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238 - Just Be Competent

238 - Just Be Competent

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Episode Recap:

I’d prefer you to be amazing, but can you at least be competent?

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Best Quote:

Just be competent. And if you got employees in your team, you’re fearful might not be competent. Maybe they’re good, maybe they’re not be great, let them listen to this and say, “Hey just be competent. It’s not that hard.” And after you’re competent, then become good at your job, and after you’re good, then focus on becoming great. And after you’re great, when you’re great, when you’re a A Player people will pay you whatever you want. So there you go. Quit being incompetent.


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Hey everyone, this is Russell Brunson and welcome to a slightly annoyed Marketing In Your Car. Alright, so I was not planning on doing a podcast today, but I am so shocked at people’s incompetence.

I just wanted to share something with you guys. I’m going to give you the moral first, and the story later. So the moral of the story is this: Just be competent. That’s it. It shouldn’t be that hard, just be competent. Be competent in your job. You do it all day, every single day. You don’t have to be amazing, you don’t have to be phenomenal, I hope you try to be, but at least just be competent, it’s not that hard. Oh man, It should be a lesson for all people everywhere.

Alright so the back story. So today is Saturday, my kids wanted to camp, actually this is kind of funny, because this story is actually someone else being incompetent on top of it. So my kids wanted to go camping last night, so we had a camp fire outside our house, which was cool and we set up the tent and slept outside, and it was a really good time.

And as I woke up this morning and looked out over the field next to my house and it has grown huge and I thought, you know what, today I’m going to go rent a mower like I did last year and just mow these weeds down. Because that sounds like a fun thing to do on a Saturday. So I call up Tate’s rental I’m like, “Hey guys this is the deal. I want to rent the same mower I rented last time.” Actually at first I said, “I need to rent a weed mower.”

And they’re like, “Alright do you want a blah blah, or a blah blah?” I was like, “I don’t know what you’re talking about.” And they’re like, “Do you want this or this?” I don’t know the difference. I was like, “I have a huge field. I have tall weeds that I need to mow down. What do you recommend?” he’s like, “oh you need this kind.” I was like, “Okay, cool. I rented last year, is that the same? I want the same thing as last year.” He’s like, “Yep, done.”

I’m like, “Okay, cool. Do I need to reserve it?” and “He’s like yeah, you need to reserve it because people check these things out all the time.” So I was like, “Okay, cool. Reserve me.” He said, “When are you going to be here?” I said, “Thirty minutes.” “Cool, see ya in thirty minutes.” Jumped in the car, drive on down and get to Tates. I walk in, go to the front desk dude. I’m like, “Hey man, I’m here to pick up my mower thing.”

And he’s like, “What’s your name?” I told him my name. He’s like, “Uh, the mower’s not back yet.” I’m like, “What do you mean?” He’s like, “The mower’s not back.” I’m like, “Back from where?” and he’s like, “From the person who already has it.” I’m like, “I reserved it, therefore it should be here for me.” He’s like, “Well there’s no mower here?” I’m like, “Well, I’m here and I came to pick it up and I reserved it, do you have another mower?

And he’s like, “Nope, there’s no other one’s here.” I’m like, “Okay.” He’s like, “If you come back in 2 hours the guy should have the mower back.” I’m like, “Dude, I don’t need it in 2 hours, I need it today, that’s why I called ahead, that’s why I reserved it, that’s why I came down, because I need it today, I need it right now. That’s why I reserved it, that’s why I drove all the way across town to come get it from you.” And he’s like, “Well, sorry man. If you come back in 2 hours.” And I’m like, “So there’s no other thing I can rent from here that can chop down weeds. I got huge weeds and I need to chop them down.”

He’s like, “Nope, nothing else.” I’m like, “You’re kidding me, the guy on the phone told me there were a bunch of them here and I need to come down before some people got them.” He’s like, “yeah, nothing here man.” So I’m starting to get Russell angry, which is like, I wanted to start throwing fists and stuff. And then the guy from across the table’s like, “Hey why don’t you just give him one of the other one’s? Those guys haven’t picked up theirs yet.”

I’m like, “Are you kidding me? So there’s a whole bunch of them out there and I’m the first one here, I had one reserved and you’re reserving it for somebody else that hasn’t even showed up yet? And because of that you’re telling me they aren’t even here.” Oh man, I was like……So the guy’s like, “Okay, I guess I could do that.” And I’m like, “Are you freaking kidding me? So they were there, somebody else reserved them, but you were holding them for someone else who had reserved them, even though I had reserved one, for somebody else is coming in the future, because apparently you thought that person was more important than me for whatever reason.”

Anyway, all this was going through my head as I’m sitting there angrily staring at this guy and I was like, just be competent. This is your job. I saw you last year when I was here. You should know how these things work. You don’t have to be good at your job, just be competent. That’s all I’m asking for you to do. And then I go out there to do the thing and they haul the thing over to me and it’s not the same one, it’s half the size as the other one. I’m like, “Dude, this is half the size.”

They’re like, ”The one you got last year is broken.” And I’m like, “Why didn’t someone tell me that an hour ago when I called you on the phone trying to get that specific one?” and he’s like, “I don’t know.” I’m like, “Okay.” And he brings it out and is kind of standing there. And I’m like, “So do you have a trailer for it?” and he’s like, “Oh, you need a trailer?” I’m like, “Yeah! I’m not going to carry this thing on my hands. Normally they come with a trailer, the one I rented last year came with a trailer.” He’s like, “That’s because it was bigger.”

I’m like, “Okay, well…..” I’m just like, this is what you guys do for a living. Wouldn’t the guy at the front desk have been like, “Hey do you need a trailer? Because most people do.” Instead of just assuming I did. There you go you guys. Just be competent, it’s not that hard. This is what you do for a living. Just think through it. Look at it from the customer’s perspective. Another good example of incompetency as it relates to my field. We were trying to get rid of the Goat-heads in this field, there’s millions of Goat-heads, some of you guys call them prickers, different names for those little things that you step on and they jam into your feet and it hurts really bad.

So right now, if my kids will walk in the field, if you take one step in the field you fill your foot up with like 15 of these Goat-heads in your feet. It’s horrible. So I’m trying to get rid of the Goat-head problem. So I hired this dude to come and to scrape the top 2 inches of dirt off, put it in a dump truck and take it away and therefore Goat-heads will be gone and I can then poison the crap out of the ground and make sure nothing ever grows back, right. So we call the dude, I’m like, “Hey this is what I want.” He’s like, “No you need to rototill them under.”

And I was like, “Dude the Goat-heads that are stabbing our feet are seeds, therefore if I roto them under they will be planting seeds and more will grow.” And he’s like, “No that’s not how it works.” And I’m like, “I’m pretty sure that’s how it works. Even if it’s not how it works, I don’t care, I want the Goat-heads gone and I want you to scrape the top 2 inches of soil off my property, dump them in a dump truck and take them away from here so they disappear forever. That’s all I want. I don’t care about…..this is me as a customer. I want to pay you anything you want to make this thing happen.”

And so the guy comes out and he’s like, “Well the weeds are too long.” Actually he didn’t come out first, I knew the weeds were too long, so we hired goats. I think I did a podcast on this. We brought these goats in, they came for a week, they ate all the food down, it was awesome. The kids had a good time; the field is now down to nothing, the perfect time to come in and scrape the field off. So we call the dude, have him come scrape and he says, “Well I need to come see the field first.”

I’m like, “Okay, cool.” So he comes and he looks at said field, looks around, surveys it and comes back with a quote saying, “Based on the size and everything in this field, this is the quote.” I said, “Cool, come out and scrape this and dump it. “ and he says, “Okay I’ll be out next week.” The next week comes, he decides not to show up, for whatever reason. His own excuse. So he doesn’t show up.

So now we’re a week past goats being here and the fields are growing faster, so I’m like, “Dude, you gotta hurry because the freaking weeds are growing back. Come and scrape this, before I have to hire goats again to come scrape this thing down.” He’s like, “Okay I’m coming.” So then he comes out the next week with his tractors to do what I’d paid him to do. And then he calls Melanie on the phone, the first thing he does…Melanie’s my assistant.

Calls Melanie on the phone, the first thing he does is start complaining about the weeds are too long, I can’t take anything away. He’s like, “You have to come and mow these weeds down and I can come and actually pull them away.” I’m like, “Are iyou kidding me? Are you incompetent? Are you seriously this incompetent? Two weeks ago you were here, the weeds were gone. That’s the first thing. They’re tall now because you didn’t show up when we hired you to show up, so it’s kind of your issue now, not mine.”

Then he comes back and says, “I didn’t realize the field was this big. It’s going to be a lot more money.” I said, “How did you not realize the field was this big? You came two weeks ago and measured it. Based on your measurements you gave me a quote. How incompetent can you possibly be? It doesn’t make any logical sense to me. You came and measured it with your own measuring stuff, it wasn’t me giving you a quote of what I thought it was, it was you coming and looking at it and giving me a quote based on what you saw.”

Anyway, it was just two or three things and finally I was like, “This guy is incompetent. Let’s fire him.” And we fired him. It’s just like, I don’t want people…..I mean I like for people to be good at their job, I like people to be great at their job. But I need them to at least be competent at their job. That’s it. And this goes for; my guess is if you’re listening to this, you’re probably competent. But I guarantee there’s people on our team who aren’t.

For example, at our Funnel Hacking Live Event, I found out some of the employees on my team are incompetent and it drives me crazy. We had one who….there was a….the person’s job was to check people in, and if they didn’t have a nametag just see if they had a nametag or whatever and print a nametag. The only role the person on my team was to do was just that.

So there’s someone who came in, who had a mistake so we had to make their name badge. So instead of being like, “Hey, this is my job. I’m here anyway. I got nothing else to do and I’m sitting here behind a chair, playing my iPad and my only role is if someone comes up to do this.” And it was like complaining, and rude to the customer, all sorts of things like that. And then the next day, someone forgot their nametag at their hotel room, which is 45 minutes away. He came in like, “Hey I need a nametag.”

So instead of being like, “Oh, cool. Yes, I remember you. Let me help serve you.” It was like this huge problem and why they were so upset and pissed off and saying, “You have to go back to the hotel and get it before you can walk through the door.” And all these things. So I’m hearing about this from somebody else. Someone on my team is treating one of our customers this way and I’m like, “Why are you incompetent. Your only job is to serve our people and not be a horrible person to them. That’s it. You don’t even have to be good at it, you just have to do it.

Just smile, even a half smile, doesn’t have to be a whole smile, just a half smile and help people. That’s it. Do you not see me on stage killing myself to give a good experience to everybody? And when you come in and just do a stupid thing like that, it looks…….ugh.” Just be competent. There’s the moral of today’s lesson.

Just be competent. And if you got employees in your team, you’re fearful might not be competent. Maybe they’re good, maybe they’re not be great, let them listen to this and say, “Hey just be competent. It’s not that hard.” And after you’re competent, then become good at your job, and after you’re good, then focus on becoming great. And after you’re great, when you’re great, when you’re a A Player people will pay you whatever you want.

So there you go. Quit being incompetent. that’s what I got. I’m going to go mow my lawn because that’s what I want to do today. It’s going to be fun. And hopefully I’ll find someone competent to help me get these Goat-heads out of my yard so my kids can play out there in bare feet. So that’s the goal.

Still haven’t found the competent players to help me make it possible, but that’s where we’re going. Alright guys, that’s all I got for you today. Have an amazing time. Have a great weekend and I’ll talk to you guys soon.


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