- On August 27, 2020
How can you give such value to the company that you become virtually indispensable? In his final message for the Eastern Union’s summer virtual internship program, Ira Zlotowitz drums in the reality about your value to the company and what you can do to maximize it. We all want to advance in our careers, but to do that means understanding how we can add the greatest value that we can to the organization. The reality is that you are only as valuable as the time and expense you save the company by doing something that someone higher than you are would otherwise have to do. Ira teaches us the value of building efficiency and delegating tasks so that you can free up the time to do the things that really make you shine in whatever department you happen to be. If you’re wondering why some people are paid more than others, you will be enlightened by this episode.
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Summer Internship – Final Message
I wanted to take this list session from summer 2020 and give a little bit of career advice. All of you will be going back to school whatever year you’re in and when you look many years from now, many of you are going to be earning different levels than others. Why is it so? It shouldn’t be that different. In the first year of working, everyone should roughly earn the same amount of money. The second-year working, within X% above that. It doesn’t work that way. Forget about if you open up your own business, forget about being an entrepreneur and do sales. It’s called you eat what you kill. If you are successful in hunting, you’re going to have more to eat. When you are more successful in closing deals, you will have a lot more commission. Why should it be that taking a job should be such a big difference?
I’m sure most you are thinking, “What do you mean? I’m going to get a job working for this company. She’s going to get a job working for that company. Obviously, it paid differently.” I have a bigger question for you. How come the same company will start the same? All the new people that are going to start in 2021 started the same way and in a couple of years, there is a huge difference in what they’re getting paid. They say, “It’s in different departments.” No. Sometimes it’s within the same department. I want to tell you the secret to that. I’ll try to break down the different concepts and different realities from the view of the worker moving up and the view of the boss looking down.
The Hard Reality About Your Value
Ultimately, when you take a job, let’s take a round number of $20 an hour. If you take a job and you are getting paid $20 an hour. You’re not worth $20 an hour when you walk into on job day one. If you look at your what you’re worth, for a whole week, there are 40 hours a week for $20, it’s $800. You are not worth $800. What are you doing for the company that is worth $800? If we can extract the clock time and you clocked on based on the value you brought, sometimes in day one, you did zero. You are lost in them because of someone senior to you have to spend time with you. Some of your hours, you owe the company reimbursement for the person training you for the amount of time they put in. Sometimes you do nothing, you are worth zero. Sometimes you’re working, you literally swept the floor. You did work data entry that they will otherwise have paid someone minimum wage to do.
Let’s call it for the purpose of this conversation $10 an hour work. This other work that even in the first week, your manager tells you, “Do me a favor. Can you please do A, B and C for me?” It could be a stupid errand that you’re doing but if you wouldn’t have done it, the manager would have done it. Now, the manager had an extra hour to do their work on something else. That manager is earning $30 an hour or $40 an hour. At the end of the week, you save the company $40 an hour. You had a couple of hours doing zero, a couple of hours a negative when you blend it all together, you’re probably at $12 an hour by the time your first week is up. The company took a loss giving me a thousand and hour off of it. Over time, you start doing your job properly, you balance out to the $20 an hour.
Ultimately, if remember this as long as you’re working, that’s what’s going on behind the scenes. What’s scary is with the way they track people now and technologies working, they might give you a report at the end of every week about how much you were worth to the company that week based on what you did. Always, every boss looks at their stuff, to a large extent the same way. Your value is how many hours this week did you do work that if you didn’t do it, someone making more money than you would have had to do that work. When you wake up in the morning, you come to work, those that make the most money, they focus on their boss, their one level manager up. They go to that manager and say, “What is sitting on your head that I could do to free up your time?”
If you end up taking on more of that work, that means before you know it, you’re doing $30 an hour work more and more of the day. This way, when it comes to that next raise or the next pay, you’re going to be able to go ahead and demand. Naturally, you never have to fight for that difference of a raise. It’s clear the work you’re doing, leaving aside your title, is more management work or higher pay work than the work you’re making. I heard this great sales pitch once that this person is a traveling salesman and their boss doesn’t want to spend any money. He plays two scenarios. Scenario number one is he turns to his boss and tells his boss, “Can you please stop renting me a car and put me up in a nicer hotel when I travel? Because I’m tired and it’s less travel.” He goes, “Let me speak to my partner. I’ll get back to you.” Sure enough, he doesn’t get back to you. The guy pushes and the boss says, “What am I paying before? The answer is no.”
Now, I’m going to take the same scenario. He comes to the boss and says, “I want to let you know and I don’t care. I want you to understand because of how they booked my room and they booked my car. They go for the cheapest hotel of a certain rating and they go for the cheapest car rental place. The cheapest car rental place is off grounds. When I land then I turned the car, I lose about 25 minutes each way. On the other hand also, from where the main meetings are in the city, you end up sending me that I have to travel 45 minutes to get there. In total, it’s about 1.5 to 2 hours I’m losing work time. I go to meetings every hour and I convert 50% of my meetings. Just so you know, I would have two extra meetings a day when I’m on business trips and the amount of money I’d make on those sales for you, Mr. Boss, $1,000 from that and the difference in price that hotel room in my car is $150. I’m just putting it out there.”
He didn’t have to wait for the partner. He goes, “Go ahead. Go pay for the better room and better car and a better location.” That’s the salesmanship and how you’re presenting it. Also, that’s the underlying reality. When I train people in the office, I coach people, I’m telling you clearly in a digital age, you never want to do anything that someone making less money than you could do or can be automated ever. This is whether your $20,000, $30,000, or $50,000 job. I’m sitting here using an example of Sara Steiner is being promoted to run the small long division at a holdings meeting. I’m having discussions on the same thing. She could do nothing. She could hire someone less than her pay to do it or automate.Take as much work from the person above you and delegate as much as you can. Click To Tweet
When people talk about systems, she’s doing research about systems to use to automate certain parts and processes. People are telling her, “I’m sure your company is going to spend money to assistants that can make your life easier but to come in and pay.” There’s no budget for technology because every piece of technology we put in, we will recoup. I look at the same way when she’s walking into me and saying, “This first piece of technology is a $3,000 number.” I’m thinking to myself, “How much do I pay you an hour? How many hours over the course the next year am I going to save that $3,000? It’s an investment for me. I’ll invest $3,000 and I’ll make $4,000. I made $1,000.”
I know in her time, she’s not going to take her extra time and twiddle her thumbs. She’ll take extra time now, and then be able to help more brokers on their origination. When you’re working in the simplest form, you care always to take more work to the person working from above you and delegate as much as you can. The mistake that most people make that never advance the career is they only delegate after they take on more work and they can’t reach it. First, they get more work and they then are going to go ahead and delegate. It’s the opposite.
You want to delegate first and free up your day. You come to your boss and say, “I figured out how to do my job more efficiently. I could take on more.” Sometimes the boss can look at another way, “Your day is full, I don’t want to give you anything extra.” You can either say, “If I delegate them, my boss won’t need me.” That’s the logical fear. Let me tell you why reality it’s not how it works. The reality is that a person making minimum wage, 100% of the person’s value to the boss is the amount of physical labor or work that’s done, not physically like the secretary. The minimum wage secretary, it’s that work.
When someone starts to get a raise, that difference is 90% of the work that they do 10%, “Because I can rely on you.” That alleviates the boss from thinking about this little area that you’re involved in a little bit less so they could focus their energy on a different side of the business. As you make more money, that’s what’s happening. If you think about it, if you’re honest, loyal, devoted, and hardworking, why should you not get a raise? Think about it. The inflation rate is 2% or whatever that works, why should you get a raise? You’re not providing more value to the company either 3% or 4%.
The answer is because what’s happening is, the company could rely on you more. You become someone that if you left the headache of replacing what value you brought to the table. That is going to change in a very big way. Therefore, you slowly become worth more money. The problem is most people don’t understand why is it that your boss is making double your pay? They don’t work as hard as you do. Do you know why? Because your boss’s boss doesn’t have to worry about you and your whole department from the way your boss does the work. People who never go anywhere complaining about the boss, “The boss’ boss who is was paying my boss. I’m the one doing all the work my co-workers are doing it. It’s not him.”
How To Give More Value
This person takes responsibility for his or her boss. They say, “You don’t have to worry about this department. If someone doesn’t show up. It’s my responsibility. I’ll make it work.” That’s from the bottom up with the people go far to look at it and the people that don’t go far. You want to always be in that role to keep pulling what you can and work, but more importantly, pulling the responsibility. The Jewish word I tell people and I explain it to the head bankers I do business with. There is no English word for this. It’s called the OYL. It puts together responsibility, confidence and trusts me to get the job done. It’s all those words together those three letters.
The person who takes the OYL from me, gets it done. If you take this summer course, for example. You could look at it. You could break it down and say, “What did Sarah do for this course.” It’s a big deal. She called me up and I told her these are the 5 or 6 topics I want. She then went to A and she went to this person and she put it onto a piece of paper. Is the work done? Why is it special? Do you know how special it is? Once I had the first meeting with her, I didn’t have to think about this whole thing until she called me and told me after. I was able to run my business, grow the company the way I want to grow it and the only time I had to spend on this is when she rang the fire drill and she says, “I need help, because what do we do with this?”
That is the word OYL was taken on. I have to think about it. Why does someone get promoted to a division and department? Because the people above them don’t have to worry about them. It’s a great thing in a book. Think like Amazon. What is the difference between the janitor and the CEO? The janitor can give excuses. The CEO can’t. The janitor comes in the morning the rooms a mess? It’s the janitor that mops the floor. You didn’t give me a mop. The CEO could not hit sales during Corona, he has no excuse. Your job is in sales. You didn’t have the sales? Goodbye. Your job is to figure it out no matter what the market hits. That’s your responsibility. The more you could take on the OYL and keep moving up the line, the ladder and take on work at the same time and then learn how to be the one to delegate it out to other people. That’s the value of how you get paid. That’s what I tell people, “You need a mentor.”
What’s the idea of a mentor? A mentor is not a person that has twenty years of work experience. Do you know what mentor you want? You’re working at ABC Company. You’re working as a broker. Find that most successful broker and as that broker, “Tell me how you got there.” When you were faced with the challenge of a conflict, is that your client or not? How did you resolve it? Do you let the person step all over you or do you fight firm? Sometimes, you have to fight firm, sometimes you roll over. Who do you want to listen to? It is that mentor. You’re in a job on an accounting firm and that accountant tends to go backstay with Eastern. You get a job in Eastern as an underwriter.
How much money do you want to make? Which underwriter is making the money you want and seems to have the right lifestyle that you want? Ask that person what they did to get there. I tell people all the time, “We have ladies working in the office. They are thought of as secretaries in an office.” Now, part-time they are making six-figure salaries. Other people started the same exact way the secretary, receptionist in the front and never moved fast and they left like they were replaceable parts. They didn’t make a difference with what they’re doing. It’s not the same way because you know what the difference is? That receptionist, if someone walk-in and say, “Can you make a copy of this?” She’s going to get a copy and bring it back.
Another person came in, who advance the career walked in and said, “What do you do next? I’ll do it for you.” “No.” “You have to mail it? I’ll take care of it the next day.” Before they knew it over time, that broker was able to have to turn to this receptionist. When he had to get himself a secretary, an executive assistant, he chose this receptionist because she knows what I need to get done. When I want to ask for one thing, she continues out the steps and takes it to the end. Not everybody makes it because they do sales, but even in the job that you’re doing, look to take more. Do you know what happens many times? You have this one friend that chirps in the air. He says, “If you’re going to do extra work for your boss, your boss doesn’t appreciate it.” You’re not doing it for your boss. You don’t get for you, not in an altruistic way for you.
Do it selfishly for you. You’re building up your resume for the rest of your life. You want to be best in class and when you’re going to go look for a job and you’re going to apply for a job, you’re going to say, “In my last role, I was most valuable blank,” whatever department you’re in. When the company leaves you, you’re only leaving on great terms and great references. These are the people that keep excelling. They start when they’re in the entry-level to become the best in that first group. They keep moving up to be that best. How is the best? Keep taking OYL. The big money is not paid for your labor. It’s paid for your OYL. You tell the boss, “Trust me. I’ll get this done. If I have a problem, I’ll call you back.” That means the boss could focus on something else. Ultimately, who makes the big time money? If you’re not a salesperson, the person that figures out how to ultimately take OYL, that ultimately frees up the number one rainmaker to do more business. That’s ultimately a goal.
If you’re getting a job, here’s the look at it from a much bigger picture. Who makes the most money in this world? Which type of position? It is the rainmaker. The person that brings in the business makes the most. Who makes the second most? The person that the rainmaker relies on. Who makes the third most? Everybody else, the irreplaceable part. This derogatory term or reality term replaceable part is not based on the entry-level person. It’s within a law firm. It’s within accounting firms and brokerage firms. In every type of industry in business, in every department, everybody falls into one of those three categories. If my role is bottom line to be the originator of business, if that’s my job, the person that is every minute is freeing up OYL for me that I have to think about is worth a percent to me. I don’t care what the market pays for that role, I’m willing to overpay because for me in that extra time, I could bring in more business to the company.
It trickles down to the whole entire organization. If you’re coming into an office, you have a choice of three jobs, forget about in about the first pay. You want to go into a company that obviously has advancement, career options, and all these different things but it was roughly the same. How close are you to the rainmaker? How close is your department to the rainmaker? I’m using the example of the name of Sarah of the Small Loan Division. At the end of the day, that division is not bringing in business but that division is allowing the rainmakers to originate more because they don’t think about those deals.
Anybody that Sarah is going to hire ultimately because that’s going to go into her position and free her up so that she could take on more deal flow that is being brought in by the new hires that trickle-down, that person’s worth a lot more money. I had secretaries working for me that did the same work as everyone else. I knew the level of jealousy that some of the other secretaries that support that had this person. This person has all the flexibility. She comes and goes when she wants and she still gets paid probably more than we getting paid. They missed the boat. Not all of them missed the boat. The ones that missed the boat are not here. I shipped them with the boat that left. The other ones that are making six figures, what was the difference? I don’t care when she came when she left and it didn’t make a difference.
When my secretary tells me, that assistant or everyone has politically correct titles, I’m not at the titles. I learned that a long time ago. If they give you titles, they can’t afford to pay you. If they give you a partnership, they can’t afford to pay you. In life, I don’t care about the title. Go for life that is going to pay you the most. At the end of the day, what’s the difference? When my secretary or assistant tells me, “I’m going on vacation for two days.” My answer is, “How does it affect me?” The good ones didn’t affect me. Before they left, they set up whatever they need to setup.Be the person the rainmaker relies on. Otherwise, you’re just replaceable. Click To Tweet
“I don’t think it’s affecting you because when you want to get these messages, you’ll get an email from this person. You want to get this. This is coming from here.” That’s it. It’s set up before. The more you could do that for the person you’re working for, as long as that person is not selfish, and is not continuing it on. It’s going to be worth less because they are relying on you, but even so, to certain points, it seeps through. That person’s boss will notice. There’s one person giving everything up. That’s the role that you want to keep as you keep moving up. The other piece of the puzzle that we have for this, is that you want to be able to go what’s called make whole. I talked about this concept all the time.
When you’re working together on a team project, you want to try to work with somebody. You complement their weaknesses with your strengths. The biggest mistake is that a manager hires people similar to themselves. I’m not talking about being politically correct that should be inclusive. I’m talking about that if you hire somebody, you want to hire someone that’s called make whole. When I look to hire a broker or support staff, I try to find, what is my biggest weakness? You have someone great. Everyone’s in the same boat. The top three candidates are roughly the same. When I choose one over the next, it’s ultimately which one has a strength that’s my weakness.
At one point, I was looking for an executive assistant. I interviewed someone and say, “This is a great person. She seems amazing.” I get on the phone and talk to the person. I by the way hired most people like The Voice. I don’t want to meet them in person first, because most of the work they’re doing for me is on the phone. How do they sound on the phone because that’s most of the work? We live in the world of Zooms. I do it by Zoom calls. That’s the way it operates. My questions are always the same, “What’s your strength? What’s your weakness?” The person says, “I’ve one weakness. I’m very organized to the level of OCD.” I said, “You’re hired. When are you starting?”
In order for me to do everything I’m doing, I have to make sure that someone’s going to make sure that nothing misses a beat. How do I go from one Zoom call to the next Zoom call to file things up? How do we get it done that way? How are we able to go and do an internship? There are 500 people that started. Two-hundred stayed into the second month. How are we able to do that? We were able to do it because there are different people who took parts of the OYL for different parts. At the same time, there are systems to make it scalable to make it work. Someone who kept taking on different parts that were important to me to the level of OCD of organization. How do you break it down to a simple form so you could repeat what I said and think about it for yourself?
What A Great Person Is
Somebody that’s successful in life, a great person who talked to you. They want to hire a friend of yours. You refer a friend to say, “This person is amazing.” What is great and amazing? What does that mean? A great person on a scale of 1 to 10, averages to be an eight. What does it mean to be an eight? It means if you take all these skills, and every personality trait you have and your rating from 1 to 10, it averages an eight. Some of them are 10 or 9 or 8 or 7 or 6. What sounds great is they are a nine. What’s the big difference? One of their items that stopped at 10 goes to 12. That’s sacrificing anything else, one goes to a twelve. You sometimes have people that are also a nine, but not because of that. They’re nine because at one thing they are plus twenty and one things, they are negative ten. It also averages out.
You meet someone who’s a genius in numbers, they are typically interpersonal. Interpersonal skill is negative, but the numbers are such a genius, they bring it up to twenty, but it still averages to a nine. Most people that are nine are well-rounded great person, from 6 to 10 with one thing or twelve. The key in business is to make whole and become perfect. How to become perfect? I would work together with you because I’m a six, you’re a ten and vice versa. Even better yet, the twelves we’re not the same twelves. We average out to a ten. It’s impossible for an individual to be a ten. Go with that. People say what I do for a living. I’m a therapist. I deal with egos all day long, because the whole Eastern Union is built on this premise that everybody should work as a team, but everyone has to realize the only reason that someone works, I was able to do A, B and C. They were only able to do A, B and C because the company has somebody sitting here in this department that’s a twelve for the strength and they’re willing to give you the respect and let you feel that you’re great.
Yet so many people, unfortunately, left the office here, that if they’re left, it was less job at a career. If you can move up the ladder and no one’s given them a finger, they were amazing because they had the rainmaker personality within the team and it made everything work. The minute they walked out the door, they couldn’t operate without that platform that was created custom for them. If you look at Eastern is hiring, why are we able to hire so many brokers? We are hiring at ten brokers a week. We figured out a system that if somebody makes 50 calls a day, those first few weeks, 70% of them graduate this semester.
So far, if they’ve made 100 calls, they guaranteed to graduate. They work there. It’s a godsend that happens, but what are we doing for a business that way? The business is that way is it took every aspect of the process and I have a twelve in every aspect. I had the best person whose job is to help them with underwriting. I have twelve jobs so when some new broker comes in the door and they are well-rounded, an eighth, they have someone to lean on that’s a twelve for everything that they want a 6, 7. Whenever they need help, the support system is a blend of a twelve with technology both helping them at the same exact time.
If a company is built this way, they can keep growing their company network. When you’re going into a job, the first job you want is advancement in career. Find yourself a role model that could take you to that next level that you could ask the questions to because there are certain times, you want to buckle down to defend your turf. Other times, you don’t have to defend your turf. Just roll over and play the victim. Everybody that made it has a story that they got screwed one time. You have to know which is the right story that you should be taking advantage of at one time and which not to take advantage of. That helps you advance your career. Because you didn’t make an issue or something, your boss was impressed. The next time they had an opportunity to give out a good lead or good raise or a good bonus, who do they give it to? You might not get paid back in the first year but you get paid back over time.
You’re coming in for a job is a lifetime career of studying. That piece of the puzzle I would tell all of you is one thing. Every job and every business, we streamline. Every aspect, we streamline. If you have the ability to go to a company that’s not yet streamlined and helps them streamline, you’re running that machine, so to speak. That’s the best I would give someone a piece of advice to if you’re not into sales. Because helping your company to automate the process and no company’s not going to have automation on every step of the process. We hire all these people. I have a part-time already working in Denver. That’s the one doing the onboarding. The only extra person we hired to bring ten people a week to the internship and one lady working part-time that’s helping with the onboarding.
When I think to hire twenty people a week, send number ten as why because we are using systems and looking to make things more efficient. This person knows that they make more money by delegating more because they could take on more OYL. It frees me up. I can now step back and say, “Because of this, I could do a virtual internship.” We are setting up a virtual internship program and whether we have 100 people that want to try them on or 10,000 people. Literally, that’s the number. If 10,000 people came and want to do the internship in the next 21 days, once we launched it, we will take 10,000 people without losing a beat. I have to make sure that we go to Zoom calls unlike the first day, we had the mistake of not having people sign-up. I got a license with Zoom that’s up to 10,000 people that’s it. Everything else is a system that works on from it.
You take the example with Ben Shores doing the videos. Ben has gone back to school, but then they don’t have some money for school. I said, “Ben, go back to school. You got the videos down to a science. It takes you less than two hours a day and I don’t care when you do it. Pay for college because that was great for your resume.” That internship program, that thing he says, “I’m a video editor.” He is working on it. At the same time, we can move from the Google Docs to some fancier system to store the videos and track the videos and work it accordingly. We’ll set things up accordingly that way. We set up a system assistant to keep moving. When you have systems in place as a company, another fallacy I tell people is that “Everybody has a weakness even though they are making $100,000 or $200,000 or $300,000.”
People think that “When I make $200,000, everything will be perfect.” No. If you make $200,000, you better know what your weaknesses are, know what your strengths are, and know how to take OYL and delegate. That’s how you’re making that kind of money. The biggest mistakes I had someone come in, I asked them, “What’s your weakness?” I said, “If you tell me your weakness upfront, you have a free pass for the rest of your career working here. It won’t be held against you.” If I find that your weakness after you come, guaranteed I’ll forget your weakness in 30 minutes. If they came from, we’re great. If it came from me, you’re in trouble. Because if it came from you, then that means, “You’re not organized. I’ll hire somebody else who is organized that will work with you and I’ll get the perfect you.” Also, you won’t be hiding your insecurities and you’ll be able to say it straight out so that everyday you love what you doing.
When you have a part of your day you don’t love, it affects the whole entire day. If every day, you don’t have to hide the fact they’re not organized and to hide the fact that Math is not your forte, it’s fine. That role doesn’t require math. When someone in marketing tells me, “Let me tell you what my issue is. I’m not the most organized and I’m not good at numbers.” I’m never holding the person responsible what the conversion rate on a certain ad that I work with. If I want the conversion rate, I go up to Mr. Math genius David Bauer, who does the underwriting for all my deals and I say, “David, one hour in one week, I need you to review these spreadsheets and give me information based on it.” I get the best of all worlds. I have now the greatest marketing guy. I could be creative all day long. He doesn’t have to worry one iota. She doesn’t have to worry one iota about that. I don’t have to cover for something. That’s the zone you want.