Before becoming The Productivity Specialist, Amber De La Garza built a career as a licensed real estate agent, having completed her bachelor’s degree in real estate and business management. Since then, she has spent 15 years gaining experience in real estate management, training, and coaching.
Early on, Amber De La Garza noticed that many of the talented people around here were not achieving their goals. She saw several business owners grow frustrated because they were not getting the results they wanted. When she asked them, they would tell her that they were simply overwhelmed, or they didn’t have enough time. Hearing these stories ignited her passion for helping others.
Amber De La Garza studied the root of these problems. She had seen that they were having a hard time keeping up with the demands of “their fast-paced work environments,” so they were always “stressed out, discouraged.” As a result, they kept missing out on key business opportunities. During her study, she found out that people only lacked “personal productivity skills,” which hindered them from “maximizing their potential and achieving their goals.”
After reflecting on her own productivity skills and studying the matter endlessly, Amber De La Garza has mastered the “real-world strategies and techniques” that successful people apply to increase their productivity. This mastery, combined with her passion to help businesses, became its own business, which gave birth to The Productivity Specialist. Since then, she has taught best practices to her clients and witnessed them “achieve their goals and vision of success.”
Putting your business above all else in the name of success will only work in the short-term. Long-term, you’d be overwhelmed, overworked, overcommitted, and headed straight for burnout. If there’s one thing business owners should absolutely not squeeze out of their schedules, it’s self-care. Amber De La Garza
Jerome KnyszewskI: What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?
Amber De La Garza: I am skilled at identifying and providing my clients what they need, not necessarily what they want and it is meeting those previously unidentified needs that helps them tackle their challenges and level up their businesses. They may come to me wanting help with their time management but I determine the root cause of their issues is a lack of efficient business systems so we work on those. Or they may come to me wanting help with scaling their team but I determine they’ll never be able to do so successfully until they first transform their mindset and nail down their big why so we start there. I’m able to identify the root causes of their issues by asking questions — tough questions that dig deep and get to the bottom of their struggles so I can adjust the prescription to solve their problems, not just alleviate their symptoms. One client referred to me as “a pitbull dressed up as a poodle” and other clients have shared similar analogies.They all agree that I am welcoming, understanding, grace-giving, and kind but also unashamedly direct and tough because I take my job of getting them results seriously. Whether it’s words of encouragement and celebrating their wins or constructive feedback and calling them out on their BS and stories, I give my clients the straight talk on what they need to succeed in business and life. I refuse to go easy on clients who are determined to grow their business and let them negotiate themselves out of success.
Jerome Knyszewski: Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?
Amber De La Garza: Putting your business above all else in the name of success will only work in the short-term. Long-term, you’d be overwhelmed, overworked, overcommitted, and headed straight for burnout. If there’s one thing business owners should absolutely not squeeze out of their schedules, it’s self-care. Prioritizing self care is essential to your long-term success, both professionally and personally. Get seven to nine hours of sleep each night. Eat healthy foods that provide energy and the nutrients your body needs to function at its best. Take breaks to refresh. Take vacations to recover and rejuvenate. Take time for yourself whether it’s a spa day, painting class, good book, sporting event, or dining at a new restaurant. Entrepreneurs have the tendency to think that every hour and dollar has to go into building their business. The problem with that thinking is in building a great business, you could also be building a life you don’t want to be living and damaging your health and overall well-being in the process.
Jerome Knyszewski: None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?
Amber De La Garza: When I first voiced my desire to not return to corporate America after my son was born and start my own business instead, I was met with a myriad of strong opinions from family members and close friends. Needless to say, they didn’t understand my dream, let alone support it. But without hesitation, my husband said, “Go for it!” and he meant it. Throughout my many emotional upsets, financial woes, and business owner blues over the years, he has never wavered in his support of my dream. He’s always been my biggest cheerleader and my best investor because he believes in me. He also knows exactly what to say to pull me out of slumps. Just today, I was having a hard time bringing all the pieces of a big project together and texted him that I was on the verge of losing it. He replied, “You got this babe. Your instincts will kick in. You’re climbing a mountain and it’s always the hardest closest to the top.” He gave me the support I needed to take the next step forward and an hour later, I had reached my mountain’s peak with blue skies all around.
Jerome Knyszewski: Ok thank you for all that. Now let’s shift to the main focus of this interview. Delegating effectively is a challenge for many leaders. Let’s put first things first. Can you help articulate to our readers a few reasons why delegating is such an important skill for a leader or a business owner to develop?
Amber De La Garza: Delegating is incredibly important because when done successfully, it frees up your time to work in your zone of genius and on your high-value activities that generate revenue. Without proper delegation, you’d be working on tasks and activities that steal your time from doing the things that only you are qualified to do in your business or as a leader. It’s also important to develop the skill set of delegating because no one has ever achieved huge goals without the support of others. Delegating will help you accomplish more while reducing stress and overwhelm.
Without proper delegation, you’d be working on tasks and activities that steal your time from doing the things that only you are qualified to do in your business or as a leader.
Jerome Knyszewski: Can you help articulate a few of the reasons why delegating is such a challenge for so many people?
Amber De La Garza: Delegating is challenging for many business owners for two reasons: they have self-limiting beliefs holding them back from delegating or lack critical skills needed to delegate successfully.
Common limiting beliefs I see regarding delegation are: I am best equipped to do all the things my business demands, I should be skilled at all the things, I can’t let go of control and allow others to show up and help me along the way, or I just can’t afford help.
Successful delegation also requires the following skills: clear, direct communication and planning so you can clearly articulate your needs to others well ahead of deadlines. Neither of these skills come easily for many people but they can certainly be developed.
Jerome Knyszewski: In your opinion, what pivots need to be made, either in perspective or in work habits, to help alleviate some of the challenges you mentioned?
Amber De La Garza: A favorite perspective shift I like to share with my clients is: As your business grows, you must work on seeing your business as its own entity, separate from yourself. If you were to continue equating yourself with your business and thinking that you alone should be able to provide your business everything it needs to survive, you’d be sabotaging the growth and overall success of the business. When you recognize that you don’t possess all the skill sets, knowledge, time, and energy necessary to grow your business to new heights and maximize profits, it really puts it into perspective that you need a team around you supporting your goals and completing the tasks and activities that will help your business be successful. Investing in your team by delegating tasks and activities to them is an investment in your business with a high return.
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!