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The best car mechanics are the ones who will take the time to do a thorough inspection and find the root cause before you rack up a huge bill in parts and labor. Ryan Ayres uses the same philosophy when inspecting his clients’ business problems. The root problem is usually a process or personnel issue that needs to be addressed, not an expensive new tool to implement.

Ryan Ayres is a business coach and consultant that has the privilege of working with companies of all sizes from Microsoft, Sports Illustrated and Time Inc. to hundreds of small businesses in the last 20 years. His business, Focus 53, is focused on Business Operations and helping business owners identify and solve opportunities and roadblocks with the people and processes in their company.  Ryan is also the host of the Focus 53 podcast.


Key Takeaways

  • Treat business problems like a scientist – don’t treat the symptoms, inspect for the root cause
  • 9 times out of 10, the problem is with the people and processes, not the tools
  • Make sure everyone (yourself included) are aligned on the core values and has a clear view of the vision
  • To determine what you’re really good at, ask your co-workers for feedback and give them permission to be brutally honest
  • Acknowledge your own values and define your own mission statement, then align work accordingly
  • Work on improving your best skills into 9’s and 10’s
  • Many people know they can be doing better, but don’t know the areas they should be focusing on
  • Three business issues
    • Lack of core processes means you are always putting out fires, always being reactive
    • Poor time management leads to lack of results
    • Not using financials to measure business productivity
  • Split a big problem in half and half again until you get to the root cause
  • Ask direct, specific questions
  • You can work on improving your golf swing forever and you can work on improving your business forever
  • Identify the right things to focus on, and spend your time there

Resources Mentioned


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