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…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

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,…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

Instilling New Values Into Your Business

"Real solutions have two parts: changes in values and operational changes in habits and processes." ~ Charles Hugh Smith This quote encapsulates the work I do with entrepreneurs. Founders come to business coaching because they've had, or desire a change in values (i.e. they wanted "freedom" - the desired value, but instead their hidden values built a business that imprisons them). To define and instill new values, entrepreneurs must change their behavior -- they must forego their old habits (some that are even harmful) and develop new processes within themselves and their company. A lesson I learned is that it's nearly…

Continue Reading

Simultaneous Success: The Path To Rapid Growth

Concurrent Vs Sequential Progress During a recent Office Hours for my Ignite Entrepreneur Mastermind, we discussed concurrent progress versus sequential progress. I force my clients to handle more progress than they've successfully managed before. Especially if they say they "know what needs to be done and just need to execute for a while." <-- I'm looking at you Joe and Mike. When people say they know what to do and just need to execute, they are thinking sequentially. For an individual working on multiple projects, sequential activity is best. If an employee has projects A, B, and C to complete,…

Continue Reading

Conversations With Important People

Don't You Just HATE Having Conversations With Important People? Don't you find it such a waste of time? It's sooooo boring. Am I right?! No? You actually like talking to important people who can help you achieve your goals in life? You find it invigorating and motivating? You'll even pay big money and spare lots of time to meet and talk to important people? Wow... I'd have never guessed by the way you say you hate having meetings with your team. Some of the most important people in your life are in you company right now trying to help you…

Continue Reading