In today’s episode, Allan welcomes Tim Cakir. Tim is a growth consultant who helps companies, entrepreneurs and students achieve fast and consistent growth. Tim and Allan discuss the importance of company culture and why having a mission statement visual to all team members is important. Spending time with team members and discussing your just cause will help you express company goals, and give a clear vision for your business.
Hey, everyone, welcome to the show. I’m Allan. I’m a family man and attorney and an entrepreneur. Each week, we provide resources and advice to help build your business. Are you ready? Then let’s go.
Everyone, welcome to the show. Today, we have an awesome guest. Okay, very excited about the show today. Before we get to that, make sure that you subscribe to this podcast, just so you get notifications when we drop new episodes. Also, make sure to leave me a review whatever platform that you listen to this on YouTube, whatever, make sure to like, make sure to leave me a review that helps people find it that are looking for it. And it just kind of increases in the algorithm just so we can get some good free information out there for people that are entrepreneurs wanting to start grow their companies. So anyway, make sure to subscribe. And yeah, without further ado, I would like to welcome to the show Tim Cakir here. And just to kind of introduce Tim a little bit, guys. He’s a growth consultant. And he helps companies, entrepreneurs, and students achieve fast and consistent growth. I love that. I mean, consistency is huge. He also teaches bachelor and masters programs at two separate universities in Barcelona. And he’s also a DJ. So I mean, talk about a well rounded guy. Welcome to the show, Tim. I didn’t thank you so much. It’s a pleasure to be here. A DJ Ha. How did you get rolling with? Oh, that’s a great question. I think I was quite young, and my dad had some vinyls, and I used to like to play with him. And he used to get angry a lot. So that I said one day that I’m gonna become a DJ, and he never wanted me to go to school for music. So so I had to do business management. But one day, I convinced him for sound engineering, and he allowed me to do sound engineering. So I did that. And in the meantime, I was DJing in the weekends. So then, yeah, then I found myself in the London Underground scene, and I was DJing some techno parties. It was awesome. But I can’t do that anymore. I can’t party from Thursday to Monday anyway. Yeah. DJs have to you know, party a lot, right? That’s kind of part of the gig. Well, it’s it’s, you know, it’s like the fashion industry. You have to be there. You have to be in the backstage you have to be in the green. Yeah. You know, if you’re not there, and they forget about you. So gotcha. So where did that connection between being a DJ and business come from? Like, what close that gap? That’s a great question. It wasn’t just DJing. But I had a online recording studio and music recording studio. Sorry, I had a online radio station. I was touring some some technical events in London, I was DJing, myself sometimes was booking some some big DJs. And I did that about five years in London. And I realized that the only thing that I was doing was marketing. And I was marketing my events, I was marketing the radios market in the studio. So slowly, I realized that I could do the same thing for for startups and tech companies. And that’s how I slowly switched so that I could not have to be out from Thursday to Monday. Nice. Let’s talk about your business background a little bit, tell us a little bit about your experience some of the things that you’ve done. Just to give you an idea, a lot of my listeners are entrepreneurs, business people that are trying to really scale their companies. And I know you have some experience with that. And I want to kind of get into a line of questioning about marketing and some other things that people can do to scale their companies. But tell us a little bit about your background as especially, you know, as it relates to, you know, business and entrepreneurs. I was lucky enough. When I was 16, I moved to Seattle, and there I was just in college. But about 17 I moved down to LA and I had the chance to meet this this Turkish guy who was selling carpets, door to door carpets. And I got involved with him. That was my first my first business gig. And about 18 I had made quite a bit of money, just going door to door and setting carpets. And I always joke like it’s not flying carpets. But you know, you just throw the carpet in front of them. You’re like it’s almost flying, you know, and yeah, it was a lot of back then it was hard sales, I wouldn’t do it. Again, I’m not that proud of the things that I had to say to sell these graphics. And so that started on sales. And then I realized that marketing was kind of a sales but you would show the product to the people that might need it or you with find the people that needs the product instead of just, you know, aggressively selling something to somebody who doesn’t need right. So then I got into marketing and that’s where I got more into the music scene.
Because I was like, oh, okay, I prefer the music scene, as we mentioned, and it was DJing and so on. And I realized in the backend, I was just marketing everything that I was doing. And I wasn’t actually sound engineering anymore. I wasn’t DJing anymore. So I was like, Okay, I’m an official marketeer, actually. And so I’m in London, I had the chance to help some media companies first, because that’s how from music to the media was a closer connection. And I realized that marketing was really the thing that I loved. I had the chance to do it back then it was quite cool. I’m not sure if it’s still cool, because it got very commercialized, but it was Google squared. Google had this marketing certificate. And I did that in the past and I called myself an official marketeer. From there on I helped this publishing company that was quiet offline magazine publishing, I helped them digitalize all their offerings, because if not, they had to close shop. And I became about six months ahead of digital because they didn’t have any anyone in digital. So so so then then I then I really realized that the tech scene, the digital stuff was really where I had my passion after music. And that brought me into startups, tech companies. After that I had the chance, somebody invited me to Barcelona for actually an interview. And I stayed in Barcelona since in in Barcelona, the new trend of growth hacker, as we call it, was was was rising. And I was like, Okay, I need to be a growth hacker. And so here, I went to a certificate program called growth tribe. I did that on growth hacking Crash Course kind of thing. And I love I love studying. And you’ll see, that’s why I’m teaching now as well, because I just love education. And that brought me to actually on stage in Spain in a couple of big events and talking about growth, talking about how to grow companies, and not just from marketing. But then I start changing that around saying that growth doesn’t come from money marketing, growth comes from, from operations, growth comes from sales, growth comes from product growth comes from customer service. growth comes from everything in the company. And I had a few people ask me, What do you mean by that, and I said, growth is when the right people there at the right place, they have the right tools, they have the right goal, they will grow your company anyways. Right. So you can let them grow your company if you give them the tools, and the training and the goals that they need. And that’s how I found myself in growth consultancy. I’ve helped about 17 companies, not just startups, but about 17 companies still today, counting just a couple of other new clients. My biggest success stories been been helping sass companies from 78 Km RR to 300 Km RR in about 18 months. And and it was fun, right? It was just like, finding new ways to do things. And I think that’s why we’re here speaking, because I love to find new ways for growth. Yeah, I love that. So let’s dive into that a little bit. Right, you kind of skimmed over it pretty quickly, because you’re so I think that’s kind of in your nomenclature, you’re, you’re used to discussing how, you know, there’s lots of different ways for companies to grow, not just marketing, right, but we spend a lot of time focusing on marketing. But specifically, let’s talk about some ways that, for example, the operations of a company, how do the operations of a company help them grow? And in terms of growth, are we talking about, like actual top line revenue? Are we talking about operations can help increase sales is that we’re talking about? Yeah, for sure, for sure. And and I’ll tell you why. It’s very, very easy. Actually, in my in my head, I mean, I hope that everybody can see that as well. But, but I’ve tested this, and it works, and how many times you’ve started in a company and you’ve seen your job description, right, and you applied for the job and you started the job, they’re showing you the job a little bit and they left you, right, and then you’re supposed to figure out things and so on. How many companies actually make sure that the mission statement, the just cause or the vision statement is always in front of you. How many times companies actually make sure that you know, the goals day to day, how many companies will make sure that you have the right tools that you need? Right? This doesn’t happen often. Right? So operations for me is to make sure that if Allen today wants to remember exactly how to do his job that he was hired for, he has a Bible a guide. You can call it whatever you want, right? And making sure that some called SRP, some call it processes I call them activities, right is making sure that yes, you have a bunch of activities that you have to do in the day, you have a bunch of tech tools that you’re using, right? You have a bunch of goals, right? And these have to be attached together. And as soon as this is available and transparent and articulated well, day to day, and you live this right, as an operations person, you make sure that your team members are there, they know what’s going on. They have the right things at their hands, they have the right training, they know where we going, they’re rowing in the same direction is also a thing right? How many times marketing goes towards the right, sales goes towards the left, right. And the CEO is like Yeah, but this is where I’m trying to go. Alright, the second that that you bring the row team, you know, they’re rolling all strong, like Olympic rowing team, you put them
together in the same direction, it goes much faster and is growth. Yeah, I love that I think you’ve hit the nail on the head. And I talk a lot about vision I talk a lot about. And there’s a couple of interchangeable words, I talk about a company’s mission statement, we use ours and a lot of the companies that I own in all sorts of different areas, we we start talking about our vision about our core values. Before we ever hire somebody, we want to make sure that we’re getting the right people on board. I want to ask you, Tim, though, small business owners, entrepreneurs, man, we’re busy, right? What is the process for making sure that our team members, they always have those goals in front of them? Right? I’m always thinking about systems ways to streamline things. Give us some examples. What are some things that, you know, let’s say that I have a listener, this individual, she has three or four employees, and she’s doing a whole bunch of stuff, doing a lot of work for the company, still, she’s not big enough to hire all of her duties out? What are some things she can do to make sure that her people are seeing what the goals are every day, knowing where they are towards, you know, their progress with those goals? What are some things they can do for that? That’s a great question. Because I mean, it’s not about budget, right? It’s as you can do even small things to make sure that your team members have this available in front of them. So one of the things is like we all use drive, right Google Drive and how many times you find the document that you need, how many times you come on Google Drive, and you see exactly what’s there, right? There is no company home, there is no digital company home, and especially since COVID, though we’ve all been remote, right? Where is your company home? Right? We don’t have a company home anymore. Alright, so your company home should be a knowledge management software. This could be a notion, a coder, there’s so many of these tools out there today, that the second that the first thing you do in the morning, you log in, right, the second you log in is your company home, you have your mission statement, as you said, I call it just calls now because Simon Sinek had an amazing video about this. And I really love it how he said just cars. Yeah, that just is okay, gotcha. Okay, Simon Sinek. I like using video on that I do recommend it to everybody to watch it and to hear what he has to say about this. And how many times do we really in the morning, open up my company home? And remember that? That? Do you remember that? Like we don’t do this? And this is what exactly we have to do. We have to have a central system, as you call system. I love systems. I’m all about system. I’m building my system myself now. And how many times can I come on a morning? See that statement that that mission statement that just calls that vision? Whatever? Right? How many times I wake up and see that and I live it? We don’t live this anymore? And we remember it as you said it when we interview or? Or is your onboarding, your training. And then six months later, nine months later, ask a team member what was the job because most of them forget about it. They try. But 10 team members will tell you different things. I love that because we get crazy with stuff, right? Small business owners get pulled in so many different directions, especially early in the morning. Right? First thing you have emails, phone calls from the previous day, the previous night. But I like this concept of having this system. Right. You know, you mentioned a couple of potential software’s that offer a service that allows this, but having your team members log in, man, I think that’s a great idea. And the first thing that they see is the company vision. I love that and I think my company’s I feel like we talk about company vision goals perspective, are why a lot more than an average company. But that’s next level. That’s I mean, that’s literally daily, not only daily, but the first thing, right. And I think that that also sets a tone for the day, right? You just say that island the why right? And and when you ask when a team member wants to do a project or they want to do something, ask them why but not just why ask them? How does it relate to our mission statement? How does it relate to our why, right? Why is this project important? Now, when we have our reasoning, right when we have our just cause I don’t want it to be difficult, but just make them write a little paragraph about this. The second they write this paragraph, they realize that that project is important or not for the job scores for the mission statement. And when you achieve that, I think that’s where we really live the culture of the company. But the morning thing, I just want to hit something there is the first two hours of the morning. I will not see your email, no WhatsApp nor LinkedIn, no Facebook, nothing. This first two hours of the morning is my hours. It’s not the hour where you can bother me and I really recommend this. It changed my life a lot. So tell me a little bit about your first two hours. What are you using that time for? Wow, okay, very interesting. It’s a lot of gardening. I love gardening now since since COVID. That seems pretty peaceful. Right? I know a lot of people I personally meditate every morning before I get to work right before I so that seems like it would be kind of one of those, you know, therapeutic type activities. Yeah, I do the meditation as well. I do a 10 minute headspace kind of thing. But my garden is super important since since COVID, you know I have I have my vegetables. I have my food.
I have all my herbs and stuff like that. And I really enjoy it. And it’s very peaceful, as you said. So that’s my morning, I wake up, pardon my God, and I’ll go through it. And I’ll sit down with my coffee, I’ll drink my coffee, then I’ll do the 10 minute headspace because I know that the coffee is going to start kicking in just after. And then I usually will spend a bit of time with my fiancé. My baby’s on the way still so so I’m just spending time with a woman right now. Oh, congratulations. That’s, that’s your first one. Yes, in three weeks. Your life’s gonna change that’s awesome.
About that, to be honest, I think that’s that first two hours might change a lot. Yeah. So I’m saying that you lose kind of some of that. Some of that control. But that’s a really good point, right? I’m always advocating for people to get outside their comfort zone. Right? Push yourself a little bit get uncomfortable. Do things that you did are new to you having a kid Oh, man, there’s nothing like it. Right? And so that’s growth as well, isn’t it? Yeah, exactly. Oh, man, all sorts of growth that you can’t you that’s one of those experiences that you just can’t tell people about. You just really can’t. And so that’s, but I think there’s ways for you to still with your fiancé have those your time, right? Like, hey, this is the time that I need for me for our family, and you can still kind of block that off a little bit. stuff will come up, stuff always comes up with kids. But, you know, you’re like, Hey, I’m gonna try to keep this part of my routine as much as possible. You know, for me, one of my greatest motivations, you know, my kids. And so that’s awesome. That’s, I’m excited for you. Fantastic. Thank you. Yeah, I mean, since you have kids, you know, better than I do, and everybody tells me this the best thing that will happen to you, and I’m not, I’m scared. But yeah, it’s, it’s basically growth, because that will, I will, I will grow as well. And I will make sure that that baby that kid grows, as you’ve done right with your kids, you know, what’s funny is that having a kid is a lot like being a business owner. And I was on a show a couple of weeks ago, and I kind of shared this, this concept and it’s with your kids, you never look at your kids and think they’re okay. Right? It’s either, they are the cutest thing like I I, you know, help create the most amazing human being to ever walk the planet, or I want to beat those kids. Not literally right. But all they’re so frustrating. They make me so mad. Right? And it’s really hard. It’s the same way with your company, right? I never look at my businesses and think, oh, they’re, they’re all right. You know, it’s always Oh, man, I’m so proud of them. Or Oh, I can’t believe I did this. Right. And the key is lots of highs, lots of lows, and the exactly the highs and lows. But the key is, I think for parenting and for being an entrepreneur slash business owner, is finding that middle ground, right? It’s okay to feel those emotions, and everything. But you can’t let yourself get too high. And you can’t let yourself get too low. If you let yourself get too high. Those lows just feel so much lower. That’s awesome. It’s great hearing about your routine. And, and I think routine morning routines are awesome. And I have a couple of podcast episodes ago, we had, you know, a morning guru that talked about his routine and some some principles for that once that employee. So we’re assuming that when, you know, the employee gets to work, whether it’s remote or whatever, that they’ve already kind of gone through their morning routine, whatever they needed to do. So what’s the next step? they log in? I like this kind of line of thinking, they log in, something pops up that that shows them. Number one, what’s the just cause? Right? Are they looking at goals next? Or what’s kind of what do you recommend in terms of you know, just that first? I don’t know, 10 minutes? That’s a great question the first time and it’s only 10 minutes. It’s it’s quite short of a time. But I think that’s the first thing that you do, as you said, you login, right and that login is a company home. So you do have that sentence right in the middle on the top of there. And you know exactly or just because you know, the mission statement, then usually you should have a space for for yourself, right, the space for your employee, wherever they could possibly, as you said to have some some of the goals if they’re okrs, or whatever attached to their, to their place. So they know what they’re aiming for day to day. Right? They know what the company aims for. And they know how are they supporting the company with their goals? I think that’s super important. Because from the CEO, right to the team member, sometimes the goals change it’s it’s what we call the the Arabic telephone I don’t know if if if they say that in the US as well. It’s a very European French saying that I just translated actually. It’s when you say something to someone and he says it to somebody else and somebody else and then yeah, we call it the telephone game. The same exact concept and printed the Arabic telephone I don’t know why. But at the end, the sentence is a metal sounds completely different. Right? Exactly. And this happens a lot with goals as well. Right and and sometimes the goals are so not ambitious and so not as good
durational is that we need to hit 1 million MRR that’s not aspirational to me, right? That’s great. Let’s hit that. But why don’t you say we want 10,000 happy customers, right? And you know that that 10,000 happy customers. I love that, you know, so, so don’t focus too much on the revenue, the revenue will come. Right, the revenue comes if you do the right things. That’s how I see it. I really like this concept of framing the goals and look at let’s, we’re not naïve here, businesses, they operate to make money. And then they a lot of businesses have other goals, right, even larger goals. But I should say businesses can’t operate unless they do make money. Right. And money may be, you know, their goal, that’s fourth, fifth sixth down on the list, but it’s still necessary. You know, I think this is kind of a fantastic idea. Whatever those company goals are, I love I love the, you know, the example that you gave, hey, we want 10,000 happy customers that changes, right? Because now it’s not it changes the individuals mindset, because now it’s not about will take anybody doesn’t matter how we treat them doesn’t matter if we do a good service or provide a good product for them. It’s whatever, you know, six of the wall, but when you frame your goals in a way that kind of, and I think those goals should align with your core values with your just cause. Right? I think you said that quite clearly. I mean, maybe maybe maybe I said it wrong. But money is super important. Don’t get me wrong, because if there’s no money, there’s no salaries, you can’t eat, you can’t go to work. If there’s an office, you have to connect to the internet, because you can’t pay your bill. Right? So we all need money in right, right world turns around money, we know this really well. And, and now it’s even worse than before. So we all need the money, but you cannot make people believe in a monetary goal. Right? As I said, I think the monetary thing comes anyways. But if you do say about the happy customers, if you do say okay, let’s turn right, we want customers to not turn to not, you know, we want to build new features, because they need this feature. You still got to earn money, right? You got more money, but you can’t be a leader, right? And I know you love leadership and your podcast, you can’t be a leader and say, Alright, we’re just going for money. That’s so not aspirational. Well, I think one of the problems with that is, how does that benefit my people, like if it’s if we’re all focused on money, like, it’s just a really tough way to motivate people. And people think that money is a great motivator. And study after study has shown that it’s three or four down on the list, like you mentioned something earlier that I wanted to touch on, you talked about how people need to see what their goal is and how their goal affects the company as a whole. Right? One of the greatest motivations, as individuals that we can have one of the longest lasting highest forms of motivation is working together with other members of a team to achieve a common goal. Right, I want to highlight the common goal. Exactly that common goal is super important, super, super important. You know, kind of going back to the employee gets to work, they they need to see those goals, and they need to make sure that the goals are consistent across the company, right? We don’t want those goals lost in translation. And I have a question for you, though. Sorry. So you can’t you come to work. And you know, the goals, you know, the just cause that’s awesome. Does anybody ask you? Do you know how we’re going to get to these results? Or do they just tell you, here’s what you have to do. Here’s the deals that you have to work on? Yes. Right? Nobody, like we forgot this. We get employees for 150k 200k. Right in San Francisco even more higher right in the Bay Area. And then we just put him in a box. And why did we hire him? Because they’re creative, they’re intelligent, they have skills. And then we just put them in a box. And we’re like, Here you go, go execute. Nobody turns around to them and says, hey, let’s have a 10 minute break. And let’s ask you, how can we get to these results? Do you have an idea? Yeah, that’s Yeah, that’s, I mean, I think that’s a great point, because, and I think that’s where really good leadership comes in into play, right? It’s not just like, Hey, guys, this is what you need to do. It’s, first of all, we’re gonna start off with why we’re doing any of this in the first place. Then we’re gonna talk about what some of our objectives are, we want 10,000 happy customers, right? We want to tie those goals back to our just cause. And then a great leader is going to go point by point and say, Hey, this is how we’re going to do it. These are the you know, these are the personal skills. These are the reasons why we need you why you are such an instrumental part of our company and this larger picture, and yeah, and how can we get there? You know, how many times in the water cooler people will say to each other say, oh, if we did this, this company will grow. I heard this so many times. And, and these people are sometimes our team members don’t have a voice, right? They say that they tried to say things sometimes and we’re so busy as you said in the beginning, we’re so busy. We’re running at 200 kilometers an hour rides or miles sorry. And and we can’t, we can’t stop a second and ask somebody
Yeah, hey, do you have a better idea on how to get there? How many times a customer support agent has fixed the problem? 50 times, right? The same problem two times. And if the product team knew that they would possibly do two lines of code, and that would have been fixed, and then they wouldn’t have to do that, then they can focus on different things. Yeah. And I think that goes back, you know, to speaking about systems, right? When, when we take some time, and step back from the minute and look at the bigger picture, then that customer service rep can say, Hey,
you know, there’s got to be a better way, you know, we want leadership that listens to what people are saying. And, and I think that comes from seeing the bigger picture, right? If they look at themselves as kind of that they’ve got a hammer, and the customer is a nail, and that’s just what they do, then they’re not able to see that bigger picture and create those systems that fix those things, which is sad, because when they stop, you know, they stop running into the same, same thing. 50 times over, they’re less frustrated, they they enjoy their job more, they feel like they’re contributing, right, they’re there. They’re not just a robot that they’re not just, you know, paid to do this one thing, and they’re actually helping create. And so, and I think it all goes back to what’s the company mission, and, you know, the just cause, and is the leader reminding the person of that, you know, because it’s, it’s easy, people get so busy, it’s easy just to keep doing the same thing, over and over. So What tips do you have? What do you recommend to somebody that they’re like, hey, Tim, I’m too busy man, I’m too busy, to get to the long term stuff, to paint the picture to kind of express this vision of my people because I’m, I’m like, you know, 15 emails behind I mean, I think you should be a servant leader, right? This is why you hire people. So that’s so that you don’t keep doing the same things. But you, you do the next the next chapter, you start preparing the next chapter for your team to follow after right, as a leader, that’s exactly what you’re trying to do the strategical stuff by making sure that we’re doing the next step. So what I do recommend is to really, really, even if we’re that busy, to sometimes stop and ask our team members sometimes stop ask their ideas, right. Or Luckily, nowadays, we have lots of technologies, we have lots of tools that makes it more inclusive, that where everybody can bring ideas, where everybody can actually see the goal that just cause and as a leader, maybe your 15 emails behind, and I guarantee you from that 15 emails, 10 of the emails are not as important as your you know, I think there’s a lot of solutions that come from this concept of, let’s do, let’s spend more time doing things that are important, not urgent, then spinning our wheels, just putting out fires, right. And as leaders, one of the most important things that we do is decide how to spend our time, I love this idea of Hey, you know what those 10 of those 15 emails, and that’s probably a good percentage, 66%, that’s probably, you know, I think about my work day, there’s probably about that number of things that I spend my time doing, if we didn’t get to him, is it really gonna make that much of a difference. But if we spend that time with a team member talking about or just cause talking about why we are doing this in the first place, expressing our goals, so that they’re at the forefront of those people’s minds, our team members minds. Now. That’s the stuff that matters, right? You want a team that has your back, you want a team that fights with you, right? You don’t want to be the only fighter. And as leaders, we’ve learned so much like, I’m the CEO, I’m fighting I’m here every day, you know, it’s okay. This is why you’re hiring teams. This is why you have a team so that they can take that weight over your shoulder. Right. And then you can do that strategical thinking again, that is why I’m repeating you have the vision, you’ve started the vision as a CEO, as a leader, right? So keep that in your in your hand and make sure that you’re always making sure that everybody believes in the same thing, that everybody’s rowing in the same direction. If you do that, this is why I say growth, growth will come growth will come I love it Tim a man I wish we had more time we try to keep these relatively short. Because you know, my my audience is they’re busy entrepreneurs, you know, moving stuff around. And so how do people find out more about all the great things that you’re that you’re doing now? Yeah, I think my website is a great place Tim, cook your that calm. There, you’ll find a link to my newsletter. Every Monday, I tried to send out a newsletter on my LinkedIn is quite full of blogs and things that I do. So you can just find me Tim Cook here on LinkedIn as well. It’ll be quite easy to find, I hope normally, and yeah, I’m trying to do new things. If you’re on my newsletter, you’ll always know what I’m up to. Awesome. Well, thanks for your time, Tim, this has been wonderful talking about something I’m super passionate about company culture, adjust cars are why I think those are the things that last long after people leave companies long after those companies no longer exist, those. Those are the elements of true legacy. And so thanks for sharing that with us today. Alan, thank you so much for this opportunity. And yes, I just want to underline your just calls, make sure you have a cause word for what you do. Thank
You love it.
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