page title icon The Morning Upgrade Podcast Featuring Paul Maskill

Welcome to episode #15 of The Morning Upgrade Podcast. I have Paul Maskill with me today. He helps small businesses scale their company to become maximally profitable. Also, he loves playing sports and exploring the outdoors with his family.

Top Talking Points

  • How entrepreneurs shouldn’t go at it alone and need to rely on others. 
  • Personal development is important to keep you in check and grow your business.
  • Starting the day off well is important for your health and good health helps you reach your goals. 

Resources & Links

Share Link for this episode

Connect With Paul on his website paulmaskill.com or at his podcast The Business Owners Freedom Formula Show

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Podcast Transcript

Announcer:

Welcome to the Morning Upgrade podcast with Ryan Cote where we feature casual conversations with entrepreneurs about personal development and growth

Ryan Cote:

Hey everyone. This is Ryan Cote with the Morning Upgrade podcast. Today I’m excited to be talking with Paul Maskill. What’s up Paul

Paul Maskill:

Not too much, Ryan. Thanks so much for having me. How are you?

Ryan Cote:

I’m doing great. Yeah. Doing really well. Thanks for asking. Why don’t you tell everyone what you do and what you enjoy doing and what your interest are

Paul Maskill:

Yeah, so I live in Raleigh, North Carolina with my wife and we’ve got a four-year-old daughter. So we do a lot of things together. Go to the beach, go hiking, ride bikes, play golf, tennis, sports. So that’s kind of what I like to do. I’ve always been into sports, always loved being outside. So in my free time, that’s what we do. And as far as what I do on a day-to-day basis, I love helping service-based business owners scale their business so it can run without them. So they actually have a profitable company and the freedom that they want. And along with that, I do love to still own small businesses as well. So right now I’m a partner in a landscaping business and looking at what other opportunities there are in the local market here in Raleigh.

Ryan Cote:

What do you do for the landscaping company? Like what’s your role there?

Paul Maskill:

So I’m a systems and processes person. So I love building the systems and processes kind of in the backend and then building a team to implement them. So that way the business can run without the owner and we can focus really on serving our clients better than anybody. And for me, the way to do that is the systems, the processes, the people. So really tying all those things together so that way the other people can focus on what they’re good at. The owner loves being out there with the guys, working, not physically doing the work, but leading the crews, talking to the customers. And then we have a couple of other people in the office, going on estimates, doing sales, answering the phone, that kind of stuff. And then I head out in the back and do all the systems processes, and really building the things that we need to have that business streamlined, profitable and scalable.

Ryan Cote:

Is your goal to own multiple businesses. I know you’ve had multiple businesses in the past. Is that the goal?

Paul Maskill:

Yeah. So the last two local businesses that we’ve owned a hundred percent, we’ve scaled them up and sold them. So our first business, we grew it pretty quickly over four years, got it to about half a million dollars in revenue, and had all the people in place and sold that to somebody else. And then our most recent business was actually a dog walking, pet sitting business that I acquired from somebody else. Saw the opportunity to deliver an awesome client experience, put the systems and processes in place, and then hired a team to go operate those systems and processes. And then actually I was on vacation last year and one of the employees that were kind of holding down the Fort while I was gone when I came back, he said, I had so much fun, I want to buy your business. I said, okay, let’s make it happen.

So we closed on that January 1st, 2020, and now my wife and I are looking for another business to acquire. At this point, I’m a fan of acquiring businesses just because I know what I can bring to the table. If it’s a business that has a really good product, really good service that I can then come in and put my systems and processes, touch on it, scale it. And then also I do have a pretty good finance background. That’s what I used to do in my previous life is crunch numbers and sit in a cubicle and look at spreadsheets all day. So where I see the financial opportunity as well, if we can find a good fit there, that’s kind of what we’re looking towards next.

Ryan Cote:

Those are some ninja skill sets to have, the finance side and the processes and systems side. Those are two very strong skillsets to combine. So that’s pretty cool.

Paul Maskill:

Unfortunately, most of what I see, over and over most small business owners, most entrepreneurs, they’re really good at their craft, whatever that is, building something, selling something, helping somebody with something. That’s why they got into it. That’s usually why they quit their job because they think I can do this better, I can do this on my own. But they don’t have those skill sets of the finance, the systems, the processes. And it’s really hard to implement those if you don’t know what you don’t know. So that’s where I try and come in and help my clients so they can focus on what they’re good at. And then I can help them with what I’m good at and it can turn into, they get their passion back, they get that fire back that they had when they started their business. Because unfortunately as probably a lot of listeners know, all of a sudden, we’re wearing a hundred different hats, but not a hundred different fires. And we’re ready to throw in the towel and go back to get a job. So my job, that’s my mission is to really help as many small business owners as I can, put those systems, those processes, build those teams, become a leader and have that business run without them. So they can leverage their business to really do what they really want to do in this world and achieve the goals that they sought when they started their business, you know, have that income, have that freedom, and the ability to have the options out there.

Ryan Cote:

What’s the hardest thing about your business right now?

Paul Maskill:

That’s a good question. So for me, I would say the hardest thing about my business is getting through to entrepreneurs who are trying to go it alone. So this is a really good trait to have. That’s what gets us started, you know, Hey, I can go do this, I got this, we are resilient, right? So we quit our job. We’re going to figure it all out. That’s what gets us to start but then we get really hard-headed, our ego gets in the way and we still think we can figure it all out on our own. And unfortunately, most entrepreneurs that I talk with, they really just reach out way too late. So I like to kind of relate it to a car. You know, you just went on a road trip for three weeks, Ryan. So if you think about most entrepreneurs, most business owners, they jump in their car first thing in the morning and they drive that thing all day. They stopped to put gas in it and maybe they go through a drive-through, get some food, they’re in their car all day. And then at the end of the day, they look back and they didn’t accomplish anything. They have driven the car for 12 straight hours, but they didn’t get closer to where they want to go.

So where I try to come in is kind of become the GPS of let’s figure out where you want to go. Let’s just not drive your car all day, but let’s actually put a plan in place so you can make progress to actually achieve your goal. Because within a couple of months of most business owners running their business, they go in the reactive mode. I just got to keep this car running. I got to keep the ship afloat. I got to keep the hamster wheel moving, whatever analogy you want to use, but we don’t actually get any closer to where we want to go. And eventually, we’re just going to be stressed out, burned out, and we’re going to throw in the towel. So where I come in is to kind of be that GPS for them to kind of keep them on the straight and narrow. Hey, watch out. There’s something ahead. Hey, there’s going to be a detour here. If you think about going on a road trip 50 years ago, or even 20 years ago to now, now we just plug it in our phone and they’re going to tell us everything. Whereas most entrepreneurs they’re just getting in their car with no GPS, with the main goal to make sure that car runs all day. So that’s really probably the hardest thing about my business, to be honest, is getting through to them that, Hey, going alone got you to a certain point, but now it is okay to reach out. There is no trophy for going alone and let’s do this together.

Ryan Cote:

Excellent. How much of a role does personal development play in your life?

Paul Maskill:

I would say it’s huge. So I never really got into personal development till I was a business owner, to be honest. So before, when I graduated college, I got a finance degree. I did what everyone told me to do. Go to school, get good grades, get a job. And I sat in a cubicle in Chicago for about three years and I didn’t focus on personal development at all. Other than going to the gym and playing sports, I didn’t really focus on myself. You know, I was just kind of that lemming per se. You know, the person that goes in, goes out, clocks in, clocks out. But now it is so important. Every single day I’m working on myself, whether it’s reading, listening to podcasts, going to the gym, learning from other people, having mentors. To me, I would not be where I am today without focusing on that personal growth. And unfortunately, most of the people that I work with and most entrepreneurs that I run into, we always put personal growth last. We’ll sacrifice everything just to keep that ship afloat just to keep everyone else happy. But on the inside we’re crumbling, we’re not taking care of ourselves mentally, physically, emotionally. So for me, I try to really do that first every single morning to take care of myself. So then I can go serve others throughout the day.

Ryan Cote:

So let’s talk about that. So Morning Upgrade, it’s about personal development, entrepreneurship. Those are two of the things I love talking about. And so I like to get my guests talking about what their morning routine looks like. If they have one? What their personal development habits are? Just so that, you know, my listeners, they can maybe get some ideas and tips and things that they hadn’t thought to try in their daily routine. So can you walk us through what your morning routine looks like?

Paul Maskill:

Yeah. So I’m sure some of your other guests, I saw you had some really good guests on here. I’m sure they probably said some of the same things as well. For me, it starts the night before and I put the stat out there a lot, but the average American watches, 35 to 45 hours of TV every single week. So that’s a lot of TV. And usually, that is up until like 11 o’clock at night. So once everything winds down, most people sit in front of the TV from like eight o’clock to 11 o’clock or six o’clock to 11 o’clock, whatever that timeframe is. And that just starts the day off wrong the next day cause you wake up tired, you’re stressed out, you slept in, your rushing around. So for me, we haven’t had cable TV in like five years and we have a four-year-old daughter who goes to bed at seven 30. So she goes to bed at 07:30/08:00 O’clock, my wife and I, we’re sleeping by 8:00 or 08:30, 9:00 O’clock at the latest, that allows me to then get my tomorrow started correctly. So I get up at four every single morning. 

And what I do between four and six is do what I need to do to get that day started because from six to nine is kind of me with my daughter, with my wife. Our daughter gets up at six, we get her ready to get her going and then I take her to preschool, come back. And that’s a whole three-hour process. So if I had to start my day at nine o’clock when I got home from all that I would just be stressed out and the day would just not go well. So from four to six, I wake up, I journal, I read. So I journal and read till about four 30 and then around Monday, Wednesday, Friday at 3:30, I leave to go to the gym. I work out, come home, take a shower and then we start our day. Tuesdays and Thursdays I don’t go to the gym. So kind of that hour before six o’clock, that’s when I’ll kind of work on strategy kind of deep work, what do I need to focus on. And that’s really my morning routine. So from four to six, it’s my time, whether it’s journaling, reading a book, going to the gym, working on some strategy stuff. And then six to nine is with my daughter, my wife, my wife leaves for work about six 30. And then it’s me and my daughter doing the whole school morning routine. And then from nine o’clock until about three 30 or four o’clock that’s when I work every single day. So for me, the morning routine is non-negotiable and a lot of people make fun of us because we go to bed so early, and in the summer, the sun is still up, but that’s the only way that I can have a successful day and a successful week.

Ryan Cote:

4:00 AM. That’s that’s intense, getting up that early. So I think you’d have to go to bed early. Otherwise, you’d be a mess the entire day.

Paul Maskill:

Yeah. And that’s, you know, I don’t sacrifice sleep like sleep is so important. So when I can go to bed at eight 30 or nine o’clock, I can still get seven, seven, and a half hours of sleep, which is perfect for me. That allows me to also be done with my day at 03:30/04:00 O’clock when my daughter and wife get home. So then we can kind of spend the evening together, do dinner together, go outside, do whatever we’re going to do.

Ryan Cote:

I also loved the stat you mentioned on how many hours people watch TV because some of that’s so into interpersonal development. And it seems so logical to me to just like, don’t not watch TV. Cause I like to watch TV too, but just take an hour away from that. I mean I’m big into morning routines, but if the routine needs to be in the evening for you, then whatever, whatever is going to work for your schedule, just take an hour away from the television you’re watching or even 30 minutes and put that towards starting to develop a routine. Maybe it’s reading, maybe it’s meditation, maybe it’s journaling, whatever the case is, just carve away a little bit of time from TV and then put that towards a routine. And it would definitely change lives. I like that you mentioned that, that’s a good takeaway from someone that’s listening to this that they’re like, Oh yeah, I do watch like two or three hours every night of TV. I should just take 30 minutes of that and put it into myself. So thanks for sharing that.

Paul Maskill:

Whether it’s you take that 30 minutes and go to bed earlier, so you can get up 30 minutes earlier or you take that 30 minutes to wind down, read a book, like you said, meditate, journal, yoga, whatever it is. I get frustrated when everybody says, I just don’t have time. We all have the same amount of time. It’s how we choose the time that we’re awake. That’s what’s going to determine our success. So when you really start to evaluate how you spend your time, that’s going to really shine a light on why you are, where you’re at and why you’re probably not where you want to be because you’re not getting the most out of every day.

Ryan Cote:

Yeah, absolutely agree with that. So do you have any habits that you really rely on, obviously, getting up early, but is there anything throughout the day that you’re doing or maybe part of the morning routine, that’s like your number one habit that you really depend on?

Paul Maskill:

I would say, for me to be successful, I time block everything and I try and stick to it as much as I can. So what I do every Friday is every Friday I’d map out basically hour by hour. What does my next week look like? So I’m not going to work Saturdays and Sundays. So really Friday afternoon, it’s like, okay, what am I doing next week? I go through my calendar, I type it all up. So then I know every single day that this is what I’m going to do because what I find as an entrepreneur, we don’t have a boss. So when we have a boss, when we used to work for somebody else, they told us what to do when to do it, where to do it, how to do it, all the expectations, everything we needed, the accountability. But when we’re our own boss, we can make up an excuse for anything and we can justify it in our heads. 

So when I have the schedule in front of me and I print it out and every time I do what I’m supposed to do, I highlight it, check it off, whatever you want to do. It’s kinda that mini win of the day, it’s like, okay, I accomplished that. Let’s move on to the next thing. So that’s probably, for me, one of the best habits that I have just to have that success is that time blocking. And I know in order to achieve everything I want to achieve, I need to make these things happen. And in order to make these things happen, kind of bringing it back to, you know, the morning upgrade is the morning routine. So I have it every day, my day starts at four and I tell enough people that, I hold myself accountable and they hold me accountable too. So my wife and I kind of do the same thing. She says, she’s going to get up at four 30 so she can go do her thing. It’s like, we have that accountability amongst ourselves too because she doesn’t want to lose that battle either. Like, Oh, I slept in again. So for me, it’s the time-blocking really drives everything.

Ryan Cote:

I’m really into that as well. I’ve got certain sections of my calendar that I do certain things. I write my to-do list in the morning. So in regards to your wife, you’re saying that your wife has a morning routine as well. And do you guys do it separately or how does that work?

Paul Maskill:

Yeah, so we do our own thing, but we both get up early. So I go to the gym Monday, Wednesday, Friday, she to the gym, Tuesday, Thursday at 5:00 AM. And then Friday she doesn’t work Fridays so we both can go Friday at different times since one of us has to be here. But yeah, we both have kind of fed off each other in that as well, from an accountability standpoint. And then when you start to see the results, the progress, the clarity, the less stress, it’s kind of a no-brainer.

Ryan Cote:

Excellent. I think that’s turned into a marriage tip as well. More of doing things together. Well, this was great, Paul, I really enjoyed having you on the show. You gave us a lot of good information, some good habits, 4:00 AM. I don’t know. Maybe I’ll push myself a little harder after hearing that. So I appreciate everything you’ve shared. What’s the best way that people can learn more about you and your business?

Paul Maskill:

Yeah. So I would say two ways since you’re listening to this, I also have a podcast, so you must be a podcast listener if you listen to this. Ryan was on the show a little while back, it’s called the business owner’s freedom formula show. So it’s geared for small business owners who want to achieve that freedom, that income and have a business that can run without them. So if you go search that, we’ve got about 430 episodes at the time of this recording. So check out the podcast and then if you want to connect with me, just go to my website, Paulmaskil.com. If you go there, it’s got the links to my podcasts, free trainings. You can schedule a call with me. You can connect on social. So paulmaskil.com or the podcast business owner’s freedom formula show.

Ryan Cote:

Great. Thanks, everyone for listening. And thanks again, Paul.

Paul Maskill:

Thanks, Ryan.

Announcer:

Thanks for listening to the morning upgrade podcast. Please subscribe and review, and don’t forget to visit us at morningupgrade.com for more content.

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