S1/E8 – Building Successful Small Businesses with Joe Latona

Joe Latona
Joe Latona

While the process of hiring a team and interviewing potential employees can seem overwhelming, there is power in hiring great people for your team! As a small business recruiter, Joe talks about the importance of hiring the right person, not just any person, and how this can dramatically impact a business’s revenue and efficiency. As a former dog walker himself, Joe knows there is a balance to strike between speed and thoroughness in the recruiting process in our unique industry.

Joe talks about his own struggles with and the importance of delegating tasks and responsibilities to not only help our teams perform better, but also to maintain a better work-life balance. We talk about businesses recognizing their full worth, and the importance of viewing pet care businesses as a genuine, actual small business.

Things Joe is passionate about:

– Keeping pets safe with great care givers
– Improving Work/Life Balance while also increasing revenue
– Finding great employees for great teams

Topic time stamps:

00:00 Introduction: Joe Latona
01:19 Welcome to the Lucky Pup Podcast
05:45 Introduction to Walker Scout
13:45 The Role of Experiences in Shaping Us
21:28 The Value of Enjoying Our Work
26:52 The Importance of Valuing Our Work]
33:17 The Importance of Long-Term Solutions in Hiring
40:11 The Benefits of Delegating and Finding the Right People
52:36 The Challenges of  Control
01:03:54 Conclusion

Guest links & Resources Mentioned:

Website: walkerscout.com/
Follow Joe on: Instagram 
Learn more about the WalkerScout Job Board

Perfectly imperfect transcript generated by Descript:

[00:00:00] Introduction: Joe Latona

[00:00:00] Joe: I’m a kind of a control freak , because I feel like if I ever pass someone on that is not a safe dog walker, I’m putting an animal in jeopardy, the clients home in jeopardy and I’m putting my clients businesses reputation in jeopardy. And , ultimately the client makes the hire, but it is always been a huge concern for me. And because of that, I’m a control freak. And I would review every applicant that would come through, even if I didn’t do the interview. I would review the applicant before it reached the client. I’m not going to lie, I’m still looking at them and I’m looking at them after they’ve been sent, because we want to expedite the process for the client. You got to be as fast as possible, but you can’t miss a thing. So, I had a lot of stress about letting go of that control, but it has changed my life. 

[00:00:43] And it’s the same thing in the pet sitting and dog walking world. The pressure is just going to build. And I did it to myself for three years. I wanted to be the gatekeeper. But, you’ll never will be able to get that that work life balance. Um, I mean, Darth Vader proved that he was dark side for 40 years. But, yeah, you gotta let go. If you want to be able to take a day off and not have to worry about how many leads are in your inbox? How many candidates are in your inbox? How many calls are being missed with a client with concerns? You then you need to have a serious conversation with yourself. 


[00:01:19] Welcome to the Lucky Pup Podcast

[00:01:19] Morgan: Hey everyone. Welcome to the Lucky Pup Podcast, where we’re taking big ideas and weaving them together in a way that makes the big picture relatable, inspirational, and maybe even educational. You’ll find candid and authentic conversations about the struggles we’ve encountered as we try to live more full and happy lives.

[00:01:34] I’m your host Morgan Weber, and today we have Joe with us from Walker Scout, and I can’t wait for you to meet him and all of the great tips that he has for you about hiring and how to think about your business as an actual business and not just as a pet care service provider.

[00:01:50] So let’s dig in. Here’s Joe.

[00:01:54] Joe, I’m super excited to have you here. I got to meet you at the Florida Pet Services Association Summit in Orlando recently. You had a fantastic presentation, by the way.

[00:02:04] Joe: Oh, that’s, you’re too kind. I was very anxious about

[00:02:07] Morgan: Oh, it was wonderful. I love the Ghostbusters theme. Um, it was, yeah, it was fantastic. So I was just super excited to get to know you a little bit more and, and again, vet you on to have this conversation. ’cause I think this is a conversation that a lot of us, um, need to hear. 

[00:02:23] Joe: well first, thanks for having me on. And… Um, I appreciate the kind words about the presentation. Um, I just told someone recently, we were talking about that conference, which I think it’s cool that they called it a summit. That makes it sound like a very official, like as if we’re all presidents of foreign nations and we’re meeting at a summit about dogs and cats, but, um. We were talking about how, um, if there was anything we would change about that conference, it’d be more time to be silly and be fun and, you know, socialize. And I said, well, that’s my fault, you know, because I, I didn’t tell anybody, but I, like, rehearsed that entire talk the morning of. And I felt like I had that thing so figured out because I’d rehearsed it here at my house for so long. And, I’d done the talk at NAPS in March, and this was a much more fun talk than the NAPS conference, just because these, um, Business owners are a little bit more experienced than some of the NAPs. People who are like solo sitters, new to the industry. So I was like, okay, we’ll get a little bit more deeper into teamwork and team building and less about why we build teams. And, um, it’s funny cause when I did that conference in Florida, the summit, um, I felt like my ears were a thousand degrees and my ears were like, As red as the sun is right.

[00:03:45] As the little recording light I see right now on this website. Um, but it’s funny cause when it was done, it was like, I jumped in the lake and you know, it wasn’t as cold as I thought. So it worked, it worked out. But, um, yeah, no one, no one knew that I had to rehearse that thing like a billion times.

[00:04:02] And, um, yeah, I’m actually going to repurpose it for a future talk. Cause it seems like people like the Ghostbusters. I thought it was too old fashioned.

[00:04:09] Morgan: See, it’s hard when you use these cultural references ’cause you don’t always know who in the room is gonna get those cultural references. I’m speaking at the Pet Sitters International Conference in October, uh, a reference to Shrek. And again,

[00:04:24] Joe: Oh, okay. 

[00:04:25] Morgan: of those things where it’s either gonna land or it’s not gonna land at all and you don’t know until you’re in the room and you try it.

[00:04:31] So, um, yeah. But I love the Ghostbusters. Um, and I thought you had some really cool points there about, um, cultural or these kind of societal assumptions that we sometimes make about people who are growing their team or they’re employing other people. And we don’t always think deeper about the

[00:04:52] The effects that that has on those people that we are employing or those people who are using our services. And I think that, um, all of us have had a bad boss at some point. And maybe a lot of us got into pet sitting because we had a bad boss. Or, you know, we had people that we didn’t enjoy working for and we said, you know what, I’d rather do this on my own.

[00:05:10] And we kind of get into this work of being a solopreneur or a solopreneur who starts hiring other people to work with them. And I think what you do is really helping encourage people to be more intentional, maybe about who they’re bringing onto their team, or, um, I don’t know. How do you kind of view your approach to your hiring work?

[00:05:29] And let’s give people, you know, some background, I guess too, about , what kind of work you do. ’cause we didn’t say that yet. So Joe,

[00:05:35] Joe: Oh, I’d rather have it be a mystery. 

[00:05:37] Morgan: just, we just dug right into this. So Joe, why don’t you tell us a little bit about who you are, and about your business for those who don’t know.

[00:05:44] Joe: no, sure. 

[00:05:45] Introduction to Walker Scout

[00:05:45] Joe: I’m Joe Latona. I, uh, own and operate Walker Scout. It’s an LLC based in Illinois. And our job is to act as an RPO, which is a Recruitment Processing Outsourcer. Um, what that really means is we act as a temporary hiring team for small businesses. In this business, Walker Scout was designed to help pet care businesses.

[00:06:08] So, uh, most of our clients are dog walkers, pet sitters. We have some dog trainers. Doggy daycares, um, we have a puppy school. I wish we had more puppy schools because that’s a really fun job to recruit for, um, we’ve recruited for, um, pet waste removal. And we’ve also randomly, well, of course, administrators and managers for these businesses, but we’ve also randomly hired, um, some like roofing inspectors.

[00:06:34] Cause one of, yeah, right. One of our, um, clients is a co owner. Uh, well, they also own a roofing company and they were looking for people to inspect roofs and which leads to replacing a roof after storm damage and stuff like that. So that was, um, unique. Um, that was fun. Just to have variety, but yeah, that’s what we do. So if you, you don’t have the time to recruit, you don’t want to recruit, you don’t know how to recruit. The thought is that we could help you achieve that critical, task for your small bit.

[00:07:06] Morgan: Yeah. And you definitely, I feel like your perspective on how to run business, um, is a little bit deeper than just trying to find dog walkers for, you know, pet sitting companies. Right? Like you have a, a much, um, a deeper appreciation baby, you could say, for the importance of having a great team around you.

[00:07:24] Especially in the pet sitting world. It is such a high touch service, like we’re going into people’s homes and so our clients really have to trust us and have to trust the people that we bring on to work with us. And, um, I know that’s something you’re kind of passionate about as well.

[00:07:38] Joe: Yeah. I mean, I was a, a dog walker, um, for about two or three years and then that. transformed into a field manager role. So I was, uh, helping people with dead car batteries and the winters of Chicago and, lock boxes are very popular in the pet sitting industry, but Chicago, they’re not, um, as I imagined, they’re not

[00:07:58] throughout most of the Midwest because 

[00:08:00] Morgan: freeze

[00:08:01] Joe: get rained. Yeah. They freeze. So, um, yeah, I did that for about two or three years, and then I was the office manager, which was fun because I was the only person in the office most of the time, because the owner of that business had tremendous faith that we would do our work without supervision, which is motivating for most people that your boss trust you. And then, um, my final three years there, at that point, the team was so large that we needed a person just to do hiring all the time. Um, so that was like my last. About three years at Windy City Dog Walkers, but basically from the point I became the field manager. I mean, I was going through, um, applications from my car in between dog walking visits. So I was fortunate enough to work with dogs that were not my own for 11 years. I really loved it. I miss it. I, you know, um, can appreciate what it is. I’ve dogs of my own. So, um, I just, my old boss used to say this line, um, that, Hey, we’re the dog walkers, you know, we’re not lawyers. We’re not, um, parking people putting out parking tickets all throughout Chicago.

[00:09:07] Everyone likes the dog Walker. And, I kind of want us to be like that, you know, like I, I want people to say, Oh, Walker scout, you know, and we’re helping people, we’re helping the dog stay safe because we’re screening these applicants, we’re helping the business owners not lose their marbles, because they’re hiring the wrong people, hopefully they could make some more money by scaling up or improving their team. But, yeah, I mean, it’s a for profit business, so, you know, there’s, there’s a little ulterior motive there, but, um, yeah, I’m really happy with the results when people tell me that they, Had a Walker Scott recruited staff member work for them for two years or three years at this point. It’s like, man, that’s just so crazy to think that that one short little conversation we had with them led to them working there for three years. I mean, I met my wife because I was a dog walker. So, it’s really wild to think how your life unfolds and dog walking and pet sitting is such a wonderful thing. To be a part of that connection, you know, that’s just so awesome

[00:10:07] Morgan: Yeah, I think, uh, there is something magical, uh, for me when I get to see my employees building really awesome relationships with the clients, both the pet client and the person client, um, to see those relationships develop is something really special.

[00:10:24] And I know . There was many years where I was building our business to become, um, taking it part-time and then full-time just myself and then starting to add team members. And even if, when it was just myself and part-time, I was like, gosh, this is so cool. I get to do this. And then I got to do it full-time.

[00:10:39] It was like, gosh, this is so cool that I get to do this and now I get to hire other people to help do this too. And they get to have that same feeling of like, gosh, I can’t believe I get paid to hang out with dogs and, you know, to do this really cool work. And I think there’s just something really special when it comes to those relationships that we get to build with our clients.

[00:10:59] Joe: Yeah, we’re very fortunate. I mean, um, I have friends that work in the world of you know Whatever big business and all these different, uh, high stress high pressure jobs Not that dog walking and pet sitting isn’t high pressure or high stress. You’ve got medications and If you’re walking in like an urban environment that there’s a little safety concerns. Um, I’ve never walked a dog in California, but like Foxtails are a really big deal in California. Um, so you need like awareness, you know, but, um, I never really had a bad day. You had hard days, but you didn’t have a bad day. You know, maybe a bad day would be like, you know, Hey, I did my last walk with Oliver and you know, Oliver’s going to the rainbow bridge this weekend. You know, like that would be a bad day. But generally, dog walking, um, was always very joyous. And then… You know, I’d punish myself because then I would go to an office and work in a cubicle and work as a recruiter for a huge RPO. That’s how this whole thing got started. I worked for an RPO in Chicago from like 3: 30 to whatever it was in the evening because most of my candidates I was meeting with were on the west coast. So it was only 1. 30 in the afternoon when I was meeting with those people. So that was a weird world that I would dog walk and be away from screens and be away from a desk. Someone just used the phrase, I’d never heard this before, dying at the desk.

[00:12:22] I was, you know. I was walking through the day and loving it, and I was dying at the desk at night, Monday through Thursday. So, um, but if it wasn’t for that job and the skills I acquired there, I probably wouldn’t have been able to help the way I did at Windy city or do what I’m doing now. 

[00:12:38] Morgan: Yeah. I always think it’s so interesting at like how those little moments, um, kind of connect together and lay our lives out. Um, we started pet sitting, well one because, um, we got a dog whose previous family, this is kind of a convolution. We got a dog whose previous family used to pet sit for my coworker,

[00:13:00] And he’s like, well, hey, do you wanna start pet sitting for us? I’m like, yeah, sure, why not? And it just kind of grew from there. And then my husband actually got laid off from a job after he was a bone marrow donor. It was just a crazy story too. And he ended up 

[00:13:14] Joe: I didn’t know that.

[00:13:15] Morgan: Yeah. And he ended up working at Petco ’cause there was a Petco opening and that started him in the pet retail world.

[00:13:21] And he is been there ever, not at Petco still, but he’s been in the pet retail world ever since. And all of these things really connect us and I like to think, gosh, I don’t know if we would be doing what we’re doing right now if we didn’t have that experience. And so it’s again, one of those things where it seemed like a terrible day, the worst day ever.

[00:13:38] And it really turned into something much better than that. And it’s, yeah, I just think it’s so cool where, where our lives take us.

[00:13:45] The Role of Experiences in Shaping Us

[00:13:45] Joe: Yeah, I mean, our experiences shape us. I mean, I think that I became a dog walker because I was working from home. And I, in Chicago, uh, many apartments don’t let you have a dog. And I was young. I was in my mid to late 20s. I was kind of older to become a dog walker. I feel like most dog walkers are like early to mid 20s, you know? Um, but I was in an apartment that didn’t allow dogs. I had two cats, but you know, no dog. So I wanted to get out of the house, spend some time with dogs. Um, Our experiences shape us. My mom, um, was one of the biggest cat lovers I’ve ever met in my life. We had every possible stray you could imagine at our back door, you know, at night eating dinner or my mom’s bringing them in.

[00:14:31] And, um, even like my dad, my dad is, uh, I’m first generation on my dad’s side. He’s from, he was from Sicily. And he grew up in Detroit and, you know, he didn’t really speak English when he came here. So he spent his entire childhood trying to become more American. If that makes any sense to assimilate to society. And then my dad who passed at a very young age was an incredibly successful art director designing the concepts behind commercials that people know even now, and it’s because he knew Americans better than Americans knew themselves. Because of his childhood, because he wanted to be American and he wasn’t. So, um, it’s really weird how our lives, I mean, my, not a lot of people know this, kind of embarrassing. But, you know, since you said no one’s listening or watching or 

[00:15:23] Morgan: no one’s listening right now. Go ahead share 

[00:15:25] Joe: Well, it kind of came out at my sister in law’s wedding because my sister in law met her husband through online dating. And I met my wife through online dating. And it’s because my ex girlfriend, we broke up and we were still friends. And she’s like, Hey, I heard you’re not seeing anyone. You’re like a monk. And I said, well, you know, I’m just really busy or whatever. She’s like, you should try online dating. I think you’d really like it. And I made a profile, and I didn’t know what to say.

[00:15:52] So I talked about the dogs, right, in my profile. I had pictures of me and the dogs. I talked about the dogs. You know, and I think, honestly, if it wasn’t for those dogs, there’s no way my wife would have reached out to me. And no way. There’s just no way at all. So my entire personal life is, is wrapped around me becoming a dog walker. So, um, yeah, yeah. Our experiences shape us.

[00:16:20] Morgan: Hmm. I love that. I have a, I like to say that we need to live life more like our dogs. And this is just proof, right? Like the more, I don’t know, our dogs are just so good. They’re just so good at living life. They make time for fun. They build relationships. You know, like I had a foster puppy, right and we took him on a local TV show . He was well-behaved for the most part. Um, and you know, he was just like, this is the best day ever. I get to explore things, I get to meet new people. And I’m just like, you know, like if we all just took that much enthusiasm forward in life, like life would be a lot better.

[00:16:55] And I think, you know, when you say you built your dating profile around your dogs, like, it doesn’t surprise me that she would be attracted to that because again, like our dogs are so joyful and if anybody can find, that just again, that joy in living with dogs, I think you have a lot of joy living life in general.

[00:17:13] So, yeah.

[00:17:14] Joe: Yeah. I mean, I had no ulterior motive with it. I just was like, Hey, this is what I’m passionate about Right. 

[00:17:19] Morgan: Like this is my life.

[00:17:20] Joe: but not even my dogs and I love them, you know, and I care for that. I get to see them all the time and yeah, it was good. It was really. And, and my mom got to see me, uh, my mom was able to not, we never let, you know, anyone in the homes that was not a member of the staff.

[00:17:38] But a couple of times my mom was able to, you know, she’d be in the city for whatever reason and I’d say like, Hey, I can meet you at like Michigan and 14th and you can meet Paddington the, the beautiful golden doodle or whatever. And it was cool to see, like my mom get to see that world of, you know, and uh, yeah, it’s just fun. Dogs are fun. 

[00:17:59] Morgan: here’s a question for you. Um, so I also come from, uh, an immigrant family. My dad is first generation American. My grandpa left Norway after World War ii, moved to the us He was a Merchant Marine before World War ii, and then served in the Navy in World War ii. And he made the joke that he wanted to get as far away from the ocean as possible.

[00:18:17] So he moved to South Dakota and um, right. When you were talking about the, the effort to be as American as possible, I definitely, you know, connected with that. Uh, because my grandparents sent their kids to school without speaking English. Um, my grandpa spoke pretty good English. My grandma didn’t speak as well, um, but they intentionally sent their kids to school not speaking English, because my grandpa said, you are Americans and you are gonna speak English like Americans. And I don’t, he didn’t want them to have the same accent that he did. 

[00:18:48] Joe: Oh, wow. 

[00:18:49] Morgan: Um, mom’s an academic and first. she had a very hard time with me leaving my architecture professional master’s degree career track behind to become a dog walker. Did you have that in your family?

[00:19:01] ’cause you mentioned, again, you mentioned the immigrant background and a lot of times people who come from an immigrant background, you know, they have these visions of like, oh, we’ve moved to America and our children are gonna be doctors and lawyers. And then you’re like, cool, I’m gonna be a dog walker.

[00:19:15] Like, did that, was that a, was that a, a challenge point for your family or were they pretty good about just letting you kind of this and run with it?

[00:19:23] Joe: so, so truth be told. So my dad passed at a very young age and he didn’t get to see me, you know, beyond third grade.

[00:19:33] So I don’t know what he would have thought. Um, he was a very creative person, so I don’t know. I, I, I. would like to think, because we’re helping people, I’d like to think that he’d be happy with it.

[00:19:44] Um my mom passed about a year after Walker Scott

[00:19:50] started. But I did tell her how happy I was, um, to do what I was doing. And she knew, um, she was happy for me. She was, you know, I, I have an uncle. Um, who every Christmas he’s, you know, he’s financially well off and he’s, he would say, do you need money to start a dog walking business yet?

[00:20:11] You know, every year he’d ask, Hey, you’ve been working at this company for X amount of years. You obviously know. Pretty much how to run a business at this point. When do you want to start your dog walking business? And I always say the same thing. I don’t think that’s really for me. Maybe one part of it, recruiting maybe, but not the whole thing. Um, he was probably the one that didn’t get it the most. My mom knew I really loved the animals, my mom. Um, and she knew I loved recruiting in HR. Because I went to college and had courses and, you know, that’s where, that’s what my focus was, my studies were. Um, no, I don’t know. I think that my father’s family, like my aunts and uncles, I still don’t think they, they understand what I’m really doing, but we don’t really talk about that much. Um, you know, so no, I didn’t get any pushback. In a way, my mom was happy I was working with animals on some level, just because she was an animal lover. Um, But no, I, I think they just want me to be happy,

[00:21:10] you know, um, I mean, not going to lie, the fact that I get to drop off my daughter at kindergarten now and pick her up from kindergarten. And, you know, I get to spend time with my cats and my dogs and. I’m very fortunate. So, yeah, uh, I think that everyone overall would be relatively pleased.

[00:21:28] The Value of Enjoying Our Work

[00:21:28] Morgan: I love the phrase that you used, like, that you’re happy about it. ’cause um, so again, my, my mom in particular was very apprehensive with this. Just kind of the general idea of me leaving a quote unquote professional profession and moving to, she’s like, whatcha gonna do Walk Dogs forever? And I was like, yeah, like, that sounds fantastic.

[00:21:48] Um, and um, it wasn’t that long after I had quit. My dad had mentioned that he was talking to a, a friend and it kind of giving him an update on what I was doing. And they said, oh gosh. Well, is she happy? And I was like, oh, I love that. You know, just that idea of it doesn’t, I, I think there’s still a lot of misconceptions in the pet care world that it’s not a profession, it’s not a career.

[00:22:10] It’s, you know, something that people just kind of do. Um, but does it even matter? Like if you enjoy doing it, does it matter if anybody has this, i this professional opinion about what it is that you’re doing, but what’s the point in life of working so hard and being miserable and you, and you hate the largest part of your life, right.

[00:22:31] And we,

[00:22:32] Joe: You hate where you spend a quarter of your adult life? Work? 

[00:22:36] Morgan: exactly. You know, most of us, we get up, we go to work, and we maybe have a couple hours and we go to bed and we do the whole thing over again. And so if you don’t enjoy, if that part of your life isn’t making you happy, kind of what’s the point?

[00:22:47] Joe: Well, I mean, I don’t want to make this about the dollars and cents thing. Um, but I will say I’ve had the fortune of working with a wide variety of clients. Um, I, I helped a client, um, about almost two years ago now. Um, there’s still a client. Um, hire their first non related person, like every person that worked for his business before, I think it was like his brother and his sister, maybe a roommate, but like we helped him hire his first real person that he didn’t know. And we’ve helped him hire multiple people. Now his business is growing, and that was really cool. It’s still a small business, but it’s growing. I’ve helped people hire their hundredth person, maybe their 200th person. , I work with some larger accounts to people that have been in the business for five years or 10 years or 20 years. And um, if you really love what you do. The money just comes naturally, I think, if you really love what you do, the money will come because you’re putting your effort into it. You’re putting your, your time and your effort and your energy into it. And I have some clients who, if you told a person in the street, Oh, this person owns a dog walking business or a pet sitting business.

[00:23:59] Oh, that’s nice. But if you told them how much overall revenue that business brought in, They’d be surprised, you know, I mean, people talk about the six figure dog walking business. I’ve worked with multiple seven figure dog walking. So I think we need to change that going back to all of like the stigma of pet sitting, the stigma of dog walking. It’s a, it’s a small business just like any other, it’s a service business. You don’t have to worry about necessarily having a bunch of product. You don’t have to worry about having a physical space in some cases, you know, it’s the ultimate startup. Cause you don’t need, you don’t need a lot to get going other than effort and desire. It’s like the American dream, you know, it really is. I mean, I have a lot of relatives on my dad’s side that they didn’t graduate or barely graduated high school. So they all became, , people in the trades like butchers and stuff like that. And then they would have side businesses. Maybe you like, janitorial services like for like offices and stuff like that and maybe it’s it was a lot of hard work.

[00:25:01] I mean working two jobs for most of your career that is hard and I don’t know if they really really love being a butcher or really love running a janitorial service, but in when you put it all in perspective they They were able to provide

[00:25:15] and do what they needed to do. So yeah, I don’t know. I think that the whole concept of, Oh, I run a pet sitting business. Like, Oh, that sounds like fun. You get to be silly with cats and dogs all day. It’s like, no, you know, I got 10, 20 people working with me. It’s, um. It’s fun work, but it’s real work. I don’t know any of them that are nonprofit.

[00:25:35] Morgan: know, for sure. And when I’ve had people say, oh my gosh, you do this full time? And I’m like, well, I do. And also I’ve got this whole team who also does this too. And they’re just, their minds are blown that one person alone can make an income off of this. But then to have multiple people helping support their families, um, you know, especially, so I’ve got, I have one, one person who’s full-time with us and the rest are part-time.

[00:25:59] And, you know, it’s cool to also be able to help support people who want that extra cash to do the cool things in life. And that’s big in our business is focusing on both the pets in our care, the clients who are in our care, and us as people who are running the business or being in the businesses.

[00:26:16] We should all get a chance to live a full and happy life. And for our team, part of that is . Getting a good wage that you can then, you know, hey, if you wanna be able to take more vacations, if you wanna be able to, you know, do more hobbies or whatever goal it you are working towards, like being able to help facilitate that and somebody else’s life is really impactful. And, um, you know, it’s just kind of goes to like, this is one of our values that we’re happy to kind of push forward into the world.

[00:26:42] Joe: Yeah. I mean, I think that, um, with, with the work that these companies are providing, if it’s supplemental income or if it’s someone’s primary income. 

[00:26:52] The Importance of Valuing Our Work

[00:26:52] Joe: It could be very competitive. I think we just need to get to the point where dog walking and pet sitting businesses. I think I’ve learned recently that some of them don’t always see their full worth.

[00:27:05] I think we work with animals. We assume we can’t charge X amount of dollars for this because, oh, we’re working with animals. We’re here to help people. You know, I want to help this, this dog or this cat. But when you don’t charge appropriately, we. It trickles down to the wages that you could have paid somebody. And then if you could have paid someone more, could they have stayed longer? Would you have been able to attract, I hate to say it, a better person? So I think that I see this industry moving more and more towards treating these companies like the businesses that they really are and not, Oh, I’m afraid to raise rates because, you know, what will Larry say.

[00:27:48] Morgan: We care about Larry and we really like Larry’s dog or his cat, and we’re afraid of losing his patronage, you know, because we know his situation or we think we know his situation, but you can’t assign somebody else’s value unless you give them the opportunity. Right.

[00:28:05] Um, like I see this a lot in the, in the vet world a lot where, um, I had a vet previously who, uh, we did x-rays on one of my dogs and, um, we’re, I’m a fear free person. Um, fear free certified. And I very much believe like we need to do our best to help our pets have good experiences, whether we’re going to the vet or we have a pets sitter come over.

[00:28:25] Um, she had a torn knee ligament and so they did x-rays and I didn’t know what that meant, um, back then. And so I didn’t realize that meant that she was gonna be like, held on her back with her legs, stretched out to get a good picture of this knee. And she was not a dog who would do well in that position.

[00:28:41] And I didn’t, I just didn’t know. I didn’t know any different and I didn’t ask the questions. Um, well, it turned out that after that she fricking hated every single vet because she had such a bad experience and. . Um, we ended up going to a different vet later, and I kind of said this story and she goes, well, a lot of vets offices will not offer, a short term temporary anesthesia drug to do x-rays because people so many people have an opinion that we’re just out there for their money, and if we offer a more expensive service, it can degrade people’s opinion of us, and so therefore people just don’t even offer it.

[00:29:18] And I was like, yeah, but I, I did appreciate it. Like, I would’ve, you know, I would’ve said yes had I been given that opportunity, but I didn’t even know it was an option. And so it’s, you know, it’s that I, that idea of you can’t know what someone’s values are or what they’re, what they’re willing to, give you in terms of a value unless you give them that option.

[00:29:36] And so a lot of times I think that we get into pets sitting, um, not because we want to be business owners, but because we love the pets and we don’t always have that, that business, um, foundations or those, some of those business skills to know that sure, you might, you might lose some people when you raise your prices, but these are some of those benefits you’re gonna get.

[00:29:55] And obviously we can’t just pick a number out of the air and, you know, charge a bajillion dollars. Like there’s always a, a, you know, there’s always a limit of what some people can pay, but at the same time, you’re right. Like when we do charge a little bit more, we can pass that on to our employees and help them, you know, meet again, meet those goals that they have in their life.

[00:30:14] Joe: Yeah, it’s, it’s really weird, over the last few years I’ve just to see the pandemic kind of burnout essentially, and how if you, you know, are burning the candle at both ends, if you’re really going full throttle all the time, you’re going to have nothing but the leftovers. You’re not going to have anything really left for your personal life, your family life, the other things you’re trying to accomplish outside of business in your life. And I think that mean, I have some clients and some colleagues who do not work. They own dog walking and pets in businesses. They do not work as hard as let’s, let’s say a super dedicated solo sitter. They put forth a lot of effort. They worked very hard for a long time. But now they’re starting to get their life back and I feel like everyone should be able to get their life back.

[00:31:02] I mean, the fact that we’re able to help my client out east who was hiring his first, non related staff member. He’s getting his life back and he’s only five people. This team is very small, four or five people, and he doesn’t have to cover. Every little visit, you know, um, he doesn’t have to be the go to person for every possible task. Um, we all, I mean, we all need to get there. Um, just because we love animals doesn’t mean we should put ourselves through a gauntlet of work. 

[00:31:34] Morgan: Yeah. We don’t have to be a martyr, in order to be, to be worthy of, of doing this work.

[00:31:40] Joe: Yeah, I mean, we love it. I mean, I, the entire time I worked at Woody City Dog Walkers, the 11 years I was working there, Even if I was working full time, I always had another thing I was doing. If I wasn’t working at the RPO in Chicago, in that cubicle, dining at the desk, I was working for an IT business that my friend, uh, owned. And I love problem solving, like tinkering and stuff like that. I had a lot of fun and it was a rewarding experience to work with my friend. And, I could have easily just gone full throttle and worked there or worked at the RPO, but working with animals is so rewarding and so enjoyable, I can’t imagine really putting my effort into another industry because this is the only industry that helps animals, those creatures that can’t always tell us what’s on their mind or how they’re feeling.

[00:32:33] but yeah, Things have to be balanced. You know, uh, in star Wars, Darth Vader balances the force when he throws the emperor down the shaft, right? When he realizes he’s made bad decisions and now he can make good decisions and we need to balance us as an industry. We need to have. This like balance of like owners and managers are not burning out because they’re going all the time and we also need to charge appropriately so we can pay appropriately and just because we love animals doesn’t mean we should accept every client. It doesn’t mean we should accept every visit. There has to be

[00:33:07] Morgan: Yeah, absolutely. I know you are also really passionate about you can help a, business owner find the right person for their job opening, how that can really help them generate more revenue. 

[00:33:17] The Importance of Long-Term Solutions in Hiring

[00:33:17] Morgan: Because, many times we don’t realize the cost to hiring the not quite right person or the totally wrong person, um, there’s a cost associated with that.

[00:33:27] And, I’d be interested to hear from you what, how you manage this with your clients, because sometimes we just say, I just need somebody who can, you know, I just need somebody who can take Saturday mornings because I need a day to sleep in. Or I’ve got, a kid’s soccer game or, fill in the blank reason.

[00:33:42] Like, I just need somebody to do this. And how do you balance that with your clients of saying, but no, you really need. The right person because just finding someone to do this work isn’t going to get those long-term goals of getting that better work-life balance or getting that revenue ?

[00:33:57] Joe: Yeah. Well, not to give myself a sales pitch, but the way we’ve modeled our pricing, we are only paid when someone starts working at our clients businesses. So we’re not paid by the interview or paid by the hour. We’re paid based on someone joining your team and being an effective, safe member of your team.

[00:34:17] Right. And we’re actually paid more. The longer someone’s there, up to six months. So at the very least, we have a ethical and financial and professional interest in only suggesting people that we feel confidently can safely work for your business for at minimum six months. Right? So I’ve had people tell me, literally, I need bodies.

[00:34:42] I just need bodies at this point. It’s like, I already could say like, That’s not the mindset we need going into this. We really need to look for people who need long term solutions to your problems. If it’s a weekend thing, if it’s an evening thing, you know, whatever you’re trying to accomplish. So I try to look at it from the perspective of let’s find long term solutions.

[00:35:02] And we meet great people. I’ve met people with fantastic resumes. They’re really great when they’re interviewing with us, everything on paper or in person seems fantastic. But as recruiters in the pet care industry, we need to figure out how does this person’s application, experiences, schedule, availability, I guess, all of those things, how does it fit into our client’s needs?

[00:35:27] Even though this person was a fantastic accountant for the last 20 years, how does working as a part time dog walker and pet sitter, It into their professional life now. We never asked about personal stuff. We never asked about who they live with, their children, if they’re married, if they have children, their age, any of those things. I, it doesn’t make a difference to us. And we, we professionally can’t ask those questions, but just on a professional level, how does working here fit in short term and longterm and do their goals kind of coincide with our client’s goals. If they do, then we have a path forward. And then it’s a possible safe solution for our client. it’s a, it’s a problem in business. Like no other, problem, you know. Everyone knows Steve Jobs from Apple when Steve Jobs started his weird next computer company in the mid eighties. It was a new business, had no brand recognition, right? It’s a totally new business and it can’t be Apple because he’s been ousted from Apple and he hired Paul Rand, the designer to design the next logo. If you ever get a chance to Google the next computer logo, it’s like a really weird, minimalistic logo. He did the logos for like, I think like uPS and a bunch of other huge companies. Right. And when he hired Paul Rand, the fee was a hundred thousand dollars. Which for Paul Rand is a discount, I think, but the thought was, Steve said, well, for 100, 000, how many different logos will you show me, you know, like, how many will I get to choose from? And I think the quote is Paul Rand said, you will get one logo in the one logo will solve your problem. And if you choose for this logo, not to solve your problem, then you can go talk to another graphic designer. So we’re kind of of that mindset of like, we’re not going to just throw a bunch of candidates at the clients. And say, well, this person could be good. Like, I hope they’re all right. You know, we really want to solve the client’s problem. And then if that person does join the team and they start to solve the problem, be it client demand not being met, quality and expectations not being it, know, or just turnover, we all have turnover, even at the smallest team. So we want to solve the problem. 

[00:37:36] So that’s kind of why I like to circle back on like. I need, I need just somebody to cover saturday. It’s like, well, I don’t know. I don’t want to just find somebody because if you find just a bozo, anybody that has a pulse and a hand to hold the leash, we’re going to be back at this problem two months from now, and I will have wasted all of my time. Your time, dogs at risk, client’s home is at risk, brand reputation at risk, Walker Scott’s reputation is at risk. It’s just, it’s not worth the risk to me to send people I’m not confident in. We’ll definitely tell clients, this is a two star candidate. This is a three star candidate. We can rank them and fairly say, this person’s probably better than that person. But yeah, I’m not in the mindset of like, Because this isn’t a factory, it’s not going to just bring somebody off the sidewalk and say, when the machine comes here, grab this lever, punch a hole in the metal, and it moves down the conveyor belt. This is so more complex because it requires critical thinking, independent work, ethics. You need tremendous ethics to work as a pet sitter and dog walker. 

[00:38:44] Morgan: Independent problem solving skills is also so huge And you’re right, even though I’ve got people who’ve been doing this for multiple years now, like my full-time gal, she’s my first employee that I ever hired. was back in 2018, and so she’s at five years and we together experience new things all the time or, you know, new dilemmas. And sometimes it’s the question of can I handle this myself? Or does this need somebody to, to do this with me or to answer this question with me or to solve this problem with me? And you have to a good, I I feel like it’s very intuitive.

[00:39:16] You have to have like an intuition to know some of these things. Um, but yeah, it can be a challenge when you don’t realize, like a lot of people think, um, and maybe this is a question too for how you find some of these candidates, if, um, but I think some people think, oh, like dog walking. How hard can it be?

[00:39:33] I go to the house, I pick up the dog, I clip the leash on, we go around the block, we come back home again. You know, and we’ve had situations like we’ve helped diagnose cancer and tore knees, and we got a dog, um, who we showed up for the first visit of a vacation and this dog had a blockage, and we were like, oh, this isn’t gonna be good , you know, or you show up and somebody’s dog has had diarrhea all over the house. There are so many levels to this business, and that’s just the pet side, not alone, the people side. And how you have to talk with people, know, clearly communicate and then clearly communicate back with the team.

[00:40:08] Like there’s a lot here. So, um, . 

[00:40:11] The Benefits of Delegating and Finding the Right People

[00:40:11] Morgan: Especially for somebody as a business owner who isn’t great, maybe at those things in terms of, um, you know, helping find that kind of person to do all of those things, it could be beneficial to work with somebody like yourself or to have somebody on their team maybe who does have those skill sets.

[00:40:27] Because I know we’ve talked a little bit about how you don’t need to be the chief everything officer, and there are things that you can start to hand off and you should, um, realize what your skill sets are and it’s okay to hire or consult out the rest because, we can’t be good at everything and we shouldn’t be good at everything.

[00:40:44] But that can be hard when you finances are a little bit tight, to realize that you’re better off hiring some of these things out.

[00:40:52] Joe: Yeah. I mean, um, that was a big one. cause you’re right. There’s a lot to look out for. I will, I will say from my own personal experience with Walker scout, and this kind of ties into work life balance and, and all of those things, my big aha moment. Was because you were saying before the podcast began, you’re more of a big picture

[00:41:14] person.

[00:41:15] Um, like, I love being on a flight. If, like, the wifi isn’t working now, you’re forced to look out the window and just have deep thought, um, some of the best moments for me. a big thing for me when I first started doing this, I thought I would do every interview. I thought they’d all just, that’s how it would work. I would do every interview because I’m the most experienced. Why wouldn’t I do every interview? And then I realized that if my skill is in recruiting, why can’t I find other people to do the interviews

[00:41:48] Morgan: why can’t you recruit a recruiter?

[00:41:50] Joe: Why can’t I recruit a recruiter? And then I know that there’s no way a recruiter is going to be the right fit because they’re maybe a technical recruiter or a medical recruiter. So who are your pet care recruiters? Well, probably the best pet care professionals you’ve met. So like out of the six people that work here, including myself on the recruiting side, because there’s one person just does, um, work histories and reference checks. But out of the five people that are currently part of the recruiting team, only two of them were recruited. Three of them were people I’ve met, either I hired them for dog walking, pet sitting roles, and they were just the best dog walkers and pet sitters, or they were working for businesses that I knew that they were working at. Those businesses were no longer employing those people. As soon as I knew they were available, I said, you gotta help me, because I know you’re the best, you know? And, um, the two recruiters I brought on here, through actual recruitment, Um, they came from a vet background, which I thought was exciting because most of us were from a pet sitting background.

[00:42:52] So it was nice to have someone with a little bit more of a vet background, kennel background. And then one person actually is a former recruiter, but they also sell cattle and it’s really amazing. So going back to this with recruitment, like you have to find the right people. You have to, you really have to do your best to not just hire anybody. and if you could find the right people and delegate out and delegate out. That is gonna free you up for much bigger things. This year we’ve, not to make this a sales pitch, but we rolled out, I test, I tested so many different software companies until we selected Grain as our like video recording, transcription service. I tested up so many different companies to find a job board. We have Walker Scout jobs, which is like a job board just for our clients. And it’s also going to syndicate to Google jobs, you know, so it’s just kind of like, I wouldn’t be able to do these big picture projects. If I was doing every interview, um, it was a Christmas break. We don’t really work from the middle of December until after New Year’s because we’ve tried interviewing during that window. And no one has ever hired in that window, because if we’re, even if we’re working, our clients are too busy or they want to not be busy. And, um, we came up with a really great professional reference process a couple of years ago during that lull time. And so you need to have those moments where you could step away through delegation. Through either internal delegation or through vendors just to really get at the big picture of this, you know, um, if you don’t, you’re going to just be spinning your wheels, you know, what’s that line? You can’t see the forest from the trees like you’re never going to get above this. If you’re just always knee deep in it.

[00:44:37] Morgan: Yeah, I totally agree with all of that. and maybe, I don’t know if you can speak to this. I know you, again, you’ve talked about being really passionate about being able to build teams for people and how you then also you found these recruiters because you knew them in other roles. do you have any tips for how to start that delegation process within a team?

[00:44:55] If someone says, Hey, I’ve got five employees, how do I how does to know what those people’s extra skills are that could be helping their business so they could start to hand off? Like you said, I don’t have to do all of the interviews myself. Um, there’s so many admin tasks within a pet care business, that people can start handing some of those things off .

[00:45:13] Joe: that’s a great question. So I have a client out West. Who puts it right in the job post. Tell us about your passions. Tell us about your skills. You know, if you have a knowledge of marketing, uh, websites, photography, whatever. Could be anything. Could be blogging. Whatever comes to mind. If you are passionate about it, they will try to find a way to incorporate your skills. Maybe that you’re not a professional in that world, but you have a knowledge of that world. They will try to find a way to incorporate those skills into growing their business because that owner in particular truly looks at their business as a small business, not a exclusively pet care business. 

[00:45:51] There’s no difference between a small business and a pet care business. They’re one of the same, but we often don’t look at our businesses as small businesses. We look at them as pet care businesses. That’s why like the logo, the full logo for Walker Scout actually says small business recruiting with a dog in the logo. We’re not always just going to say, Oh, pet care, because it’s just not, we’re not thinking outside the box it also internally promoting your team. That’s the way to go. If you could do it, because if you try to hire outside, it’s going to be more expensive. You want to promote from within it’s less expensive. They already know your business. They already know your expectations. You could kind of mentor them. So if you can foster those relationships to promote them from, from a dog walker bowl, like I was, I I get bored after three years, about two or three years, if my job doesn’t challenge me enough, I get bored.

[00:46:41] I look for a new job and Tony, I don’t know if he knew this or it was just because the business was growing and he had new needs. I always was given a new set of responsibilities every two or three years. And that challenged me. It compensated me. It kept me motivated to keep going. And you’re going to have people like that on your team where it’s like, Hey, if we don’t give, you know, um, Mary a new responsibility, I wouldn’t be surprised if two months from now, three months from now, she’s going on indeed and looking for a job. 

[00:47:11] So you could definitely put in the job post what you’re looking for. You could tell your staff we’re having a problem with X, Y, and Z. If you’re interested in talking about this problem with us, administration, scheduling, sales, marketing, human resources, whatever it is, see who steps up and grabs the brass ring, right? Who actually wants to help you grow your business. And then of course, at the same time, I think if you could create a culture of we’re all in this together, um, Tony has this Walker first, when you see dog walkers, where I work. They have a very much a walker first mentality. They’re more focused on the walkers and the clients. Because the walkers are bringing in the revenue. The walkers are the ones that make this all happen, right? And we’re all in this together. 

[00:47:59] I remember when we hit, um, 60, I can’t remember what the number was. Oh, what was it? 60, 000 walks, I think it was. We did 60, 000 individual visits in one year. And, uh, yeah. And I mean, that was like nuts, right? That’s crazy. Like, that doesn’t

[00:48:15] Morgan: wanna do the math on this. Hold on. Gimme a second. 60,000, right? Divided by 365. I mean, that’s 160 some walks a day.

[00:48:25] Joe: We were going like mad men and

[00:48:28] Morgan: crazy. 

[00:48:28] Joe: women and it was, it was bad people. We were, it was just incredible. And everyone wanted to make it happen. Not everyone was as motivated as others. Some of them were, you know, maybe Not even thinking about it, but it was exciting because we’re all and we’re in, we’re trying to help each other too. Hey, Mike is sick today. Who wants to help cover some of Mike’s dogs? You know, if you foster a team environment, people actually want to help out for each other. Oh, Crystal’s running late. Her car had a flat tire. Can you walk Crystal’s three o’clock walk? Oh, sure. For Crystal, happy to help, you know? 

[00:49:01] So yeah, if you can create a team based environment, an environment that’s welcoming, that’s nurturing, that’s caring. Um, a continued learning environment. If you work with employees, you have a leg up because you could train these people and you could actually offer them continuous learning, paid training. Um, that’s how I think how I would see it. Uh, you know, so if you start to delegate tasks and responsibilities out, if you don’t already have it in the job post, if you’re not learning it in the recruitment cycle, I would just Get it out there in once they like I said grab the brass ring who wants to really step up 

[00:49:38] some companies if you have a smaller team, maybe no one wants to step up. Maybe they just want to work with animals. I don’t blame them. You know as much as I liked working in that office by myself listening to my own tunes, if I didn’t see a dog for two or three days in a row I’m like wow, I could be working anywhere. It doesn’t make a difference I’m working with dogs, you know people don’t get into this work to do that people get into this work to work with dogs. 

[00:49:59] Morgan: I think too, just being aware perhaps of what people’s other job is, especially if they’re doing part-time work, like I’m assuming your boss knew that you were working as a recruiter then he could say like, Hey Joe, you wanna do some recruiting for us instead of for this other business? Like, how did that transition go?

[00:50:16] Joe: I basically said, Hey, I’ve got downtime between either shadowing walks or between visits I was performing myself. And if we have a day where there’s no Walker ill or no Walker on vacation, if I just have a day where I have a free schedule, I want to contribute on some level. I’m the kind of person where it’s like, if I’m working at a company and I’m being paid hourly and I don’t have a lot to do, I start to question the value of this position.

[00:50:43] Cause if I’m not bringing, Some kind of action, what am I doing here, you know, so I wanted to be busy and I think he wanted to find things to keep me challenged because he knew, I’m the kind of person that wants to do something. I can’t just like wait for things to happen. So I think I had mentioned some of the lessons I had learned from the combination of college and my time at the RPO and things that we could do to expedite. Recruiting for me is you got to be as fast as possible, but you can’t miss a thing. So

[00:51:12] it’s both fast and concise and it doesn’t have to be one person that does everything. It probably needs to be a team. By having a team, you’re able to kind of move along faster. Um, it happened just yesterday. Uh, we had a person apply for a business and in our interviews, we typically ask if they’ve applied at other animal related businesses. And they had applied at a place that we knew could probably outbid us. We knew that they could, know, offer this candidate more money. owner, I told the owner, uh, the owner called the applicant up. They’re an excellent salesperson, got them on the phone and we were able to offer this person a job, get them to agree to the job, send the docu sign over. And they canceled their interview at the other dog walking company. you have to do that sometimes. You have to really fight. And this person’s gold. This person’s probably the best person that might apply to that company all year. So you have to really fight for them sometimes. And, know, it’s just business. when you have a really good person come through, it’s like, you know, the king is here. The queen is here. We got to make, make way for the queen, you know. And, um, you really have to go jump through some hoops sometimes, but we got them, you know, and if this person can give us a solid six, 18, 24 months of work, boy, that’s a big victory for that company.

[00:52:23] So, 

[00:52:24] Morgan: absolutely. And I just kinda wanna throw, back to uh, I don’t love the phrase work life balance ’cause it makes it feel like there’s a teeter-totter between work and life, and we’re always on this teeter-totter and you’re either doing one or the other. 

[00:52:36] The Challenges of Control

[00:52:36] Morgan: and kind of struggled with this your own world that you, you’ve had, you’ve had the same struggles that every one of your clients is gonna have, which is how do I have the trust that I can hand this work off to my team and that I don’t have to do all of the things.

[00:52:53] Um, you have any advice for people on, on how you’ve kind of struggled through that or what that journey has been like for you?

[00:53:00] Joe: Yeah, no, I, I, um, like I said, your talk at the, at the, at the summit was eye opening for me. It’s the one that I remember the most, and there were a lot of conversations and, and discussions there. Um, I’ll give you a great example of how my life has changed over the last few months. I’m a kind of a control freak freak too, because I feel like if I ever pass someone on that is not a safe dog walker, I’m putting an animal… In jeopardy, I’m putting a client in jeopardy because this person will you know, possibly be at home when the clients are home, I’m putting the clients home in jeopardy by, and I’m putting my clients businesses reputation in jeopardy I ultimately the client makes the hire, but like, I never want to see them get a lawsuit or something.

[00:53:37] So but it is always been a huge concern for me. And because of that, I’m a control freak. And I would review every applicant that would come through, even if I didn’t do the interview. Thank you. I would review the applicant before it reached the client. And I realized now my team is skilled enough now and they have built up this experience. They’ve got the calluses to prove it, so it’s a thing where I started letting them submit candidates directly to the client for approval. And I’m still, I’m not going to lie, I’m still looking at them and I’m looking at them after they’ve been sent, because we want to expedite the process for the client, right? We want to get these people after they’ve passed the interview. It was like 1 in, 1 in 25 where I would say, oh, this person probably isn’t a good fit, you know? So it wasn’t worth slowing down 24 other candidates client review, because at this point the recruiters are removing from consideration the people I would have removed, right? 

[00:54:31] had a lot of stress about that, about letting go of that control, but it has changed my life because now if I’m not able to a few hours that I don’t have to worry about an inbox full of candidate summaries that I have to approve. And it’s the same thing in the pet sitting and dog walking world.

[00:54:49] If you have to approve every email going if you could approve, you know, every paycheck that’s you’re never going to be able to grow your business. And the pressure is just going to build. And I did it to myself for three years. I wanted to be the gatekeeper But gatekeeper for all candidates passing through Walker scout, but I have to stand by my recruiters.

[00:55:11] I’m really proud of them. we’re still, I’m still auditing all their work, you know, reading all their summaries, to, I hate to say it, I don’t listen to music anymore, I listen to interviews, you know, I’ll tell them, oh, I think you missed that follow up question there, you know, that would be a good chance to ask about X, Y, and Z, why didn’t they like this dog or whatever, but, um, you, you need to let go, otherwise, otherwise, otherwise, You’re never going to be able to grow the business.

[00:55:32] You’ll never will be able to that. You’re right. get that that work life balance. Um, I mean, Darth Vader proved that he was dark side for 40 years, But yeah, you gotta let go mean, if you have no intention of growing your it’s all about your personal touch. I remember I interviewed someone a few years ago. They were in San Francisco. They were a hairstylist and they worked at a really fancy salon. And the name of the salon was the name of the owner and what the owner would do. The owner would greet patron. Hello, come sit down. What do you want to do with your hair? They touch their hair. They look at it, you know, I don’t know what they were but then they’d tell the stylist what the client wants.

[00:56:12] The client wouldn’t tell the stylist client tells the owner. Owner tells the stylist stylist does the work. Owner comes in the last steps and then the client would think the owner and walk out and it was about the owner. They need to say hi to the owner on their way in. They need to say goodbye to the owner on their way out. That business was never going to scale because the owner didn’t want it to. The owner wanted complete control. That I’m sure that business does a million dollars a year. 10 who knows? She said it was madness. The prices were crazy. The place was was bumping. know, she said the reason why he had to be involved on that small because there was no other way to scale it. If he had to actually cut someone’s hair. There was no way the business was going to but because the business was his name, he had to do that. So if that’s the kind of business you want to run, which it’s again, it’s a profitable business, then you don’t need to delegate. You don’t need to worry about figuring out who’s going to take care of these emails or something.

[00:57:11] But if you want to be able to take a day off and not have to worry about How many leads are in your inbox? How many candidates are in your inbox? How many calls are being missed with a client with concerns? You then you need to have a serious conversation with yourself. 

[00:57:28] Morgan: Yeah. Absolutely. And I think, you know, not everybody should hire, right? Not everybody is a great manager. Not everybody is a great team leader, but for those who wanna take on that challenge, um, again, making sure you got the right people on the team makes all the difference in the world. Because I think too, like from a business owner standpoint, or even like for you working as a manager, It makes such a difference when you can fully trust the people who are going out and doing those visits, you don’t have to be doing that handholding and you don’t have to be doing all of that oversight and you can just empower and entrust your team to do that work.

[00:58:04] And that gives you a lot more, more of that life back where you’re not reading every single visit report that comes in at 10 o’clock at night because you wanna make sure that you’ve checked all the things before you went to bed. Like when you can just trust your team to do really great work, you do get some of that balance back.

[00:58:21] Joe: Yeah. If you recruit the right people, you don’t have to audit everything, or you could recruit someone to audit everything. My goal eventually is because I’m auditing pretty much everything now. My goal is at some point, one of the recruiters will become the auditor and you know, that, that would be wonderful. So, um, I mean, you can do all sorts of reports too. I mean, the scheduling software now with the GPS tracking is incredible. Um, you can even run a report if you work with employees to figure out how much time each person’s spending per visit. mean, I used to run reports where we could do the metrics to figure out who your most efficient walker was based on how much

[00:59:02] Morgan: mm-hmm.

[00:59:03] Joe: And then you could just run the report and week to week see the trend and eventually you pull, you know, Samantha aside or whoever it was and say, you know, on days where you’re seeing your efficiency is much than when you’re not seeing Larry. So, what can we do to help you when doing Larry’s visit? Is it travel time? Is it parking? Is it something with his building? Because something needs to give, because, you know, you’re either we’re making less money Or you’re making less money if you’re a commission based company versus hourly. But there’s so many different ways you could track things. Um, look, I mean, I could tell you how many hires we get per man hour.

[00:59:42] You know, like, I track that stuff. Because if I don’t, it’s, that’s crazy, right? Like, you gotta know what your, what your metrics look like. But I’m not gonna focus on, I mean, I don’t listen to every interview anymore. I let that go. I’m, I’m, I’m trying to, you know. Sometimes near the end of the week, I’ll listen at 1. 25 speed, so I can get the last ones done. Um, but I know eventually we’re going to get to the point where, I mean, there are days where we do 10, 15 interviews. And there’s, I mean, 10 to 15, 45 minute to hour long interviews. There’s no way I could keep up at 

[01:00:15] that pace. So, yeah.

[01:00:17] Morgan: Hmm. We’ve really talked about a lot of things today and I love how we’ve tied them all together and again, tied in that as a business owner, the services that you guys provide can really help make a huge difference in their revenue, it can really help 

[01:00:30] Joe: Make sure that you don’t go to the dark side.

[01:00:32] Morgan: Yeah. Try to 

[01:00:35] Joe: We’ll make sure that you don’t make the easy path the dark side of the force. 

[01:00:39] Morgan: Exactly. Exactly. And I think it probably comes down to people just enjoying their businesses. And when people don’t enjoy their businesses, that’s when the burnout hits. That’s when you start seeing people who’ve been in a business for, you 3, 5, 10 years close up shop because it’s not worth it for them anymore. And I think whether somebody uses your services or they’re just doing that work themselves to find those really great fits, it can really make a big difference how much they actually enjoy doing that work. And then that allows ’em to keep going into the future as opposed to working them into a spot where they, they feel like they can’t continue on in this way. 

[01:01:13] Joe: funnel. If you could build a sales funnel, you could build a it takes effort, but it’s not that hard.

[01:01:19] It’s you’re switching your gears from acquiring business to acquiring teammates, you know, that’s all you need to think about. It’s just. Switching the gear it’s going to happen for 

[01:01:30] Morgan: It’s possible to do it yourself. It’s also possible to, find someone else who enjoys that work more than you if that’s a better fit. So 

[01:01:38] Joe: you. Yeah, you could mow your own lawn or have someone else mow it for you. This is no different. If, if, yeah. And we like mowing the lawn.

[01:01:46] Morgan: right. If you enjoy mowing the lawn, go ahead and mow the lawn. But if you are hating mowing the lawn every time it rains and you just are mad that it’s raining once again. know, there’s times like when I’m feeling more burnt out in business and. And it’s, it’s not a good place to be in.

[01:02:03] Like, ’cause I’m the one who still does the majority of our scheduling. And so there’s times when I’m feeling extra burnt out and I know I can tell that I need a break because every time a new service request comes in, I’m like, God dammit. Not again. I just did this yesterday. Like I just rearranged the schedule yesterday and I made it all work and now I’ve gotta do it again today. And I’m like, oh, you know, that’s, that’s the point of this business is to get service requests and approve them. And you know, it’s a good reminder to me sometimes that like, okay, I need, I need to take a step back or have someone else do this for me for a little bit. And if that’s your position as a business owner and you’re like, oh my gosh, not another client, , you know, maybe it means you need to hire, maybe it means you need to find other people to help you get that work done.

[01:02:45] Joe: Good problem to have. The last, last thing a business wants is a quiet inbox, 

[01:02:49] Morgan: it’s hard to, it’s hard to pay the bills when the inbox is quiet, that’s for sure. 

[01:02:54] Well, Joe, thank you so much for being here with us today. And why don’t you go over one more time, how can people find you and find Walker Scout, um, and your new job services board too. Tell us about that. 

[01:03:04] Joe: Oh, uh, walkerscout is simply walkerscout.com. The, uh, job board, if you’re curious, is walkerscoutjobs. com, I know, very inventive, and then, um, the Instagram, we only have Instagram. Facebook is simply too expensive, but, uh, we have Instagram account and that is Walker scout jobs. Walker scout was taken. Um, I think Walker scout is like, um, like a Pakistani boy scouts or something like that. So yeah, it’s, I can’t remember what it was. It’s somewhere around India or Pakistan or something, but somebody got Walker scout. I was really surprised, but yeah, it’s Walker scout. com. Walker scout jobs. com and Walker scout jobs on Instagram. And, um, that’d be wonderful to have someone find 

[01:03:45] Morgan: you so much, Joe for joining us and we’ve, we’ve talked about a lot of things, but I love, I love where we got to go with it. So thanks so much for joining me. 

[01:03:54] Conclusion

[01:03:54] Joe: Oh my gosh, it was a pleasure. Painless! 

[01:03:57] Morgan: and nobody, nobody listened, right? So you’re fine. 

[01:04:01] Joe: I was on a a few years ago and I was very nervous about it because I was consumed with the thought of anyone listening. Like one person alone was enough to make me nervous. And I think it’s because I was trying to, Oh, God, make the business look good. I sell the service. Right. And now I’m at the point now where it’s just like, if they want it, it’s like, there’s this old Mel Brooks part. It’s like, you either got it or you don’t, you know? And it’s like, you either want it or you don’t. So I’d rather just have fun. 

[01:04:30] Morgan: Absolutely 

[01:04:31] Joe: I can help. That’s great. If not, I hope you had a laugh. 

[01:04:35] Morgan: thank you again Joe, 

[01:04:36] Thank you so much for listening today. You can find show notes, transcripts, and more on our website, LuckyPupPod. com. Don’t forget, review, comment, like, share this conversation with your friends. Then, don’t forget to reach out. You can find us on Instagram at LuckyPupPod or LuckyPupPodcast on Facebook. Or send us an email, info at LuckyPupPod.

[01:05:03] com. Until then, don’t forget to live a more full and happy life. We’ll talk to you soon.