Autonomy

Want a great business? One that will thrive for generations? Allow autonomy. Jason Cohen, founder of WPEngine, said at a recent talk he gave (quoting someone else), "Approval doesn't add value." Most entrepreneurs don't allow autonomy in their business. They institute monarchical-like approval processes for even the smallest of tasks. They are too scared of loss that they won't even consider developing checks and balances systems in their business so that employees can run the company. They are too scared to trust people they've hired. Maybe they know they've hired the wrong people to run their company. Maybe they hired…

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How To Unbottleneck Your Business

  Sole Driver Syndrome Personal productivity is first and foremost concerned with efficiency: how to get more done within the time you have. Entrepreneurs have a strong affinity to personal productivity, some even becoming devoted fans of the book Getting Things Done by David Allen.  One of the side effects of this devotion to personal productivity I’ve seen with entrepreneurs in the startup phase or stage 1 of their business is that they hire to increase their own productivity instead of the productivity of the company. Entrepreneurs mistakenly assume that they are the main, or even sole, driver of activity…

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Shouldn’t This Be Getting Easier?

Hitting The Hustle Ceiling "Is it always going to be like this?” One of my early coaching clients asked me that question. He had been in business full time for over 4 years, not to include the couple of years of side hustles while working a full time job. Steve (not his real name) hated his job, wanted to spend more time with his young family, and fulfill a few of his dreams along the way. He promised his wife that the evenings and weekends he was putting into learning "this Internet business stuff" would pay off. One day it…

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3 Keys To Breaking The 7-Figure Barrier

There are 3 key strategies of business that you need to get dialed in to break $1 million in revenue in a single year. These are the focus of your entrepreneurial learning in a Stage 1 business ($100k to $1 M). Your goal should be to learn your: 1) Product/Market Fit 2) Message-To-Market Match 3) Optimal Selling Strategy You've most likely seen these terms used as buzzwords in lean startup blog posts, but you probably haven't figured out what they really mean to you. Something missing from the lean startup movement was direct response marketing. Lean startup adopted the language of…

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Salespeople Have A Thermostat

If a salesperson has been getting a commission of approximately $50,000, then he/she won't make much more than that next year. The good thing for entrepreneurs is that the salesperson is unlikely to sell less the next year. Earning Temperature Think about the thermostat that controls the temperature in your home. If you set the thermostat for 70℉/21℃ in the winter, then anytime the temperature goes a degree below 70 degrees, the furnace will turn on and warm up your home. It doesn't heat to 70 degrees and then stop. It heats your home to a degree or two above…

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Entrepreneurship To The Fullest

Entrepreneurs have: unlimited income potential, able to fire themselves, and can sell the company, in part or in whole. I've worked with hundreds of entrepreneurs, and known many hundreds more, that don't even come close to maximizing these inherent qualities of business ownership. You Have Unlimited Income Potential Let's start with #1: unlimited income potential. I think too many focus on the potential, but don't really learn how to it into reality. If you haven't learned how to increase your revenue within weeks, if not days, then you don't really know enough about your business or your market. Sure, some…

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Focus On Productivity: The Art Of Being A Better Laborer

Following on from yesterday's post, "Do You Prevent Your Business From Accelerating?"' I listened to the accompanying TMBA podcast episode on the topic. Listen here: The Art Of Stress-free Productivity. Understand this: Productivity is for employees. Effectiveness is for executives. Success Equals Busy? The thinking goes, successful people are more productive than less successful people, so therefore I should focus on getting lots of stuff done. This is true, but its correlation and not the cause of their success. Only a small percentage of their personal productivity leads to outsized success. Once you go the productivity route to achieve success,…

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Do You Prevent Your Business From Accelerating?

Self-Imposed Speed Limits When I left the military and moved across the country, I rented a Uhaul truck to move all my stuff. The super-frustrating thing about this truck was that it had a governor installed. An accelerator governor prevents the vehicle from going faster than a pre-determined speed. The national speed limit was 65 miles per hour, but the governor was locked at 60 mph (96.5 kph). Many business owners install governors in their business. Not just one, but many. My friend, Dan Andrews, recently published a post that is a good example of installing a governor -- something that…

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5 Lessons In The Mental Game Of Business

A Weekend At Tim's I recently held the first of the biannual, in-person, weekend workshops with my Ignite Mastermind. Since we're a small group I rented a big house in Scottsdale, Arizona instead of a hotel. From 1pm on Friday until about 1pm on Sunday, we worked. It's fun doing these workshops because when you get people together who are excited about growing their businesses, spending their entire weekend working is fun. Fun...not my word. Theirs. Though I had a great time too. What can be learned in a Weekend At Tim's? 1) Business is mostly mental. If you've got a…

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All Businesses Are Built Haphazardly

A Lesson From The Ignite Mastermind Weekend Workshop One of the big philosophical realizations one must comprehend is that everyone is just trying to figure everything out as they go along in life. Businesses are no different. How could they be? They are built by people. As soon as you realize that you built your business in a haphazard, trial-and-error fashion, you can improve it. You then understand that no current process, no particular way of doing business, is the best way. You can ask yourself, "What would I do differently if today was day one of my business, but with all…

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