My Stress Testing Methodology: Finding Your Freedom | Dr. David Phelps

Hey, it’s David here
from Freedom Founders. Out here in beautiful Colorado, my home state actually,
this is Breckenridge. We’re at about 11,000 feet here, and it’s a beautiful time of the year. So what am I doin’ here? On vacation? Well, sort of, actually stress testing the business, combined with a vacation. Stress testing your business. What does that mean? You know, most of us grew up getting a strong educational foundation. We were taught to go to
school to get good grades, and climb the ladder, and go and get technical
skills of some kind, or professional skills, licenses, degrees of different nature, so that we could earn a good living. Right? So far so good. And we can do that,
most people can do that. You can take your trade,
your expertise, your license, your skill, your professional practice, ability to trade time for
dollars, transactional income, and make a darn better
than average living, and that’s great, that’s awesome. But is that true freedom? It’s not. Because if your business, if your income, your active income, your earned income is dependent primarily on you, or me. Then that’s more of a job. And a job in itself doesn’t
provide real freedom. Now, what’s real freedom? Well, for me it’s doing what I want to do, when I want to do it,
with whom I want to do it, and where I wanna do it. Now you can’t start out life that way, there’s a sacrifice period for sure. But the sooner we can get
our minds set to the fact that the longer we put the burden of the income on our back, our skill set, our
trading time for dollars. The longer we do that,
the longer we have to go before we have freedom, and
most people unfortunately look at their freedom day when
they actually quote retire. Sell the business, sell the practice, retire out from the career. In their 60s, it’s late 60s
now, it’s goin’ to the 70s. And that’s crazy because
you give up so many, so many opportunities when
you’re young and you’re healthy, and you can do the things you wanna do, and you get to that age
and then things happen. So to me that’s not a good construct. So stress testing the business, so here’s what I did. Now, I did this with my
dental practice as well, I was forced to do it
with my dental practice because of my daughter,
her health situation forced me out of my practice. Now, I wasn’t the only provider. I had multiple hygienists,
I had at different times during my practice years I
always had an associate with me. So all of the production was not on me, now I was probably the senior producer, no question about it, but I had other producers. So I could be out of the practice, but not for long periods of time because if I wasn’t then
the income would go down, and there’d be no income leftover for me. No profit. Right? Or very little profit. So, you have to figure out
how you wanna live your life, how you want your business to be run, and if you love doing the technical work, then that’s awesome, great. But how are you gonna
create real freedom if you, if all the technical work that you do is what provides your active income? So I learned through
my practice evolution, how to become a real owner, and do very little down to none of the active income producing, that is doing the clinical work. From very little down to none. Now again, it was forced
on me a little bit because my daughter’s situation, but none the less I’ve
proved that it could be done. Fast forward about 15 years, I am now the CEO and
facilitator of Freedom Founders, a mastermind community
dedicated toward helping other professionals reach
their freedom point, way, way sooner in life
than they would if they had followed the normal tract. So, Freedom Founders again started by me, I’m the CEO, I’m the founder, I built all the
constructs, the frameworks, but as I evolved that business, I decided I didn’t want
to make it like dentistry, where I had to be the one
there everyday showing up with scheduled patients, or in
this case scheduled clients. I wanted to build something
that was different. Initially it started out with
me doing most of everything, then I started to hire little by little. I hired the right people
as we’ve elevated. And now we’re at a point
where I’ve got a team with ownership, culture,
and the most important thing for me to have in place is leadership. Not necessarily my technical skills, which are still important, but leadership and designing
a business by intention, not by default. And so doing that, we as a team decide we wanna stress test the business. So that is, get me out of
the business completely, for chunks of time. So this chunk of time was four weeks, totally out of the business, not doing anything with the team, not on any level 10, that’s
a regular pulse meeting that we have, I’m not
on any of those calls, no departmental calls, not
doing anything for the business. I’m checked out if you will. Now I do keep up with my
key executive assistant. I gotta change hands here,
gettin’ a little bit tired. My key executive assistant, we did a brief, one
brief 15 minutes or less, once a week, and then two briefs by email which takes me about seven
minutes to respond to. That’s it. That’s it. Now, could you run a business, or could you operate and own
a business that ran like that? See, that’s the key. Now, when you stress test
your business you have to first have the discussion with your team. Here’s the goal, here’s where we wanna go, and don’t try to do a big
stretch of time right away. Maybe you start out with just
a couple days during a week, that’s where you start. And then you expand that maybe to a week, and then to two weeks, and you may have to bring in other people to do the actual technical work, which can be a big step when you’ve been used to doing it all yourself. But think about it, if you
really want freedom in your life, that’s the direction to go. You’ve gotta get past the fear factor of, “Gee, I gotta control everything.” That’s the way we were taught, that’s the way we were
educated when we were growing up in life is it’s all on you, you’ve gotta do all the work, you gotta pass all the
tests, make the grades. But in real life, real
life’s about collaboration. They don’t teach that in school, you gotta learn that once
you get out of school, and it’s one of the most
important things you can do. So stress test your business, but start with the vision to your team, communicate, here’s the goal, here’s what I want the outcome to be. Don’t worry if you don’t hit it perfectly, don’t worry if there’s a few snags. You’ve just gotta step
out and get it going, and before long as you build, you’ll get the team on board, and you have the right
people in the right seats, you can have a real business that isn’t, primarily dependent upon you,
to me that’s real freedom. So my focus point for you, action item, is start stress
testing your own business, your own practice, whatever it is. Start small and build over time, stress test over bigger periods of time, til you get to the point
where you’re going, “Wow this is actually an awesome business, I love this, I’ve got freedom, I’ve got people that own their seats, I don’t have to be there
everyday, every week, for this business to run.” To me that’s real freedom. So focus on your freedom, and I’ll see ya next time, take care.

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