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Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

In wrapping up our series on growing your business, we use Part 3 to discuss the benefits of removing yourself from the busywork of your business to focus on future growth. We take a step back and ask some great questions that apply to wherever you’re at in business. Many of the rhetorical questions will apply to various stages of your business, so while they won’t all apply to you now, the episode is sure to be worth a re-listen at future points in your business growth as you’ll get something new out of it every time.

Show Notes
  • 02:43 Facilitating: Streamlining processes, making things easier for employees, revising systems.
  • 03:07 Future Focus: After removing yourself from the busywork of your business, you’re able to take a step back from your business evaluate, and look to the future.
  • 03:28 Feedback from Adam:
  • Growth Pitfalls To Avoid:

    04:44 All companies will go through growing pains. At first, it is the pain of lack of freedom, because you’re doing it all yourself. Then it becomes the inevitable culture shift, increased responsibility, and need for increased formality (e.g. dealing with HR-type issues, benefits, etc.,) as you hire and start to form something larger than yourself. This is where it starts to get tricky. Companies can easily fall into some pitfalls that have strong future implications:

    05:12 1) The myth that size matters – Many people who own businesses strive to “get big.” What’s wrong with small? Maybe you just need one other person. It can be easy to forget how good it is to run a successful small business, when running a large one is so tempting at times. Success is success, and is not often measured in terms of number of employees. There are many large unsuccessful companies. Conversely, there are many profitable small ones. It’s impressive to say that you have 100 employees (even if your company can’t stay above water,) but it’s more fulfilling to say that you run a small but profitable business. Small is nothing to be ashamed of, and failing to realize this can lead to out-of-hand growth, and unwise practices to achieve that growth.

    06:47 2) Taking outside funding – When you are a young company, you likely have little cash, therefore growing quickly and profitably are nearly mutually exclusive goals. Many people jump for the easy money (VC, angel investment, loans, etc.) to make up the difference, and promote hiring. It’s a dangerous move. You have no leverage when you are starting out, therefore VCs and angels take ownership or control, and banks (or friends and family) become entities to whom you are beholden (and thus a slave – back to lack of freedom.) Suddenly, you are stuck doing your job for the money, and not the passion. You’re doing it because of expectations and because you owe someone, not because you have a vision and you love what you do. This costs you your soul, and often destroys the reasons you struck out on your own to begin with.

    01:09 3) Growing too large too quickly – It can be easy to look at a spike (even a long spike) in business and assume the need for growth, because you assumed it was a trend. It could just be a spike in business, and then everything levels back out. Let’s say that you hired because of the spike (not realizing it for what it is). What happens when the work dies back down? Maybe you have the money to weather it, but maybe you don’t. Nothing can be more heartbreaking than having to let people go. It’ll feel like you let them down. You did. After all, it was your responsibility that put them in that position (this is even more complicated if it’s your friends or family) It all comes back to being the right size for what you’re doing, and finding the right size takes introspection, future vision, and measured growth.

  • 12:01 Contractors vs. Employees. Who do you bring into your “family?”
  • Every time your business grows, it will require a leap.

  • 19:54 You have to proactively raise the ceiling before you get there. Make sure there’s demand before investing, but be prepared to not see the return on investment in a short period of time. Allow it to sit for awhile.
  • 21:01 Getting accustomed to the leap—the muscle memory and habit of leap-taking.
  • 21:28 “How do you differentiate really interested people from people who ask but will never buy?”
  • 22:25 The way you differentiate is when they hand you their credit card.
  • Take A Step Back
  • 24:56 Evaluate your business:
    • What are your core motives?
    • What are the principles you adhere to?
    • How does your current work align with those two things?
  • 25:58 Facilitating:
    • Improving Processes
    • Making things easier for employees
    • Implement systems for efficiency
  • 26:26 When you’re caught up in the work, you take things for granted and don’t think about ways for work to be more efficient. When you systematize and when you bring on help, you can afford to step back and reevaluate.
  • 26:40 Look at the things you’re doing regularly and habitually and break them down. Where are the inefficiencies. Patch those holes. Streamline things.
  • 26:51 Now that you have people helping you, how can you make things easier for your employees? Tools, software, training?
  • 27:19 Future Focus:
    • Where is this business going?
    • What are my goals?
    • What do I want to accomplish?
    • What’s my mission statement? What’s my manifesto? (don’t have one? write one!)
    • Are the things I’m doing now working towards it?
    • What products could I be making to better serve my vision and my goals and my customers?
  • Marketing Automation
  • 28:00 Instead of manually sending out newsletters, you can automate that marketing by coming up with an autoresponder series or email course.
  • 28:28 In theory, you have different services or products in your business, and you’re trying to get people to those things. Maybe you’re advertising, maybe you’re writing blog posts, maybe you’re putting out free content to get people in and promote the other things you’re working on. Well, with an autoresponder series, you can can repurpose 10% of your paid content as an email course. Just like you write blog posts, take the time to write the content for this email course. Break it up into 10 emails and schedule it out over a certain amount of time.
  • Repurpose 10% of your paid content as an email course.

  • 29:18 Put an email signup box on your product page for the people that aren’t ready to buy right away. Maybe they aren’t fully encompassed in your brand or familiarized with what you have to offer—this is how you can get them in. Maybe you have a lead magnet, “Get my free email course to teach you how to do [X].” Then you provide value through those emails, and soft sell (and eventually hard sell) your services or products.
  • 29:54 You might be doing email newsletter manually, but setting aside time to write and prepare these, will free up even more time for you to build products.
  • 33:01 You don’t want to just carve out time for the sake of carving out more time, or grow for the sake of growing, you want to do it for a purpose. Make a list of the things to work on and focus on when you have time.
  • 32:25 It’s not just about the value of your time, but the value of your attention.
  • 37:04 The importance of allowing yourself to rest.