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WS1495: Life Bridge Capital and Whitney’s ‘Swiss Army Knife’ | Josie Risinger

Having someone do a task better than you is not a threat but an asset. Today’s show is all about Life Bridge Capital’s team members and roles. And this team series’ first episode guest is Josie Risinger, Whitney’s “Right Hand” or “Swiss Army Knife”. She shared exactly what she does for the team. They dove deeper into their team members, their specific tasks and how those tasks are helping the whole team.

Watch the episode here:

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On a deeper level, get to know the process of Life Bridge Capital in adding more people to the team – when they hire and how they communicate.  Josie also shared some of the applications that have made the whole team effective in terms of productivity and efficiency. Tune in now and find out the best systems that can work for your business and the things you should look for when creating your own team as well!

Key Points From This Episode: 

  • Brief background of Josie’s experience before Life Bridge Capital. 
  • Same entrepreneurial drive: Josie’s key to being hired.
  • Josie’s role as an executive assistant and how she provides support to Whitney.
  • How Josie oversees the podcast production team based in the Philippines.
  • The importance of having someone to be the ‘bad guy’.
  • Why does Whitney prefer someone who questions his time?
  • Josie’s effective system for emails.
  • Josie shared that her big winners for communication right now are Voxer and Slack.
  • How does Josie sort Whitney’s new ideas out and where do they store them when it’s for future purposes?
  • Whitney and Josie talk about team huddles.
  • What has Josie learned that has helped them to perform better?
  • Why do Josie and Whitney encourage people to hire someone who speaks up and is bold?
  • Josie talks about what challenges she thinks we’re facing in life right now.
  • The important metrics that Josie keeps track of and her habits that produce the highest return.

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Just really championing that corner of this is his [Whitney] time with his family and we’re gonna figure something out, but we’re not gonna have a meeting during that time. Josie Risinger

 We’ve been able to increase our team and our ability to hire great people and really have employees that are, I think, more committed because we can be more committed to them. Whitney Sewell

What processes can we change to increase ultimately our efficiency as a company, whether that’s just for Whitney, whether that’s my own efficiency or just across the team. Josie Risinger

I think it’s increased our efficiency and productivity. Just working together and knowing how we communicate well and you know, when to say the hard things and when to not. Josie Risinger

We run into the issue of the more we grow, the more time we need. Now that also means that the meetings get smaller. We can’t afford to have a one-hour meeting with everybody. Maybe that’s 20 minutes, that’s 10 minutes. So squeezing more into the same exact amount of time I think is a challenge. Josie Risinger

Links Mentioned:

Life Bridge Capital website

Listen to the Real Estate Syndication Show Podcast

Send an email to Life Bridge Capital

Invest with Life Bridge Capital

About Josie Risinger

Here at Life Bridge, Josie is responsible for both daily and long-term operations. She spearheads a variety of strategic initiatives to support our company’s function and growth, coordinates logistics between departments, and focuses on high-level administrative needs for Whitney and for Life Bridge Capital as a whole. Additionally, she works with our team internally to ensure we meet our strategic goals and metrics. She has experience in account management, CRM development, operational oversight, B2B sales, and executive administration. 

Josie graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management and a Minor in Entrepreneurship from Auburn University in 2018. She now lives in South Dakota with her husband, who is pursuing a medical degree, and their son, Dallas Wade.

Full Transcript

Episode 1495


Josie Risinger (JR): I do a lot of data management. Metrics tracking, yes, but also where are our files? Are they organized? What tasks are people doing? How do those tasks correlate with each other? Are those tasks getting done on time? Who’s overloaded? I also oversee our podcast production company. So we have an amazing team in the Philippines that manages this show along with a variety of others. And so I kind of oversee that team and their onsite manager, making sure that she’s not overwhelmed and that they have all the resources that they need.

Like Whitney said, I’m a little bit of a pocket knife so I even do our billing. I do payroll. I help with our hiring process a lot. So just a little bit of everything. I just kind of try to see where I can seep into the cracks of things and glue things together, or find things that need to be done and do them. I love doing that. I like to fix things. I’m a fixer, so that really fires me up.

Whitney Sewell (WS): This is your Daily Real Estate Syndication Show. I am your host, Whitney Sewell. We have a special series for you coming up today as the first show of this series. I get asked all the time about our team and what they do, who did we hire, when do we hire them, and how do we communicate what happens? And I know if you’ve been listening to the show, you’ve heard numerous solo shows recently about different teams. Different, actually, meetings that we have with our team members that have increased our communication and have just bettered, I think helped us to perform better as a team. And we’re definitely growing in all those ways. But something we’ve not dove into on the show is our team members and what they do for us specifically.


WS: Our first guest today, Josie Risinger, thanks for being on the show. 

JR: Thank you for having me. I’m happy to be here and get a chance to be on this side of things. 

WS: Yeah, honored to have her on the show. She is what I like to say, my right hand or Swiss Army knife, one or the other. She does so many things for us. It’s been neat to see how this has changed over the last couple years. Her role within Life Bridge and how much she does for me now. Kinda scary a little bit now that I come think that. No, it’s really good. So Josie, why don’t you tell the listeners though a little bit about your background, maybe what qualities or experiences did you have before Life Bridge that even qualified you to come in, you know, with us and what we hired you for? Share a little bit about that and we’ll dive in. 

JR: Yeah. Awesome. My name is Josie Risinger. That is my married name. Married to a wonderful man named Casey. We have a beautiful one and a half year old son, Dallas. I have been with Life Bridge about two years now, so, almost of the day. I originally studied business at Auburn University War Eagle. We do have Texas and a New Jersey fan on our team and we got a couple SCC people in here, so trying to slowly build out the SEC team members. But yeah, so I went there, graduated Summa Cum Laude from the business management school, the minor in entrepreneurship and family business, originally from Iowa.

JR: But I just wanted to change the scenery, wanted to go somewhere and do my own thing, make my own path. So I ended up there, got residency and worked my way through it. In my senior year, I met my spouse through a summer camp called Pine Cove. Hit it off and the rest is history. So I went Texas with him. That’s where he is from, and I needed remote work, so I started looking around for something that I might be qualified for and would let me work from home while my husband went to graduate school and did his thing and ended up working at a company for two or three years. As kind of a business operations, business account manager.

JR: What I did ultimately was working with a lot of high net worth clients, doing everything from spreadsheet management, appointment booking, running orders. So ultimately this company we contracted out with a lot of other companies and we provided like administrative services for them. So I was manager of probably six or seven different accounts. And those range everything from cosmetic sales to software sales, everything you can imagine. So I got a lot of experience there. Just working high net worth clients doing a lot of various things and web development and Shopify and all sorts of things, just trying to figure it out, flying by the seat of my pants. But it was fun. It taught me a lot of things and I got a lot of broad experience that way. 

JR: But ultimately, that job, I kinda outgrew it. And as I discovered that I was pregnant with our first child, I was just looking for something that would challenge me a little bit more. And that would enable me to provide for my family financially. Cause my husband is in medical school. So I am the breadwinner. So something that could give us more of the life we were looking for and provide for our child. Looked around on the internet and this was right before COVID happened. So I like to say I kind of beat the remote work trend there, but looked around and I found Life Bridge Capital and I just was immediately so in love with the mission, the vision, obviously you all listen to the show and you know, we do have a really heavy focus on giving back, on supporting adoptions. I just loved that. I loved the faith aspect. Just could not be more in love. 

JR: So interviewed. Pretty rigorous interviews. Whitney remembers that we were pretty intense. But it was good. I liked the challenge and I talked a lot. Talked a lot, a lot, but whatever I said, worked and got the job. And actually I originally applied for an executive assistant position. Just working for Whitney, doing a lot of the same things. I had been doing administrative tasks, scheduling, add many stuff on the website and that grew into where I am now ultimately as operations coordinator, as time went by. 

WS: Awesome. Appreciate that, Josie. You know, it’s been neat to see her growth in this role. I just think as a business owner you know, you wanna hire people that do have some entrepreneurial drive. And I think I remember that interview, and even though it’s been more than two years ago now, probably, you know, Josie had energy. She did talk quite a bit, but I felt like she answered all the questions. She was very energetic and very gung-ho obvious. I would, I don’t know if I’ve ever told her this or not, but, and actually we’ve done, I’ve done numerous solo shows talking about our interview process and doing the tandem interviews that Sam and I will do together. We’ve changed that process maybe a little bit since then, but it’s pretty much the same.

WS: But when she was being hired, we did just for good measure, I always like to do more than one tandem interview with a numerous candidates. So even if I feel like there’s one person that I feel really good about, If there’s somebody that’s close to runner up, I want to give them the benefit of the doubt and still do another tandem interview. However, we interviewed Josie, I can’t remember if she was first or second but I know we had one or two more people after her. But after her interview, Sam and I were both like, oh, that’s it. Like she’s who we’re gonna hire right there. We just knew it, that we love the energy that she had and just numerous things about the interview that said, oh, you know what, she’s, there was just no comparison. And, but, we still did the others just in case. 

JR: Gotta have a backup. 

WS: Yeah, we still did it. You know, sometimes candidates back out before they actually start we just had that happen. That’s why I say that. Anyway. But it was a great interview and Sam and I felt confident that she was the one we were gonna hire. Thankfully, we did. And thankfully, she took the position. And so she has, she’s grown in lots of ways, I feel and we’ve pushed her and she’s pushed us, I think too, you know, in lots of ways as well. So we hired her, like she said, as my executive assistant in the beginning. And I would say we’ve, I’ve also done numerous shows on executive assistants, virtual assistants, and how we use them and how we’ve grown in that how I’ve grown and even Life Bridge in using virtual assistants.

WS: But I would say I didn’t get to start with Josie. I couldn’t have afford it. This kind of weaponry, you know, in the beginning stages, right? And so as we’ve grown, we’ve been able to increase our team and our ability to hire great people and really have employees that are, I think, more committed because we can be more committed to them, you know, as opposed to just virtual assistance for everything. And just a brief story. My first virtual executive assistant worked like two hours a week for me. And, you know, it is, it’s great when you can, if that’s all you can afford, right? But within just a few weeks, I could say, okay, you know, I need eight or 10 hours a week at least as well. 

WS: Soon as you know, she gave me a little bit more time, I think maybe four or five hours a week. And then I had to find somebody else cuz this individual specifically had more clients she was working for. So I switched, found somebody that could work, I think 20 hours a week. And she did great as well. Both these people did great work and even this lady. 20 hours a week quickly filled that up, you know, and was like, okay, this is, I gotta have more time in this. But she couldn’t give me more time than that so I found somebody else that could do 30 hours a week or, and then again, we needed more time, needed more expertise. And you know, and that’s where eventually we were able to, as the business grew, as we did more deals and our team started to grow, you know, we could afford somebody that had more experience, could be more dedicated and ultimately be full time, right?

WS: And so Josie was that hire and has assisted me in so many ways. So, but let’s jump into that. What does Josie do for me? I get that question often. And there’s so much hesitancy around hiring that executive assistant. I have a guy that’s in a mastermind with me, and actually I talk about this in this mastermind all the time. Cause I can’t believe these people have been in business for 20, 30 years and they don’t have an executive assistant. They don’t have somebody that’s helping them, and they’re still working 70 hours a week. It just blows my mind. They’re doing tasks that somebody else could do that’s even better at it than they are.

WS: It still blows my mind, but there’s some kind of hesitancy around hiring that person to work for them. And anyway, I was not hesitant about it, by the way, cuz I do understand that if I want to scale, if we wanna scale Life Bridge, we gotta build a team, we gotta hire people that are better at all these tasks than I will ever personally be at them, right? Sam and I used to do everything. Well, now there’s a team that’s doing these things and they’re all doing them better than we could do them personally when we were doing it by far. So, and Josie was one of those first hires that was full-time. And so, but let’s jump into what she does. I get that question often.

WS: What does she do for you and how, you know, are they just gonna be sitting around, you know, until I tell ’em to do something? I mean, and so Josie can help me answer that. Josie, why don’t we, let’s run through a few things or a number of things, you know, that you do. Maybe we could even go back to, you know, when you were hired some of the tasks you did then did more as executive assistant, and she still does those things for me now, even though she’s taken on more things as well. But let’s talk about some of the things that, as an executive assistant, how do you support me? What does that look like? 

JR: Yeah, so I think coming in something that was communicated in the interview that there was a need immediately for kind of organization. On a daily level, calendar and email. I mean, those are hot topics with any executive calendar and email. They just get overloaded. They get bogged down, they stacks up it. It just gets to the point where you can’t manage it, and ultimately those are things that are not the highest and best use of time as an executive is just sorting through emails. Is this spam? Is this not spam? What am I supposed to do with it et cetera. And so that was the first thing that I did was I came up with a email management system and started to kind of get a feel for his calendar and where the weak points were, where things could be, where we could increase efficiency, that kind of thing. So booking meetings, blocking off time, like we knew we wanted to create more time for family.

JR: For Whitney, he just was working so many hours and he just was not able to be home as much as he wanted. And so that was really important of having someone to, we say, be the bad guy, right? Nope. Whitney’s not available. I’m sorry. Unfortunately, you know, we’ll have to reschedule. We’ll have to do that at a later date.

JR: Just really championing that corner of this is his time with his family and we’re gonna figure something out, but we’re not gonna have a meeting during that time. First. It was a lot of that as my role kind of changed and I found myself doing more things that I learned in business school, right? Just finding areas where I could contribute more. So that might be like web development. Proofing our long-form content from a variety of contractors that we’ve used over just a couple of years that I’ve been here researching how we can increase efficiency. A lot of BPM which is Business Process Management. So what softwares can we add? What processes can we change to increase ultimately our efficiency as a company, whether that’s just for Whitney, whether that’s my own efficiency or just across the team. 

JR: I do a lot of data management, so metrics tracking, yes. But also where are our files? Are they organized? What tasks are people doing? How do those tasks correlate with each other? Are those tasks getting done on time? Who’s overloaded? I also oversee our podcast production company, so we have an amazing team in the Philippines that manages this show along with a variety of others, and so I kind of oversee that team and their onsite manager making sure that she’s not overwhelmed and that they have all the resources that they need. Whitney said, I’m a little bit of a pocket knife, so I even, I do our billing. I do payroll. I help with our hiring process a lot. So just a little bit of everything. I just kind of try to see where I can seep into the cracks of things and glue things together, or find things that need to be done and do them. So I love doing that. I like to fix things. I’m a fixer, so that really fires me up. It’s the perfect role for me. 

WS: Yeah. You know, think about that as an executive. You know, all the meetings, just the time it takes. Somebody reaches out and says, hey, Whitney, I’d like to connect with you. How about next Wednesday at 2:00 PM? I don’t know. You know, like I’ve gotta go look or then I have to send them a calendar and buy, or we have to go back and forth and say, Well no, that doesn’t work. How about 2:45? And then they say, well no, that doesn’t work for me. How about three 3:30 and or how about next Wednesday or whatever? Goodness. You know, that’s a lot of time that I don’t have to do now, right? Josie takes care of my, all of my calendar, every bit of it. And so if somebody wants to meet like that, she may just reach out and ask me and say, hey, do you have time to meet with this person? Or do you ultimately, do you want to meet with this person or make time to meet with this person?

WS: And I try to determine is that the highest and best use of my time? You know, especially in the beginning, right? I’m determining those things and she’s getting a feel for where I want to spend my time. And cuz she doesn’t know that the first day, right? She’s getting hired, she doesn’t know me that well you know, yet at that time. But as you grow, and Josie makes a lot of those decisions now, and the majority of them, I would say she can determine. And we’ve worked together long enough now where she can say, you know what, Whitney? This is not the best use of your time. You know, she’s a little more maybe emboldened, you know, to, I’ve tried to empower her. I hope I have. That’s been my goal for her to be able to do that. I like how she brought up being the bad guy and saying no for me. And so, or, you know, she meant, she mentioned too, creating more time for family. 

WS: And so I remember when she first got started or sometime since then you know, me saying, hey, help hold me accountable for being at home. Unfortunately, it’s too easy for me to come in at 6:00 AM and be here at 8:00 PM stilland just be doing what you know, whatever. Hopefully it’s all productive, right? You hope it is, you know, as you’re working, but either way, it’s easy for me to just keep going and before I know it, I’ve missed, you know, a week of meals with the family or, you know, haven’t been home for dinner, you know, enough nights this week. And so I want my executive assistant or whoever’s supporting me in that role to, they’ll hold me accountable for that, right. And question me about it and say, hey, you should probably go home. You know, or no, you don’t need another meeting after 5:00 PM you know, or 3:00 PM or whatever we can get away with.

WS: That’s been a major part, you know, of having somebody in this position that Josie is now, and she mentioned email, and I’ll never forget when she started. I had over 800 unread emails in my important and unread. Now, it’s not everything that’s just the, what’s been marked as important and unread. So it’s like emails I need to see or do something with. And that’s quite stressful. Or it was, for me. I know there’s emails in there from investors or there’s emails from other people in the industry that I do need to communicate with. And like, when are you gonna do that? You know, when you gonna get through that many emails? And so once she came on, she did, she developed a system for us to manage that.

WS: I think within a couple weeks it was down to 30, you know, in the important and or important and unread which is a major relief for me to know that, hey, we have, we’ve gotten through all that. And so that’s a learning experience. I would go back and say too, you know, even that Josie handles a ton of my email now that I never have to see, right? Whether, and it’s not all junk. Oftentimes it’s emails that she just knows what to do with now, right? So I would say it’s a growing experience in this role for this individual. Because they eventually, they get to know a lot of people in the industry, right? That I’m dealing with, or working with, or who I want to talk to, who maybe I, I don’t have time today to talk to, but I still wanna talk to at some point. You know, so she handles those interactions in that communication. 

WS: So she can nicely say, I’m sorry, John, you know, Whitney can’t talk to you today, but how about next week, right? Or no, she knows I need to talk to this person. No, we’ll make it happen today and all that’s happening without me having to be distracted from what I’m working on or to take the time to figure that out myself. So helpful. And that’s just a couple things that most executives struggle with, like she mentioned, calendar, email but so many other things. I would say the, as I think of things that we need to do or ideas or whatever, I’ll just tell Josie about it. She puts it somewhere. And so that way when we have our meetings, like we meet on a weekly basis or numerous times a week, actually, but where there’s a specific time where we’re talking about those things and she’ll have a list of things for us to go through.

WS: Maybe we can discuss that a little bit. Josie, why don’t we talk about our, the way we communicate a little bit, we talk about our, like Monday morning meeting format a little bit, or maybe, you know, on how we communicate through the rest of the week, or any tips that you may have as well. 

JR: Yeah, so I would say our, my big winners right now are Voxer Slack.

WS: So Voxer with a V, right? 

JR: Yes. 

WS: People get confused about that. Yeah.

JR: Voxer is like this little, you wouldn’t know. It’s their app, basically, walkie talkie, voice memos. But we use that less now than we used to. Cause, like Whitney said, as I’ve learned, I don’t need to ask questions as much and vice versa. But that’s been really helpful just for off the cuff things of, hey, I need like a quick response on this. I don’t wanna type it out. And then you have to type it back and then back and forth. I have voicemail, I wanna send something. Great. I can get a quick response back. It’s super helpful. Slack, everyone knows Slack, use that a lot. Those would be more for things that we want to look back at, right? So things that at a later date I might want to reference, or if I need approval on something or if there’s like really long copy I need him to approve. That might be through Slack. So that’s been really instrumental. 

WS: I would say Voxer is so helpful, especially when I’m travel. And so I don’t have time to, I’m not on the computer like you know, right now. Or if I’m doing shows or during a daily, normal daily basis in the office, I’m behind the computer. I have Slack open, I have email open. I can just type out whatever. We can communicate through Slack, but we often use Voxer if it’s something that’s just hard to explain through text, right? Or if I’m traveling, like I was mentioning, it’s so much easier when I am going through the airport and I just have a random idea. Or I’m listening to some book and it sparks some kind of idea. I can just vox or something to her right then that I don’t wanna forget. And that’s that. I love that about it. That I don’t have to remember it later. I can just say it. It’s done. She knows about it and then she can bring it back up to me later. Anyway, go ahead Josie. 

JR: And I can, I always give Whitney a hard time cuz I can tell when he’s traveling. One, because of the role that I’m in, but I’ll wake up 6:30, 7:00 and he likes those early flights so he’s already on a plane by then. And I know he is traveling because I’ve got 14, 15 messages cuz he’s just thinking of things. He’s driving in the car and he’s bored in the plane and he’s like sitting down in his seat and he’s got so many ideas just going through his head cause he’s got that free space. So I always him a hard time about that. I can, that’s when the ideas come, but that’s also why it is so helpful. Because then I can take those ideas and condense them and put them somewhere for later when he is back from his trip. 

JR: Something else we use a lot is Asana. So I really, really love Kanban board function in Asana. So I have a variety of projects in there, but the most critical to my role, I would say, and to our efficiency as working together is I have a board that is for all of Whitney’s ideas and my ideas, so, and I have those categorized out so I can kind of move these ideas around these little blocks depending on where that idea is at. So for example, if Whitney says something to me and he says, hey, sometime in the future, this is not important right now, but I want to do you blank. Okay, great. I can put that in the column that is called “Back Burner”. That’s I don’t wanna forget it, but we don’t really need to think about it on a daily basis.

JR: Then I might have something that, I have a column called “Ready For Action”. So this is something that I’ve determined that I need to do. He’s determined that I need to do. But when I come in the morning, I go, okay, I look right at that column, what needs to be done today, as soon as I can. And then if there’s something that Whitney needs, I need to discuss with him or he needs to approve maybe that I put on column called “Whitney Meeting Items”.

JR: And so then when Whitney and I have our meetings, like he said, our long form one is on Monday, but we do have ones throughout the week. I know, okay, these are the things that we need to tackle this meeting if we don’t get to all of them. That is okay. But I can categorize him by priority as well. And that just helps me to kind of keep track of everything. And, you know, if we take care of something in a meeting and it becomes an action item, great. I just move it over to that column. Now it’s ready for action. He’s approved it, we’re good to go. So that, I would say is the most life changing thing that I’ve used as an assistant, as an operations coordinator, I just, I could not live without it.

WS: Yeah, the communication piece is crucial and I think we’ve gotten better at that as a listener. I hope you listened. Anyway, I did a show about our daily huddle meetings and you know, and how that helps us just as a team to communicate, just know more about what’s happening with everybody helps as a leader to course correct or to hear more about what people are focused on whatnot.

WS: But I think even as Josie and I have worked together more. We have started kind of our own little huddle a couple times a week, you know, as well, cuz it’s like things change throughout the week, right? And we need another, you know, it won’t be as long as maybe the Monday morning me meeting, but maybe a time where it’s, we have just a few minutes to catch up about items we’re working on, you know, to specific tasks or something like that. So that’s been helpful I think. 

WS: Any other ways, Josie that, have thought of that we just work together better now, maybe than we did when we started. Couple things. Anything we’ve learned that have helped us to perform better? 

JR: I think if anything, and this kind of goes back to what you were saying earlier, is that as I’ve been at the company, I’ve learned, so I learn your communication style and I learn, you know, where your non-negotiables are and where your negotiables are. And I’ve kind of learned when I can kind of push back, I know when you kind of need a nudge. I know when someone else needs a nudge because you know that this might be something that, like for example, your time blocks for family. I know now you know, okay, you know, maybe I need to push back on him staying a little in the office today. We really have to get this done. It’s really, important. Or, you know what? I know that this specific day is really important to him. We’ll figure it out. We’ll focus on a solution later. 

JR: But I think just learning how to communicate with you and when to push back and when to just back up your ideas and stand in your corner has been really helpful. I think it’s been really instrumental and it’s been a growing experience for me, for sure. And I think it’s increased our efficiency and productivityjust working together and knowing how we communicate well and when to say the hard things and when to not. 

WS: That’s one thing I appreciate about Josie and that I would encourage anybody to look for when you’re hiring for this position. Is somebody that is somewhat bold, right? Or is willing to speak up. And so, but I think it also comes from a empowering that employee to some degree versus, you know, you always having to, I think it comes from numerous things, and I got off on a tangent about this, Josie, when I was recording a meeting about alignment meetings in case the listeners listened to that or didn’t listen to it, but just about empowering your employees.

WS: So I want Josie to be able to call me out on things like that, right? Or push back on me a little bit. Or you know, her to know that she can do that. I think often if you are, depending on the type of supervisor that you are or the type of culture that you have, that employee may not feel like they have that ability to do that, right? Or maybe scared to do that depending on your relationship. So, so I don’t know. I would just encourage, you know, if you were operating a business to think about your relationship with that employee, think about how you’re empowering them versus trying to dominate the, you know, employees or, you know, it’s just a different type of atmosphere, right?

WS: Am I in charge? Yes. But I try to give Josie a lot of power, right, everywhere I can because that ultimately, if I know she can do it, that just takes more and more off my plate. It’s less decisions I’m having to spend time on, less delays even cuz she can go knock it out instead of me having to look at it later or some other time. And so that’s been crucial I think, in helping her to take over in lots of ways that I, in places I don’t actually have to be. Josie, what would you say, I didn’t prompt her for this, by the way. I just saw this question and I thought I would ask her this cause I asked this of many guests. What would you say is the challenge we’re facing right now in Life Bridge?

JR: I think I know time. And I know that is just everyone struggles with, and that’s so easy to say, but I think we run into the issue of the more we grow, the more time we need. Now that also means that the meetings get smaller. You know, we can’t afford to have a one hour meeting with everybody. Maybe that’s 20 minutes, that’s 10 minutes. So squeezing more into the same exact amount of time I think is a challenge. You know, this is a daily show. We’re recording this seven times a week, and so I know that takes a lot of Whitney’s time, but this is also really important. It’s crucial to our business and it’s such a value add for both us at Life Bridge and for all of our guests and listeners.

JR: But you know, just networking, going to conferences. Are we being in enough conferences? Those take time. They take energy, they take away from main business functions but then they add into business functions because it increases energy and adds value and all sorts of things. So I think just the very common issue of making sure, I know we’ve mentioned it a couple times, but we are at the highest and best use of our time at all times. This business was founded on principles of empathy and kindness and you know, going the extra mile. And we still wanna do that every day. And I think we have this conversation a lot of, how do we continue to do that? How do we continue to be giving up our time and to do things that don’t always make a ton of, you know, business sense.

JR: Maybe you take a call. It doesn’t really add a lot of value to you, but maybe it adds a lot of value to somebody else. And we wanna be doing those things and not forget who we are, but we do wanna make sure that we’re using our time and especially Whitney’s time well, and we’re on time for things, and we don’t miss any deadlines, and that we’re continuing to grow, always be growing. That’s just my take. Whitney’s nodding a lot. 

WS: No doubt. It’s a challenge I think, for anybody, right? As you grow, or I think even as, when you’re first starting, you feel like it’s a challenge, but when you are pressed for more and more, you figure out ways to operate more efficiently. And sometimes that’s even by hiring somebody, right? An assistant or you know, there’s ways that you have to figure out how to be more efficient. And sometimes, by being pushed in a big way makes you think of things that are ways to operate that you wouldn’t have before. All right, just a few more quick questions. What about any important metrics that you track? I ask this of everyone, but it could be personally, professionally, your bench press number or how many times you get outta bed on time. Or it could be something in the business. It could be anything.

JR: Yeah, I’m bench pressing about 500 now, which is great. If you can tell. No. So I’ve actually gotten really into this and this has been a lot of Whitney just pushing us as a team to track things and, you know, you can’t improve on what you don’t track, right? So, I’ve learned just like the power of little tiny habits, I think. It’s really easy to be overwhelmed. Like I have to have this gigantic, amazing, astounding thing that I do every day. But for me, like every day I do a, I do the New York Times crossword every single day. I really, I enjoy it. It’s relaxing. It gets me thinking. 

JR: I’m on, I think I have 150 something day-streak learning Scottish Gaelic. Don’t ask me why. I just, it’s something like no one else is doing that. I did my four years of Spanish. I think it’s fun. It gets my energy going and learning something. I love learning, so doing that, like I said, I have a one and a half year old son. I do work from home. My husband is at the clinic every day at the hospital. But every day, no matter what’s happening, I work out. I do something for physical fitness, I do, I weights, cardio. I just make sure that I have time, like during that where mom gets to check out, do something healthy for herself. And I just think that increases efficiency so much is so important for wellness in general wellness at work.

JR: But at work, yes, I do also track a ton of things. I think we, I have a metric sheet, It’s probably a hundred and something columns. It is just nuts. So I’m tracking all sorts of things of both my efficiency and our company efficiency, company social media numbers and all sorts of things like that. I track a lot of things that our media production company does, Vox Valens, how much I’m meeting with them, how much they’re meeting with each other.

JR: I try to, something I’ve started tracking recently is I try to learn or adapt one new thing at work a month, right? So like I’ve, I’m researching something, a new tactic that we might try or I’m implementing a new software, something that I can be adding something of value or crossing something off. We don’t wanna try that at least once a month so that I’m always staying on my toes.

JR: Awesome. 

WS: And we do track a lot of things, and I would say to the listener, she caught that where she said you know, a hundred plus whatever lines on a metric sheet, that’s way too many. We should refocus that in a big way, but it’s just grown over time and we should revamp that. But anyway, maybe we’ll say that for another show. Anything, any other habit, habits or discipline about Josie that we hadn’t mentioned that produce a highest or high return for you? I know you mentioned a number.

JR: I think just maybe professionally and personally as I’ve learned this from Whitney, being really strict with your time, right? So every morning, I get up and the first thing I do have my coffee and I check his email. That is the first thing I do. It doesn’t matter what else is happening, even if I’m like, not really work yet, it’s just helpful for me to get into that routine. So it’s always checking his email at the end of every day, checking his email, going through it. So I like to end and begin all of my days with kind of just stepping back and taking a big look at everything. But just making sure I’m consistent about that, right, is one of the most important things you can do.

JR: I think consistency is key, right? So even though a lot of my job changes, I’m doing something completely different every day. There are those things that I do make sure I do every day. I check email, I check calendar, I look at our metrics. I get into the website, I look, is everything working? Is everything function? Great. How are our teams doing? Great. Just making sure that there are things that you’re doing every single day. Just little check-ins that I think go a long way, ultimately.

WS: Josie, how do you like to give back? 

JR: So, something my husband and I are both really passionate about is underserved youth. Though at that camp that we met at Pine Cove, the camp that we were working at specifically, we had a lot of really low income families. That would kind of just send their kids away for the day to get ’em outta the house. You know, they just don’t wanna deal with them. Lots of scholarship kids, just people from really just terribly broken homes. And since then we’ve just both been so passionate about it. 

JR: We were involved with the Ministry in College Station and we were in Texas that did the same thing. It was in Brian. They worked with inner city kids. A lot of them were homeless in and out of homes. And I think that’s something that’s just gonna stick with us forever. We will never stop wanting to be involved with that. I know there’s a huge need for it in Rapid City where we’ll be moving in about a month. So we’re already looking at how we can get involved with ministries there. I would say that for us is our biggest thing, is just trying to make some small change in the communities we’re at with so many underserved youths and at risk use that. Just need someone to help them and love them. 

WS: Awesome, Josie. Grateful to have you on the show. Obviously grateful to have you as part of the team. And I hope the listeners have learned numerous things from Josie today. And just the way we function together, how she supports me. I hope if you do not have an assistant or somebody supporting you in that operations type role, my goodness, what are you waiting for? It’s gonna help free you up, even if you still work the same amount of hours. Hopefully you’re able to focus more on, on the, you know, bigger level tasks that, that only the CEO or only the president or whatever you call yourself, you know that you need to be focused on. And well, you know, Josie’s working all the puppets in the background while I’m, you know, designing ’em or something, or I don’t know how a good analogy there. But either wayit pulls me away from those things, right? 

WS: And she can do it so much better than I can anyway, most of the time doing the organization and keeping her all the will spin and all the plates spinning. I guess I should say. So Josie, thank you again. Grateful for the time and for us to be able to help. Hopefully the listeners also and look forward to seeing you all again tomorrow. 



Whitney Sewell: Thank you for being a loyal listener of the Real Estate Syndication Show. Please subscribe and like the show. Share with your friends so we can help them as well. Don’t forget, go to where you can sign up and start investing in real estate today. Have a blessed day.


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