Practices To Help Your Business Be More Organized

Staci Gray delves into organizational strategies, the significance of higher education for business owners, cultivating productive habits, and more!

Have you ever dealt with an overwhelming feeling that you have too much on your plate and you feel like you can't take on any more responsibilities? Staci Gray is an expert in helping businesses become more organized to better serve and operate. In today's podcast we cover the basics of being an entrepreneur and whether college is right for some people, productive habits to pick up, and so much more!

Staci Gray has over two decades of experience organizing real-world businesses to scale. She puts an emphasis on quickly collapsing the gap between ideas and profits by persistently executing for progress and results. Staci envisions a world where innovative leaders are no longer trapped by operational chaos and instead are empowered to efficiently and effectively solve real-world problems, impact real-people on a human level and generate profits quickly.







Are you an entrepreneur grappling with the pressure of endless responsibilities, multitasking, and the struggle to keep your business on track? Staci Gray, an organizational expert, is here to help. She specializes in streamlining operations for entrepreneurs, optimizing performance, and ensuring business success. In this episode, we delve into crucial entrepreneurial skills, the significance of higher education for business owners, cultivating productive habits, and so much more!

Boasting over 20 years of experience, Staci Gray has a proven track record of organizing and scaling real-world businesses, allowing them to flourish. Her expertise lies in bridging the gap between groundbreaking ideas and profitable results through relentless progress and efficient execution. Staci envisions a world where innovative leaders break free from the shackles of operational chaos, empowering them to effectively address real-world problems, create a lasting impact on individuals, and rapidly generate profits.

Join us for this enlightening episode and explore Staci Gray's top organizational strategies to transform your business, increase efficiency, and achieve entrepreneurial success. Discover how to tackle common challenges faced by business owners, improve time management, and learn about the value of strategic planning in today's fast-paced business landscape. Don't miss this opportunity to revolutionize your business and attain lasting success!

Practices To Help Your Business Be More Organized

What's up? Brett Snodgrass here. We are in the hizzy. What's going on? I got Staci Gray on the show with me. She runs a company called Organize to Scale. She's helping entrepreneurs get no longer trapped by the operational chaos in their businesses. Her sensational desire for freedom matches one of my strongest desires for freedom. I'm sure that if you're an entrepreneur, you have a sense of desire for freedom. She talks about that.

A couple of things going on, guys. Number one, I got this big awesome thing called the Men's Awakening Retreat. It's going to be in Helen, Georgia in the mountains from June 25th to 28th. If you are a man, you own a business, and you want to go deeper in your faith and raw relationships with other businessmen, you got to check this out, We're creating an amazing community of men and business owners of faith. We're going after it. It is going to be awesome. It is the early church. We are pursuing the Father together. Make sure you guys check that out. I love to see you at the retreat and apply. I'll chat with you and we'll talk about that.

Also on YouTube, we have the Iron Deep YouTube channel. We're putting out videos every single week. This podcast is on our YouTube channel. Plus we also have other videos that is talking about the struggles that men go through that internal war of the soul. As men, we go through the things that we don't talk about. We lay that out on our YouTube channels. Make sure you check that out.

We also have a new podcast, it's not new, but it's a new one that I joined and started a few years ago called the Indy Investor. If you're an Indianapolis real estate investor and you're interested in that, make sure you check out The Indy Investor podcast. Me and my bro Randy Placencia run that show with some other guests as well. Please check that out. Without further ado, I want to introduce you to.

It’s great to be here with you.

You too. We've already had a conversation for about fifteen minutes and I've already learned so much. I know our audience is going to as well because you have a business Organize to Scale. The words that popped out to me were how to no longer stay trapped in operational chaos. I know I'm a father of four. I run multiple businesses. I look around and I’m like, “I have so much going on and so much chaos. How do I organize this to survive and stay sane?” That's what we're going to talk about. I know a lot of our audience can relate too. Before we start diving into Organize to Scale, let's talk about you, Staci Gray. Who are you and how did you get started? How did you get into Organize to Scale?

My father is a very successful entrepreneur in real estate investing. I was homeschooled and I went to independent studies two days a week. We were taught to be very resourceful. I graduated high school at sixteen and I wanted to go off to college, but I didn't know what I wanted to do. When you're young, you don't know. You need to experiment a little bit to see what resonates with you.

My father was already in business and said, “You're sixteen. I don't want to send you to college. Why don't you come to work with me for two years and when you're eighteen, if you want to go to college, you can. You'll not going to miss anything because you're the same age as everybody else.” I'm like, “Fine.” I start answering the phones at his company and after probably six months or maybe less, I said, “I don't want to answer the phones anymore.”

I don't enjoy answering the phones. He said, “That's fine, you don't have to.” He then handed me the book E-Myth by Michael Gerber. He said, “You don't have to answer phones, but you have to hire and train your replacement.” I read E-Myth and then I started realizing, I can put all the systems and processes in place to train this person, but then I'm going to have to manage this person. I don't know how to manage people or lead people. I then read every book on leadership, management, and building culture.

I eventually worked my way up to being the president of that company. I still run that company, or my company runs that company. I bought my first property when I was eighteen, and did not go to college. I have been building and scaling businesses since then. I've had a lot of wins and I've had a ton of losses. In the wins, you learn what works, which is nice. In the losses, you learn what doesn't work and how to make sure that you make adjustments in your life and your businesses, and even within yourself, so that you can prevent those same mistakes again in the future.

That's an amazing story. It’s very unique and unusual to grow up in that family. I did a podcast with a college student. We were talking about that before the show. He called me up a few weeks ago. He wanted to ask me questions about how to get started in real estate. He heard me on another podcast. I said, “Instead of sitting down for coffee and asking me a bunch of questions, let's put it into a podcast.” He's about twenty years old. I have a sixteen-year-old daughter, so I'm trying to pour into her.

I want to ask this particular question. What would you tell that age range from 16 to 22 years old? Maybe they're thinking about going to college. Maybe they say the words, “I want to experience college,” or something that. That's what my daughter would particularly say. You didn't go down that road. What advice would you give to that person that's like, “I don't know if I should go to college? I want to experience it, but then I want to do something else.” From your own experience, would you have changed the way you did it and grew up or not?

I don’t know if I would change it. I'm happy with the lessons I learned, and the way my life has unfolded. I have a firm belief that you can't gift somebody consciousness. You can't gift somebody awareness. As much as we want to do that for the people we care about and that we love, everyone has their own journey in life. The world provides feedback that then you readjust. I'm grateful that on the journey that I took, I got to readjust. I got to learn and I got to get to where I am right now.

I do think that something prominent in my life was goal setting. For me, that always gave me a North Star. It said, “This is where I'm at and this is where I want to go. How can I get there?” When you have that, it makes you realign the actions you take. If the goal as an entrepreneur is to find something that you love that pays you to do it and to generate that path of income, then maybe college may or may not be in line with that long-term goal. If your goal is to be a doctor, I hope you go to school and become educated, or at least don't work on me.

I don't want you working on me if you didn't do it. The answer is it depends, but the thing that it depends on is what your goal is. If your goal is to do something specific, then make actions and plans in that direction. My goal was to develop passive income. I wanted to figure out a way to invest in assets that paid me to live the lifestyle I wanted to live. The two routes I took to do that were investing in real estate and real assets. The other path was investing in businesses. Both of those turned out to be a different investment, which was an investment in myself.

This came from one of my mentors, Ken McElroy, who is a Rich Dad Advisor for Robert Kiyosaki, a good friend of ours. He said, “The biggest thing you want to do if you want to change your life is change who you hang around.” With that insight, I said, “If I want to invest in real estate and I want to build businesses, who are the people that I know that I could get closer to who are doing that and that I can learn from? I intentionally started making decisions and choices and putting myself in rooms with those people so I could learn. Eventually, the rooms that I started getting into were bigger rooms. The insights and lessons I received were more helpful.

The other part of it that helped get me to where I am right now is an application. A lot of us can consume podcasts and books, but if you don't take that education and those insights and turn it into something actionable in your life, your life isn't going to change. I know that you mentor folks as well. Mentor is light to see that when they feed into somebody, that person applies it, and then circles back and says, “You mentioned this. I did it and I got this reward.” When you do that, a mentor is like, “I'm going to feed into you even more.”

IDP 116 | Organizational Strategies
Organizational Strategies: You can consume podcasts and books, but if you don't take that education and those insights and turn them into something actionable in your life, your life isn't going to change.

When I started doing that, my mentors would keep coming to me because it's like, “This is the best student. They're doing exactly what I'm saying and they're getting results.” Full circle set a goal, figure out who's doing what you want to be doing, and get yourself surrounded by them. When they make recommendations, do it and then circle back to them and say, “I did it. Any other next steps?” That progressed me so far without going to college.

It's such a simple thing like goals. I mentioned I have four kids. We've been trying to set small goals for them. It's so powerful. For example, I have a four-year-old daughter and she kept coming down every single night and getting in bed with my wife and me. It corrupted our sleep. It was this crazy thing. It lasted for 6, 7, and 8 months. I saw one of my mentors and he said, “You need to start setting these small little goals with your kids.” We set a goal, “This week I would love for you to sleep in your bed one night. Let's have one night.” She did it 2 or 3 nights, and three weeks later, she doesn't come down at all.

It's so powerful. Let's get into when we're in that operational chaos. I have businesses. I'm setting goals for the business, but sometimes I don't have the time or the bandwidth to even think about my own personal goals. I'm in the operational mess. I want to talk about that a little bit because that's where you come in. You are very goal-oriented and focused. You have a lot of mentors in your life and have gotten into a lot of rooms. You've created this business Organize to Scale.

What I've seen especially in this season is a lot of real estate people have to step back into their business, or now they're doing more than they were before. Maybe there was a period in the last 2, 3, or 4 years that they got comfortable. The market was doing great. They're like, “I only work five hours a week and life is great.” Now, they're having to step back in. A lot of these feelings of operational chaos and trying to figure things out have started to consume them again. Talk to that person right now that this is what they do. Someone who's in that rat race, wearing all the hats, doing everything, and trying to figure things out. Where do they start from there?

The idea for Organize to Scale came from our own experience with this exact thing. We had our family businesses that I mentioned earlier. We went through the 2008 crash and had to restructure and then rebuild. We got to a place where we were in the business, and then my mother was diagnosed with stage four cancer. My father was very much trapped in the business, working 16 hours a day, 7 days a week. Part of it was because he was so passionate about what he does. That traps us entrepreneurs sometimes. It is not necessarily just the operational chaos, but when you are mission-minded and you love what you do, you are a little bit obsessed with it. You want to be so involved in it. We do it to ourselves sometimes from a passion standpoint

In our scenario when my mother got diagnosed, it was like, the highest priority is now her. Even our passion for the business was trumped. We said, “We have to create freedom again. We cannot stay here trapped.” We build businesses in a three-step process. Your real estate audience will appreciate this. Step one is architect. Architect is where the visionary of the organization works with a design team to architect and blueprint the business. Once it's blueprinted, it gets handed to a general contractor who aggregates all their resources and supplies to build the essential infrastructure for the business. It then gets passed to an operating team. The operating team lives in the house and maintains it.

Think of it as a tenant and a property manager. There are three different qualifications for each of those phases. Oftentimes, in the beginning, what created operational chaos is we would take people who were operation-minded and tenant-minded, and ask them to architect. They couldn't do it. When we were in that stage, we were like, “We need people who are qualified to architect.” If you're stepping back into your business, you may have already architected and you've already built.

It's more of a rehab situation. Is the plumbing working? Is the electricity working? Is the carpet clean? Is everything functioning the way it needs to function? That's step one. If it's functioning the way it needs to be functioning and everything is clean there, do we have the right people in the right seats? Are they properly trained to do the roles that we're asking them to do? Do they have accountability in place so we know if things are on track or off track?

When you go through that and take the time, to your point, you're getting pulled in a million directions. The reality is that if you don't take the time, you're kicking the can down the road, making your life harder for you down the road. At some point, you're going to take the time to do it. It's about when you're going to do it. For us, we decided when we needed to step back in and clean it up in my mother's scenario, we were going to do it on the front end.

We didn't know her timeline horizon. We could not by any means get pulled back into the business. We had to do it correctly the first time. It turned out to be more profitable and it grew faster, and we didn't get pulled back into it. Unfortunately, my mother passed in December 2019. After that, instead of going back into those businesses, we launched new businesses. We had the freedom to do that and didn't have to endure operational chaos anymore in the business units that we had before she passed. We got it all reorganized.

This sounds awesome. You're working on your business, trying to put people in the right seats and trying to develop these systems. Practically speaking, what were some of the practical things that you guys did? Did you bring in someone to coach you through this process? Maybe that's what you do. You coach people through this type of process. You're so entrenched with, “I can't afford any of that stuff.” Are there some other practical things that I can do on my own to think about, “I'm going to take a day a week or a day a month to blueprint all this out?” Can you give us some practical tips and things?

I can tell you exactly what we did. We said, “If we have limited time, and this is urgent, what are the MVP activities that must get done.” In business, it's sales. If you're not bringing in revenue, you don't have a business. Revenue must happen. On the operational side, quality has to be there, otherwise, you're going to have turnover. Those things were two very important things to us.

IDP 116 | Organizational Strategies
Organizational Strategies: In business, it's sales. If you're not bringing in revenue, you don't have a business.

We then had to say, “What people do we currently have? What is their sweet spot if this is the only thing they did, and it was the one thing that moved the needle the most when we wanted them to do it.” We then identified all of those sweet spots for the people in the organization that we had. To the story that you brought up earlier, these are possibly people stepping back into their companies and they already have people in place.

It's identifying if you are an awesome salesperson, you're staying on that. If you are great at sourcing deals and keeping customers happy, your focus is that. Your only job in measurement and accountability is going to be based on that. The rest of it becomes noise. We try to do so much all the time, and sometimes less is more when you're in these situations. In Gary Keller's book, The ONE Thing, what's the domino that's going to make everything else either easier or unnecessary? You could take two hours doing that. You could go sit at a coffee shop and do this in two hours. It's not going to take you forever, especially if you have a lot already set up.

Once you identify those things, put in what we call decentralized decision-making. It’s empowering ownership so that the ownership isn't felt as the biggest burden at the top tier, but it's distributed. When there's ownership distributed, people feel they are contributing and adding value, and that their contribution makes a difference and it matters. When they have that ownership and they're in their sweet spot, they're more productive, more passionate, more innovative, and they follow through greater. That ends up making your whole life so much easier.

You implement that with a meeting cadence where you have the insights. When you do your accountability structures, KPIs, and scorecard correctly, then as a leader, you are making decisions based on data and numbers. You can then make strong decisions faster because you have the insight that you need, which makes everything go faster. It sucks you out of the operational chaos faster as well.

Can you give me some ways? One of the big hangups that business owners fall into the trap is they don't distribute ownership. They like to control everything. This is their baby. They've raised it up, and it's so hard for them to let go. What's a way to help distribute ownership? I understand, “I want you to do this task. I want you to sell some houses and do that. I want you to make sure these houses get closed out and get done.” That's a little bit different than leading them into ownership of owning that. Can you talk about the difference in managing that?

It starts with leaders’ mindsets like you and me. Zig Ziglar has a great quote that says, “You don't build businesses. You build people and people build the business.” When you shift from being a one-man band or only results-oriented, and you focus more on developing people, they are in turn more loyal to you. You are empowering them to grow, evolve, and develop. I firmly believe that most people want to grow, develop, and evolve. When we don't create an environment that allows them to do that, we're robbing them of something that they want.

When you’re working one-on-one or let's say your example, the wholesale person. When you're working with the wholesale person, you're saying, “I want you to source X amount of deals. This is the impact it has on the entire company. This is the impact it has on the assembly line. This is how powerful this is for you. I want to help you come up with a plan so that we can do this at top-notch.” Instead of you creating a plan and giving it to them. You're asking them to create the plan.

When they create the plan, there's so much more ownership because they're involved in the process. When they bring the plan to you, you say, “This is a great plan. I didn't think of that. You plugged all these things and that's awesome. Did you also consider this?” They're like, “I didn't consider that. I'll plug that in too.” “Great.” They revise their plan and then you say, “How would we know this plan is working or not working?” You get them to come up with their own KPIs.

They'll say, "It's not working if I don't talk to enough people. It's not working if I don't send enough flyers out. It's not working if I don't knock on enough doors, etc.” “Let's put that on a scorecard. If we break that down into what has to happen every single day, what would that look like?” They're like, “If I do this, I'll get that result.” “Let's implement it and then we can talk each week to see if we're on track or off track and we need to modify.” It's almost turning into a coach as a leader versus a manager of tasks.

You're leading people. You manage tasks. Sometimes we mistake that and we manage people like we would a task. Humans are not robots. They have personal lives. They have things they're pursuing. They have fears, doubts, mental blocks, and blind spots. If you have a coaching culture in your business, you're able to help them develop, which makes them better people in your business, which helps your business grow.

There's a difference between leadership and management. That's one thing I get into is raising up leaders. You mentioned some amazing authors, Zig Ziglar, I read John Maxwell. Talk about The ONE Thing by Gary Keller. That's an awesome book. I recommend you guys take hold of those. Staci, let's flip this around a little bit. You mentioned as entrepreneurs, we've become obsessed. We're so passionate about this. We love to create and grow things.

Especially during this season, when we're trying to figure things out, we could become obsessed. The balance goes out the window and all of a sudden, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 months or for some people, years go by of this unbalanced life. You probably have gone through seasons as well. How do you reflect and maintain that healthiness? Honestly, it can get extremely unhealthy. I don't the word work-life balance sometimes. How do we remain healthy as business owners?

I have a love-hate relationship with balance. I don't think you can measure that on a daily basis. A word that I've adopted to replace balance is harmonized, like having a harmonized life. We're full beings. We're multifaceted. We have our health, relationships, businesses, and community. For me, it's identifying the things in each of those areas that are the one thing.

In my health, working out first thing in the morning is my one thing. That's a domino effect for me in my day. In my relationships, it's having a date night and making sure that we commit to that, so we have that connection point. In the community or relationships, it’s making sure that the people that are on my list of my soul community, I have them scheduled in my calendar or I text them.

It’s having little things. Sometimes we overwhelm ourselves with, “I've got to drink a gallon of water. I've got to work out. I've got to sleep eight hours. I need to meditate. I need to do breath work. I need to journal.” I used to be that person that had ten things for every area of my life that I needed to check off. I woke up one day and I said, “Is this working for me or is this not working for me?” I was evaluating it based on working or not working versus right or wrong, bad or good, or if the gurus say I need to do it. We all get to be the CEO of our own lives and decide whether this works or not.

Figure out what works for you. Maybe working out in the morning isn't your thing. Maybe it's 5:00 PM that you want to go workout because it clears you from your day. I figure out what works and what doesn't. My motto is not balance, but harmony, and then my other motto is less is more. It’s doing the one thing in the area. It has a domino effect too. For me, working out first thing in the morning, I eat better, I drink more water, I sleep better, and I'm happier. I am more joyful and more patient with the people I'm around. All of that has a huge impact. It's 60 minutes. It's the discipline of doing that one thing versus trying to do everything all the time.

That's so good. I'm taking notes because you're right. You can listen to gurus. We can get overwhelmed by having this extreme morning workout. We have this morning routine and we have ten different things. We got this evening routine and we got all that, and then everything is flying at us. We got our kids coming home and we're trying to figure that out. Just simplifying it down. I've been getting into a couple of the books. There's The 80/20 Principle that I get into. Essentialism is another book that I've been reading that is high on my list. I talk about it a lot. It's very similar to The ONE Thing with Gary Keller. It’s awesome stuff.

Staci, as we wrap up the show here, I want to ask you, what keeps you motivated? I've been in real estate going on for 16 or 17 years now. That's a long time for me. I like new things, variety, and changing things up. Real estate has a lot of different variations to it and things are always shifting. We had to reinvent ourselves several times. Sometimes, we get demotivated. We get unmotivated. I know a lot of guys right now are in that season, “I don't even want to do this anymore. I didn't know if I have to go through this again. I'm ready to throw in the towel.” What do you say to that? How do you continue? I'm trying to give these guys advice. What would you say to keep them going and to keep them motivated?

I'll say what works for me. To the point earlier, everyone has to figure out what works for them. I've built multiple businesses. I've made a lot of money. I've lost a lot of money. I have done it again. It's never a smooth sailing easy road. It's not always roses and daisies. The thing for me that keeps me motivated is it's my why. For most people, their psychological DNA isn't greed and fame. At the end of the day, if you're only money-motivated and you're only fame-motivated, it's not going to carry you through what you have to go through to endure economic cycles, pandemics, building a business, hiring, and firing. Everything that you go through as a business owner, an entrepreneur, and an investor take so much more grit than just money and fame will pull you through.

IDP 116 | Organizational Strategies
Organizational Strategies: If you're only motivated by money or fame, it's not going to carry you through what you have to go through to endure economic cycles, pandemics, and everything else that you go through as a business owner, entrepreneur, or investor.

My big why is freedom. It's my overarching why. I did one of those personality tests one time. It said, “Your desire for freedom is so strong that if you were a wolf and got caught in a bear trap, you would chew off your own arm so that you could get free.” That's my insatiable appetite for freedom. Freedom for me includes impact because I see the people around me getting trapped. My why is to untrap trapped entrepreneurs. That means I don't want to be trapped. Sometimes there are moments even in my business that I get trapped because we're pushing on a launch or we're pushing on a project.

We have to manage our psychology that it's seasonal. Just like our life is seasonal, our businesses are seasonal and our relationships are seasonal. The grit to endure is the why. In a marriage, your why is a healthy, thriving, intimate, and connected relationship. You may get into an argument, but the why and your commitment carries you through. In business, who you're serving and the pain they're enduring is your why, and it carries you through. It has to be something greater than myself because money and fame are not enough. When you get to the heart of it for yourself, you'll do so much more for a mission and a cause than you will do for a financial reward.

I love freedom too. I have a strong desire for that. I would probably chew off my arm in the bear trap as well. Staci, thank you so much for being on the show. I know that you're helping out so many entrepreneurs. As I mentioned before, our audience does feel that sense of chaos in their life, trapped, and trying to figure things out, what's working and what's not working in this season of the real estate industry. Thank you so much. If someone wants to get ahold of you and learn more about Organize to Scale, I'm sure that you could help them. Where would they go?

I have a free report that maybe would help them. It's four tips for quickly organizing your business to scale. They can send an email to to get a copy of it. Thank you for having me. I hope that it serves your audience and creates the freedom from operational chaos, and the courage to keep going through what's happening in the economy as well. The world needs entrepreneurial leaders right now.

Thank you so much for that and for being on the show, Staci. God bless you.

Thank you.


Thank you so much for checking out the Iron Deep Channel. If you liked this episode, slam on that button. If you liked it, hit the subscribe button. Remember to leave us a comment and let's mingle in the comment section you all. Here at Iron Deep, we strive to create content for middle-aged businessmen that involves identity, purpose, and legacy, all with a foundation that's rooted in Christ. Check out our website at to apply to be a part of the Iron Deep Brotherhood community. Thank you guys so much and I'll see you next time.

Important Links