Ep. 131 – Fractional Chief Operating Officer, Beejel Parmar

Oct 19, 2020 | 0 comments

Being a COO of a company is challenging enough, but what would life be if you’re a COO of several? That is what Beejel Parmar does as a fractional COO for a number of different brands. Beejel is a sought after keynote speaker, trainer mastermind, facilitator, business coach, and consultant who has a passion for traveling the world to share his inspiring story. In this conversation with Cameron Herold, he breaks down his role and responsibilities as a fractional COO and how that role differs between multiple clients. We will learn a lot from how he prioritizes some opportunities over others between the many hats he wears.

Beejel Parmar is a sought-after keynote speaker, trainer, mastermind facilitator, business coach, and consultant. Since 2011, he’s traveled the world sharing his inspiring story. A few years ago, Beejel was desperate to find answers to life’s toughest questions while enduring a period of personal hardship that seemed to have no end. Despite the setbacks, he remained a dedicated husband and father and continued to follow his path through life’s adventure.

He’s also Fractional COO for a number of different brands. While traveling the world, he’s helped build several businesses, inspired thousands all over the world, all while homeschooling his two daughters. Together with his wife, Yogi, and two daughters, they facilitate a life-transforming tour/retreat to India. Retracing their first two weeks when they commence their five-year adventure to share some of the life lessons they learned about resilience, overcoming obstacles, and learning how to live life in the flow of life. Beejel, welcome to the Second-in-Command podcast.

Thank you, Cameron.

I’m especially interested to learn about some of this flow of life and being able to travel and work remotely because I’m getting ready to set out on that adventure myself, as is my girlfriend. I’ve also seen a real shift in our workforce because we’ve been in this COVID, where people do want to start traveling again because we’re being held back. Why don’t you tell us a little bit about your journey and how you got to where you are now? We’ll then dive into some more questions.

The adventure started several years ago. In June of 2010, I started working for a new company and the lawyer called us up and said, “I’m sorry. Your immigration paperwork is not going to go through, so you have two choices. Choice number one is to become illegal in the US or choice number two, you leave the country before October.” We don’t want to become illegal, so we chose to leave the country but we didn’t know where we were going to go and what we were going to do. We’ve been in San Diego that time for almost a decade. Both my kids are born in the US.

On the first day, it was panic, “What are we going to do?” My wife invited a couple of friends over. Over a cup of Indian tea, my friend said to me, “How many times do you go to India?” I’m of Indian descent and I’ve been there a couple of times on occasion, but I never lived there. My wife has never been there and my kids have never been there, so it was like going to a foreign country. At the moment, it seemed like a good idea at the time. On July 4, Independence Day, of 2010, I dropped my brother-in-law, his wife, and his family at the airport. I came back and my wife had already pulled out all of our stuff from the closets.

In the next 30 days, we sold 95% of our stuff. It was challenging at first, but the more we decide to let go, the more we experienced this freedom. Anyway, to cut the long story short, in September, we left the US with 4 red bags, 3 computers, 2 kids, 1 wife, and away we went. We didn’t know it’s going to be five years but it turned into a five-year virtual location experience. At the time, I was working with virtual employees in the Philippines and clients in the US. We quickly had to adapt to this new lifestyle. I’ve got to say this, Cameron. It’s the best five years of our lives. It’s absolutely incredible. That freedom to go with the flow was magical and especially great for the kids who got to see so much of the world during those five years.

Will you do it again?

Yes and no. Here’s what it is. I’ll definitely travel again. We are itching to travel. Would we do it as a family? No. My oldest daughter bypassed school, straight into a career helping. She likes speaking on stage at age eight. Both of my kids are homeschooled. My younger child is in a more traditional path of high school and probably on to college. The answer is yes, but we’re just waiting for the right time. Either she decides to go into college in the US or we decide to travel and she goes to school somewhere in Europe. We don’t know. We have those mornings where we wake up and think, “What are we doing? Those five years were magical. Why do we recreate the thing that we escaped from?”

It’s hard because we get pulled back into that vortex of the marketing and friends or what we think. Did you struggle with what you’re supposed to tell your friends or what you’re supposed to tell your family about what you’re doing?

We didn’t struggle. My family was worried. Being an Indian descent, the idea of not sending kids to school sent shockwaves through the community like, “How is that possible?” Even when we were traveling, we would meet people in India and the look of disbelief when we tell them, “We homeschool our kids.” At least here in the US, there’s a culture of homeschooling. It’s not a new thing, but in India, homeschooling is unheard of, so there was a concern. Our close friends are supportive. Some of them have even done the same thing themselves. They’ve sold their stuff and they’ve left on their world tour. One of the families that were inspired by our story has been in quarantine in Bali, but they’ve been having an incredible time up there.

It’s a good place to be quarantined. I’ll take quarantine in Bali. I’ve spent about 3.5 months total in India. I’ve been to India four times and I love the country. I’ve done speaking tours over there with YPO. I love the people. It’s a complete cultural disconnect for your daughter going over there for the first time, which is amazing. We need it. Tell us about the roles that you’re playing in the virtual COOs. What is the virtual COO doing with these companies? How do you organize some of your time?

I’ll go back a little bit to tell you how this came about. I spent ten years with one company. The leadership team was 2 to 3 people, and then the rest of the team was over the Philippines. We grew it from 100 virtual assistants to almost 500 at its peak. I’m always working virtually. Even when I got back to the US in 2015, I’m still virtual. I’ve made it up with the CEO once or twice a week, but more or less, we were virtual for ten years. When that relationship came to a close back in November of 2019, I wasn’t looking to jump straight back into another job.

However, I was introduced to Paul who runs an academy in the UK and he said, “Would you come work for me? You’ve been highly recommended.” I said, “I don’t want to step back into a job, especially in an hourly-based job.” We talked about it and I asked him, “What are the challenges you’re going through?” We shared a document or two, and then we didn’t hear from each other for a couple of weeks, then right around Christmas Eve, he sent me a message. He said, “Beejel, we’re having a leadership meeting in January. Would you fly over, meet the team, and let’s see what we can do?” I said, “My parents are in the UK. Why not go over to meet the team? I’m not committing to anything.”

I flew over to the UK and met Paul and his team. It’s a great team. I can see a vision of what they were attempting to create. Ultimately, my family too. We went back and forth for a couple of weeks and I’m like, “Paul, here’s the deal. I’m happy to step into this role.” At the time, I didn’t even know the word fractional COO, even the concept of the visionary-integrator relationship. I picked up the book Rocket Fuel after Paul recommended it to me. I was like, “I can see myself doing this.” I fell into this role of fractional COO.

Paul has two companies. I helped them from an operational coaching/consulting perspective on both of his. I have another client in the US that’s also in the business coaching education space. I have several smaller clients, both in India and over here. It’s this hybrid coaching/consulting using ten years of experience working in a company setting, but also, since most of these companies are dealing with individual entrepreneurs, I can understand both sides of the wall. That’s my insight into that world.

Give us some examples of what you would work on day to day or week to week with these brands. It is different from many that are singular in focus. Are you doing the same work with all the brands or is it different based on the brand’s needs or stage of their development?

SIC 131 | Fractional COO

Fractional COO: It helps to be someone who sees where things can be improved from the outside instead of being part of the challenge on the inside.

 

It’s similar. Just the scaling is different. The number of people in each entity differs. Paul’s largest company is circa 28, maybe 30 people. That team helped put a cell of virtual assistants into that company early on because they were bursting at the seams when I first stepped in to help with the help center, coaching admin, and various roles within the company. It comes down to understanding the current operations, whether it’s a 1-man company or a 30-man company. Understand the operations, where efficiency can be improved, effectiveness be improved, and communication be improved.

Two things have to happen simultaneously. Right around my 50th birthday, and I’m not sure how this happened, but I came across this book called The Wisdom of Bees. I started looking at it, and this was during my prior company, and I got fascinated by the study of bees as it applies to leadership and organizations. When I started to work with these companies, I was modeling off the EOS system as a starting point.

I started to build a hybrid model using what I was learning about bee structure, bee organization, and bee behavior and overlaying that on to EOS. I developed this hybrid system that I called the Bee-inspired Operating System. It worked out well because rather than being a bee in the hive, I get to be more of the beekeeper watching over the hive and seeing where things can be improved from the outside versus being part of the challenge on the inside.

What I love is that it’s the bee culture and it’s Beejel. The fact that you have a book to back it up is sick. That’s awesome. It fits too perfectly. I love that you’re even wearing your corporate colors that are attached to the Beejel, the yellow and black. You mentioned that you assess the operations, communications, and efficiencies. How do you assess companies? How do you assess the gap and what they need to be working on?

When I first started working with Paul’s company, it was one-on-one conversations, starting off with a conversation with folks there. Coming out of the coaching world, I developed a real toolkit of tools that I could use to understand people. I wasn’t trying to understand the company at first. I was trying to understand individuals in the company and I have a concept called Good As Gold. The G is what people are good at. The O is what they are okay doing. They can do it, but it’s just not there. The best use of time or skill. L is what they like doing and D is what they dislike doing.

I had a conversation around that framework in second grade. “Tell me, what are you good at doing? What are you okay doing that you have to do a lot of every single day?” While having those conversations, I’m able to start building a framework of where people may have been mispositioned in the company. Their joy of working may have slowly disappeared over time because they’re spending far too long in jobs and roles that didn’t suit them. When you’re in these evolving companies, it’s like, “Can you do that?” Quickly, you’re wearing several hats like entrepreneurs.

In an attempt to save money, we start wearing the hat of an accountant, course developer, marketer, and sales. It’s shown time and time again, that’s not an effective way of growing an organization. Going back to the bees, that’s not how even nature works inside a beehive. Everything is compartmentalized. You’re taking an employee and say, “What’s the best use of this employee?” If they’re doing more of what they’re good at and more of what they like doing, they’re going to be far more content and happier inside that company. That was the starting point. Just to understand the people in the company.

Once you get to understand the needs and you get to understand the CEO, how do you start to prioritize which things or opportunities to work on? You could be faced with 7 or 70 different ideas or opportunities in front of you. How do you prioritize those?

I went for some quick wins initially. I say, “What can I do that’s going to be a quick win?” Helping the help center was a key thing because they’re overwhelmed. Implementing new software and adding a few virtual assistants to the team took the burden of the help center because they’re so core. I am the center point between our clients and the company, so I went for a quick win there. I knew exactly what needed to be done with that, then I moved into the coaching department and helped them implement a new coaching system.

I left the toughest part and the part that I was least familiar with to the end, which is the finance department. I had the least experience with that department and I thought that I may need to get funds down the company and the culture and the challenges that they were facing before we dive into something that was more complex. That’s approximately how I did it. I went with some quick wins so that way, the company felt like we’re making some progress. If I went with the toughest things first, it could take several months to see some results and I don’t want to create any loss of confidence in the long-term ability.

I’m similar. I tend to work on the low hanging fruit believing that momentum creates momentum. It’s the more little changes we do that start to stack up on top of each other that create a big shift versus the big perfect project that might take six months to initiate. You’re doing something that’s a little bit rare. In working as the COO with multiple different brands, how do you organize your time? Often, we see COOs get buried in that one company that they’re running. They get overwhelmed by one company. How are you doing it with multiple companies and staying orbiting away from that giant hairball?

Essentially, block off time, a certain amount of time each day for each company. My morning hours are dedicated to the UK companies and there are two of them I work with. I start the first hour in one and the second after the other. It changes day to day, but essentially, the first morning part is for UK clients. In the afternoon, I serve US clients. At times, I will block off my calendar. There are meeting times, and then there are a few hours for getting some stuff done for them. It took a little bit of adjusting time blocks here and there, but you fall into a rhythm eventually when you do it.

The trap is to want to do more than the hours allowed because essentially, instead of having one job, you’ve got smaller jobs. That’s self-discipline. Second, what’s my boundary? What can I do and can’t do? For ten years, I played multiple roles. Everything from copywriting, video, scripting, customer service, speaking on stage, you name it. I’ve played almost every single role and it’s entrepreneurial, but it’s not an effective way. I knew what it was like to not do it the right way and to be stretched all the time. That was even one of my things joining the company, which is looking to see where people are being stretched and said, “What needs to happen to make your workday more realistic, so you start enjoying the work and not let it be a burden to you?”

We talked about prioritizing for yourself and not letting yourself go outside of boundaries. How about saying no to others? What have you learned that’s a good way to do that? Either no or not now.

When you know that the consequence of it is going to stress you out or make your day less happy, you just find nice ways of saying it. I’ve never had to say it. You create the boundaries early on and you can know who in the team to work with to solve this. I’m careful not to attend to get sucked into the minutiae of the cross the Ts and dot the Is. The knowledge will be effective in terms of my role in overseeing operations versus being in operations.

There’s someone in the company who’s hands-on. She’s fantastic at it. That won’t be the best role for me, but having a role where I’m sitting on the outside with more of a 360 picture is more like a dashboard of the company. It allows me to have a greater perspective. Sometimes, even the CEO was still stuck in the business. The time that we want to alleviate that is happening slowly but surely because the situation didn’t help them. Whatever we plan to do in January of 2020 went down the proverbial toilet hole come February and March, but we stayed on track. It’s been a good year for us in terms of being able to shift quickly when the crisis hit.

How about working with these various entrepreneurs? Have you noticed anything with them? Without making them all the same, what are the similarities of the entrepreneurial CEO that you’ve noticed? How do you work with them? How do you nudge them in the right direction? What have you had to work with them on?

SIC 131 | Fractional COO

Fractional COO: It is up to the COO to separate the CEO’s great ideas between what is needed today from what can be parked for the future.

 

Even the CEOs I’m working with all come through an entrepreneurial path. It wasn’t that long ago that they’re 1-man to 2-man companies. As they grow into a 30-person company, you see the traits, you still see the traits much of an entrepreneur CEO versus a corporate CEO. There are some key differences. I’ll definitely say that the CEOs I’m working with are a lot more entrepreneurial. One of the downsides of that is because they’ve been able to adapt to perform in many different roles, there’s a natural assumption that everybody in the team can do that as easily.

Without having to get into a loggerhead around it, I do a lot of work on hand in the background, where I don’t have to even bring this up for discussion. I slowly but surely ensure that if someone is leading a coaching team, that’s 80% of what they have to do. If somebody is leading the help center, that’s 80% of what they have to do. Sometimes, you’ve got to work your magic and work your strategy behind the scenes as long as it’s not detrimental to the company.

Do you do deliverables for some of these brands that you’re working with or do you leave the deliverables up to them?

I leave the majority of the deliverables up to them. I will introduce concepts and ideas that could benefit them, but when it gets into the actual implementation, I let the team do most of them. There are a couple of smaller companies where it’s almost easier for you to do it sometimes. I’m stretching my boundary of not getting caught up in the doing this of it, but sometimes, I’ll just do it. Generally speaking, I try to stay out of the cross the Ts and dot the Is aspect of it.

Is it the kind of thing that you would be able to transfer that skill if you were working as a full-time dedicated COO for one company? Could you avoid the deliverables? Could you stay at that level you’re operating at, do you think?

It would be harder. When you’re working full time, there’s a higher expectation of you to get stuck in, to be honest with you. It would be hard for me to say it couldn’t be done, but if you went in with that mindset and you kept those boundaries up from the beginning, it’s easier. It’s a lot harder if you step in and you roll up your sleeves, “Let’s get this thing done.” It’s harder to transition out of it once you’re doing it. If you step in and become clear with leadership and the team, “This is my role. This is how I can best serve you. I don’t want you to mistake lack of ownership and lack of heir. That’s not my role.”

Your role is to grow people, thinking, strategy, and alignment with plans. How do you stay aligned with the vision that the entrepreneur has? What do you do to stay aligned with that vision? What do you do to make sure that they’re aligned with your plan and ideas?

The reason that my previous ten-year relationship came to the end was precisely because of that. Our vision and values went in two different directions. When I started these new relationships, making sure that we had a similar vision and values on day one is important, but there are no guarantees, Cameron. People change and sometimes, opportunities change people too. It’s important for me even continuing in a relationship with anybody that our vision and values are aligned. At the moment I’m not, that’s probably the time to shake hands and say, “You’re taking the company in a direction that I can’t support. I wish you well, but I can’t be part of this journey moving forward.”

How about if their vision is a great vision, they’re lying with core values, and they’re a good person, but you’re just not aware of where they want to take the company? I call it the Vivid Vision document that I try to get entrepreneurs to do, where they describe their company at that finished date in three years. Is there any tool that you use to make sure that you stay or get on the same page with them?

We’re using quarterly planning, Cameron. The events of 2020 have made it strange because, in January, we had a clear vision of where we wanted to go, what the future was, and what the next 2 to 3 years were. Honestly, it has been responding to the crisis, for lack of a better word, but now we’re getting the patterns. I set up some forecasting tools for the next six months. Normally, we do forecasting for the whole year but because everything is running short of timespan, we’re like, “Let’s get through to half the year.” We found a pattern, a rhythm in this new economy. We’re getting back to, “Has our vision changed?” We reevaluate the vision and the core values every quarter. At the end of the month, we’ll have another visioning. These are shorter-term visions that we’ll normally do. Right now, that’s probably a better way to look at it because tomorrow, things will be different.

How about where the entrepreneur has those entrepreneurial seizures? They come in with the seven new ideas of the day or the idea of the day or the idea that week. How do you either get on the same page, say no to some of them, and delay some of the starts in some of them? How do you work with that?

A lot of it is non-confrontational, Cameron. A lot of it is just nodding the head and then doing something quite contrary to what was spoken. A lot of times, these ideas are never solidified. They’re etheric. You park them, note them, and you decide, “Where is the best use of the team’s time right now?” Pop those other ideas for another discussion for another day. It is a challenge. I hear new ideas once or twice a week, if not more, and you’ve got to smile and say, “That’s a great idea.” Acknowledge the idea, and then come back to, “What is our priority right now? Where do we need to focus our resources, time, and effort to get through the next six months?”

When you park that idea, do you put it on a list somewhere so they know it’s parked?

Yes. Some of the ideas are great. Most of the ideas, I’d say they’re all in alignment with the general direction of what we recreate. It’s a question of, what’s needed now versus what’s needed in the future? This is interesting. If you look at studies of bees, they are future-focused in terms of what they’re working on today, but always planning for the future, even how they collect and forage. A percentage of the bee population is dedicated to R&D no matter what’s happening in the hive.

It’s interesting because at the end of the day, sometimes their ideas are great, but we don’t have the resources of people, time, or money to start it right now or to fully execute it, even if we could start it. The entrepreneur, to me, seems like they want someone to say, “I hear your idea. Let’s put that idea somewhere so we don’t lose it to allow you to go back and keep generating new ideas.” When we get this, we won’t necessarily start it right now, but we’re not going to lose it either. Every quarter or every six months, you might go back and look at the ideas. Half the time, they look at the idea later. They’re like, “Kill that. That was stupid.” At least they know it’s in a safe place, right?

Yes. Another way to do it is you put some parameters or some triggers that allow the idea to stop. “This is a great idea, but we need to reach this level or this place for this idea to be worthwhile to invest in.” You can put some conditions that will trigger the initiation of an idea. If you don’t, it’s like, “The leadership has agreed that we won’t start this idea until X, Y, Z has been met.”

You also mentioned addressing it with them in a non-confrontational way. How do you address things that maybe there is more conflict? Do you have a model or a style that you use where you’ve got to say no or disagree with them completely? How do you do it?

SIC 131 | Fractional COO

Fractional COO: Before looking at people as being the issue, we have to put up a better process in place first and then see if things improve.

 

The years of coaching comes into it, where it’s a discussion versus a confrontation. In the roles I’m playing, I’ve not had it where there’s complete disagreement on something. They commonly ask that in all fairness, but in my previous encounter, we did get into it. There are times where I did not agree with the direction we’re going in. We became well verbal, but in that situation, I was often overturned. I have a track record. Every time I’ve vetoed an idea and done it anyway, it hasn’t gone to plan. At least now, I can wear that feather in my hat.

How about yourself and your role? How have you continued to adapt and grow as a COO?

Lots of learning. I wouldn’t say COO was the key role in the ten-year relationship, but being a number two. It’s almost like a two-man business with 500 employees, so it wasn’t an organization run by two friends starting a business and ending up with 500 employees overseas almost. This has been a lot of learning, growing, and reading. I went through all the traction books scaling up and then a fascination for human behavior. Going from working with thousands of entrepreneurs, now I get to work with a team of people who truly are working together and observing a different set of human dynamics. I enjoy how human behavior shows up and what you can do to come up with that coaching hat back on. I coach people to another way of being or doing that serves them better and see if that philosophy works.

What are the common things that you see companies doing wrong? You’ve been around and exposed to a lot of them in that operational role. Are there a few areas that most companies are doing and haven’t got it figured out or they’re not doing the right things, and some simple things they can change?

People are wearing too many different hats, so definitely one of them. It’s draining on an individual to attempt to be good when they have to do too many different diverse things. I continue to see a breakdown in communication all the time. People’s unwillingness to talk about a situation. Even though all the books are out there, it’s part of human behavior to not want to get into a confrontation or want to discuss a problem. Even though we have no leadership meetings every week, I’ve observed patterns where people don’t bring stuff up. Even though they want to say something about somebody, they’ll be bottled up. Usually what happens is it backfires. At some point or other, it bubbles over and it becomes a much larger issue than it should.

The number one thing, which I see from entrepreneurship all the way up through, is that entrepreneurs and companies tend to do too many different things. I see it as a general pattern over and over again. It was more of an entrepreneurial problem. I see that also on the larger side of businesses. There’s some model at the one thing. I’m not saying that the one thing is a one size fits all for everybody, but I see that the less people do and if they can find that 1 or 2 tracks that start working for them to double down on those things, I tend to find the results are easier to come by.

It’s like the flywheel that Jim Collins talks about when you find that one thing that you keep pushing on, that momentum creates momentum. Is it because companies are unable to say no, so they just say yes to a lot of the ideas? Is it because they’re trying to and they don’t project plan and they’re overly optimistic? Are they trying to make themselves busy? Why do you think we get to this situation where we’ve got too much on our plates?

There’s a little bit of fear of missing out and fear of putting eggs into one basket. This is a question I’ve been analyzing, including my own past. If I look at my own entrepreneurial behavior, you’ve got to do 2 or 3 different things and it never worked out. Yet, I see it all the time. The core of it is a combination of greed and fear. Trying to make money everywhere and not being willing to fit into one good way of running a business.

I’ve seen some where it gets more at the corporate level where they tend to just say yes. It’s the yes-men. We start validating our business and our business area because we’ve got so much on the go that doesn’t necessarily need to drive anything. How have you been around saying no to IT? There’s a lot of IT projects that we need to build or we need to tie everything together. We need to automate stuff. It often tends to be a lot of busywork it seems versus high leverage. Have you got any experience around that at all?

In most of the cases, I’m the one. I’ve definitely initiated a couple of IT-type projects, the introductions of new software, which I have felt would have been an improvement to the company. I’m probably more from the other side in terms of, “This is a soft ratio.” I normally start with the basics. “Is there a process? Is it the software programs that we’re using or is it the professionals or the people that are running the processes?” If the processes are in place, then we look at what software can improve the process and finding who the right people to run the process are.

A lot of times, I started off with no processes. Before I look at people as being the issue, we have to put a better process in place first, and then see if things improve. If they don’t, but you believe in the process and it still is not creating a result for you, then you’ve got to start looking at, “Is it because the software is too old? We need to change that.” You’re then down at the low level of, “Now we have a people issue.” If you got the right software in place and it’s still not running as efficiently, what’s going on at the people level?

That tends to be my approach as well. I try to get any system to be used with a pen and paper first, and then we’ll go to a Google Sheet or a Google Doc, and then we might automate it with some software. To go right to the software before you truly understand the processes, issues, optimization of it, and why we’re using what we’re doing, it almost often doesn’t make sense to optimize or to automate. You’re automating something you haven’t even thought through yet. What about the virtual teams? All the companies you’re working with are remote. Any learnings or lessons as a lot of companies are having to move toward virtual that you already know works great or that you used to do that you no longer do?

I’ll take this question back to an entrepreneur level first because this is the experience that I’ve seen. A lot of times, the systems and processes are not in place to bring a virtual team member into the false until a true virtual assistant first before a true virtual team. A lot of times, entrepreneurs will pick up a book or go to a seminar and people are talking about virtual assistants and have an executive assistant. They think that this person is going to start solving their problems. They hire somebody, whether it’s $5, $10, $15, $20 or whatever, and it doesn’t work out.

Whenever I’ve had that situation, the first thing I asked the entrepreneur was like, “Show me the instructions,” or “Show me the process or what you gave to the virtual assistant to do, so you can understand what the directions are.” Nine out of ten times, there’s nothing. I use the example of stages to do my social media. It’s like, “What does that mean?” Quite often, the origination of a virtual assistant issue stems from the entrepreneur not knowing exactly what to outsource. Let’s take that to a corporate level. Now I work in virtual teams. Nothing, in theory, should have changed as such, other than the fact that we don’t get to walk over to somebody’s desk and have a conversation.

Everything is being done in meetings versus quick chats that we would normally have. This is a slight operation change that’s impacting the virtual team. It comes down to the core thing that if everyone knows their role and everyone has their KPIs set, then things can continue more or less on track. Those weekly traction meetings, whatever you call them, should help keep the team on the same page. It is harder than being able to walk on someone’s desk and say, “Should I do that?” Having done it for years, I’m one of the few that didn’t have to adapt to this new virtual working experience. That’s how a lot of us are already doing it. We’re used to giving instructions, writing instructions, and creating process documents. That’s a day-to-day standard for us.

Even the need to learn how to delegate better is becoming a key skill that we used to take for granted, but when teams are virtual, you need to understand the art of delegation, and then that planning process. Beejel, if you were to go back to the 22-year-old Beejel, graduating from university, heading off on a career, what advice would you give yourself back then that you know to be true now that you wish you’d known at 21 or 22?

One of the companies I’m working with is Financial Freedom out of the UK. It’s a money smarter financial literacy program for kids and I was going through some of the material that they’re teaching kids. I wish I knew that back in my young days. One graph comes to mind in particular, which is the compound effort effect. People may be more familiar with the compound interest curve where you save and at one point, the interest goes up. Once you know something works for you and you stick to it long enough to hit that inflection point, I’ve seen many entrepreneurs, even businesses, not have a track of a path to that inflection point or they give up right before that inflection point starts. Find that one thing that’s working for you and if it’s working for you, keep doing it daily until you hit that inflection point before you quit too early.

I heard a great saying that ties in with that. It said, “It takes a long time to get to the night before you become an overnight success story.” Brian was the CEO of 1-800-GOT-JUNK? When I was COO, we were out one night at an awards dinner and one of the other CEOs from out of town said, “You guys are like the overnight success story.” We wanted to kill him. I was like, “How can you possibly call us the overnight success? Where were you for the last six years?” For Brian, for the ten years prior to my coming, he was there grinding it out for many years before we became the overnight success. Beejel Parmar, the virtual COO. Thank you for joining us on the show. I appreciate the time and expertise.

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About Beejel Parmar

SIC 131 | Fractional COOBeejel Parmar is a sought after keynote speaker, trainer, mastermind facilitator, business coach and consultant. Since 2011, he has traveled the world sharing his inspiring story.

A few years ago, Beejal was desperate to find answers to life’s toughest questions while enduring a period of personal hardship that seemed to have no end. Despite the setbacks, he remained a dedicated husband and father, and continued to follow his path through his life adventure.

Beejel’s role as Technology Marketing Manager in 123Employee, he works with existing clients and cultivates new clients to help them develop new commercially viable software, working with software and marketing teams to oversee development and market the software as per clients needs.

While traveling the world he helped build several businesses, inspired thousands all over the world, all while homeschooling his two daughters. Together with his wife, Yogi, and two daughters they facilitate a life transforming tour/retreat to India, retracing their first two weeks in India when they commenced their 5 year adventure to share just some of the life lessons they learned about cultivating resilience, overcoming obstacles and learning how to live in the flow of life.

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Written By Cameron Herold

Written By Cameron Herold

Cameron Herold is known around the world as THE CEO WHISPERER. He is the mastermind behind hundreds of companies’ exponential growth. Cameron’s built a dynamic consultancy: his current clients include a “Big 4” wireless carrier and a monarchy. What do his clients say they like most about him? He isn’t a theory guy—they like that Cameron speaks only from experience. He earned his reputation as the CEO Whisperer by guiding his clients to double their profit and double their revenue in just three years or less. Cameron is a top-rated international speaker and has been paid to speak in 26 countries. He is also the top-rated lecturer at EO/MIT’s Entrepreneurial Masters Program and a powerful and effective speaker at Chief Executive Officer and Chief Operating Officer leadership events around the world.