Almost every business decision is a difficult one… there’s a lot of thought that needs to go into them.
But… that’s a cop-out. We want to talk about the most difficult decision we’ve ever had to make, here at Invictus Capital.
It can be so hard to move separate ways from a coworker, or an employee. What may have once started out as a great working relationship has now grown in opposing directions. Maybe that person doesn’t fit the company culture anymore. Maybe your values no longer align.
Whatever the reason… letting someone go, or even mutually agreeing on going separate ways, is never an easy decision to make, and certainly not an easy conversation to have.
But it may be necessary to grow your business in the direction that you want.
So, what is the most difficult business decision that we’ve ever had to make?
Find out on this week’s episode of Multifamily Investing Made Simple, In Under 10 Minutes.
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“Is it slack or lack? Do they lack the resources, the training, and the expectations? Have they been set clearly enough? Do they lack something that we have not given them to succeed… or are they slacking?” -Anthony Vicino
“If those core values aren’t in alignment, then it doesn’t matter how smart you are, how technically good you are. We can’t teach you to have your values align with ours.” – Dan Krueger
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[00:00:00] Anthony: Hey, welcome to the podcast. This is Multi-Family Investing Made Simple. We’re, uh, we try to, you know, talk about real estate and take the complexity out of it. Sometimes we succeed more times than not. We play blindly in the darkness. My name’s. This is Dan. Yeah, sometimes
[00:00:30] Dan: we get close. I mean, we never hit it on the bullseye, but sometimes we’re, we’re kind of close.
[00:00:35] Anthony: try just to get in like the general vicinity Yeah. Of the target you asked for. Yeah. Did you know my, my last name, Sino is derived from the same root word of vicinity close. I did not. Or neighbor? Yeah. Now you know. Oh, because whenever you say vicinity, just know. That’s you? I’m, I’m, That’s me. That’s my, that’s my lineage.
You are, We’re close. We’re close, but never on . Okay. [00:01:00] I’ll tell you. Yeah. So I’m a little bit under the weather today, listeners, so I might have either an even sexier baritone. Or more likely it looks like a nasally, um, nasally tone. That’s very hard to listen to. So, Dan, you’re got to carry this conversation.
[00:01:17] Dan: We’ll let the listeners be the judge. Is it sexy or is it
[00:01:20] Anthony: gross? Yeah, maybe it’s both. Maybe you’re a weird listener and you’re like, Hmm. It’s kind of both. Yeah. Not, not, not yucking. You’re yum. Not, you know, hating on your kink. So, Dan, today, this episode is a short one. It’s a quickie. We’re just gonna get in.
We’re gonna get out, we’re gonna have our fun. We’re gonna drop some, I don’t know about value, but we’re gonna drop. What is the hardest business decision we’ve ever had to make?
[00:01:44] Dan: Well, the first thing that popped into my head when this episode was proposed was, well, they’re all hard. Like, I feel like every decision we have to make as a business is, is difficult because it has to, it’s gonna impact so many people.
Yeah. Uh, whether it’s investors or residents [00:02:00] or team members, um, you know, we’ve got a lot of people that, that rely on us in one way or another. So we don’t really take any decision lightly.
[00:02:08] Anthony: Um, yeah. And on that real quickly, so Tony Robbins has this bit where he talks about like the, the power of a decision, and I, I wrote a blog on this a long time ago where he is like, the reason decisions are so hard is like, if you look at the root word again, of decision, it’s from like the same root word of like decimate effectively, where it’s like you’re cutting off, you’re cutting off optionality when you make a decision.
You’re saying, I’m, I’m choosing a path. All these other options that were available to me, I’ve cut those off and now I’m going down the. And I think the reason decisions are hard, especially for us in the sense of like, we talk about this all the time, like maintain optionality. We love options. We love having options.
This is why I try hate committee. I hate, I try to delay a decision as long as possible. Yeah. Until the very last moment that I have to make it and then I make it. But I think part of that struggle is, Like, not fomo, like fear of like, what could [00:03:00] be mm-hmm. , but just knowing like, okay, once we commit to this path, it’s, it’s this path.
[00:03:05] Dan: are valuable. So, you know, you feel like you’re kind of losing a, an asset so to speak, you know, if you make that decision, uh, and all those other ones go away, but, you know, to kind of answer the question, once I got over the fact that, okay, they’re all hard decisions, but that’s not a good answer.
The next thing that came to mind immediately after that was pretty much any time we’ve had to. Terminates, uh, a team member killer. That’s, Yeah. Jesus’. You don’t have any loose
[00:03:30] Anthony: ends of, We’ve never, we’ve never killed anybody lightly. Let’s just say we’ve, we’ve really think about it. We think hard on it a long time, but once the decision’s made, they’re gone.
[00:03:39] Dan: No, we, we haven’t killed a guy in this country. But, um, I will say that, you know, we haven’t, we’ve actually only, I wanna say we’ve only actually terminated one. Yep. And the others, we had some tough conversations and, you know, they ended up, you know, leaving on their own accord,
[00:03:57] Anthony: more or less sort of, I think there was [00:04:00] technically two.
Yeah, No, no, you’re right, you’re right. Cause yeah, the one I’m thinking of, he actually did leave on his own accord, but yeah, on paper. On paper they left. Yeah. But the, the sitting down and letting somebody go is always very hard because they’re, they were awesome at some point that made you think like they could be a good p member of the team.
And then you have to wrestle with the. What I always think of as like slack or lack, is it, on the one hand, do they lack the, the resources, the trainings, the expectations? Have they been set clearly enough? Do they lack something that we have not given them to succeed or are they slacking? And that’s just generally like they’re just not doing the work.
And it’s important, I think, to always assume that you’re the one that fault in saying like, Oh, we tried everything. Like I, I have to do more. But then at a certain point, you have to make the decision. I think that’s the part we struggled with is making the decision sooner. Yes. Yeah.
[00:04:52] Dan: Cuz it’s, it, it sucks Even though, even when somebody is like absolutely horrendous, uh, in their position and [00:05:00] it’s lately obvious that they shouldn’t be there, it’s still really hard to sit down and have that conversation.
I think there was actually another guy that I, I forgot about, uh, it was a short lived maintenance position way back in the day. Oh sure. And this was another one where it. Clearly a bad, uh, fit. He was barely even showing up when he did show up. He wasn’t even working. Um, so it should have been, you know, you’d think on paper that would be an easy call to make an easy conversation, but it was, it still ruined the entire day for me.
I just feel like crap afterwards.
[00:05:29] Anthony: Yeah. Um, well, it’s bad for them to, I, it, what’s interesting is, so here at Invictus we had one big fire, well, not fire, he actually ended up leaving. But it was getting to the point where we’re gonna. and it was really hard to make that decision for a long time because he was in such a key role.
Yeah. And it was a role that we knew was gonna be very, very hard to fill. And so it was kind of like the devil, you knows better, the one that you don’t even have. And so we kept him for much longer than necessary. And then once we got rid of, once he left, um, you know, things changed pretty quickly for the better.
And it was a very similar situation that we had to [00:06:00] escape back in 2017. We had this almost identical. Personality. The, the guy was great at one point in the business, but as we started scaling, having bigger teams, more systems, he no longer re, he no longer thrived in the, in the same way. And we were terrified of letting him go because we didn’t see clearly how we were gonna replace him.
And so we were like, Well, we need a body and there doing the work, so we’ll just keep him in there for now. But then once we did, finally let him go, like we didn’t still have the next person lined up, but now necess. demanded that we find that person and we did.
[00:06:34] Dan: Yeah. I think it’s honestly the, it has a similar feeling to being in like a bad relationship.
Yes. Where like, you know that you shouldn’t be with this person, but you’re so used to it. Mm-hmm. , it’s really hard even though like, you know, it’s horrible. And then in retrospect you’re like, Oh my God, why did I the best? Did I draw that out for so long? Um, but I will say the general across the board, um, Pretty much all the people that haven’t been a good fit here, with the exception of that one, mean this [00:07:00] guy who, that that was a total just slack situation.
But most everybody else, it’s been primarily a cultural clash type of situation. Mm-hmm. where the values didn’t really line up with ours and we found that out too late and early on we, uh, we just didn’t do a good job of defining those on the front end and kind of hire through the lens of those values.
Now we do and we’ve, we’ve, you know, built a much, a much better team because I think we hired with, with. , you know, in the first position, like, okay, do you align on the values? Cause we could train on technicals, we can teach you pretty much anything. But if those core values aren’t in alignment, then it doesn’t matter how smart you are, how technically good you are to thing.
Like we can’t teach you to have values to align with ours. They either do or they don’t.
[00:07:41] Anthony: A, a really good book on this topic is by Ben Horowitz, The Hard Thing About Hard Things, and he talks in there about the things that, like a lot of entrepreneurship, well entrepreneur books don’t really talk about is like, Oh yeah, scaling and growing and defining the goal and like, those are so hard.
But he’s like, No, like what’s really hard is firing people. And so like he spends like a couple [00:08:00] chapters on like, how do you fire. How do you do that? Like, and not just fire people, but then how do you lay off like a chunk of the company? Cuz he had to do that a number of times. And on the one hand, how do you do that in a respectful way for those individuals being let go who were like family, you know, maybe they’re being let go in a situation that’s not really their fault at all.
And then how do you maintain morale amongst the people who are still on the team after that? And so that’s a really good book on the topic. If anybody’s wrestling with it. I wish I’d read.
[00:08:26] Dan: A long time ago. Cause we did a deep dive on that I think. Yeah. Sometime within the last year here. And that was one of my big takeaways, not because I love firing people, but because I was like, oh, this is a really good way to look at it and approach it.
And kind of gave you the framework basically for how to effectively navigate that. Cuz it, it’s inevitable if you have a business, you’re gonna have to do it eventually.
[00:08:43] Anthony: Yeah. All right guys. So that’s the hardest decision that we’ve ever had to make. Um, I got, I got nothing. I’m done. I dry, I’m gonna go eat some soup and lay in a.
Actually, I’m not. It’s it snowed. Yeah. Don’t, It’s like October 12th. It’s snowed. Thanks, Minnesota. [00:09:00] All right. We’ll see guys later. Thanks for being here.