Posted on: June 02, 2021

In this episode, our guest is Cierra Ford, Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Arnold Elite Realty and Chris’ right-hand person. She’s responsible for building many of the systems in Chris’ business and has a deep understanding of how systems work and why most entrepreneurs struggle because they don’t have proper systems in place.  

Cierra joins Chris to talk about the 5 reasons why most entrepreneurs struggle to achieve freedom in their business…and how to fix these problems once and for all!

In today’s episode, you’ll learn how to overcome these challenges and walk away with a solid plan to achieve more time and more freedom in your life and in your business. This episode is a masterclass on becoming a more effective and efficient entrepreneur and how to “finally” find the success you’ve been searching for. Not to be missed.

Key Takeaways

  • The top 5 reasons why most people don’t have freedom in their real estate business’s
  • Why many people struggle to give up control and how to deal with this
  • Understanding the difference between fear and arrogance
  • The mindset of letting people make mistakes vs. getting frustrated with their mistakes
  • She breaks down why people are wired to do what they love to do and usually fail miserably with the small things
  • How she treats delegating as an actual skill and how she developed that as a COO
  • How pride, fear, and guilt play into why people don’t embrace change and the unconventional way to fix this
  • The importance of finding the right integrator and the difference between a decision-maker and a decision carrier



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Episode Transcription

Chris Arnold:
Welcome to the Wholesaling Inc. podcast. I’m your host, Chris Arnold. As always, excited that you guys are with us today. I’m really interested to talk through this topic today. I’m going to tell you something that I’ve observed over my 15 years of doing real estate. I would tell you that the majority of people, when you ask them why they’re getting into real estate, the most common answer that you’ll get is, “For freedom.” Typically, people are working a 9:00 to 5:00, they have a family, and for whatever reason and cause, whether that’s more quality time with the family, a desire to pursue things, or just be the man or woman of your own world and schedule, to be able to wake up each day and control your day rather than show up for somebody else building their vision, I see a lot of desire and freedom to want to be able to build our own vision.
But here’s the contrast of what I see, which is interesting. The vast majority of people, I have come to learn, actually never attain that freedom, which is interesting. It’s the reason that everyone gets in, but it’s the thing that most people never attain. And so I’m going to have a conversation today. I’ve brought in my Chief Operating Officer, Cierra Ford, and what we want to talk about today is, why is this? As you’re listening to this podcast, what are these things, these reasons that are going to get in the way of you actually really grabbing ahold of the freedom that you’re pursuing right now?
The reason I feel like we’re going to talk well about this is twofold. I run Multipliers Brotherhood. We really serve the top 5% of real estate investors around the country. And so I have hundreds of conversations with top level investors, and I see a commonality that even at that level, there’s actually a lot less freedom, I would argue. Then Cierra has just become the person that a lot of people go to in the market to talk about trying to attain freedom, to hire a COO or an integrator. And so we have conversations on the side about this dynamic because she comes in and she really challenges people that come in and go, “I just don’t really have any freedom. How do I get out of this vicious time cycle that I’ve locked myself into?”
And so we really sat together and came up with five things that people don’t do that keep them from this freedom. And so that’s what you’re going to get today on this podcast. We want to help you begin with the end in mind. I mean, if you’ve never even done a deal, this is something, in my opinion, that if you get this now it will save you a lot of time on your journey to freedom to get you there faster. So, yeah, it’s a little bit more of a conversation you might think around, “Well, that’s someone that’s got a team and all…” No, no, no. It begins day one with the mindset you have around freedom and how you build your business. So this conversation’s applicable to all. So, Cierra, what’s up? Excited, as always, to have you back on the show. How are you today?

Cierra Ford:
I’m good. I’m excited to be here.

Chris Arnold:
Yeah. Have you not recognized this dynamic on how many people call you to talk to you about this very topic of trying to get out of the day-to-day?

Cierra Ford:
Absolutely, I have. It’s the same questions. The funny thing is, most people I talk to, they already know the answer. They already know what they need to do. It’s just taking that step and allowing themselves. It is the same common questions and issues that come up.

Chris Arnold:
Yeah. And so what I’m going to argue is I think a lot of this is not as much strategy as it is psychological. There are things that just impede people in their mind from really gaining that freedom. So, that’s what we’re going to walk through. So let’s go through this, these five what people don’t do. So let’s get into the first one. This, in my opinion, stands out immediately above the rest. And that is I find, or we find, that people don’t give up control. So they start running a business, and when it’s time to actually give control of things in their organization to someone else, they just don’t give up control.
Now, I know that there’s fundamentally three emotions that drive this. And so that’s what I want to break down with you, Cierra. So number one is pride. I find that people don’t give up control because they really think that they’re that smart, that they are that much smarter than everyone else. I’ll use Liz Wiseman’s language on this. You, as a leader and an owner of your company, either believe you are the genius or you are a genius maker. I will tell you, it will be a very mature day in your leadership journey when you realize that there is someone that’s better than just about or at just about everything that you do. There’s someone out there that can do it better, but a lot of leaders don’t think that. There is an arrogance that I see of, “I’m just the smartest guy in the room. And so that’s the reason I’m not going to give up control.” Cierra, what do you think about this psychological piece where we talk to people and there’s just an arrogance when it comes to giving up control?

Cierra Ford:
It’s definitely a recognizable thing. I hear it. I hear the, “But I’ve always done it. But I know that I can do it.” And, yes, just because you’re able to, doesn’t mean you’re the best at it. Sometimes we have to just walk away from that and realize that there’s always someone that can do it better, just like you were saying. There’s always someone. If you’re doing well now, imagine if somebody that’s really skilled coming in and taking that, how they’re going to do. It’s going to change completely. It’s going to be even better. So definitely a pride thing.

Chris Arnold:
Yeah, absolutely. The second one I see is fear. There’s just an underlying psychological piece where they just don’t trust people. My mindset has always been to… I don’t want to say always. I had to go through this process. I don’t want to act like I’m immune to it. So I have worked through this transparently myself, but I have come to learn that you’ve got to empower people as far as you possibly can. 95% of what’s going on in the organization, the sense of decision-making, should be done by the great team that you build around you. But I see a lot of people go, “Yeah. I really want to give up control, but let me just be honest with you, I don’t think that I trust people. I don’t trust them enough to hand them over my baby.” Cierra, what do you think about this?

Cierra Ford:
I’ve heard this one a lot, and I think what it really comes down to is if you’re confident in your hiring process and you know the type of people you want to surround yourself with, you wouldn’t be nervous about handing over that control. If you’re hiring blindly, yeah, obviously there’s going to be fear there, but if you’re doing the hiring process right and strategically, you’re only surrounding yourself with people that are trustworthy and there for your business. So, that fear piece kind of goes away. But I feel like people, they can’t see the difference there. I hear it a lot, like, “What if they mess it up?” Especially with CRM access, or database, or marketing, these are things I hear all the time, that they’re so afraid someone’s going to come in and mess it up. But if you’re making the right hires, you shouldn’t be nervous about that. It shouldn’t be an issue.

Chris Arnold:
I agree. I mean, as we always say, if you’re the owner of your company, your job is to lead it, not do it. I heard a quote one time that’s always stuck with me, “Leadership is not about getting things done exactly right. It’s about getting things done through other people.” As Maxwell would say, if somebody can do it 80% as good as you do, then delegate it. Let go and empower them to do it. Here’s the reality, it’s always going to be your baby. You’ll never find anyone that is going to take it as seriously as you do because they didn’t birth it. And so the reality is you just have to learn that.
Yeah, it might not always be up to the exact level that I want it to be. But unless I want to be the bottleneck within my organization and fundamentally be a one-man or one-woman show, I have to let go of that and to realize and allow people to make mistakes. So, Cierra, let’s talk about this from a practical standpoint. You’re a COO. We hire people and they make mistakes in the organization. But what is our mindset on the value of allowing people to make mistakes versus getting so frustrated and going, “See, I told you. I told you, you can’t trust anyone to do it.”

Cierra Ford:
Yeah. It’s all a learning experience. If somebody is going to make a mistake, it’s an opportunity to make it better. It allows us to see the faults within our system. It allows us to see where the cracks are. If somebody can so easily buckle the system and make a mistake, then that probably represents the system more than the person. And so all of that needs to be strong. You need to have strong people working for you, but you have to have strong systems. And when people make mistakes, we have to take the lesson. There’s always a principal there, and I know you’re big on that. There’s always a lesson to be learned. You got to take the lesson and you grow from it. It’s not a, “Well, you were right. We should have never let them in.” It’s going to teach us something. It’s going to teach us something about the system, the person, the process. It’ll teach us something that is worth learning. Honestly. And it’s going to make us better in the long run.

Chris Arnold:
If you have the right people, what I’ve learned is you don’t have to come and beat up the right people when they make a mistake. The right people beat themselves up enough because they are holding themselves to a standard. So, that’s what you have to realize. The right people take that mistake as much as you do. Honestly, I’ve learned that about our organization, right? So I don’t need to come in and point fingers. If anything, I need to pick them back up because I know a lot of times on our team how hard people are on themselves when they make a mistake. But I think that that’s also evidence of having the right people because they want to be working at their full potential.
The last emotion is guilt. I dealt with this one because I had a misunderstanding. But I’ll tell you what it really comes down to is a lot of times people don’t give up control and they feel guilty because they don’t realize that someone loves to do what they hate to do. So early on in my career, when I was younger, there were tasks I hated, and I just could not believe that anyone would find enjoyment in what I hated. I kind of equate this, though, if those that are listening ever read The Five Love Languages. What’s so valuable about that book is Gary Thomas really talks about the fact that people receive love in different ways. And so, even though I don’t feel love by getting an act of service or, let’s say, a gift, that doesn’t mean that another person is not going to feel the love via gift. My love languages are affection and words of affirmation.
So if you apply that thinking that people receive love in different ways, I think you also have to apply that to the fact that people find enjoyment in different things than you do. They get different types of satisfaction on tasks depending, and this really comes down to the way that people are wired from a brain standpoint. So, Cierra, this has always been interesting because there’s things that you and I love and hate to do. We focus on the things that we love, but I know that you and I have both learned that. And there are people that love to do every task in the organization if that’s just the way that they’re wired. Do you agree with that?

Cierra Ford:
So, yeah, it’s crazy to me because there are things in this organization that I have team members for that thrive doing them. They absolutely love the accounting piece. They absolutely love the cleaning of the CRM, the lead management. Those things are absolutely boring to me, but there are things, on the other hand, that you and I are completely different on as well. It’s like a spreadsheet. I can get lost in a spreadsheet because it becomes like a hunt for me. I know you get lost in a spreadsheet, but you’re miserable. Your eyes are rolling. You’re over it.

Chris Arnold:
That’s because it’s like torture.

Cierra Ford:
You hate it. Exactly. So it’s the same task, but we’re just completely different in that way. So where you and I are very similar in the things that we actually enjoy doing, there are some major differences too, and things that, really, I know that I’m happy doing, I’m happy being there, and it’s not for everybody. But same with our other team members. They all have something that they handle specifically for a reason because it doesn’t bring us all joy, because we’re not all the best at it.

Chris Arnold:
Agreed. So that number one, we really wanted to unpack that one. So we spent a little bit more time because, really, people that don’t give up control is probably one of the main things that we see. Again, recognize those emotions in yourself as you grow your business, right? Are you not giving up control because of pride, or fear, or guilt? Or, heck, it could be a combination of two or three of those. We all have to work through those feelings as individual people based on our past experience.
So let’s move on to number two. The other thing that I have realized is that in order to get freedom, you have to learn to delegate well, but I don’t hear a lot of people talk or, I don’t think, understand that delegating is a skill. Just like sales is a skill, just like communicating is a skill, just like KPIs and learning to understand the finances of your business is a skill, delegating is a skill. It’s not something, for the most part, that comes natural to most people. There are some out there that might start off as, “That’s easier to do,” but I find more people really have to get in and sharpen that skill.
The reason that people don’t get freedom is they actually don’t spend any time developing the skill of how to delegate effectively. So I really, really believe that over time for myself over 15 years, and I feel like this continues to happen, it’s an unending journey, every year I get better and better at delegating, and I get better in just different ways. Every year it might be something else because there’s a lot that goes into delegating how you do it, and when you do it, and at what level do you delegate, and all of the things that you have to let go. So, Cierra, thoughts on this about treating delegating as an actual skill. I know, if we’re being transparent here as well, I’ve known you now for eight years, this is a skill that I’ve watched you, as a COO, get better at.

Cierra Ford:
Oh, yeah. Definitely. It’s something that I have truly struggled with in the past. I think that you’re totally right. It is a skill. It’s something you have to develop. It doesn’t just come naturally to everybody. This isn’t even just about more of the visionary side. This is with the integrator side too, or the administrative side. I think some people think an administrative staff member, this comes naturally. It doesn’t. We struggle with it too. We struggle with it too because we’re used to trying to do everything ourselves. A lot of the time when you’re an administrative assistant or administrative team member, you’re used to doing all of these things yourself, just getting it done for whoever you’re working for.
Well, when you’re in a bigger organization, we really try to focus on your skill. And so trying to take those pieces back and saying, “Hey, you shouldn’t be doing that. But I can, though,” is like that’s what you want to say, “But I can do it.” Should you? No, you shouldn’t. So I think just from my prior experience, I got caught up in this whole thought that, “If I can do it, I need to just do it.” You taught me how to delegate. You pushed me into it. You really did. You spent time telling me that my time was worth more than that, that I needed to hand it over. So I can honestly say without you and your guidance, I would have still been guilty of this and lacking that skill of delegation.

Chris Arnold:
Yeah. What’s interesting is over the years, you and I have a lot of conversations about this, and it usually starts on you challenging me or me challenging you with like, “So, why are you touching that? Why are you doing that?” I think that’s where it always begins, and that’s that moment where both of us are triggered to go, “Okay, I know where this conversation is about to go,” right?

Cierra Ford:

Chris Arnold:
“This is about to be a delegation conversation.” So that’s always really valuable to have someone that gets in and challenges you both ways. I think it’s important.
So let’s go to number three here on why people don’t really ever get to that freedom. I have found that people don’t want to let go of the tangible things in the business because untangible things are hard to measure. So let me break this down. When you start off building your business, you get to live in a tangible world. Tangible things are like, “I set an appointment. I executed a contract. I dispo’d a deal. I added a X amount of new people to my buyers list this week,” et cetera. The thing about tangibles is that they’re really easy to see. And so we get that positive reinforcement, particularly for most of us, if you’re listening, we’re achievers. So checking something off the box or getting that little or big win, we thrive off of that. It keeps us motivated.
But what happens when, all of a sudden, if you want to be a visionary and have freedom and have a team that runs everything for you and you find yourself in the intangible world? Let me give you examples of intangibles. “I need to strengthen the culture of our organization.” Well, how do you quantify culture? “My job is primarily to think.” Well, how do you quantify the value of thinking? So what I know that I initially wrestled with is as I began to let go and move from tangibles into the untangible, which was really what the business needed, like vision. How do you quantify vision and vision casting, right?
But we all would sit here and agree, going that, “Vision is really important.” I found myself not being able to as easily give myself a pat on the back. And so what I had to learn to do is let go of the tangible world and learn to find what wins look like in the untangible world and learn to draw my sense of value and accomplishment from something that’s much harder to see and judge. So I don’t know if I hear a lot of people talk about this, but I think this is one reason people don’t give up control because they tie their identity and worth to the ability to get those tangible wins. Cierra, what do you want to add to this?

Cierra Ford:
I don’t hear a lot of people talking about it, but I hear a lot of people struggling with it. I will talk to some of these investors, and their big thing is their culture. They don’t understand why their culture isn’t tight. Or that’s one of the big questions is, “How do we form our culture? How do we put together this environment where people really thrive and are comfortable and want to be here?” I get that question a lot, but I think one of the big problems is, is that these same investors are the ones that are still closing deals. They’re still running numbers on properties. They’re still going out to the property. They’re doing all of these things and they refuse to fully hand it over.
And so I think that if people realized, if you can delegate those things, those tangibles, then you can focus on your environment, your culture, your team, and you can really help build that. I think that we’re a really good example of that. I think you’ve been able to focus more on the vision and really helping us all get to this end goal, and painting this beautiful picture for all of us because you’re not in the day-to-day. You’re not running numbers on properties. You’re not calling buyers and sellers or talking to title. You’re able to do that, and I think that there’s a correlation there. So I hear them struggling with these things, but I don’t think it is talked about. I don’t think they realize that it’s a tangible issue, that they need to let go of those tangible things in order to focus on the bigger picture.

Chris Arnold:
I absolutely agree with that. I really had to come to terms with that my primary job is to think. Now, you might be hearing that, but when you actually get to a place where you have to buy into that, that the greatest thing as the owner of your company that you bring to the table is just thinking, that becomes something that you really get tested on whether you believe.
I think about a Multiplier guy that I know that works about 15 hours a week. Every day he literally walks anywhere between five to seven miles. It takes him a few hours, but he knows that that is his greatest value because he does his best thinking. Imagine that. That guy understands and has the discipline to step back and go, “I am literally going to make myself walk because I realize, at the end of the day,” and I’ve always loved this quote, “that one great idea trumps a busy day.” And that’s what we’re talking about.
Ideas, they’re intangible. Busy day, that’s tangible. You can measure that. And so you really have to come to embrace that your primary job that you’re heading toward in the future, if you want freedom, is to think. That’s going to be the primary thing that you’re responsible for doing, and it’s going to be the thing that your team is going to be looking to you for, because they’re going to be asking the question, “So what’s next? Where are we going next? Okay, we did that. So what’s next? What’s coming down the pipeline?” And you got to be well ahead in the future of what that looks like.
So let’s go to number four. I find that people don’t get freedom because they confuse hats and roles. Again, hats, like a hat you put on, versus a role that you’re in. Fundamentally, they’re not firing themselves fast enough from positions. Really, what this comes down to psychologically is they really just don’t embrace change. So I think it was traction that gave this analogy for hats and roles, if I remember correctly. So to define that, a hat is something that you wear that you might be responsible for a period of time.
So when you start out a business, I will just tell you, you’re wearing absolutely every hat in the organization. You are the admin, you are the lead manager, you are the head salesperson, you are the janitor. You’re wearing every hat. But just because you wear a hat, it doesn’t mean it’s your actual role. And so what I find over time is as you grow as a visionary, it gets very confusing because you’ve worn so many hats that when you look at that pile of hats, you have difficulty understanding, “Well, what’s my actual role? What am I supposed to do? I’ve actually become decently good at most of these things. But now, as I step back and try to answer the question, like, ‘What is my genius zone? What is my unique ability?’ I’m confused about that because I’ve done so many different things for so long.”
What I find is people really don’t get an understanding of what their key role is. And I’ll use Andy Stanley’s language here, your primary target is only to do what only you can do. When, all of a sudden, you have a large organization and there’s all these responsibilities and all these skills and gifts that are being used and needed, you step back and you begin to ask yourself, “So what is my primary gift to this organization? What is my superpower?” And so it really becomes a twofold thing. People get stuck wearing these hats and they’re not firing themselves fast enough.
Again, when I get a new responsibility or we launch something new, I’m trying to fire myself from that thing as quickly as possible and put somebody else in place because my responsibility is to move on. Over time, I’ve really had to continue to sift down for each company we have and to answer that question, “What is it only I can do that no one in this organization can do as well as I can?” Again, we said that you can find someone to do everything as good as you can, but I will say, but there are one to two things that you never will. And that, that is your genius zone. That is the sweet spot in which you need to live. So, Cierra, thoughts on this?

Cierra Ford:
I think this one ties into the control piece a little bit, not necessarily that topic, but those pillars, pride, fear and guilt. I think that it plays into this piece where people, they can’t let go. I think it is a little bit of guilt walking away or firing themselves, that pride piece that keeps them there, that fear of, “Who is going to take it if I don’t?” I think those three pillars kind of fall into this as well. I know that you and I have had these conversations where you’ve called me and you said, “Hey, I needed to talk this through. Where’s my role right now? What’s my role right now? Where am I most needed?”
I love those conversations, first of all, because it really lets me see how you’re thinking and where you’re placing yourself. And then just the overall explanation of where you’re comfortable right now, or where you find that you’re going to be the most valuable. I think it’s so important to not only ask yourself those questions, especially as a visionary because you’re totally changing and people are filling these seats and coming in, and your role is constantly evolving, it’s important for you to ask those questions to yourself, but I also think it’s important to ask others. I think it gives you that validation.
You’d be surprised asking that to someone else, the validation that you would receive. Somebody is telling you, “Absolutely. That’s where you need to be,” or, “No. I don’t think that’s the best place for you. I think it’s more important for you to be over here.” It’s getting that back and forth I think is also helpful to move out of that rut or be able to fire yourself, is get the opinions of your team. I’m sure you’re sticking your nose in something that they would rather you not. That just makes it a little more difficult when the boss is in the day-to-day too much, when they’re trying to evolve and get out of it. So I definitely would utilize your team for feedback on that.

Chris Arnold:
No, I agree with that. Those are valuable conversations because I can tell you, you’re always evolving. And so what might be your unique ability for maybe five or 10 years in the sense of a decade, if you do it long enough, all of a sudden you’ve got to level up and you gain and get into greater strengths that were not recognized or that are needed. So it’s not like you’re going to answer this question and be done with it for the rest of your life. You will always be answering the question, “How do I show up best for my organization? What is the main thing that they need from me right now?” It can change. COVID would be an example of that. A lot of leaders, we had to go back in and go, “How can I show up best for my organization via COVID? Because these circumstances are requiring that my organization needs something different from me.”
So let’s go to the fifth and final one. I think this, out of the five, is the most practical one, but I also think it’s the most important one, and yet the one still, as everyone knows this, has difficulty finding. You can just say that I got absolutely lucky with Cierra. I know a lot of people go, “What can I do to steal her away from you?” But number five is people don’t get freedom because they never find that number two, or that integrator, or that chief operating officer.
In my opinion, this piece right here is the one thing that once you find will get you closer to freedom than anything else. Because unless there is a visionary integrator relationship that’s intact, unfortunately, you have to be both. And if you’re truly a visionary and you’re having to play integrator, that’s not freedom. You might do it, you might do it well, but over time, it’s going to drain you. I know I don’t do it well. I never did. I’m just not an operational person. I’m walking around with my head in the clouds, thinking about what we can go accomplish next. But I think this is vital. So, Cierra, I’m going to hand this one to you because this is something you know really well. How important is it to find the right integrator?

Cierra Ford:
I think it’s huge because, just like you said, you didn’t do the integrator portion well, but that’s because you’re not an integrator, you’re a visionary. You dream, you lead us in that direction, but the implementation, it’s not your strength. It’s not where you’re going to thrive. That’s where your integrator comes in. They need to be able to organize and make sure that things are the way they need to be in order to implement that vision. I’ve talked to a lot of investors that really struggle with this piece. It’s like they want to paint the picture, but they also want to pave the road. They also want to lead everybody up the mountain, but then they want to go fill the patches. They want to do it all.
It’s just not within your personality. Just like these other points, it really takes the right people and understanding what your strengths are versus others. I feel like one thing you and I do really well is I know my strengths and I know yours, and I’m very clear about them. I think that we compliment each other very well. We also think very similarly. However, there’s enough of a difference to where we’re not running in the same direction all the time. I can push back on you because, first, I trust you. I know that you trust me. That’s very important. But we are able to work through, and I can speak up.
Whereas, I know that a lot of people put integrators in these roles and the integrator just shakes their head, “Okay. We’ll do it. We’ll do it.” That’s not your job as an integrator. Your job is to really speak up and say if this is going to work or not work. I think they just get that integrator role confused a bit. It needs to be somebody that complements you but also isn’t afraid to speak up, because if you just have a yes man in that role, you’re not going to get what you need either. So I think-

Chris Arnold:
I agree. There’s a difference between a decision carrier and a decision-maker. Again, I think people confuse an executive assistant or an admin as an integrator. Those things are entirely different, right?

Cierra Ford:
Yeah, yeah. I get that a lot. I hear that a lot, or, “Can I just hire an assistant?” Well, you can hire an assistant to assist you, but that’s a different personality that somebody’s going to grow into than like an integrator. An integrator is a different personality. And so you need to make sure that you have the right person in that seat, first of all, but also make sure that you’re not confusing that role with an assistant because it’s not the same.

Chris Arnold:
Yeah. Again, there’s a lot to that, on how to do that, but the most important thing we want you to hear as you’re listening is that’s such a vital role, and just start to think through that. You never know, even of the people that you hire, they might be a future integrator one day. I mean, I didn’t hire Cierra as a COO. That’s not where we started working together. But she just took off out of the gate, and over a few years I’m like, “Okay, this is more than what I’ve seen before. What am I looking at here?” Then I’m like, “That’s exactly what it is. There’s a talent level here that’s beyond most people that puts her in a COO role.”
I want to go back to one thing you said because I think this is important for visionaries to understand. One of the things that Cierra does for me primarily is she is my discernment. What I mean by that is I got 100 ideas that run through my head every day, and I think all my ideas are fantastic. The way that I’m wired is they run through my heart before my head, so Cierra knows when she gets that call and I’m high energy and it’s very emotional. What I realize is just because I’m great at coming up with ideas, doesn’t mean that I also have the gift to be able to discern sometimes whether or not it’s the right idea or not.
So a lot of our conversations with Cierra is like, she’s a filter. I want her to come in and honestly poke holes. I don’t take it personally, and I’m not going to sit there and try to convince her that I’m right. But what I’ve realized, Cierra, that the value you bring is when I bring you 10 ideas, you’re going to be like, “Great. Eight of those aren’t as cool as you think you are. One’s a maybe. And then, yeah, that’s actually a really good idea.” I just have learned to realize that my discernment level is not the same as Cierra’s because that’s what a COO does. The other way I’ve heard it say a lot of times is your COO is a tether to your balloon, just kind of keeps you grounded. You’re meant to fly high, but not that high. You can’t go into orbit as a visionary. You have to have some type of reality of what’s practical and how it’s going to affect.
So I want to touch on these just to summarize what we talked about today. So people don’t get freedom for five reasons. Number one, they don’t give up control. Number two, they don’t treat delegating as a skill. Number three, they don’t let go of the tangibles and embrace the intangibles. Number four, they don’t understand the difference between hats and their primary role. And number five, they never really do find that true integrator that’s going to get them to that place of freedom. So we’re just sharing straight experience with you guys today. I’m amazed at how few people ever really attain the thing they got in for, which is ironic when that is the drivers of so many people, but such a small fraction of people actually ever attain it. I know for me, my number one drive was freedom. And so this is something that over 15 years I stumbled through and made mistakes and came to the realization that for all five of these things, I had to go through that personal process myself of understanding them and starting to execute on them as well.
As always, if you’re checking in, want to remind you, we’d love to help you out, particularly around the radio piece. Obviously, we think at a particular level in REI Radio, more than just, “Hey, here’s how to do a deal,” whatever that looks like. We want to show you how to do radio and also help with some of the bigger questions that you can potentially have around how to actually build a business. That’s just the way that we think. I’m a lifestyle guy. So as always, if you’re interested in learning more about what we do, and you jive and connect with us, we’d love to add value to you as well. So you can check us out at Again, that’s So, Cierra, as always, enjoyed our conversation. So thank you so much for coming on and adding some value to the tribe today.

Cierra Ford:
Thank you.

Chris Arnold:
Yeah. To the rest of you guys listening, as always, we will catch you soon when we add more value. Talk to you guys later.

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