Why Some Companies Do Epic Sh*t and Change The World… While Others Just Make Money

Today I wanted to write about something I’m obsessed with.

Since starting my first business at age 10 or so I had this obsession. That obsession is… trying to figure out: “why people do what they do“. As I’ve gotten older – this obsession has now transformed to…

“Why Some Companies Do Epic Sh*t and Change The World… While Others Just Make Money”

This obsession is the root of “why” I do what I do. Why I consult real estate investors and brokerages. Why I run the #1 Fastest Growing Marketing Podcast on iTunes and Why I created this blog. And why I stay up at night studying strategies and tactics on how some companies go from good to great, while other never make the leap.

One of my favorite book (I actually have many) is called: “Good to Great” By Jim Collins (click here to see the rest of my book recommendations). This book was first introduced to me back in 2003. I still remember to this day because I read the first chapter and never put the book down.

In the book they cover soooo many things like… the “seven characteristics of companies that went from “good to great”. Jimmmy (like I know the guy HA!) used a huge group of nerds who studied all kinds of data and actually spent 5 years gathering information. Five years is a ALOT of research my friend…

In the book he cites powerful concepts and principles…

Don’t worry, you don’t have to buy the book to get the “core principle“. Here’s the clef note. Its a great book but you can really summarize it to 7 things.

Drum-roll please…

“The 7-Life-Altering-Message-From-Good-To-Great!”

  • Level 5 Leadership: Leaders who are humble, but driven to do what’s best for the company.
  • First Who, Then What: Get the right people on the bus, then figure out where to go. Finding the right people and trying them out in different positions.
  • Confront the Brutal Facts: The truth is the truth. Confront it but never give up hope. There’s a silver lining in every situation.
  • Hedgehog Concept: Three overlapping circles. What lights your fire? What could you be best in the world at? What makes you money?
  • Culture of Discipline
  • Technology Accelerators
  • The Flywheel


My favorite quotes from the book is….

Good is the enemy of great. And that is one of the key reasons why we have so little that becomes great. We don’t have great schools, principally because we have good schools. We don’t have great government, principally because we have good government. Few people attain great lives, in large part because it is just so easy to settle for a good life.

”Jim Collins”, ”Good To GREAT”

This obsession has now lead me to this new business, we help build businesses by increasing traffic, conversion, and profits!

The funny thing about what I do is… I have the privilege and honor to look into many businesses across the nation. From companies doing $250,000 to over $1,000,000+ in revenue. This allows me to see things that most people will never know or see.

One of issues I have with “some business owners” is this… they are so nearsighted by “just wanting to make money” and forget the bigger pictures. YES! A business needs to make money but “how you do it” should be more important than just “making the money“.  I wouldn’t be able to sleep at night if I knew I made a $1 by lying and cheating.

Here’s a Story About The Money Driven Investor Who Changed His Ways

  • Client: Jeff I’m trying to do more deals (real estate investments aka “flips”) but my team isn’t producing and they are leaving. It’s like they aren’t motivated. I don’t have an idea on how to change this, I have an idea I want to run by you…
  • Me: What’s that idea?
  • Client: I’m thinking of giving them a bonus check for every deal people brings in. That way they’ll be more motivated by the money, right?
  • Me: Why do you think they are motivated by money?
  • Client: Sh*t, who isn’t?
  • Me: You’ll be surprised on what really motivates people…
  • Client: My workers are money driven… they are just sales people. Boiler room baby!!!

My initial reaction was the choices of words this investor used…

They say that you can look into a mans soul by listening to the choices of words he uses freely (if “they” never said it, I guess I did 🙂 )…

The words that instantly popped was the words like: “My team is not motivated,” “they’ll be more motivated by the money,” and the big one was his last sentence he spoke to me… “My workers are money driven… they are just sales people. Boiler room baby!!!”

If you never watched the boiler room (here’s the trailer below)… This movie is based on how “The Wolf of Wall Street” was taken down. 🙂

Now, back to story…

I went on to explain that… the fact you have this assumption that sales people just want to make money is probably the reason why he had a high attrition rate. I went on to explain that people don’t stick around for the sake of just money.  Money gives people experiences they can’t get without it and I told him about my personal story of how I realized several years ago that there’s a mismatch between what science knows and what business does.

I went on to explain about a TEDx video I watched several years ago about “How the carrot and the stick” can hurt your business…

The speaker goes on to say that there is a mis-match between what science knows and what business does. And how too many organizations are making their policies about talent and people based on assumptions that are outdated, unexamined, and rooted more in folklore than in science.

Watch the video below. Enjoy! 🙂

Find Out Why There is a Mis-Match Between What Science Knows and What Business Does

Powerful Ideas and Quotes From The Above Video:

“As long as the task involved only mechanical skill, bonuses worked as they would be expected: the higher the pay, the better the performance.

…But once the task called “even rudimentary cognitive skills,” a larger reward “led to poorer performance.

“In eight of the nine tasks we examined across the three experiments, higher incentives led to worse performance.

  • Autonomy – the urge to direct our own lives.
  • Mastery – the desire to get better and better at something that matters.
  • Purpose – the yearning to do what we do in the service of something larger than ourselves.

“We must overcome ‘functional Fixed-ness’, (as we stand in the rubbles of economic collapse), and re-build systems with intrinsic motivation = new operating system based on autonomy, mastery, purpose.”

“Management works if you want compliance, (the carrot/stick method destroys creativity). If you want engagement; self-direction works best.”

“Pay people adequately and fairly, and then give them lots of autonomy (this formula makes it possible to harness the best of their talents and ingenuity.)”

These are not only “true facts” 😉 but they are tested and proven facts ( i.e.google). So the only question that remains is: how can we apply the google model and bring humanity to its thriving state!?

Wouldn’t the world be soooo much better…

Fast Forward time to now (almost 6 months later)…

The ONLY real change this investor made was a few little marketing tweaks and  that investor who was just doing 3 deals a month – just did 12 deals this month.

His whole team and their families are now going on a cruise trip to Costa Rica and turning that into a new tradition in his company.

Now go out and transform your company from good to GREAT!

– Jeff

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1 Comment

  • Joseph

    Reply Reply October 2, 2014

    I think the idea of transforming from good to great is really playing an important role in any business. What I learnt from this article is choose skilled people for the work and make them perfect for the work.

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