In June of 2017, the initial steps were taken to form Apex Insurance. The past few weeks, I’ve kept my head down and I’ve been working my face off. Going into month 17, there is one thing that has been motivating me to the absolute core of my being: infrastructure. As my favorite class in college was ‘Business Organizational Structures’, this new, nerdy obsession of mine is not surprising at all.
What the heck is infrastructure anyways? The definition of infrastructure reads “The underlying foundation or basic framework, as of a system or organization”. (Merriam-Webster, 2018) When trying to gain a deeper understanding of a larger concept, it helps to break it down into its simplest forms. Infrastructure is the basic framework of processes upon which a business is built and operates. That still sounds kinda ‘fancy’ and like I could secretly be a huge, douche that actually knows NOTHING about business.
Let’s break it down with REAL LIVE scenarios. Right now, I am in the process of hiring and training my first employee. Sure, I’ve done that as a manager in other jobs but the processes and infrastructure were already in place. It’s a difficult thought to realize you essentially have NONE of the documents or processes written, much less in place, that you need as a business to actually hire another human being. So, let’s break it down even further. Here are a few examples of the forms I am currently creating from blank Google documents:
Job Description - Can’t hire someone if they don’t actually have responsibilities to uphold.
EFT Authorization - Can’t pay someone if you don’t get authorization and have a place to put the money.
Procedures - I can’t expect someone to magically know how to do what’s listed in the job description. There are 4 main responsibilities listed on the job description I created for my new hire. For each of those responsibilities I am creating step-by-step training modules.
Obviously, these few are merely the tip of the iceberg. But think about this: how many times have you started a new job and on day one, the HR department handed you all of the stuff I just wrote up there plus about thirty other forms? Yeah, that stuff actually has to be created when you start a business from the ground up. On top of all of that, I’m also teaching myself accounting processes for the first time and adding user logins for all of my insurance companies and software programs, all while keeping my agency running day-to-day as usual. I spent almost a full week this month pacing in my office and reacting to my business instead of running it. I’ve never done anything like this before and I let doubt and anxiety creep into my mind.
There have been many times since I started Apex Insurance that I have had to sit down with myself and ask the hard questions in order to push my business to the next level. The week I spent with anxiety, worried about my next steps, brought me a profound realization of what infrastructure truly means both personally and to my business. Building the infrastructure of Apex Insurance and all of the processes that must take place to create this business from the ground up has ignited a fire in me that burns to the core of my DNA.
Infrastructure isn’t just something that some dude in a fancy suit can talk circles around as he tries to sell you the next best thing, it is a necessary system to create and implement for organized execution to take place within a business. Creating a properly organized infrastructure on the most basic level of business is the best recipe to foster real growth. It is 100% my fault if someone I hire doesn’t have the necessary tools to succeed. It is 100% my fault if my business doesn’t grow to the vision I see in my mind.
When we have lofty goals our actions must map to our destinations. Organization and a ton of hustle will always lead to success.