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Business podcast

Leverage Your Network for Lasting Business Growth with Neel Parekh, MadeThis

September 28, 2022

Leverage your network, focus on small steps, and reflect regularly; this is what Neel Parekh sees as the keys to business growth. In this episode, he shares how he has learned not to compare his journey to anybody else’s and what his commitment to continuous learning looks like in action.

About Neel Parekh:

Neel is the founder and CEO of MadeThis, the world’s first and only Airbnb cleaning franchise. Driven by his desire for location freedom, what began as a side hustle is now a thriving business that has generated millions of dollars in revenue. Through the MadeThis Franchise, he helps other entrepreneurs achieve whatever kind of freedom they desire.

Episode highlights:

  • In the beginning, you may be able to do everything yourself, but there will come a time when you need to shift from doer to manager, and when that happens, you need to make sure you have a solid team. The key to finding the right people is to leverage your network! (01:06)
  • The best way to progress is in small, steady steps. Develop an abundance mindset and don’t be afraid of failure; test things out, and if they don’t work, try something else!  (03:14)
  • Your entrepreneurial journey is unique; everyone has different goals, motivations, and methods. Don’t compare your story to anyone else’s; you are in your own race! (17:56)
  • Remember to regularly check in with yourself about whether your actions align with your goals. It’s easy to get caught up in the process, but try to be as mindful of your actions as possible. (20:44)
  • Your entrepreneurial journey is lifelong, and as you and your business grow and change, there will be new challenges to face and different skills to improve upon. Commit to continuous learning, and you are far more likely to succeed. (37:40)

Neel’s best advice for entrepreneurs: 

“I’m running my own race, and I have my own goals. There’s no point in comparing people because everyone has different motivations.” (18:18) 

Connect with Neel:

Follow Beyond 8 Figures:

Transcript

[00:01:11] A.J. Lawrence: So go, give it a listen. But we’re not promoting Tropical MBA today. Maybe we’ll get them up. Neel Parekh is the CEO and Founder of MaidThis Franchise. So we’ve talked about franchises before as an investment class. We’ve even had some people talk about how they’ve used franchises. What I like about Neel is, he has a background in private equity, investment banking, evaluating company evaluations.

[00:01:37] He came about this from looking at the private equity space and then kind of going off and realizing he wanted to do something a little different. After rising through those things, he went off, joined this business group and saw sort of the rise of Airbnb. This was about six, seven years ago and seeing, Airbnb has been more than rising, but realizing that there were some opportunities to create revenue and opportunity around their rise.

[00:02:07] So he started offering to clean other people’s Airbnbs and developed it into a business and then quickly turned into a franchise. So it’s gonna be interesting to kind talk about this. I think what’s interesting besides looking at his sort of remote lifestyle, you know, location-independent approach to business is really the focus on building his business around his lifestyle. What he wants for his life is the guide.

[00:02:36] Now, that kind of seems straightforward. But as I’ve known from my own experience and then talking with many other entrepreneurs, a lot of times we get caught into the concept of we need to do x, we must have this, we must grow at y. And it’s hard to stop that when it’s happening because too often everything we hear around us just talks about our need to do all these things. What Neel talks about is not an easy thing. He talks about being honest and consistently analyzing what his life needs are and what his life goals are. And then aligning them with the company.

[00:03:17] And that takes work, especially as they’re growing significantly. So, one, pay attention to how Neel talks about building his lifestyle and sort of his needs in it. Two, the evaluating, you know, his life goals, lifestyles, et cetera, against the needs of the company, and then shaping the company’s growth towards that. Really pretty interesting stuff.

[00:03:40] Then a little bit around how he’s building his remote first company, the talent, the types, where he has his talent and stuff is all there. He’s a good guy. I think you’re gonna enjoy learning from Neel today. All right everyone, let’s go talk with Neel.

[00:03:57] Hey Neel, thank you so much for coming on the show. It’s been years since you and I have had a chance to chat as I was telling the audience since Bangkok in 18 at the Dynamite Circle event. But thank you so much for coming on the show. This is really great.

[00:04:11] What I loved was you were talking about how you were working, you had already started this, you were working on, you were growing this. And now we’re 4+ years since then and I’ve been reading a little bit about how much you’ve grown it since. I would love to kind of talk about where you see yourself as an entrepreneur and how you think the way you deal with things is changing now?

[00:04:35] Neel Parekh: Yeah, that’s a great question. I think I can answer that pretty directly cuz it’s something I’ve been working on a lot this last year is just using leverage as a concept. And by leverage I don’t just mean money leverage, but leverage of people, leverage of systems. Cuz I think, what I noticed is early in entrepreneurial journey you’re doing everything, right?

[00:04:55] So you’re the one creating the systems. You’re the one growing. So I had a strong correlation with, hey, if I wanna grow that’s gonna depend a lot on my time and effort. And I’m starting to realize for the next level of entrepreneurship, I need to leverage wisely. Meaning like maybe hire the right people or build the right systems, or just like if I can outsource anything, just do it.

[00:05:14] Making that mental shift from like the doer to the- I wouldn’t call it manager but the one building, building, building, coming up with the idea. That’s been an interesting shift for me, something I’m still working on. So that’d be the biggest change I think.

[00:05:26] A.J. Lawrence: I love that concept and I think it’s something that a lot of entrepreneurs start to face and they realize that that kind of like doing everything as you mentioned can only take them so far.

[00:05:39] How do you think, cuz you mentioned like okay, figuring out if it’s people, if it’s you know, money, et cetera, how are you practicing your use of leverage? How has it changed as you realized that you needed to kind of utilize more leverage to now? Like what are you doing to kind of utilize leverage I guess?

[00:05:59] Neel Parekh: A lot of the leverage which goes the longest way is people, is what I’m learning. And I think it’s scary for anyone who’s six-figures having figures to say, Hey, I’m gonna make a hire, which is not even my mind like a remote team hire from someone in the Philippines. LikemI’m gonna make a real hire and do that, or offer real money to someone and it’s terrifying.

[00:06:18] So I’m kind of in that boat of just mentally grasping that cuz I haven’t had to do those expensive hires ever, right? So now I’m kind of getting the point where I need to find these people. I think the way to practice it is slowly, right? You do one thing which has leverage and then you kind of prove it to yourself. Yep, this is the way because I have devoted x number of hours, like a very minimum amount of hours now I’ve gone this amount of return. Now you look at in comparison to what you’re doing historically, to yield a certain amount of return.

[00:06:43] So for me, I just had to make myself more comfortable with it. Do small things saying, Hey, that’s an expensive agency to work with. I’m just gonna test, I’m gonna look at this as a monetary experiment, I have a budget here. I’m gonna give them money. If it doesn’t work, that’s okay. And I’m completely fine losing the money and kind of keep going. So I guess as I say this stage is part of the abundance mindset of, Hey, you know, I just tested out, it’s fine.

[00:07:03] Things will come to me. And the other part is making myself more comfortable by slowly and surely getting more and more leverage. So for example, like I think at the curve moment. If you’re gonna say, Hey Neel, do you feel comfortable making a 100, 200, $300,000 higher? I’d say, No, I’m not comfortable there yet. I’m graduating to that point. But it’s very hard to go from being a doer all the way to hiring someone very expensive for a role. So I feel like for most people it needs to be a gradual step up.

[00:07:27] A.J. Lawrence: What I found really interesting about our long ago conversation was just sort of how you had kind of come in. I came to the Dynamite Circle I think after having run my own agency to multiple agencies over years. And I kind of had this very local mindset and it was like, Oh wow, great. You know pre-Covid like why am I hiring everything local? Why can’t I do some of these? Do you find that you’re able to get the talent you need as MaidThis franchise sort of keeps growing?

[00:07:59] You were mentioning like, Oh, it’s the money. But you know what I’ve seen somewhat is you can no longer get the amazing person $1,000 a month. Great talent cost more than it did five years ago from a global perspective. But it’s still not what you see in the main European and definitely the US area. It’s still that kind of like, somewhere between 50 and 70%, depending upon the skill and everything.

[00:08:28] So, when you say something like that, is that the money or is it like the complexity of that type of role where you’re like, you know, I’m not quite there yet.

[00:08:38] Neel Parekh: For me I think, so let’s break down, do you have remote or local, right? And with a certain price range for remote you’re gonna get a certain type of person. That’s generally how it is, right?

[00:08:48] Let’s say if you wanna spend 1500 to 2000, that’s a certain type of person. Less or more, it varies, right? So you can get an extremely high level higher for relatively inexpensive compared to the cost of someone in the US right? But the reality is some types of roles might be better if the person is local.

[00:09:06] So for my business we do franchising and we do corporate expansion. So debating corporate expansion out of state, in which case, normally I would say, Hey, let me hire someone offshores to manage it. And I’m thinking, you know what, let me try out the model of hiring someone local who might have more feelers in the community and have that go a longer way.

[00:09:24] So if at all possible, I would always want to do remote cuz I do feel like you get maybe more bang for your buck. However, there’s certain roles and things I wanna do, which were requiring local talent and that inherently, cuz it’s the United States, is gonna cost more money. So I’d say it’s probably the combination. But I don’t feel like, at least on the remote level, there’s a lack of talent or lack of finding talent, at least at the level I’m looking at.

[00:09:46] There’s just so much talent. Everyone’s gone remote. Everyone around the world, meaning now these people can look for jobs elsewhere as opposed to their home country. So, I actually feel the quality of candidate has gone up drastically. Now, the pay has gone up, but to your point A.J., it’s gone up from a $1000 to $1500, right? It’s not that big of a jump. So it’s still very manageable for many businesses in the Europe or the US.

[00:10:07] A.J. Lawrence: I think a big thing that a lot of people are starting to see is that you’re having like second and third waves of talent from working abroad on various projects. You know, on the Fiverr’s, the Upwork’s, and all those other craziness. They’ve had that 3, 5, 10 year experience working with American companies. And I know, like when I had my own company before I sold, it was like, oh, you know, there was that first like six months where it took them to even figure out how to do things.

[00:10:38] Then there was like, you could see with some people that year and a half, you know, like, Oh wait, boom, they just jumped. And then again at three, five, and I think you’re starting to see that with a lot of international talent that’s working remotely with American companies. They’re getting the structure, they’re getting the process.

[00:10:57] But no, I think it’s really cool because even as you were talking about leverage, you’ve talked about how you’re balancing and that’s something that I see a lot takes experience to kind of like, Ooh, should I do that or should I not? So that was really kind of cool.

[00:11:11] What do you think has helped you the most? What type of thought process, coach, whatever it is, what do you think has helped the most in this journey you’re taking as an entrepreneur?

[00:11:24] Neel Parekh: I would say probably combination. I mean, at least with coaches and stuff, I’ve always used coaches, mentors, it just feels like it helps me level up much faster. And also with the use of coaches and things like that, it helps me get a view into other people who are doing it. So for example, I’m working with a mindset coach right now and that person would say, Hey, look, you’re scared to make this step. Once you find examples in your life which prove that this actually works and that, you can use leverage for high growth as opposed to just using your own energy.

[00:11:53] And as long as you start, you know, just that it’s very simple. And I guess I haven’t really thought about it in formality sense, but if you start looking around the world for examples of why leverage and taking that next step works, it’s so obvious, right? And especially in your own circle, like we’re both in entrepreneur group and I think there’s tons of examples of people who are able to use leverage and people effectively to scale their business without it sacrificing their time and energy.

[00:12:14] So just kind of coming to terms of, oh, that’s a way that you can operate. And I think for me, I think the strongest correlation I had was and I think a lot of entrepreneurs have this is high growth would depend on my time, my energy, my stress. That’s the only way to grow, right? Cause at the beginning when you start your business, it’s all on you.

[00:12:31] You’re the one pushing it, you’re the one doing everything. So of course your correlation is growth equals me time. So disassociating that takes a while. But the way to disassociate that is to just get further examples. Test, try it out, and make sure it works and get proof in your own mindset about it. And then kind of keep scaling that way. A.J., you scaled a business yourself? What are your thoughts and how did you kind of get over that hump?

[00:12:54] A.J. Lawrence: I got lucky is kind of what I say because I made almost every mistake. Now, I did a lot of things right but in the end of the day, I did get lucky. When I had my company and its best was sort of in that I like to say the three and a half million range, but we really had a system that was more built for two and a half.

[00:13:14] But still that’s like, okay, we were a little rickety and all that but we were growing and then we kind of added another couple million and then the next year, another three, and it was like bang, bang. And we didn’t adjust fast enough. But like I think a lot of, what I find so interesting about how people grow businesses and how they go about doing it is you can make every mistake and get one or two things right and kind of accelerate quickly.

[00:13:43] Now, you get more risky as I’ve experienced, where things then kind of collapsed back and I had to slowly rebuild before I was able to sell it. Basically, the first person who came with a check, I was like, Yes, thank you. Please, now. But, I think there are better ways. Luck shouldn’t be the determiner.

[00:14:02] Luck is very important, but doing things the right way in a directionally correct manner I think is the best way to make sure luck happens. And though I realized how hard it is sometimes when you scale, like my case was, we started doing really well and to the point where all of a sudden our very strength became what slowed us down.

[00:14:25] I moved resources around from sort of our inbound and our sales capability to our account capability, and I hired very good people. But I didn’t hire our culture people and it was very quickly as we were growing. All of a sudden we weren’t doing the type of work that we were known for. We were doing good work and I had some pockets of amazing excellence, but we didn’t have the consistency because I was chasing. I had built a nice, consistent step, step, step, and then like a client jumped and I was like, instead of like, Okay, and we’ll take our time and kind of get everything back up, I chased it.

[00:15:06] And so it was like, and that to me is why I love talking with people like you who have been working consistently and been building things to kind of learn more. Because I think it’s so easy to kind of get lost in own head. It’s so easy to chase things. It’s so easy. So I call it, you know, being more deliberate.

[00:15:28] You know, there’s deliberate practice. I call it being a deliberate entrepreneur, like finding ways to be more deliberate in my efforts of being an entrepreneur. The things I need to work on, the practice, the measurement, the consistency, those things, that’s the fun. But back to you, Sir. Don’t interview me on my show.

[00:15:53] Neel Parekh: Flipping this script. A.J., to your point I do find interesting cuz like entrepreneurship is fun in the way of like, there’s no true playbook. Right? Like a lot of the things you do, let’s say you’re playing sports, there’s a playbook. There’s things you do, you run plays, you get the ball in the basket. Like this is, that’s just how it is. And you win the game by doing X.

[00:16:11] In entrepreneurship, even the winning, there’s no definition of winning. That’s universal. It’s not whoever has the most points, it’s not whoever has the most money. It’s totally subjective. The way they get there is totally different. Every business is different, every person’s different.

[00:16:23] It’s just like there’s no set playbook of how to do it. So in the reality, in some ways you can’t do it wrong. I feel like there’s some ways you could do it more right-er, but you can’t do it completely wrong because it’s so open. It just opened to your own interpretation.

[00:16:39] A.J. Lawrence: Dude, you’re a half full glass guy. Because you know what? This is one that, you know, why I’m also doing this. I always felt that very same thing. I never hit the goals I gave myself. Now, in hindsight, they were really, really good. We did some really great stuff, and even being able to sell for the mid-seven figures is amazing. Just it wasn’t what my expectations were at the time.

[00:17:07] Yes, there’s a very small violin, everyone, listening I’m playing. But you know, the reality is we set our goals. So I love how you, that optimism is amazing and I like that because I think it’s too easy for an entrepreneur to bang on themselves because all we do is try and get things done. And even when they’re done, it just means there’s new, more things to be done. And to be able to look at it as like, Okay, I’m doing this and I’m going on. That is pretty damn cool. I like that.

[00:17:41] Neel Parekh: Yeah. Running your own race, I would say, which is tough cuz like the whole purpose of business is to make money. So in theory, the logical conclusion would be the "win the game, you get more money", right? Which is never ending race. You’re gonna go down if that is the true definition of success.

[00:17:57] A.J. Lawrence: But you’ve realized this, I mean, after a while, it’s like, yes, the more money is cool. But like once you start being able to take care of the basics, and yes there are prettier shinier objects and things, the money becomes more of a score keeper and a tool to do new and hopefully, higher value things. And hopefully not the bright, shiny object thing that I kind of fell into.

[00:18:22] And I think we know a lot of people, and I will not say names, in the DC who do that. You get some success and all of a sudden you can go bright, shiny. But the idea is, you’ve gotten this nice level of success and you’re building and growing, how do you kind of keep it so that you are focusing on where you’re further taking the company instead of just falling in for FOMO?

[00:18:49] Neel Parekh: So A.J., just to make sure I understand, you’re saying how do I take the company to where I wanna go as opposed to kind of what people are dictating? Which is tough by the way cuz I see other people in my same industry crushing it, right? And I’m like, well, what are those guys doing differently? I should be doing that.

[00:19:03] Like I don’t really know their inside story or why are they doing it, their motivations. But of course you get that FOMO like you said, what do those guys do? And it causes limiting anxiety even. And by the way, I think it’s universal. Everyone is gonna have that for sure. For me, I think it’s just understanding like I’m running my own race and I have my own goals.

[00:19:19] There’s literally no point to compare people because everyone literally has different motivations. So for me, the ultimate would be, do I have the freedom to do whatever I want with what time and money? And location freedom. Like, just having the ability to do that is so rewarding for me that I would gladly take way less money just to have that, right?

[00:19:37] So now if I think about let’s say leverage opportunities, I think about in that way of is this giving me my end goal? Yeah, it is if I use my leverage properly for sure it’s giving my end goal. So therefore I’m winning the race. What race? Just my race. I’m not trying to compete against the other guy who is making way more, more and more money than me.

[00:19:53] So it’s tough to remind yourself of that, right? Because obviously you’re in that network, you’re in that community, you see other people doing it. Your business spits out cash and it’s very easy to correlate success with the more of that thing that pops out, which is cash. But, at the end of the day it’s A.J. like you said, there’s like small violin.

[00:20:08] If I have a hundred grand, my lifestyle doesn’t change. Like nothing really happens, right? There’s nothing big. There’s just like a lot of the hierarchy of needs is met. Now I still want to grow, love to have more money cuz it opens more opportunity. But it’s very much a want. It’s not really a need.

[00:20:23] And I think just disassociating that and understanding nothing’s really a need, everything’s just a want. If you want it, that’s cool. But if you come at it from a neediness perspective, that’s where in my mind I think, things get tough. Things get very anxiety-driven, stressful driven. Nothing really in life is a need.

[00:20:39] A.J. Lawrence: How do you define what your race is and how do you make sure you are running it? Basically, how do you define your success as the entrepreneur? Not what everything else is. How are you making sure you’re running your own race?

[00:20:53] Neel Parekh: A.J., I wish I had the answer. I feel like that’s like the secret answer to life and being content, right? You just (inaudible) knowing your race. I’ll tell you how I’m trying to do it. I don’t know. I’ll tell you what it is for me is just constantly reminding myself of what feels in alignment or not. I’ll define that a little bit. If I get into a, I’m calling it a race, with someone else, let’s say I have a cleaning franchise that’s fully remote. There’s someone else who has a remote cleaning company. They’re crushing it. They’re selling more franchises. They’re doing all these different things. It’d be very easy if for me to compare myself to that person.

[00:21:24] And oftentimes I do. I think everyone does. But then for me it’s kind of realizing, hey, that guy’s trying to go to a hundred franchises, kind of center myself and say, do I want to go to a hundred franchises? And think about that outside of fear, outside of like emotions and think, Hey, what do I actually want? Like, oh, that’s actually not what I want, so why would I be comparing myself to the guy whose goal that is? So it’s tough because you’re living in the matrix. You’re looking and comparing yourself to other people in your community, right?

[00:21:47] It’s natural, but just kind of stepping back and reminding yourself of what your goals are internally and then saying, Okay, I’m not gonna compare myself to this person cuz that’s my goal. Like I don’t want what that guy’s doing. This didn’t quite answer your question, A.J., but at the same time I think it’s an ever evolving process.

[00:22:01] A.J. Lawrence: No, no, it does. I think it sets up sort of then the next, because one of the things I realized, especially with the way I let my agency grow instead of how I was trying to set it up, we were in this sort of mode that we had to grow to kind of survive, which has its own issues and stuff. And I hear that from a lot of other business owners.

[00:22:21] Sometimes they feel like if they’re not, you know, the shark motif, the shark theme. It’s like, if I’m not going forward, then we die. And to a certain degree, yes, you lose customers. You churn, depending on your business model, et cetera, things, if you’re not constantly evolving and adapting.

[00:22:40] But I think, as you were talking about bringing it to your own personal, I think it lends itself to further work in the short term to kind of define how you keep your business alive with your personal environment. But I think longer term, you are gonna end up being a lot happier and probably have a stronger business.

[00:23:02] So you were saying you’re not quite sure how you are going about doing that, but does that resonate with you? You focusing on these kind of needs and then making sure the business fits that for you?

[00:23:13] Neel Parekh: A.J., without a doubt, 100%. And, I feel like we talked about earlier, like there’s no right way to do business, there’s no wrong way to do business. In my mind, the right way to do business is figure out what type of lifestyle you want and make sure your business caters to that, right? Typical four-hour workweek thing. But the reality is if you do that, you’ve won half the battle of your own game, right? Cuz you have a business model which now suits what you wanna do in life.

[00:23:35] So I do agree to some extent, like, I don’t know. There’s an old adage, like you said, if you’re not growing, you’re dying. I don’t know if I agree with that in terms of revenue and cash growth. You can just keep the consistent thing you’re doing, just evolve the processes. Make sure your customers stay happy. And stay at the size and scale you want, and that live a great life.

[00:23:52] So that’s totally doable. And that could equal growth. It doesn’t necessarily mean you have to keep growing and growing and growing. And that’s a tough one to get around for entrepreneurs saying, I have to keep growing. Right? Like, I have to get to the next level. I have to get from one to two, two to five, five to 10. I have to hit 8 figures. Why? Like you don’t need to do that unless you really want to.

[00:24:11] A.J. Lawrence: It’s funny. And that was the whole, you know, as I jokingly say, the great guys who had the show before I bought this, they were all so focused on the money. Like literally, they would challenge guests around the dollar figure. And they were great interviews and they had some great guests.

[00:24:29] But in the reality is, I think it’s aspirational 8 figures. And sometimes it’s aspirational that you’ve gone way, way, way past it. But I have heard now there may be changing a little bit with this new economy and you know, some of the fun that’s going on. And you know, we’ll see how long this lasts could be a blip, in which case, the races will be back on and the egos will be shown.

[00:24:52] But like a year ago there were a bunch of people talking about like, if you’re not 8 figures or more, you’re not running a biz, you know? It’s like, I don’t know. I kind of, you know. So I like how you are about what is right for you and then building it out. Because yeah, true.

[00:25:09] Neel Parekh: I do feel like, for example, I still wanna grow. Like, I say I sell this stuff at the same time hey, I still wanna scale. But I wanna come at it from a place where, hey, based off of what I’m doing, we will grow to that size as opposed to I need to get there, right?

[00:25:22] I think it’s a different approach of coming at your goal. Just saying I’m content with that as I am and I’m running my race but yeah, let’s go for 8 figures. Let’s see what happens. I think it’s a different way of thinking about it. And A.J., I was thinking about, I had a conversation with someone who’s well into the 8 figures, maybe 9 figures of the business. And I forgot what we were talking about exactly, but he said a phrase which really stuck to me.

[00:25:40] He had tons of money and he said he bought his dream house in Spain. And he’s like, right when I bought the house I realized I won the game at life. If I lose all my money, I don’t care cuz I’ve already won what I wanna do, which is I fully own this house and this can’t get taken away of. I can’t lose that right now.

[00:25:56] So if the business goes kapow, I stopped doing what I’ve doing. I’ve already won the game of my life. And I thought that was really cool cuz he realized the game he’s playing in what he wants, he won it. And then the rest is just kind of like in his mind, kind of play money. I don’t know if that’s right what you think about it, but it made a lot of sense to me.

[00:26:11] A.J. Lawrence: I do think, I know for my own experiences, sort of that like, Oh, I have assets. I remember working, well it was a while ago when I was working jobs and being like, they grow so small and so like, they’re like this.

[00:26:30] And then all of a sudden when you have a business, you know it’s not always, and sometimes they do go the other way and you have to put back in. But you have these opportunities for significant asset acquisition and et cetera that I think is something that’s on the good side of it. It gives a little bit of, Okay, I can breathe.

[00:26:52] There are other things that maybe you don’t or I don’t, I didn’t, and now I do practice to be more appreciative and have more gratitude for those things. But I know early on, that was a very small thing, and it was everything else that was driving me crazy. But yeah, that is a good point.

[00:27:10] I think he’s right. It’s like, once you can figure out how you have your needs and your ability to just move on, then it’s all just moving up the hierarchy of needs. It’s like, okay, what cooler things can I do? I like that. That’s cool. You know, you had said something earlier about how you were going back and kind of doing this. And I wanted to kind of dive into your process a bit but why don’t we look where you’re hoping to go now, now that you have this?

[00:27:38] It’s ongoing and the space is booming. I understand there are people with larger ones, whatever, but it’s kind of still that rising tide. Short, medium economic issues, the experience you facilitate in this situation is kind of looks like it’s going to be stable if not growing into everything. So then down the road even further, where are you hoping to go and what do you think you’re gonna have to do to kind of change, be able to do that?

[00:28:09] Neel Parekh: Yeah, so I like my business, I could talk about it. So we MaidThis, we’re actually the first and only AirBnB cleaning franchise that exist, so there’s no direct competitors on that realm. But we also do residential cleaning as well. So my goal for scale is to get it to maybe 10 to 20 franchise locations and expand corporate locations as well. So that’s kind of the goal.

[00:28:28] The typical playbook in like franchise world is always like, let’s you know Silicon Valley. There’s like, okay, you raised a series A, usually a series B, there’s a playbook. The playbook in franchises, you get to 50 locations and then maybe the best you get to a hundred in exit of private equity. That’s like the go to in my mind.

[00:28:45] If I’m looking at the game I wanna play, I’m like, Okay, I’d prefer to look at awesome support system for franchises, know them intimately, help them expand the multiplication themselves. Therefore, I’d rather work with 10 to 20 people, expand from there in territories, as opposed to just getting a max number. So that was a conscious note of saying, Hey, that’s kinda where I want to cap it for now. Might get there and say, Hey, I’m loving this. Let’s kinda keep going from there.

[00:29:05] But in order to get to that, it’s gonna require more leverage, right? I still have my corporate assets. Still wanna extend corporate wise. So my corporate locations for the most part, they run by themselves. I don’t need to be there. Now, if I look into the franchising part, it’s a world I don’t know about. It’s something that’s pretty new to me. So if I think about how to get there, it’s gonna be, and how to get there without it taking a crazy amount of my time, I need to rely on people who probably already know that world and have done a lot of things involved in that.

[00:29:31] So leveraging, going back to like even people not part of my company, agencies for example, running YouTube ads. And I’m sure I could have someone on my team to go figure out themselves but just told ’em, Hey, just go find someone who does YouTube ads. I understand they’re gonna be expensive, just do it. Let’s get it going and move on to the next thing. Move on to the next thing. So building from a purpose of maximization of time, I think that’s one way to look at it and that’s the way I’m looking at it right now.

[00:29:54] A.J. Lawrence: No, that is really cool. And if you are looking, did you ever hear of the podcast Acquisitions Anonymous?

[00:29:59] Neel Parekh: Yeah, I have.

[00:30:00] A.J. Lawrence: They did a whole episode about a guy who does vacation rentals. He manages vacation rentals and he’s in the outer bank, hopefully not losing houses, cuz they just had a whole bunch of houses fall into the ocean. But they were talking about a couple of different vacation rental companies that were for sale.

[00:30:18] But what is interesting given they said one of the things that he does, and he would suggest the sort of, you buy in, you get it. So monetization is more the way they do it is to have your own cleaning service for that. And I could see something, you know? So yeah, I wanna add it. But you know what, you, MaidThis has the whole process specifically.

[00:30:40] Yes, it’s Airbnb, but it’s pretty damn close to 98-99% the same as a vacation rental turnover. And it’s like that type of franchise would go perfect for that type of business owner. It’s like let them add a little more margin to each turnover, each transaction, homeowners get a little bit extra relaxation and all that, and yeah, they get a playbook from you. Sorry, I was just remembering that.

[00:31:07] Yeah. Listening to that three weeks ago, it was a really good episode cuz you know, immediately, here I am looking at professional services and I was like, Ooh, Vacation Rentals, that would be a cool company. It’s like, no, no, no, no stick. Yeah, I did mention bright shiny object syndrome, but I do think that’s something.

[00:31:26] I love the concept you’re building because it does fit for other entrepreneurs. It’s not just franchise concept. It is the idea of like, okay, you have one business, this can help you bring in and without diluting as much your focus because you’re bringing the structure and the concept to bear. Plus it could be a good value add.

[00:31:47] Neel Parekh: Talk about leverage for those guys, right? Like those guys wanna leverage instead of building a cleaning company from the ground up. Leverage systems, right. That’s exactly what this is.

[00:31:55] A.J. Lawrence: It’s a great episode too. It’s fun. Since I’m moving down to Northern Virginia, they were talking about some area in the middle of Maryland that I had never heard of, that’s supposed to be such a great off the beaten path vacation area. And I’m like, Okay, cause I’m just used to all the super high, you know. I’m a New York guy, so Hampton’s Fire Island, maybe, a little bit. So you gotta find those better areas that aren’t like booked two years in advance.

[00:32:21] Neel Parekh: Yep. Which has truly been insane the last couple years in terms of vacation rentals and I mean, talk about like where populations are going and travel and everything like that. I feel like it’s reversed now a little bit, but from what I’m seeing with the trends for example, last year and the year before, the Exodus from New York, going to places like Maryland in the middle of nowhere has been incredible.

[00:32:38] Like truly insane. And we’re getting a lot of leads from franchises to say, Hey, random town which was never a town before, now is exploded. I need AirBnB cleaning service. Like it’s crazy what’s happened in the last couple years for that.

[00:32:50] A.J. Lawrence: I mean, that’s what’s fun about watching things expand because it’s like, okay, there’s the direct, Oh, okay, there’s more people doing this. But then the knock ons like opportunity for MaidThis franchises. It’s like, oh, okay, if this happens, then what other unintended consequent or unforeseen initial opportunities occur based upon that? It’s fun for you and it’s fun. I enjoy the conversation, but you get to live it. Since we’re talking about kind of bringing in, do you have more things that you would like to work on as your ability as an entrepreneur?

[00:33:27] Neel Parekh: A 100% I think it’s always an ever evolving thing with entrepreneurs to kind of level up. And at least for me, I think that’s a great spot about being in a mastermind community or coaches. You could start to see your blind spots and where your weakest at. So for me, I think the weakest part to work on now would be around is delegation.

[00:33:42] This delegation getting much better but I feel like to get to the next level, the people who are doing really, really well are master delegators. Like they’re ruthless with delegation. They understand how it’s done. So that’s a skill and trait where I realize I need to level myself up in that area. So I think once I do that, and I feel like that’s currently, I feel like that’s the highest value of my time, is learning that skill, leveling up on that skill.

[00:34:05] After that, I’m sure there’s something else. I don’t quite know what it is cause I think it’s based off necessity of the company. Whatever company or business you’re running, it’s gonna demand certain things from me. And whatever goals you have personally or with the business are gonna demand different things and that’s gonna require you picking up new skills, which I don’t quite know what that will be, once I get there.

[00:34:23] I just know to get to the level I want to go to, which is to grow, I’m gonna need to really embrace delegation leverage and being able to build in a way which isn’t really dependent only on my time and energy. So I’m trying to solve that, and once that’s solved and I get to that level, there’ll be a whole new set of things to learn. And A.J., maybe you could tell me what it is to learn at that point, but I have no idea. I’m just trying to focus on the current next level.

[00:34:46] A.J. Lawrence: Yeah, I mean I think a lot of what I like so much about what you’re saying is you’re doing that at a level that I really wish I had done earlier in my experience, cuz I’m very lucky that I got to learn.

[00:34:58] But I do feel I got to learn on the wrong direction of things, not the direction I wanted to. But that’s the whole point. It’s not so much if you’re up or down, it’s if you’re still in the game and you’re still moving along and being able to do things. As you said, being in this entrepreneur, I didn’t crash out yet. I still have chips.

[00:35:18] I love what you’re doing. I think the only thing I could really say is like, as you look at it defining what those opportunities are that you would look for your transition points. You’re talking about delegating, since you and I have a lot of common structure, I mean I don’t know whether you’re mastermind or coaches, but I would assume you’re doing the very basic of like, okay, if this leverage, if this opportunity of working on your delegation capabilities, how are you making it measurable? Impactful?

[00:35:50] It could be SMART, it could be hard, all the different ways of talking about OKR structure. Doesn’t matter which structure. Just using a structure and like what is the measurable structure of delegation for you? Is it X amount? Is it so you don’t touch any X type of activity?

[00:36:09] That, for me, was the hardest part. I found that like I kept trying to put weird numbers or not real things to that measurement. If I actually talk about operate, like what parts of the business do I touch from a delegation point of view and what parts can move without me whatsoever. Even to the point of, Oh, I get a report at the end of the month. Oh, sweet. Nice. That was the interesting.

[00:36:37] Then there’s also the idea that you can go too far in this. And that’s the magic of figuring it out is there a part that you’re delegating so you no longer have to touch. As you said, you don’t work in your corporate ones, you’re not involved in any, so what is the delegation at outcome?

[00:36:56] Is it at an amount? Is it total tasks? Whatever that may be. I think the only thing off the top of my head, I mean this is the fun, it’s like, okay, usually I like to say, let’s do this over whiskey. But it’s like, okay, either you know the mastermind structure or whatever, but it’s like, okay, I had these experiences and I know I had trouble until I made it real.

[00:37:15] But I think, it’s like the mission. It’s like, why are you doing things? It’s so easy to say, Oh, I’m doing it because of X and therefore X needs to be blah, and therefore that my measure be blah, blah, blah, blah, and then you’re kind of like, Oh, it’s not really, I want grow, you know? Okay. I guess it’s that work into why the delegation is important and therefore, you know, and I think you said it for the leverage, but what is the leverage and what’s that constant?

[00:37:46] And not answering it all at once because it’s impossible. But that next step, like, okay, if, And I love how you say one thing, get it done, then do it again. One thing, I think that’s so cool that you do it. I think you’re doing it already. I would just push you on being, What is that? What is the delegation?

[00:38:06] Because your leverage concept is so cool and it’s like, Yeah, that’s right. That’s simple and direct and it’s like, I always love it because I am so wordy in how I communicate. So when I hear someone say something and like that I’ve spent five minutes talking about, and like two sentences, I’m like, Yeah, know your why, or ask your why or what.

[00:38:29] It’s a really great concept. But the reality is it’s maybe a chapter in total. It’s like, it’s impactful and smart and duh duh. But okay, we got it. I really love how far you’re going and what you’re doing. How can the audience check it out if they’re interested in learning more about the franchise, what you’re doing, etc?

[00:38:56] Neel Parekh: Absolutely. So, you could go to MaidThis franchise, Maidthisfranchise.com, contact me there. Neelparekh.com as well if you just wanna get ahold of me. So feel free to check it out if it’s something you’re interested or someone you know who’s interested in the franchise concept. But even if you just wanna reach out, feel free to do that.

[00:39:11] If you hit me on my personal website, mention you came from A.J.’s show. I will definitely respond to everyone so feel free to get in touch.

[00:39:17] A.J. Lawrence: Cool. We’ll make sure this is in our socials and the show notes and the email when we send this out. Neel, I am really grateful for you coming on today. This has been great and I have been marking clips because there’s a lot of cool things you just say, but I’m like, okay, I need to kind of think on these and I think a lot of people in the audience. You bring an optimism that I love to this effort. So nah, this was great. Thank you for coming on the show.

[00:39:44] Neel Parekh: Thanks for having me, A.J. That was fun.

[00:39:46] A.J. Lawrence: I just had a lot of fun talking with Neel. His optimism, his intelligence, his openness was great. I just love a couple of things. He really kind of came about his concept of leverage. It’s something many of us talk about. It’s in a lot of discussion around entrepreneurism, building your businesses, growing, et cetera.

[00:40:07] And I’m gonna say use this term a few times when I’m talking about Neel and his simplicity of how he’s looking at it and then kind of why he’s doing it and how he moved into it. Thinking of the different types of leverage, it’s very easy as someone who has gone through these and thought about without as I kind of jokingly said, I used like 20 words to basically articulate leverage to his one word.

[00:40:34] It’s very easy for us to think of ways, one at a time. In my efforts as an entrepreneur, I know I sometimes get caught like, Okay, how can I delegate, how can I hire, How can, but one at a time. Because everything else is just noise in my head. So therefore I have to fully shut everything else down and pick one. Whereas he’s looking at the balance and the consistency of one over the other, not all at once, which was very smart.

[00:41:04] But hey, one at a time, to whatever is going to provide the most leverage. Not what is going to be the most leverage in this, or the most leverage in that. Now, he does talk later on about working on his skillsets as a delegator to do that. And that’s a little bit different because that’s building his capability to doing something, not just focusing on one concept. I like the give and take of that.

[00:41:31] I like, once again, simple because I am pretty much a little bit like, ugh, so smart, so straightforward, focusing on why he’s doing these things and what he wants to get done from this. So impactful because, as I’ve learned and I’ve spoken with many of you, we all have these concepts, but they’re noise and constantly refining them is work.

[00:41:59] And so it’s sometimes, well, I’m just gonna do what I need to do to grow, right? I just need to do okay this, okay, what do we need to make more money? Or what do we need to get to X or to Y or, you know, all those things.

[00:42:10] His process, his thought process of, Okay, these are the things that are gonna make me happy, these are gonna make me feel as a better entrepreneur, so therefore what do I need my business to do to match that? It sounds so simple, but it is, I think, more work in my own experience to do that cleanly. Then to kind of rush through it and then pay for it longer term. So, you know, maybe I’m more about entrepreneurs who have that ability, because to me that is so much work.

[00:42:45] So seeing is kind of natural structure to it, and then that kind of just leads to the last bit. Overall, entrepreneurs tend to be very optimistic about themselves, about the world, that they’re gonna have this impact. But what I found so nice about what he was talking about was he’s optimistic about the concept of entrepreneurism.

[00:43:10] That just felt amazing to hear someone talk about that. I mean, as someone who’s constantly trying to learn to be better, to become a better entrepreneur, to deliberately practice my efforts, I have spent a lot of time talking about how difficult it is and how much work it is early on, and this and that. No. No.

[00:43:31] And so to kind of look at it as, oh, you have this opportunity to do the things you want, to create the things you want, and that be it. Not the, and then also suffer because you never really did, but like, ah, that optimism is something I’m gonna, Yeah, I will probably pull the clip out and just have that on repeat, just so I can like, Okay. All right. It’s one of those days. Oh, yes. I can create the thing.

[00:43:58] Neel, thank you. That was so cool. And I think a lot of us entrepreneurs need to hear that more often. It’s like, yeah, this is freaking amazing what we get to do because we get to create the things we want to create. So what, there’s other stuff?

[00:44:16] It’s the good stuff that is so important here. So please go check out Neel’s site. We’ll make sure it’s in the show notes. We’ll make sure it’s in the emails and the socials. And definitely if you’ve ever thought about a franchise and you’re in sort of the Airbnb community or vacation rentals as we kind of were joking about, go check out his franchise, Maidthisfranchise.com, really good.

[00:44:38] And I know from other people that are having great experiences and Neel’s just also shown from the amount of time he’s been here and the amount of effort he’s put over the years that he’s trying to build something. That it’s not just about his own success. You will experience the benefit of his own hard work as a franchisee owner, if that is an interest of you. So please go check it out. If it’s of any interest, I think you would do really well. All right.

[00:45:09] And as always, thank you so much for listening to today’s episode. I really appreciate you spending the time. If you enjoyed it or if you didn’t, please leave us a review. It would be wonderful. Go check out the site beyond8figures.com and sign up for the newsletter so that way every time we have another episode or something cool coming down the road, you’ll be the first to know about it.

[00:45:32] Thank you again for listening. I hope you have a wonderful day, and I can’t wait to talk to you again. Bye-bye.

[00:45:43] This episode of Beyond 8 Figures is over, but your journey as an entrepreneur continues. So if we can help you with anything, please just let us know. And if you liked this episode, please share it with someone who might learn from it. Until next time, keep growing and find the joy in your journey. This is A.J., and I’ll be talking to you soon. Bye-bye.

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