversely, he grew up in a religious “family very much dedicated to following Jesus.” In his late teens, he went to a summer camp as a counselor. There, at night, he looked up at the stars. Like them, he decided to help and guide the fate of others.
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“I ended up going into ministry school,” he continues. After spending 13 years in youth and pastoral ministries, he felt tired. He returned to school, got a master’s in education, and started teaching American history to eighth grade. The school did not renew his teaching contract for the next school year because they had to cut teaching positions. “And that’s when I became an accidental entrepreneur and started a business in 2010. And my life has been very different ever since then.”
Damon asks him what business he decided to go into. He says, it is again “a kind of a funny story.” In 2010, his friend, an older gentleman and a former business owner, whom he knew through his church associations, got the idea for Hydrogen Generator. His friend knew that Jason was good at sales. Because during his ministry career, Jason had been involved in life and health insurance sales to supplement his income.
In one year, both partners developed some disagreements and parted ways. Jason kept the business. He told his wife to “do something different.” So on August 12th, 2011, he pitched “the pitch of the life” at a hospital in Middle Tennessee and bagged the contract. It turned out to be a three-year $2.3 million contract. And it was an “unbelievable start” to his career as an entrepreneur.
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To the readers’ delight, he still owns it. He isn’t involved in the day-to-day operations. It has a team of four vice presidents that run it. Similarly, a CEO comes in and manages the day-to-day high-level operations.
Moreover, he says that he did not exit to coach people on exiting. Rather, he did it because he believed God had created him for something else. He thinks he is a born teacher. Teaching is his “superpower.” Rest assured, his “business has grown quite significantly.”
Jason adds that since he was an accidental entrepreneur, he had to manage many things independently. He considered it a full-fledged job. “It was a pure necessity of survival.” They didn’t hire any employees for three years. He worked on vendor contracts. He worked as a construction crew, installer, licensing, banking, accounting, and salesperson. “I did everything, and for me, it was just a matter of survival,” he says. It wasn’t until 2017 that he finally installed a CEO in his place and exited without exiting.
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Once BJ Howard, Jason’s business coach, suggested that they sell their business. Not because they were running into losses but because they were doing well and outperforming all small and medium industries. “We were nationally recognized,” remarks Jason. They weighed in the idea of exiting their business.
However, soon he realized that his company had the potential to fetch him an eight-figure amount. It was “making really good money.” He dived deeper. He critically examined systems and processes. He contemplated on delegation. He hired the right people for the right job. Slowly and steadily, he delegated all his powers. Now he is more like an investor than an owner.
Damon now turns the course of discussion to Jason’s TEDx Talk with special reference to “Ironic Prison of Entrepreneurship.” He says he “was studying it and doing it.” It is all about delegation. He has developed a system for his teams where they don’t need him in decision-making. He started executive leadership team (ELT) meetings. The Covid-19 Pandemic had its setbacks. But they emerged even stronger.
Jason uncovers three principles of the exit lifestyle. Firstly, the owners set the vision for the company because that is their responsibility. The second is to communicate that vision to everyone on the team. The owner and the founder’s job is to set and communicate the vision. The third rule is to build the asset and generate as much money as possible. So if the founder will commit to those three things and will not get involved in items that aren’t related to setting the vision, communicating the concept, and building the asset, that business not only is going to be worth more money, but the lifestyle of that founder is going to improve to the place that they wanted to begin with.
Damon adds that the people running 9- or 10-digit companies are good delegators because they can’t be doing all this. He stresses the importance of asset building. To him, that’s one of the things a lot of entrepreneurs get stuck in. Suppose someone truly wants to be that founder. In that case, asset accumulation will “go to the next level and level beyond that.” The bigger a business gets, the more we need to be able to build the asset and innovate and drive innovation more than ever.
Jason complains that entrepreneurs don’t use their brains because they are too busy. To make his business run smoothly, he has a dedicated day for strategic thinking and planning. He takes no calls, no meetings, and “everything’s shut down on the books.” He gets a whiteboard and makes notes. “And if anybody walked in that day, they might think I’m not working.” In reality, Jason is “probably doing the best work.”
He formulates the next big strategy. He evaluates the next big opportunity. He has “had some of the biggest breakthroughs on those days.” One of the things he coaches people to do is come up with belief statements about “what do you believe about why you’re doing what you’re doing and communicate that?” He claims, “Now that Damon makes my business as a coaching business worth more money because now I’ve crystallized just the things that I stand for and what I believe in.”
While talking about his coaching style, Jason remarks that he coaches individually so that clients would pay him a monthly fee; they would meet a couple of times. He has been working “as a responsive coach.” He used to strategically work with them through their projects, whatever they were working on. In case of any problem, he would help based on my knowledge, expertise, experience, and perspective. They would implement it.
After learning about the exit coaching from Jason, Damon asks him about his teaching plans. Jason describes that his long-term goal is to develop a whole network of certified coaches that can help all his clients. Furthermore, Jason introduces Dr. Justin Mosley, a mindset and high-performance mindset coach. He’s part of his Exeter Club. He also speaks in his workshops.
At the end of the discussion, Jason comments on the American identity crisis that is “wrapped up in our business, or our job.” He says our culture is partly Western and partly local. To work on people’s identity crises, he would like to have a certified life coach.
The conversation ends with Damon thanking Jason for his time.
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Damon Pistulka, Jason Duncan
Damon Pistulka 00:00
Welcome once again to the faces of business. I’m your host, Damon Pistulka. With me today, I have none other than the real Jason Duncan. Jason. Thanks for being here today.
Jason Duncan 00:14
I’m glad to be here. Man, you were just on one of my labs yesterday. So we’re spending a lot of time together these days. Yeah.
Damon Pistulka 00:21
Yeah, that’s, that’s for sure. We didn’t even plan it like that, but it worked out. So today, we’re gonna be talking about something that you’re helping people do every day, every minute thinking about it, trying to help people and that’s exiting your business without exiting. That is right. So man, Jason, let’s start off. First of all, with a little bit about your background. And we’ll talk about your TEDx speech. We’ll talk about your other businesses and stuff. And let’s just start out and talk about your background. Because you didn’t you didn’t go to college thinking you were going to be a business owner or coach or anything like that. Let’s just start. Start back there.
Jason Duncan 01:03
No, I wanted to be when I was a kid, I wanted to design cars for a living, I’m always like cars. As a matter of fact, if I turn the camera around, there’s probably no less than two dozen model cars and motorcycles. In my office. I’ve always been a car guy, I love cars. And I wanted to design cars. So I, I got accepted to two art colleges, it was going to be an industrial designer. That was the plan. But I also I grew up in a family very much dedicated to following Jesus. And we were very involved in our church and I went to church camp as a kid every single summer. And I even started, when I was old enough, I started being a counselor at camp as my as my teenage years.
In the summer between my junior and senior year of high school, I remember going to camp one summer as a counselor, and had this experience where I was, we were like, all the counselors are up at night, after all the campers have gone to bed. And we’re just talking late at night looking up at the stars and laying on her back out in the field next to the fire pit. And I remember feeling like having a sense of like this is what I want to feel like every day, for the rest of my life.
I want to and what I equated that to in my young 17 year old brain was if I serve other people, if I’m helping other people, this is what I’ll feel like. So that’s so I made a decision kind of right then and there that I was going to go into youth ministry, I changed everything about what I wanted to do as a career because I knew that designing cars as much as I love them, probably not gonna give me that same feeling. So I ended up going into ministry school or got a degree in youth ministry spent 13 years in pastoral ministry, and thought I wouldn’t be doing it for the rest of my life.
But I got sick of it, it couldn’t get to the place where I just couldn’t do it anymore. And for people that are watching and listening who grew up in churches, and kind of you probably kind of know what I’m talking about, it just got to the point where I was tired of the machine that has still loved Jesus, nothing to do with him. But it’s like the machine I was not interested in anymore. So I went back to school, got a master’s in education, started teaching eighth grade American history, and fell in love with again, teaching and that, that really that close feeling of being with kids every day teaching serving.
And I wouldn’t be doing that still to this day, had it not been for the great recession coming out of Oh 809. And I didn’t my teaching contract didn’t get renewed the next school year because they had to cut teaching positions, even though I was the best teacher in the county, according to all test scores, etc. And I didn’t have tenure, last got hired. And that made me that’s when I became an accidental entrepreneur started a business in 2010. And my life has been very different ever since then.
Damon Pistulka 03:47
So it is very interesting. Speaking with business owners, as you and I do daily, how many accidental entrepreneurs are really are drew out of necessity out of a be put into a situation that they always their only option. So 2010 You’re you’re an accidental entrepreneur, how did you decide what business you’re gonna go into?
Jason Duncan 04:19
So that’s a kind of a funny story. I had a friend of mine in 2010. He was an older gentleman that we had known through our church, just associations. And he was a former business owner, and he had one of the largest ethanol steels and all of the Southeast, and his business had failed. He had fallen on hard times, but he was still this mad scientist kind of guy. He really knew how to put like, make stuff just in there.
And so I didn’t really know that about him until one day in February I think was February late February of 2010. He called me and I was still teaching school at the time, because my contract didn’t get renewed until the alep, the next school year. Yeah. But so he comes to me and he says, Hey, Jason, I’ve got this idea for Hydrogen Generator, you’re really you got to get to gab, you’re good at sales.
Because I had also during my ministry career had been involved in life and health insurance sales as a way to supplement income, because you’re good at sales. Like let’s start this business and create this Hydrogen Generator. And we started this business called future vision, energy really against my desires. I didn’t want to quit teach, and I never intended to go into business. But he was persistent. And we did it. And it was kind of a weekend and night thing, we worked on it.
And it was interesting and cool. And I didn’t know anything about what we were building. It was neat. But I was just the grunt, helping him do it, even though it was kind of my business, because I was the one that got the money instead of set up the LLC. And all I can say, well, when the teaching thing quit, like when I knew the following spring 2011, when I knew I wasn’t going to be teaching in the fall of 2011. I just looked at what I took stock of what was available. And so this is kind of one of the keys to success that I teach is preparation, how are you prepared to be successful in and I was looking at what I’m prepared to be successful?
And I said, Well, I have this company called future vision, energy. It’s around energy. But I don’t really I’m not really into the alternative energy thing, but I bet in energy conservation, what could I do in that vein, and keep this business going? So I started looking for ideas and LED lighting at that time, was super early on, in the industry. And I thought, You know what, I could do this, I could sell LED lighting. So that was the decision I made is like, I already have this energy thing. And my partner business partner wasn’t interested in it at all thought it was.
It didn’t think it was a dumb idea. But he wasn’t into it. So we parted ways. I kept the business. And I told my wife, I said, maybe if I don’t get a contract, don’t make any money by August the 15th. I’ll do something different. And that date is important, because that was the last day I was getting paid from the state as a teacher. Yeah. And so on August the 12th of 2011. I pitched the pitch of my life at a hospital here in Middle Tennessee, and we won the contract, it turned out to be a three year $2.3 million contract. And it was an unbelievable start to my career as an entrepreneur.
Damon Pistulka 07:24
Yeah. That’s awesome. I love the founder stories, you know, out of the necessity, you created a business and your business is still running today.
Jason Duncan 07:37
Yeah, yeah, I still own it. I’m not involved in day to day operations. I have a four team of four vice presidents that run it. And I’ve got a CEO that comes in and manages day to day stuff, like from a high level. And, you know, I still own it, but I’m not involved at all. And that’s the way I like it.
Damon Pistulka 07:53
Yeah, that’s good stuff. Because you’re living what you’re teaching people to do.
Jason Duncan 07:58
Yeah, well, that’s why I do what I do now as a coach is when I exited. I didn’t exit that business to become a coach to teach other people how to do it. I did it because I just knew that that wasn’t what God put me on earth for it’s like there’s something else to this life for the need working 80 hours a week selling LED lighting projects and running electrical contracting cruise. There’s got to be something else. I didn’t know what it was I went through probably a four month identity crisis where I was really didn’t know what the heck I was because I had introduced myself as the president and CEO of this company for so long. Now really wasn’t so who am I?
And then it kind of occurred to me through the process of just talking to friends and other entrepreneurs and commiserating with my business coaches and consultants, you know, what am I going to do? And they said, Well, I bet other people would want to do what you did you exit without exiting, I bet they would want to learn how to do that. And I went, Wait a minute. I’m good at teaching that. That’s the thing. That’s my superpower. So let me do that. And sure enough, it’s worked out in my business has grown quite significantly.
Damon Pistulka 09:02
Let’s talk about that a little bit. Because when you set your business up how good Were you really setting it up in the initial for you to be ready for exit when you wanted to?
Jason Duncan 09:16
You’re sorry about the lighting company, the lighting company? Yeah. No, it was a job man. It was pure necessity of survival. So I was the chief everything. So we didn’t hire our first employee. And for gosh, three years. So I was working at vendor contracts. I was working construction crews, installers, licensing, banking, accounting, sales. I did everything and for me, it was just a matter of survival. I wanted to do it all.
And it’s because I was accidental entrepreneur. I didn’t know any better. I didn’t know you shouldn’t do that. I didn’t know the stat that you shared with me yesterday that The valuation of the business is 50% less when the owner is involved. And I didn’t know that it didn’t, it didn’t even occur to me. I was just surviving. And it wasn’t until 2017 that I finally somebody put the smell and salt in front of me and I started waking up like, way men and this is not the way this is supposed to go.
Damon Pistulka 10:19
Yeah, so it was seven years. It was seven years in your business before you do decided I gotta change something here.
Jason Duncan 10:27
Yeah. And it was a rude awakening to because. And we could get into a lot of this stuff. But I had a my original business partner, we parted ways. And then when I started the lighting company, I brought in a different guy to kind of be mentor, which I think is a terrible reason to bring a business partner on, you can get mentorship, you can pay for that you don’t have equity. But anyway, I brought him in, to kind of mentor and help. And he actually had the contact at that first hospital. So to his credit, I mean, he did yeah, it helped me.
So there, it wasn’t that he had provided no value. The whole long dramatic story behind that whole thing. But anyway, I wanted to hire business coach early, when I didn’t even know they existed. But when I heard that they existed, I’ll be there as coaches for what I’m doing. I thought only coaches coach football, baseball, I did another recruit. I heard life coaches, but I didn’t know their business. I didn’t know that such a thing.
We need one. And my business partner who was older than me had been very successful in his own right. We’re smart enough. We don’t need a business coach. So for seven years, I just acquiesced. Even though I was the majority owner of the business, I was the CEO, I was the day to day guy. I just acquiesce to what he thought. And then when 2017 I just said, you know, dammit, I’m hiring a business coach, I don’t, we’re doing this.
We need it. It’s not that we’re suffering, we’re actually making a lot of money. I mean, we were pulling in a lot of profit through those years. And when I heard that business coach sat down and got through the first initial onboarding. And it was he who first pointed out to me that I was trapped in my own business. And he was the first guy go, you know, like, this is a job for you. Right? And I didn’t even hire him to tell me that that wasn’t even the purpose. I just wanted to make my business better. And that started my whole process of thinking rethinking should not be the daily guy. I don’t need to be involved in this thing.
Damon Pistulka 12:18
Yeah, yeah. And you know, when you hear we Okay, so you hear it? Because you’d heard it before then Right? You’d heard it before then the whole thing you’ve probably read the E Myth, and there are a gazillion other books as they work on your business, not in your business, all this kind of stuff.
But you know, you’re paying somebody to help you with your business. And when that coach turns around and says exactly what you knew you needed to do, but just didn’t do. It’s like, Hey, you can’t eat, I can’t eat for burgers, if I want to try to lose weight, right? I can’t do that. I gotta cut it back to one or whatever. So what? What made you go over the edge and say, I’m in on this, I’m gonna change this.
Jason Duncan 13:11
I don’t, I don’t remember any one single thing other than this, this one conversation. I can point two. So I was talking to my coach at the time BJ, his name is BJ Howard. He has since passed away. Very, very sad story. But, when I was talking to BJ and in, when I became aware, awareness is the key to recovery for everything. If you’re going to have a rock holism or drug addiction, sex, you got to be aware of it.
And so as I was coming into this awareness, kind of waking up smelling salts, I was waking up to all that I’m trapped by first response was, let’s sell the company because we were profitable. We had been we had one, Inc 5000 We were one of the fastest growing privately held companies in the country. We were nationally recognized. We were profitable, good.
Everything. Everything looked good on paper. Now we weren’t doing you know, eight. We weren’t doing eight figures. We’re still doing we’re high seven figure company. But yeah, but we we he said Jason, it, it ain’t worth anything. What do you mean, it’s not worth anything? We pulled in like a million dollars last year in profit. I mean, it was crazy. A
Damon Pistulka 14:20
lot of money. Yeah. A lot of money. Yeah, he’s gotta be worth something. It’s
Jason Duncan 14:24
gotta be worth something. And he’s like, No, it’s not. And he started explaining why. And I said, Well, let’s try to sell it anyway. And so we toyed with that concept for probably a month and realize that this is a fool’s errand. Because in order and you know this better than I do to prep the business for sale, would have taken three to five years to get to get the books the right way to get everything corrected that we didn’t do, right. For seven years, it would have taken another three, maybe five to prep it and I don’t think entrepreneurs understand I know you do because it’s what you do every day?
And so I was like, Okay, what are what are the other options and he didn’t really have one, he because the exit that exiting thing, at least the way I teach it didn’t exist at that time.
And so I just started marinating on well, how do I set up the systems and processes? How do I delegate? And that’s what I did I started deep dive into delegation what that means, really invested under an understanding that and started testing out ways to delegate hiring the right people investing in the right people, systems and processes. I got my sales system, systematized where what didn’t rely on me anymore. And I started extracting myself from the spider web that I had created. And as I did that, I started to realize, wait a minute, this, this is the way out, I don’t have to sell it. Because I’m making really good money.
The profits were profitable, everything’s going well, what if I just kind of pulled back and I’m the owner, investor, rather than the owner, operator. And when I started to realize that, that is, when I said, I think I’m onto something here, and it took me, it probably took me three years, maybe two and a half years to fully get that plan put in place. But certainly it was a lot faster than going back and prepping a business for sale the right way in the books, because we didn’t really make a lot of changes in the books, we changed a little bit of our bookkeeping, but it was mainly just operate as we had, but Jason’s not there. That was really what it amounted to.
Damon Pistulka 16:33
One and you. You, that’s the big thing, that, that people don’t realize, and you talk about this in your Ted, TED talk, and I think that’s, it’s one of the things I’m gonna cover a little bit too, because, you know, the, the art of delegation, and I say it’s art, because it’s part of it’s the act of doing and then and how you do it and everything else, it’s when you get good at that, you can actually start to work on your business.
And until you get good at that, you hear a lot of or you’re thinking a lot of this, well, it’s just easier if I do it, rather than have somebody else or these other things. So you’re sitting here and you’re taking this time to do it.
Let’s talk a little bit about in your TED talk, I got I wrote the I brought the ironic prison of entrepreneurship. I love the title of it. You talked about delegating in there. And, and, and the different ways around it with the confiscation, abdication and the other things that you’re talking about around round delegation, but so did you study delegation, and how to do it properly before you start are like, Hey, man, I’m just starting to extract myself and we’re putting it in and what was your real thought process around?
Jason Duncan 18:02
Well, it was kind of on the job thing, right? Yeah, I was studying it and doing it, I was studying it and doing it. And so I had really good employees, I still do to this day, the former vice presidents are just rock solid, I even give them a shout out in my TED Talk. But they are really, really great employees, they do fantastic work. And they’re not entrepreneurs. Like they, they’re, there’s what there’s entrepreneurs in the world, there’s employees, their employees, that doesn’t make them any less valuable entrepreneurs or any more.
It’s just what it is. And I looked at that and said, okay, they’re not going to make decisions the same way I am. So I’ve got to set up structures that protect their ability to make decisions freely on a day to day basis without needing me to come in and guide them.
So I set up those systems and processes we started having these executive leadership team meetings, ELT meetings on a regular basis. And, and we were going around to do reports, you tell us what’s going on? What about this. And I would slowly extract myself from those meetings, I would only show up maybe once every month to those meetings and let them do and they just report back. And I slowly did it over time.
And as I learned, if I entrusted them with that. And I empowered them with that and not just assigned a task, but if I trusted them and powered them and assign them tasks to do they could pull it off. Now what really put you know, kind of monkey wrench in the whole thing was COVID We obviously nobody expected that to happen. Well, yeah, nobody expected to happen that made millions of dollars off of it. But I digress. But nobody, none of us business owners expected the world to go nuts in 2020.
So I stepped away in January 2020. And I was just having, like weekly phone calls and monthly meetings. I wasn’t even meeting and I’m in Florida on vacation with my family in the middle of March when the whole world shut down and they’re calling me freaking out like oh my gosh, if we don’t lay people off today, we’re going to be out of business tomorrow. because our cash flow dried up to nothing overnight, they weren’t entrepreneurs that can make those decisions. So I had to step back. And yeah, but that also trained me a little better.
I learned through the, you know, what an entrepreneur is versus what an employee. Yeah, there’s things entrepreneurs can do that employees can’t, they can’t see through things the way entrepreneurs can. So I had to navigate through the waters of COVID. And we were able to navigate successfully through those waters, thank God. But yeah, it was on the job training, just like anything else. But I now know it probably better than anybody I know how to delegate.
Damon Pistulka 20:31
Well, and that’s, and that’s what I know, I wanted to talk about a little bit, because you’re teaching people how to exit their businesses without exiting, and it starts with delegation and doing that, and you’re coming from a point of having to do it initially, working through some pretty tough situations, and now continuing to do it, and continuing to make sure that because you can’t, your business success may not totally be in your hands today, which is not.
But ultimately, if something it as, as an owner of a business, there are, as you said, a real critical thing, there are things that only you’re going to be able to decide or do. There just are. And you still have to make those decisions. And that’s part of this understanding how to exit your own business without exiting, there are still ownership level decisions that have to be made by you might not be often, but you still have to be involved at least that much. If you really want the long term success, I believe.
Jason Duncan 21:37
Yeah, I think you’re right 100%, you’ve got when you’re looking at what an owner’s responsibility is, it really boils down to three things. And owners, a founders responsibility is, first of all, set the vision for the company, because that is his responsibility. Second, is to communicate that vision to everyone on the team. Because if just having the vision is not good enough, it’s got to be communicate. So the owner, the founder, his job is to set the vision, communicate the vision. And then the third role is to build the asset.
And by building the asset, that is what provides you the wealth generation machine that we talked about yesterday on my blog, it’s the way that your business now becomes an asset in and of itself, rather than just a job that you perform and a function that you have to fulfill some you get paid. So if the founder will commit to those three things, and will not get involved in things that aren’t related to setting the vision, communicating the vision and building the asset, that business not only is going to be worth more money, but the lifestyle of that founder is going to improve to the place that he wanted to begin with. That’s the role of the founder.
Damon Pistulka 22:44
Yeah, yep. Exactly. And you talk about this in your TED talk, you talked about you know, the people that are running, you know, 910 digit companies. They are, they’re good delegators because they can’t be doing all this. And it’s it really is that that key, and then understanding the decisions that you do need to make is, is how you build it. And you said build that asset that the people the systems and everything else and make sure that’s going right is really their priority, not knowing the intimate details of the business so much.
Jason Duncan 23:22
Yeah, well, building that asset. I mean, think about, there’s so many different ways that that asset can be built, that asset can be built by, you can buy real estate, you can buy property that’s in the company’s name that builds your long term passive income. But there’s other things you can do that we talked about when you were sharing yesterday, about creating a defendable market position, where you have something unique that nobody else can do. You got to innovate. I mean, think about what Apple did, Apple didn’t invent the computer.
Apple didn’t invent a cell phone, Apple didn’t invent an mp3 player, but they took all three of those things and change them and innovate in them such a way that really frankly, in many ways, nobody could compete in that market for a long time and for certain reasons. So you can build a asset by building an app, you can build an app, you can do a proprietary process that nobody else does, you might have a certain invention.
And if the founder is involved every day in the business, pushing paperwork around closing deals, and being the face of the company, he or she doesn’t have time to think about how to build the asset because they’re too busy and mail and then in the melee of every day, that gotta get out of that in order to build the asset. And so if a founder right now, you founders who are listening to this, if you’ve spent your whole day working in your business, as Michael Gerber says in the book, even if you’re in the business every day, you don’t have time to build the assets.
So no wonder your business is not more valuable than it is and it should be then and it can, right so you got to work on getting yourself out of the business. focus on setting the vision communicating the vision and building asset. That’s it. That’s your job. Do that and you’re good. And that’s what I show entrepreneurs how to do. That’s why I’m a coach.
Damon Pistulka 25:09
Yeah, yeah. Because that is that time to build that asset is critical. And that’s one of the things a lot entrepreneurs get stuck in is the fact that they think they, they, they need to be around the business, right? They feel like they have to be there, not really, because they need to, because they feel that way. But if you truly want to be that founder, that’s going to go to the next level and level beyond that.
The bigger your business gets, the more you need to be able to build the asset and innovate and drive innovation more than and not even be in that the idea person innovation, right? Because innovation doesn’t mean that I figured out the next best way to do something or something like that. It can be empowering your team to do it, and then just ask him better. Good questions. Right. But that that is that that time away, is so key. Because if you’re in that if you’re in the fight all the time, or you or you feel as the fight, you don’t understand how to get better at fighting, because you’re too busy fighting.
And that’s one thing and I really see as, as we help owners do that in their companies. Is that, that that transition from? On the answer person, I’m the Technical wizard on the key hub in this business to now I can sit back, it becomes fun in different ways. Because, yeah, they’re solving these technical problems or some of these other things. But when you can come back and talk about the vision, and go, What if we figured this out? That’s when it really gets fun, because then you can challenge your team and watch them grow.
Jason Duncan 26:55
Yeah, I think founders don’t spin entrepreneurs in general, just don’t spend enough time thinking. They don’t spend enough time really pouring into the most valuable asset that you have in your body. And it’s your brains, like what can you think? Because we’re so busy, Do you know, we got to do stuff all the time. And we get involved to do too much. And we’re not actually thinking we’re not getting involved? And how can we do it.
And that’s one of the reasons I do once a month, I plan a strategic thinking and planning day. And I take no calls, no meetings, everything’s shut down on the books, I try not to get on the computer unless the computer is required for what I’m trying to, you know, if I’m doing some research, but I’ve got a chair on the other side of the office, I’ll just sit, I’ll get a whiteboard, I’ll get up a whiteboard.
And if anybody walked in on that day, they might think I’m not working. And in fact, I’m probably doing the best work that I’m doing the whole month. And I turned my clients to pick out days of their month and do the same thing. Because having that one day a month to just really, if you could do it every week, it’s even better if you can play in half a day that that’s all you do for half a day. I do it once a month and that works for me. But really think, what’s the next big strategy? What’s the next big opportunity.
And I’ve had some of my biggest breakthroughs on those days. As Murphy’s, I sat down this is so I’ve been teaching. I’ve been coaching sales for a long time, even before I quit being CEO of that company. I’d coach sales teams, I still coach sales, but a lot of my clients aren’t really coached your sales teams to even though that’s not a core business. But one of the things I coach people to do is come up with these belief statements about what do you believe about why you’re doing what you’re doing and communicate that?
Well, I’ve coached that for years, and I didn’t have belief statements as a coach. And so one on one of my planning days, it was two, three months ago, I sat down for the first time and I was like, You know what, I need to do this. And, it was hard at first because I was used to doing all this stuff. And I thought I gotta come up, what do I believe? And I came up with these 10 belief statements now that are core to who I am as a coach. And one of those belief statements is, I don’t believe or I guess I do believe I believe that business ownership is not the point. Rather, the business should provide the financial resources to live the life that you want.
That’s the point. And that’s a belief I have. And so if you as a potential client of mine believe the same thing, I can work with you because we believe the same thing. But if you believe that business ownership is the point, and you just want to work in it every day until you’re 80 Okay, I’m not your guy. There’s other guys that can help you. I’m not your guy, because I don’t want to do that. I believe that everybody needs a coach. I believe that wholeheartedly, which is why I do what I do every day because a coach can give you perspective that you can’t get on your own.
That just like that meeting I had with BJ into sometime in 2017 when he told me that my business wasn’t worth anything. Okay, that’s not a perspective that I would have ever reached on my own. He was the one that helped me, I believe. So I sat down and wrote those on my strategic planning. Thank you day. Now that Damon makes my business as a coaching business worth more money because now I’ve crystallized just the things that I stand for and what I believe in.
Damon Pistulka 30:04
Yeah. Yeah, that’s, that’s awesome. Because you get the coaches, you do get perspective, you just don’t do five from other places. Well, you can’t see yourself. Let’s be honest, we don’t see the things that we don’t see. Like, we don’t know the things we don’t know.
Jason Duncan 30:22
That’s like when you listen to your voice on, on, on recording. Oh, yeah. Or you see yourself on a video like, oh, I need to lose some weight. You know what? You just need somebody else to say, Hey, this is what it looks like. Because we’re looking through blinders. We’re focused. Yeah, somebody to pull his bonders back for us and go, Hey, did you notice this? Did you notice this?
Damon Pistulka 30:43
Yeah, yeah. So And the funny thing is that this is, I wonder if you get this because we talked yesterday, we talked about the fact that, in my experience, if the owner involvement is too high, it’s oftentimes a binary decision in the sale of business, they won’t buy him. They just buyers won’t buy it, you’re too involved to too much risk, blah, blah, blah. We’re not talking about the sale of business.
And I’m talking about businesses that can make 10s of millions of dollars a year in profit. I mean, these are very successful businesses that can’t be sold, because the owners are too involved. Do you find that people, owners founders, because of their success, I doubt that they can exit the business? Like you’re teaching them to do? I mean, they just are just, they’re just there’s no way because it is successful? Because of me.
Jason Duncan 31:45
Yeah. That is, that is 100% of the reason I have a job. Because people do believe that. And I said this in a race, I run a mastermind called the Exeter club. And it’s for male entrepreneurs who are seeking to live the exit lifestyle, how do they get to that place where the business doesn’t need them. And we had a meeting, we had a session about, I don’t know, it was two months ago, I don’t know how long ago it was. And one of the guys who was on a hot seat, I’m not gonna say his name, because if he happens to be listing, he’ll know I’m talking about him.
But he, he said, When I was talking about delegation, he was on the hot seat, he was talking about what he needed to do. And I was telling him, man, you call him Bob, his name’s not Bob. But as Bob, you’ve got to delegate, you got to get somebody else who can do those things that you’re doing now. And he responded, honestly, by saying, Well, you’re right. But I’m the only one who can do that. I’m the only one that can do that. And again, that was an honest response, because he truly believes that. But was it true? Because you can be honest and be true? Yeah.
I said, Bob, listen to how arrogant you sound right now. And he was like, what? And everybody kind of snickered a little bit. I said, Listen, man, how arrogant is it for you to say that you’re the only person who could do what you do. So that means before you showed up on planet earth that could have never got done. Like you didn’t know how to do it at one point, and you learned, and you can teach someone else. Now there’s gonna be a dip. And I was talking about you can survive the dip. When you step away and let somebody else do it, there’s gonna be this dip. But you’ll survive the dip.
And you know what he took that like a champ. And as a matter of fact, on our last meeting, just the other day, we were talking, we had a meeting, where it was last Thursday, last Thursday, we had an extra club meeting. Because I was I was out of town. And I did it for my RV. And he and I were going around talking about what we’re grateful for. And we always do that in our meetings. Give me one thing before we go around, and he goes, and one of the things he said unprompted by me, he goes, I’m grateful that Jason told me I was arrogant, so that I can get out of my own way.
And I realized that now and I’m working towards delegation, and I was like, yes, somebody, because we’re all it is arrogance. It’s we think we’re the only I was the best salesperson at my company for years. And I could outsell anybody again. And I was always looking for a salesperson who’s better than me. But does that mean I’m really the best salesperson on planet Earth for what I’m doing? Well, no, there are other people that could do it. And so when I stepped away, my VP of Sales kind of took over took that vacuum that I left, and he outperformed me at first. No, but today he does. Like I just had to get the hell out of the way.
Damon Pistulka 34:34
Yeah. Yeah. And it is and it’s, it’s, it is a hard thing for people to realize that. You know it and for some, it’s ego at some of they want, they want to feel like they’re important. But really when you’re looking at creating that asset that you said, build that asset, build that asset that generates well. It really needs to be built beyond the founder. And, you know, past success still doesn’t change the fact that your business is not worth nearly as much, if you’re still too involved in it, and he does it, because and that’s the thing that we run into day in and day out, is, hey, I make a lot of money with my business, you’re telling me it’s not worth anything?
And I’m gonna be honest, in the sale of businesses, the industry itself, there’s people, I’ll tell you what you want to hear. And I know coaching, same way you’re gonna have people here wanting to hear, but is, is that what you really want to know? Or do you look for the truth? Yeah, I guess. But. So let’s talk about something else. Just for a second, you got, you’ve got first of all, you’ve got some group coaching that you’re doing. does talk about that a little bit?
Jason Duncan 35:59
Yes. So one of the things that I did when I started coaching, is, I started coaching just individually, so people would pay me monthly fee, we’d meet a couple times a month, and I’d strategically work with them through their projects, whatever they’re working on, give them and I didn’t really have a framework I was just working on as a responsive coach, they would say, here’s an issue. And I would go, okay, based on my knowledge, expertise, experience and perspective, here’s what I think you should do, they would implement it to whatever success and they would work that out. And that worked. And I still do a little bit of that today, although not very much at all.
The only people that I coach one on one are my VIP clients that pay me a lot of money that won’t 100% access to my time, and I go visit them on site. And you know, that’s my VIP all access coaching. But I don’t do monthly fee coaching anymore. But at one point, I was doing this monthly fee coaching, and I thought, you know, I’m a really good teacher, that’s what I’m good at, I just need to get a group of these people together.
And I can teach this framework that I’ve come up with these four things this, this, you know, embrace delegation, which we’ve already talked about, establish or eliminate system, eliminate stress, establish systems and processes, and invest in people. Those are the four core principles that I use to get out of my own way, and quit being arrogant. And you know, all those things. And so I thought that I just need to create a group opportunity to get people in. So I started something called the business accelerator.
And it’s a group coaching cohort model. So it’s no more than 12 people. And as a cohort, it’s everybody’s working together towards the same outcome. So it’s not just independent people who have no interaction, us 12 People were, it’s up to 12. Sometimes I have groups of two or three but, but we work together through these four core principles over eight weeks. The business accelerator, the next one starts next Thursday, September 1. You know, I would love for any of your listeners or viewers that are interested, you can go to exit without exiting.com. And you can apply to be a part of the next one, I don’t let everybody in. It’s not for everybody.
But if it’s for you, and you will invest the time and money to do it, it’ll absolutely change your life, you will walk away from that with tools and tricks to immediately put in place in your business that’ll get your butt out of the business, so that you can go on to do other things. And I’ll tell this one story. I had a guy that when I met a guy, I was on vacation in Jamaica with my wife, and he this guy, he’s from New York, he was on vacation there with his wife, and we got to talk and as people do, and we found out Oh, he’s an entrepreneur, I’m an entrepreneur, a business coach.
And he was asking me what I did. And I told him, I said, Well, I help people exit without exiting bla bla bla. And he goes, Well, you know, I’m not interested in exiting, you know, I’m a company is doing really well making good money. I love what I’m doing. And I said, I get it. That’s what everybody says. Reality is like, if you if money wasn’t an object, would you really do this every day? And he was like, probably not. And I said, well take this course. And he did. To his credit, he trusted the duty met in Jamaica, and he took the course he went through the group coaching cohort.
And at the end, I’ll do an exit interview with everybody just to see what do you think how to go look how to do better? And he said, Jason, I told you at the beginning, I didn’t want to exit. I still don’t want to exit he said, but I will tell you what this course allowed me to do. I said, Really? Tell me he goes, I’ve been wanting to open up another division of my company for years. I didn’t have time, he said, But you freed up you showed me how to free up over 60% of my time. And now I can spend time opening that division. I’m like, okay, that’s success to me. So that’s what the business accelerator does.
Damon Pistulka 39:30
If you make a great point there because you’re teaching Yes some people are going to exit their business without exiting like you’re shown people so they can go off and do completely other things. But when you’re talking about someone that is got continues to have bigger and bigger goals with their business, your courses will help them do be able to do that because you have to go bigger, go We better whatever you want to be you have to elevate and delegate is, as the guys attraction will say. And the only way to do that is to learn how to get yourself freed up from your existing business to be able to go and do the other work.
Especially you bring up such a good point, because I’ve got a family that has businesses in the oil fields, right. So when you do well, oilfield business as you’re not in the oil fields, but if you got there in Texas, and Colorado, and Wyoming and New Mexico and, and North Dakota, and I think even Ohio, I don’t know all the places now. But you’re gonna open different divisions. That’s you can’t do it when you’re too busy already. Yeah, you have to be able to clear those things up. But I think what you’re doing is teaching people how to expand their business just as much as anything else. Yeah.
Jason Duncan 40:51
Well, that is that’s a keen insight that you’ve gleaned, which means I’m telling it the right way. So I’m glad that I’m glad that I’m saying in a way that you’re picking it up the way I intended, because so many people I come across, had a guy today, you know, he had signed up to hit applied. And he’s like, Okay, you’re, you’re good. You shouldn’t be in this. And he comes back. And he says, Well, you know, I really don’t think I’m ready to exit I’m good on.
And I had to do the whole thing. Again, I’m like, Listen, this is not about you leaving the business unless you want, I just want to show you the option. Don’t you want options. And because right now you’re required to be there every day, I’m just want to show you options, I’ll give you the option where you can wake up and go to the office or wake up and go play golf option, they wake up and go to the office or option to get up and go ride your motorcycle, that’s what I want to do. That is all I’m showing is the options.
What you do with the option is completely up to you don’t go to a restaurant that only offered one thing go to a restaurant has options. What I do as a coach is I give entrepreneurs options, it shows them there’s a menu of options. You can spend time with family, you can travel, you can open another business, you can open a new division, you can sleep all the time, you can exercise you can get back in shape, it’s whatever you want to do, but you can’t do it if you don’t change something, and I show you how to change it.
Damon Pistulka 42:11
Yeah, yeah, that’s, that’s awesome, man. I think about that. And I think about how important it is. Because even if you don’t want to exit your business today, like you’re saying, if you get it so you can exit and exit your business without exiting, like you’re saying, it gives you the option, it gives you the option to build your asset even further. Because you’re not working in the business anymore, it gives you the option to really explore what is next for you.
Because if we are stuck in our business working there, and something comes to a point to where we lose the love for the business, we need to move on for some other reason. The gift that you’re giving people by what you’re teaching them is the ability to explore other things. And that is so valuable, because a lot of the people that I’ve introduced to near the end of their business career, simply don’t know what they’re going to do. In that thing, grind and grind and grind. And I had a gentleman a couple of years ago that was in his 70s.
And said, I literally don’t know what I was going to do if I sell this business. I can’t sell my business because I don’t know what I’m going to do. He was serious. He was serious. This is her saying grandkids it says married this is I mean, this is not somebody but they you get so used to that part of it. And that being part of you, what you’re teaching people is not just being able to step back from the business and reduce stress. It’s really about living a fuller life. Because listen, we can get stuck in that thing. And you’re there. And that’s not really good for anybody to do that. And it’s yeah, it’s powerful what you’re teaching people?
Jason Duncan 44:06
Well, I’ll tell you, you know, the way you put it there, Damon is part of part of my goal long term with my business TRJ de enterprises, is I want to develop a whole network of certified coaches that can help all my clients in whatever area so I already have my first one, and he’s a mindset coach, high performance mindset coach, his name is Dr. Justin Mosley. He’s part of my Exeter club mastermind.
He also speaks in my workshops and comes to our retreats and things. And but I think one of the things I need to do at some point, you know, I’d like to have a certified life coach, that’s part of my system to work on people’s identity crisis. And it is a mindset, but it’s different than what Justin does. But it’s but that identity crisis that I went through and I when I was no longer president, CEO of that company, that was real. And my wife noticed it that she was like something’s wrong.
And the problem is that in America in our culture part Western culture, not just American, but in Western culture. Our identity gets wrapped up in our business, or our job, you know. So what do you do? That’s the question we ask well, well, well, who are you might be a better question, although odd to ask because we’re not used to it. Who are you tell me about you? Rather than what do you do? Well, when I say what do you do, and I don’t have a business card that says, I am X? Yeah, that’s weird. And I went through, I didn’t know that when I stepped away from day to day operations, I was going to be a business coach, and I was going to do TED Talks.
And I was going to write books I had that wasn’t even on my radar. I didn’t know what I was going to do. And I remember meeting with one of my advisors during that time. And, and he I remember him looking at me, he goes, you’re a teacher. That’s what you are, like, I get it. I taught school. But then he goes, No, you don’t understand you’re a teacher. And I said, Okay, well, what does that mean? He goes, I don’t know what it means. Because of it. I know, that’s where you are. And so taking that, again, coach, getting a coach helping me kind of figure that out, led me to now, Damon, I would do I don’t coach for free.
I know anybody gets. But I would do this for free. Because the money like do I need the money, I’ve got other businesses do need money, but I’ve got other businesses. But this, if I want to half a billion dollar lottery, like somebody would just want a couple of weeks ago, if I want, I would still do this. Because this is what God put me on the earth for I’m good at it. I get energy from it. I love it, and it changes people’s lives. What if that seven year old man you were talking to what if God’s been up there this whole time going, Dude, I got this so much thing that’s so much better for you.
But you got to get out of your own way. And it goes back to the arrogance, we think that’s who we are. That’s what we’re good at. And nobody else can do it. And if we would just admit that that’s not who we are, or probably something bigger, we can do something else. We don’t know what it is yet. And somebody else can do this. We our eyes and our opportunities will be opened up to so many new things. The world can be changed, if we would just embrace the opportunity to get out of our business.
Damon Pistulka 47:09
Let’s just soak that in for a minute right
Jason Duncan 47:10
Damon Pistulka 47:12
Because you dropped it. That was awesome. That was awesome. That’s all I’m saying. It’s awesome. If you’re just listening now, for some reason, didn’t hear it before, rewind it, listen to what he’s saying. Man, Jason, it’s been awesome talking to you today. And for those of you that weren’t here earlier, we had the real Jason Duncan on today. He’s talking about eggs in your business without exiting your business. Check out the real Jason dunking.com. Am I ready to exit.com? We didn’t even talk about your business exit readiness assessment. Am I ready to exit.com Get on there. There’s a free assessment you have there? What else? Am I missing that I didn’t bring up?
Jason Duncan 48:01
I think that’s for that last thing that am I ready to exit assessment. You know, I spent a lot of time building this. And it’s right now it’s in a Google forum, which is probably not the sexiest way to deliver it with my team and are working on trying to figure out a better way to deliver this assessment. But this assessment was designed to tell people how close you are to exit. So I had a lady sign up for it yesterday who was on our live extra day, actually. And she signed up and you know her question, you know, and I asked why do you want to do this?
She goes, I just want to know if I’m even ready to do this. Like, is it? Not as she mentally ready, but is the business ready? And that’s the whole point. So I give this assessment and am I ready? Am I ready to exit.com It’s completely free, you going to take it and then after you take it. You may even qualify for a free coaching session with me to kind of go through it but you will get a report that kind of goes through there. But some people will get a free assessment coaching session with me to kind of go through it.
Damon Pistulka 48:56
Awesome. Awesome. Well, thanks so much, Jason, for being here today. Again, we had the real Jason Duncan talking about eggs, your business thought eggs being the real Jason Duncan TEDx speaker, business owner business coach. Thanks so much for being here today. Man. It’s been an honor. Thank you, Damon. You bet. Hang out for just a minute. Jason. I want to say thanks, everyone for listening. Thanks everyone who shows up week in and week out and and gives us the encouragement to keep going. Have a great rest of your week, everyone
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