Knucklehead Podcast Ep 117: When You Stop and The Team Starts, Operations X Founder, Preston Weekes.

Knucklehead Podcast Ep 117: When You Stop and The Team Starts, Operations X Founder, Preston Weekes.

Preston Weekes (00:00): I was running two locations at a time. I had ramped up to 11 employees and I was trying to figure out how to manage people. I was just going crazy and it hit me one day. I'm employing 11 people, and I just created 11 jobs for myself.

Intro (00:14): Choose not to live in a world of filters, realize your mistakes, set the foundation for your success. Get some wins knucklehead podcast.

Stephen Colon (00:27): Well, welcome to another edition of Knucklehead Podcast. You've got with you today, the Knucklehead Steven, and I've got with me, somebody who am just being informed that it is now the hotspot of the COVID crisis out in Arizona. I've got with you Preston weeks from Operations X. It seems like it, it precedent. You can correct me if I'm wrong here. It seems like in some way, shape or form a separate part of the country is now the new hotspot. It seems like it's just, it's kind of bouncing around from one spot to another. Would you agree or disagree with that?

Preston Weekes (00:57): Yeah, it's, it's not ideal. You know, I heard the other day that we were climbing up on the rates of what's happening with, uh, New York currently. So I haven't followed it too close because I work from home and I run remote work. So I don't really have to be involved in it too much, but I go out to dinner and do all those things and things were opening up and relaxing a little bit. And that was good to see. And now I heard in a couple of my favorite restaurants are reclosing again, which is sad. And, uh, so yeah, we'll, we'll see what happens, but

Stephen Colon (01:29): We are in uncharted territory here and what lessons we're going to be able to pull from the initial shutdown and maybe what may happen again, going into the fall. So with that being said, Preston, this is not quite podcast. This is where we sit down and we have discussions with business leaders. We sit down and we have conversations with folks who've built organizations or they're responsible for generating revenue at consistent high amounts. However, all of those things are predicated upon the mistakes that we've made in the past to actually give us those learning lessons and, you know, extract those learning moments. It all started with, you know, some of my own personal experiences in the corporate world. And what's interesting is that more and more, we started to share those. There was folks that started to come out of the woodwork and go, Oh my gosh.

Stephen Colon (02:14): Yeah, I remember a time. Right? I shouldn't have replied all to everybody on that response back to a coworker, those are kind of funny ingest type moments that will actually lead to some of the embarrassment, you know, that happens in the office. And in some cases we've had folks talk about the actions that led to a bankruptcy that actually gave them the framework to go and relaunch it extremely successful organization. So, you know, knucklehead moments aren't necessarily just emails that you send that you wish you hadn't, uh, sometimes they're much, much larger than that. So we appreciate you taking some time and, and wanting to visit with us a little bit with that being said, help me understand what operations X is.

Preston Weekes (02:51): Yeah, no, I, it was pleasure to be here. Yeah. Thanks for having me as a guest today. And it's true. You know what you're saying? Every entrepreneur business owner has made a number of mistakes, whether they admit it or not, and it is, it's what we do with those mistakes. But operations X is basically a business solutions company that I formed. What we do is our main focus is remote staffing. So we hire in place employees to work for us companies. We have office in the Philippines and we're expanding our global network. A lot of that, you know, is becoming more popular. Now everyone forced to do remote work with the whole COVID thing. And so they either decided, okay, this is terrible. And it does not work for my company at all. Or they go, Oh, why am I paying for an office now, since I just had a successful team, you know, running at their home office. So, you know, but yeah, we do a bunch of other things to support businesses where just a business strategy company and do coaching and a number of other things to provide solutions for, for businesses out there. But in my background, I started in the car business. So I call it my past life, but I'm a car nut, big time car nut. I love, love, love cars.

Stephen Colon (04:04): Well, I'm going to stop you there for a second one simply just because we had talked real briefly before this, about the context behind your experience in the car business. And it wasn't as if you were just a core sales guy, you at a very young age were thrust into a role, or you had some responsibility for running that car dealership, understanding inventory, purchasing inventory, moving that inventory, helping service, generate revenue, all of those idiosyncrasies associated with car dealership ownership. You have a lot of opportunities to screw some things up. So what kind of lessons did you glean from that experience?

Preston Weekes (04:39): Well, you know, I have a lot of lessons and I actually started it to add a little bit more depth into that. I started by myself with one $1,600 car, and I built that into 15 car dealerships that I owned or ConEd. And so just that process, you know, you have a lot of bumps, a lot of ripples and things like that, but I'd say, you know, starting out by yourself and starting a business by yourself is completely different from running a company that has multiple locations or multiple employees. And there are so many learning curves along the way. And so I started out, I was great and I'm a hard worker. I'm not afraid to do anything. I get out and do it. But I realized later at a point in my business that that was also a weakness. And that was also a challenge that I had to overcome.

Preston Weekes (05:28): And I'll talk a little bit about that. So as a car dealer, you know, I was, I was basically, I was buying the cars. I was cleaning the cars. I was marketing cars, posting them as doing the sales. And I was doing the financing. I was doing everything a to Z. And it was that growth of learning from going from one person to, you know, getting your first employee, you know, or two getting multiple employees. And I'd say, you know, one of the biggest moments, there was a couple of different things I could talk about, but one of the biggest moments, it was a really big learning point for me. And a really big transition is I remember I was running two locations at a time. I had ramped up to 11 employees and I was just going crazy. I mean, business was good, but you know, I was trying to figure out how to manage people.

Preston Weekes (06:14): I was trying to figure out how to do things and I'm a doer, like a lot of entrepreneurs or business leaders are. And so my employees would come up to me and they'd go, Oh, we know I need help. How do I get this spot out of the car? How do I post this ad? How do I deal with this thing? And so I was getting all these challenges. And so me being a doer, me even having that kind of doer mentality, I do her attitude. I would run in there and I would go, okay, you know, I'll just do, I'll just get it done. You know, all, you just do it like this. And I kind of do it and I would do it and get it done and we'd move on. And then someone else would need help and I'd run over that person and I go help them and I'd do it.

Preston Weekes (06:51): And you know, someone's trying to do the counting or someone trying to figure out how to order a part or, you know, do a certain thing, you know, with diagnosing or repair. And so I just do it, you know, and then jump on to something else and do it and jump on somebody else. And it hit me one day and I go, I'm employing 11 people right now. And I just created 11 jobs for myself. And that was a really, really pivotal moment. Preston, would you, I can ask what'd you call yourself a control freak? Well, no, you know, I'm not a control freak. Like I don't actually really care, but I learned later in life that I have ADHD, which is a whole funny thing. That's all another story. I'm 38. And you know, when I was 36, I was with a coach and we were going through some things and he goes, Hey, you know, you have this and this and this it's because of your ADHD.

Preston Weekes (07:41): And I pulled this long face and I was just like, what are you talking about? And that was the first time in my life. Anyone had ever told me that I had ADHD fires off. I always questions. He goes, Oh, well, do you do this? Do this, or you like this? And I was like, yes, yes, yes. And then I get home and I take like 20 tests online. And I'm like, they all, they all say yes, yes, yes. But, uh, you know, looking back at that and looking at, in that situation, you know, I just like to do it, get it done and move on. And so, you know, I really had to go, okay, you know, it's better to be slow right now. Or be, you know, have people fail and allow them to fail. Because if I don't allow them to fail, then they can't learn.

Preston Weekes (08:28): Have you ever asked yourself why you haven't started a podcast? Well, I already know the reason. So to you, you don't feel like you're tech savvy. You don't feel like you got your message wired. Right. And quite frankly, it's just, it's all this mystification going on. Quite frankly. Uh, our process helps to demystify that we're pushed button for podcasts. We're knucklehead. Why knucklehead? But we lead with the fact that you don't know what you're doing. We do. We've been there. We've actually been in your shoes. We take your spoken voice. We literally give a human voice to your website. You want to bring dead leads to life. Well, then you need to talk to knucklehead. Essentially what we're going to do is we're going to take you through our process and we're going to help take your human voice and increase the process for you going from dead leads to life.

Preston Weekes (09:10): How do I, how do I do that? Well, you essentially just take your human voice, put it in a directory and let people consume more of you. Give your audience the ability to Netflix on you. They want to binge watch you. They want to binge listen, give them the ability to take your voice along on that commute with them. So you can get in touch with us, Steven at knucklehead podcasts, or if you've got a really cool story stories at knucklehead podcasts, you can find us on LinkedIn and on Facebook at knucklehead promotions, LLC, and get in touch with us. Don't be a beta about the process. Don't let be fact that you don't know permitting you from getting some wins. So don't be a beta, get some wins and contact us the next day.

Stephen Colon (09:48): The question, the control for it was honestly, it was what I've found to be so true with mentors of mine. You can't recognize something in somebody else, unless you have at least some of it going on yourself. And so what I heard and what it is that you were saying is in order for your organization to grow there's things that are required to be done that have to be somebody other than you doing them. And going through that process and wanting to control the outcomes of whatever your product was. Since, you know, in a way it's a reflection of who you are, especially at a, you know, at the size of the organization was at the time. So you want to be able to control that outcome, but it wasn't the worker that produced that outcome. It was you. So going through that broth and understanding how to mature through that process, it sounds like it was a very revealing moment, but however, probably difficult to come to terms with. So describe to me some of the emotions that she went through, you know, as you process that.

Preston Weekes (10:46): Yeah. And to add to that, I think is a little bit of an impatience, you know, I just want it to be quick and not wait cause it, um, but yeah, I mean to, to deal with that and to go through that, it was really a big shock point, but realizing it, it's like having those blind spots in your life, you know, you have things, you know, you have things that you don't know and you have things that, you know, you don't know, and there's a difference between all those. And so I know how to do something and I know how to do it. And then there's something like, I don't know how to, like, I don't know how to speak Chinese. I know I don't know how to speak Chinese, but then you have these blind spots, you know, like that in your life that you don't realize are happening until you have one of those moments, those epiphany moments of learning moments, where you go shoot, you know, this is not quite what I thought I was.

Preston Weekes (11:34): And we all like to be expert at everything we do, especially when you're in a leadership role. You know, if you're the boss or you're the owner of a company or something like that, you always try and be the experts. And so it took some self reflection for sure, to, you know, step back and to look at that and go, okay, you know, what am I doing? I'm creating a problem in the growth of my company, by my actions, because, you know, we need to multiply ourselves. So, you know, really to be able to grow, you know, you need to be able to multiply ourselves. I see that a lot in my company with operations X now, and you know, my 20, 20 hindsight and my experience of running businesses and things like that and learning and looking back, I, now I can see it more in other people where they, you know, it's kinda like you're saying that that control freak, you know, type of, you know, mentality or, you know, whatever it is. There's probably five different types of characteristics that support that behavior. And, but noticing those and can be a really big advantage. And I think it's really important as a business owner or as a leader to not be afraid to recognize your weaknesses. I think that's one of the biggest things that you can do.

Stephen Colon (12:47): Well, you just touched on something that I've kind of wanted to go a little bit further with, and that is when you have team members, right? It's in you. It's one thing that you there's folks that are other than you that are doing work in your business in order to move your business forward. And with the way that human behavior works, it works. And especially in today's world where everybody's connected and we have cell phones, essentially that occupy a large percentage of our time. Most folks, whenever they're on their phones or most folks, whenever they're in between work and leisure time, it's almost as if the perception is, is everybody else is doing better or doing more or getting more done or as this, what I call filter, they're living their life through filters, as opposed to the reality of what it is that you're talking about. Work forces you to slow down a bit and reveal the learning lesson of going through that arduous patients building and skill development process of actually growing an organization and making progress in certain areas of your life.

Preston Weekes (13:46): Yeah. And to, you know, while you're saying, you know, it's, it's really important to take that time to slow down. And it's so much harder than it used to be because now just like you're saying on my cell phone, you know, everything pops up on my cell phone, my whole business is ran digitally and I get all the notifications I'll attract the employees, all the, you know, different things, emails, all the social media platforms. So literally 24 seven, there's always something happening online. And so, you know, we really need to be intentional with that and to be intentional, to create separations, you know, I was, uh, guilty of that, you know, through my business career at different times. So I've got three kids, I've got twins that are six years old, I've got an eight year old and a beautiful wife. And so I'm a lucky guy, but that's awesome.

Preston Weekes (14:40): Congratulations. Thank you. Thank you. Yeah. I'm not afraid to work. I actually really enjoy working. And so I had to be really, really intentional with my time to the point where I would schedule, you know, my time with my kids. And I would schedule, you know, my time with my wife. So, you know, we made it a point in our marriage where I was getting busy and things like that. And I go, okay, we're going to go on a date night every Friday night, no matter what, like that's going to happen. We're going to go out. We're going to do two hours are going to reconnect and learn who this person is that I sleep with every night, but we had a good relationship, but you know, I had to be intentional about that. And same thing with my kids. I was lucky in my car business to go, okay, I can take my kids to work with me.

Preston Weekes (15:29): I had that position. So I would rotate my kids and I would take them to work. And I had one day a week, everyone in my office is new. I bring my kid to work and I would make them work too to try and teach them some skills, you know, cause I I'm the parent, I don't buy my kids. Anything I, that they're already spoiled enough from their grandparents and things like that. So, but I give them opportunities. I want them to have, you know, learn, you know, what work is learned, you know, that connection with making money or work and you know, you get rewarded for your efforts. Can I ask you

Stephen Colon (16:03): The question about that? Yeah. All right. So when it relates to, is it passing on generational lessons? The common denominator, what I'm hearing in all of your stories is that his dire to work and the intangibles and the lesson drawn from that willingness to go work. You want to almost plant seeds inside your children for that willingness to work. That's what you want to pass on because you're able to recognize, uh, the generation that came before you, part of what they get enjoyment out of is being able to pass that security in a way onto their grandkids. So you're more, you're more interested in kind of the tactical implementation of learning lessons and work ethic. So is there a time where, or a story that you can think of where maybe that kind of blew up in your face a little bit when your kids maybe didn't want to do that lesson or you saw somebody else maybe spill their kids too much or that didn't work out very well?

Preston Weekes (16:56): You know, I, I've been pretty lucky with my kids. My kids are good, but you know, I see it all the time. So I live in North Scottsdale. It's demographics are pretty high here, you know, with the income levels. And, uh, I see a lot of kids that, you know, my kids go to school with and they kind of get whatever they want and, you know, they throw fits and things like that. And their kids, you know, they get, they get bought, they know their way out of this situation. And I luckily I made that decision pretty early on in parent to try to not do that with my kids. And so what I'd actually do is I take my kids. They would work all day. And this was like when they were like two and a half, three years old, all the way up until, you know, now I've got my eight year old, but back then I I'd have him come and he'd work all day, go do things. He's not really doing anything. You know, I'd go home, he'd come up to me and I'd have like move rocks around the, off the sidewalks or, um, go like wipe wheels down. Something's not going to like ruin or get hurt

Stephen Colon (17:54): Just to be clear to our listeners. We're not talking about a violation of child labor laws here. We're talking about passing lessons on. So we've had CEOs come on before where they talked about their father, having them go out and, you know, mow on a tractor, you know, an entire field worth of hay or that type of thing. You know, we're talking about passing some learning lessons on here. So for context for our listeners is that I just want to be clear here, Preston, right?

Preston Weekes (18:20): Yeah, I know. And they were, they weren't really doing anything useful. It was just my time. I got to spend with them and show them what that did at work. And, and to, you know, I had the opportunity to, you know, go to work with my dad as a kid too. So that's probably a part of that. And then, you know, I'd pay him a dollar. And one of my dealerships I had was next door to a dollar store. And so they'd work all day. I'd go, good job. You know, you worked, you know, here's your money. I give him a dollar and we'd walk over to the dollar store and we'd go in the dollar store and I'd let him pick out whatever they wanted because they earn their money and it taught them, you know, okay, you can work and you can make money. And then you can create choice in your life. You know, you can empower yourself to do something. So that was a really a special thing that I was able to get involved in at work.

Stephen Colon (19:11): Well, I think, I think it's, it's cool. We touched on a few things here. One in particular is if you're not willing to work. And if there is a knucklehead moment that we can gleam from some of those experiences, if you're not willing to work, if you're not willing to humble yourself, to a point where the repeating of the same mistakes of constantly going back and doing work for other people, you're going to be limited in your growth. And it also limits the development opportunity of your team around you, which is one of the responsibilities of a leader is to, is to see greatness in the people that are following you and also give them opportunities to grow. So with that being said, given the context of what you're doing now at operations X help people understand how they connect with you and what are some egg on the face moments that you've seen people go through the process whenever they've hired a VA in the past.

Preston Weekes (19:59): Yeah, so, well, and you know, one thing too, to add to that with my experiences, you know, is for me being a hard worker, the flip side of that is burnout, or, you know, you have these casualties, other things that happen in your life. And I was really lucky. So in my car business and my car dealerships, I got connected through a connection where my cousin had worked in an office that did outsourcing. And she connected me to my very first employee in the Philippines. It was back in 2010. And so I hired that guy and he did all my backend marketing. He did all my backend work. And what that allowed me to do was take my core team. There was my on the forest sales team and allow them to actually focus on the kind of looking at the Pareto principle, like the 80 20 rule they could focus on the 20% of the business actually made money.

Preston Weekes (20:51): And I could take the 80% of the business. It was the work to do the business like the ad posts and keeping track of things, you know, all this, you know, backend operations. And I push that out to a team in my Philippines and that helped me to, to really get a better quality of life. So I was able to not only de-risk things for myself and be able to grow where I wanted to grow without having to take on the operational cost. Cause there's no way I could have employed that many people with, you know, the size of the lot and the income that was coming in on the lot. And so I was able to take that, you know, and still provide a lot of jobs. I had tons of people working for me, um, as I grew the company. So I provided a lot of opportunity, but it also provided a lot of opportunity for my backend staff, people in the Philippines.

Preston Weekes (21:42): And so that was really rewarding for me as a business owner, but it was able to take that and, you know, multiply my operations and outsource those things and push those out. And it improved my quality of life improved. You know, my processes, it helped me speed up things. It lowered my operational costs. And so that's what brought me into operations acts today. So I was in the car business. I transitioned the energy business for four years. My energy company sold out development rights, which is great. And that gave me an opportunity to really, really focus on bringing this proposition to business owners so that I can help them with all the challenges and the problems that I've had to be able to, you know, grow without having huge expenses, to be able to scale without having huge risk and, you know, to be able to, you know, take what you're doing in operations, X it's operations, x.com, but it's to multiply your operations. That's what the X is for.

Stephen Colon (22:37): Yeah. And multiply it a force multiplier. It makes, makes total sense that in order to take a look at what your operational expense is, and look at it as a line item in your budget, imagine if you could get a force multiplier from whatever that line item is. And that's sounds like what operations exit is, the value proposition and more complex outweigh. So Preston, how could people get in touch with you directly? I know that we connected on LinkedIn and you've got a great presence there and you've got to drive a growing organization. So how can people directly get in touch with you?

Preston Weekes (23:06): Yeah, yeah. You can, anyone can reach out to me on LinkedIn. I think it's LinkedIn backslash energy guy and, uh, the, and then operations x.com. Um, you know, you can reach out to me and my phone numbers on there and you can reach us by email at support at operations, x.com. No, I'm happy to help people. You know, I really, really is. So my mission is to help the success of a hundred percent of humanity. And, you know, we're doing that by providing opportunities and we're doing that by helping people to make their dreams and their hard work, you know, a reality and make it profitable. And so anything I can do to help people anything can do to help your listeners out there, you know, I'm so happy to help, you know, reach out to me on if you've got questions or anything on LinkedIn or, you know, re contact or company, check out operations, x.com, see what we're about.

Stephen Colon (23:57): I like it. I like it. Well, you heard it here, folks. I appreciate breasts and taking some time to talk with us specifically about the growth curve that he had to go through, uh, as an individual, but then also the cycles of growth and the maturity that his business had to go through as well and how he's applying some of those learning lessons to his kiddos. So Preston, we appreciate you taking some time. Anything else that you want to leave these folks with before we wrap up?

Preston Weekes (24:20): I just, uh, you know, my mantra is relentless improvement and I think you're an example of, uh, teaching people how to do that with your show, Steven. So I appreciate you. And, um, you know, I just encourage everyone to keep relentlessly improving because the world keeps moving and we're sitting where we are and everything's happening around us. And so if you're not moving forward, you're moving backwards in my mind. And so, but let me know how I can help anyone.

Stephen Colon (24:45): That's awesome. Well, I appreciate it, Preston, for those of you like listening to knock away new episodes coming at you every Tuesday. So our encouragement to you is to continue to go out and get some wins. Join us on social media, across all social media platforms for our Nicole at 90, we've got that challenge going on right now, not just physical, mental growth and accountability. So we appreciate everybody, not just who's listening today, but if you're listening for the first time, we encourage those of you who are coming on as guests to provide an opportunity for those listeners to connect directly with you, just like Preston did tonight. So we appreciate everybody's time and that until next time, we'll see you guys have a good rest of day.

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This episode of the Knucklehead podcast talks about how delegating your work and outsourcing tasks can help you multiply your operations, enhance and speed up your processes while lowering your operational cost, but most importantly, improve your quality of life.

Being a control freak, Preston finds himself burnt out from running his business in different locations and multiple employees. This knucklehead moment of his life brings about the genesis of Operations X.

Today’s guest, Preston Weekes, is the Chief Strategy Officer and co-Founder of the Operations X. His mission is to help the success of a hundred percent of humanity by providing opportunities and helping people to make their dreams and their hard work a reality.

Operations X is a business solutions company mainly focused on remote staffing. It provides actionable solutions to help the success rate of businesses and simplifies the outsourcing process by hiring and managing remote employees to do work for US companies. With Operations X, they consult and train organizations and leadership in sales, messaging, branding, marketing, and operational cost reduction.

Enjoy!

Favorite Quote:

“I was running two locations at a time I’d ramped up to 11 employees and I was trying to figure out how to manage people. I was just going crazy and it hit me one day. I’m employing 11 people, and I just created 11 jobs for myself.”

  • Preston Weekes

In this Episode:

3:06 – The role of Operations X in businesses

4:39 – Lessons he learned from starting his car business

10:41 – His reactions as he recognizes his wanting to control the outcomes of his business operations

13:46 – How he handles work-life balance

16:56 – Passing generational lessons to his kids

19:59 – Great benefits he gained from hiring a VA

Get in Touch with Preston Weekes

Connect with Knucklehead Media Group

Website

Facebook

• Knucklehead Media Group is your “push button” for podcasts. We help companies and organizations tell their story using podcasts and best practices for content distribution. Home to some of the top podcasts across multiple categories, captivating coursework on gaining traction with your show, and consulting to those companies BOLD enough to get some wins. We believe your mistakes set the foundation for your success, those stories help customers beat a pathway to your doorstep, and the myths from bringing business online shouldn’t hold you back from getting yours.

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