Amber De La Garza is a highly in-demand speaker, coach, trainer, writer, podcast host of the show The Productivity Straight Talk, and creator of the S.T.O.P.! Leverage Formula. All these specialties have made her The Productivity Specialist, making her the solution to any entrepreneur’s problems in maximizing profits, reducing stress, and making time for the things that matter.
What makes Amber De La Garza effective in her job is her no BS, no fluff, and no jargon approach to productivity. This helps businesses know what their problem is and how they should fix it immediately. With her knowledge and expertise, she goes around the country giving her “Straight Talks on productivity to corporations, associations, and sales teams all across the country to help them maximize profits, outsell the competition, dominate the market, reduce stress, and reclaim time for what matters most.”
If you’re feeling overwhelmed and out of time, reach out to Amber De La Garza to learn how to reach your true potential and accomplish all your biggest goals by improving your productivity. She has committed herself to “helping you master your mindset, expand your skill set, and execute on your strategic plan while holding you accountable for results.”
Amber De La Garza contributes regularly to the Women’s Council of Realtors Publication. She has also been featured on the Huffington Post, Choices, Las Vegas Agent Magazine, and Medium.com.
I deeply believe that the knowledge and skills I have to share can help other small business owners minimize stress while maximizing profits so they can continue to share their own unique gifts with the world. Amber De La Garza
Jerome Knyszewski: Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive in, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’ and how you got started?
Amber De La Garza: Before my passion for productivity was ignited, I became a licensed real estate agent in 2001 and have since acquired nearly 20 years of experience in real estate management, training, coaching, and speaking. When coaching business owners for a large real estate firm early in my career, many clients came to me constantly overwhelmed, out of time, and falling short of hitting their goals. From the outside, it appeared they lacked sound business strategies but I dug deeper and discovered the true cause of their challenges stemmed from not having the right time management and self-management skills to execute their business strategies.
In 2010, having my son changed my life and career path. I used all my maternity leave and shortly before going back, I made the difficult decision not to return to corporate America. Less than two years later, I embarked on my entrepreneurial journey and started my own coaching company. I was determined to equip small business owners with the skills they needed to execute their business strategies, along with the productivity coaching, training, and accountability required to reduce stress, achieve their business goals, and live a fulfilling life.
Jerome Knyszewski: Can you tell us a story about the hard times that you faced when you first started your journey? Did you ever consider giving up? Where did you get the drive to continue even though things were so hard?
Amber De La Garza: When I first started my business, I struggled with positioning myself. I first marketed myself as an Organization Consultant who provides organization, productivity, and efficiency services. Once I discovered people view organization as a luxury but efficiency as a necessity, I repositioned myself as an Efficiency Consultant without changing my services. Over time, I realized that efficiency skills weren’t the root of my clients’ success, but it was improved personal productivity that was helping them reach new heights. Shortly after changing my title to The Productivity Specialist and focusing my efforts on improving clients’ productivity, my business blew up.
Yes, I have considered giving up but I’ve never actually given into that thought and closed my doors. In the beginning, because the revenue was lacking and later on when a launch failed that I had poured nearly all my time and energy into. While facing some of the toughest challenges in my business throughout the years, I even allowed myself to quit a few times. But only for a few hours. Then, because of the passion I have for the work I do and people I serve, I showed up the following day refreshed and ready to refocus on whatever challenges had led me to “quit.” I deeply believe that the knowledge and skills I have to share can help other small business owners minimize stress while maximizing profits so they can continue to share their own unique gifts with the world. I am never going to let that flame just die out and close shop.
Over time and through countless speaking opportunities, I learned that I show up best when I am well-prepared but not over-rehearsed.
Jerome Knyszewski: Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lessons or ‘takeaways’ you learned from that?
Amber De La Garza: When I first branched out and began speaking publicly, I landed a big client, one whose logo I’d proudly display on my resume. I was determined to give the best presentation ever and began preparing immediately. I wrote my script and rehearsed it aloud over and over again while walking through the RV park where I was working remotely out of our fifth wheel. I rehearsed it so much, in fact, that every snowbird in the park unwillingly knew my script by the time we headed home. When I walked up to that stage to deliver my presentation, I felt incredibly prepared. I soon learned I was just insanely over-rehearsed. I sounded like a robot and when I accidentally skipped a phrase here and there, I was unable to ad lib or simply talk freely on the topic I knew so well. I stuttered until I could get back on script because my mind was so glued to it. I fell flat on my face and was unbearably embarrassed. While flying home, I processed the actions that had led me to fail and committed to never memorizing a script word-for-word again. Over time and through countless speaking opportunities, I learned that I show up best when I am well-prepared but not over-rehearsed.
When you fail to communicate exactly what you want done, you can expect to receive back only a variation of what you want done. No one can read your mind. You must give your team the necessary pieces to successfully complete each project you dream up.
Jerome Knyszewski: Can you please share your “Five Things You Need To Know To Delegate Effectively and Be Completely Satisfied With the Results?” Please share a story or an example for each.
Amber De La Garza:
- Build A Team Of People You Trust
Before you delegate even one task, it’s important you build a team of people you trust to run in the same direction as you, whose skills fill your gaps, and who don’t need much hand-holding. You want to build a team where you can take the training wheels off fast so they can quickly start using their talents to support you all the way to your goals’ finish lines. Hire with intention right from the get-go, focusing not just on skills but also on character traits and the ability to grow alongside your company.
- Share The Bigger Picture
Especially when it comes to large projects in which you’re delegating numerous tasks, potentially to a number of people, encourage your team to go above and beyond by explaining the bigger picture and the important role they can play in it by filling in the missing puzzle pieces that you may not have thought of when you dreamed up the finished project. By sharing how the tasks your team members are being delegated can contribute to the overall success of the project, you’re empowering them to take charge and be creative and solution-oriented, which will only impact their results in a positive way.
- Be Realistic With What Your Team Members Can Get Done
You want a new sales funnel created, complete with a branding overhaul, so you task your assistant who’s adept at creating sales funnels with the project. You give her a week. That might be doable if she didn’t already have a number of urgent and important tasks assigned to her plate and if you don’t keep asking her to create additional emails for said funnel that you dream up throughout the week. Don’t set your team members up for failure by delegating unrealistically. Consider what they already have going on, their time constraints, and their current skill sets when delegating tasks and projects to give them the best chance of succeeding.
- Align Delegated Tasks With The Strengths Of Your Team Members
Unless you hired a bunch of unicorns, your team members are not highly skilled in every area of your business. They also don’t possess the passion or personality to succeed in any position or at every task. If your assistant has a sparkling personality and unmatched customer service training, have her answering your phones, not doing your bookkeeping. If your copywriter is a master with words but can’t figure out how to connect her printer to save her life, don’t task her with setting up your CRM system. Align every task you delegate with your team members’ strengths and weaknesses in mind.
- Clearly Communicate Your Expectations
When you fail to communicate exactly what you want done, you can expect to receive back only a variation of what you want done. No one can read your mind. You must give your team the necessary pieces to successfully complete each project you dream up. That doesn’t mean refrain from empowering them to make decisions and express their own great ideas along the way. It means give your team all of the important information they need in clear detail so they can run with it and return to you with an even shinier version of what you had in mind. Possibly most important, don’t forget to provide them a clear due date. Doing so will help your team prioritize new tasks against their other work over, “Get it to me sometime this week.”
Jerome Knyszewski: One of the obstacles to proper delegating is the often quoted cliche “If you want something done right do it yourself.” Is this saying true? Is it false? Is there a way to reconcile it with the importance of delegating?
Amber De La Garza: That cliche is completely false. One of my past client’s mottos about delegating is, “Move it from my to-do list to their to-learn list” which I absolutely love. Fearing a task will be done incorrectly by someone else or not wanting to slow down and teach someone how to do a task properly is short-sighted thinking. As a leader and business owner, it is your responsibility to empower and equip your team so they can show up, do their best work, and get the results you want. If you constantly allow your time to be consumed by tasks that could be completed successfully by others simply because you’re holding on to the belief that only you can do it right, you have less time to work on the high-value tasks that only you can do to level up your business.
Jerome Knyszewski: How can our readers further follow you online?
Jerome Knyszewski: This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for the time you spent with this!