You did it! You started a business with nothing more than a dream and a willingness to roll up your sleeves. You worked hard, really hard, and the business grew. You didn’t know what you were doing half the time, but you figured it out. You made it up as you went, and now you’re leading your very own multi-million dollar business.
You make good money, you employ a team of others, and you’re a stand-out success by everyone else’s standards. You should be feeling amazing.
So why are you not jumping for joy?
Because now, for some reason, you seem to be working harder and harder, dealing with more and more stress, and spending less and less time with your family. But what do you have to show for all this extra effort?
Sure, your revenue might still be going up, but you feel like no matter what, you can’t seem to make the next leap in profit. And if all that work doesn’t equal a lot more profit in your pocket, then what’s the point?
It’s not your fault. Every successful founder finds themselves in this same position. It happens not because you did something wrong but because you did something right. You chose the path of hands-on hustle, which is exactly why you succeeded. But now it’s exactly what’s getting in the way.
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Here’s the good news. These strategies are not about more hustle and grit but having a smarter plan. Even better, you don’t need to learn from trial and error this time. Your success has afforded you the opportunity to leverage a proven strategy.
And it’s not as complicated as you might think. There are just three problems you need to overcome, and everything else will fall into place.
#1 Stop playing Jenga with your business
Founders who start companies, and succeed, are scrappy people who hustle to get it done. They create their own success by doing the hard work of whatever needs to get done.
As the business grows, thanks to the help of a few lucky hires, they manage to assemble a team that rallies together and gets it done, no matter what “it” is. And as they continue to grow, the founder is forced to hire more staff than they can directly manage and then task their senior team members with managing the new recruits.
It’s like pulling a piece out of a Jenga tower and adding it to the top. Revenues go up. The “tower” gets taller. But the foundation gets increasingly unstable.
Unfortunately, often it is only a matter of time before things start to go wrong, and the tower begins to fall. Seeing customers disappointed and clients lost, a good founder quickly takes action to regain control. This fixes things for a while, but soon, they are hounded with 100s of questions a day and can’t seem to get five minutes to think.
I can’t tell you how many founders I’ve spoken with who almost feel trapped in a prison of their own creation. One they can’t seem to find their way out of. Even worse, they’ve had to stop thinking about growth as they know they just don’t have the bandwidth for anything else.
To solve this, you need to sit down with your team and identify all those tasks that are no longer essential for you to handle. If you never take a step back, you just can’t see it. You’ve been doing these things for so long; they don’t even occur to you that you shouldn’t be the one doing them.
However, if you do this right, you will be shocked at how many of these non-essential tasks have accumulated. And by stepping away from those non-essential tasks, you will now get to spend all of that previously wasted time and bandwidth on the essential tasks that senior leaders and founders must do to prevent the fires from occurring. When you unravel all of this extra work, you’ll find you can get a lot more done with fewer people and a lot fewer headaches.
When I first met John and Rachel, they were stuck in this exact problem. In fact, it was worse, as some of their key staff had begun to crumble under the stress, throwing the work back to John and Rachel to handle. On our very first call, they admitted that they’d had it. If they didn’t change things soon, they were going to walk away from a business they had spent years driving to succeed.
Over the course of just a few hours together, John and Rachel were able to step back and take stock of all the tasks they and their senior team engaged in. I’ll never forget the smile on Rachel’s face and the relief in John’s eyes when they realized that many of those tasks were wholly unnecessary or should have been assigned to someone else lower in the organization. Within weeks they more than doubled their team’s capacity. They had streamlined everything, and everyone on the team was able to breathe a sigh of relief.
And by freeing up all that capacity, they are now quickly growing their multi-million dollar business towards eight figures, creating millions of dollars of growth each year. They also have the confidence that when they bring in these new deals, their team will be ready and able to get it done, and it won’t all fall back on their shoulders.
Today, John and Rachel love their business again, their employees are happier, and better yet, they are finally paying themselves the money they deserve.
Want to know more? Check out this article Are You Still Playing Jenga With Your Business?
#2 Your magic eight ball is faulty
You’ve always prided yourself on your ability to make great decisions. In fact, it’s a key driver for how you got to where you are today.
However, today your company has grown to the point you just can’t be everywhere all the time. You can’t see everything. And in the past, while you used to spend hours making sure that you’ve dotted every I and crosses every T, now you’ve had to rely on other people, which is a good thing. But what it means is you’re making gut decisions on incomplete data.
In the early days, you intricately understood every element of everything that was going on in your business. But now, your internal magic eight ball is on overload, and it’s not because you aren’t great at making decisions. It’s because there are too many decisions for you to make. There is too little time for you to gather all the information you need to make the right decision day in and day out. You don’t have it all at your fingertips like you used to. And, as a result, a few of your recent decisions haven’t turned out the way you had hoped.
Here’s the good news. You don’t need to magically transform yourself into a better decision-maker. You don’t need to spend more time at work to make sure you’ve covered all the data. You don’t even need to learn to make faster, better decisions on incomplete information.
You need to create a culture of team-based decision making and empowerment.
Paul is a great example of this, but what he could never have foreseen is that moving beyond his magic eight ball would soon lead him to millions in extra profit – FAST.
Paul had built an incredible multi-million dollar business. But now he seemed to be paying the price. He was physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausted by the weight of the responsibility to keep the entire company moving. The heaviest weight of all was the constant barrage of critical decisions that he was forced to make and the speed he had to make them. It felt like everyone was always waiting for him to make the decision.
I helped him see that this was a good thing. He wouldn’t have experienced these problems if he hadn’t been so successful. And the best part is that it wasn’t his job to carry all of this weight anymore; that was the responsibility of a whole team of decision-makers.
I helped him assemble and structure a brilliant leadership team. Within months, they’d made several decisions Paul says he would never have thought of or decided by trusting his gut. But these simple changes lead to an extra million dollars on the bottom line. Not only that, but the team was able to find a more effective sales strategy that cut Paul’s travel from 100 business flights a year to zero! He made every one of his son’s football games that year and got to spend the entire summer together with his family on their farm.
Today, the business is still thriving, and Paul is loving it. He knows none of this would have happened if he still had to make every decision himself.
Want to know more? Check out this article Is Your Magic Eight Ball Messing Up Your Decisions?
#3 You’re suffering from self-inflicted apathy
While initially, you were able to get amazing people to drive your business forward. As you had to hire more and more people faster and faster, something changed. Now, the company feels different. The passion that once drove everyone seems to have been replaced by a bunch of people clocking in, doing a job, and leaving. I’ve had founders admit to me they hate going to work at this stage. The environment sucks the life out of them.
While I understand that feeling and remember experiencing it myself, the truth is the problem isn’t the people. Sure, you have a few bad hires, but the real issue here is actually their access to you.
It’s not your fault. It’s just a physical limitation; there is only so much of you to go around. What you need to do now is structure the vision, mission, and decision-making so that it can scale beyond you. You can do this with a simple decision-making toolkit. The right decision-making toolkit will ignite passion and enthusiasm across the company and create a framework for great decisions to be made up and down the company’s ranks.
This is precisely what happened to Jeff, the founder and CEO of an international organization operating on five continents.
Like so many once great but now stalling organizations, Jeff and his five senior leaders were scrambling desperately to make things happen. They were doing all the heavy lifting while the other fifty employees just cruised along.
During our first session together, he quickly realized that it was not that his staff didn’t care. They simply lacked the structure to make decisions right away. He went to work, putting together a simple structure for team member decision-making or what I call the decision-making playbook.
Within weeks – Jeff said he felt like he was running a totally different organization. They went from feeling completely maxed out to adding $3M in annual revenue and still having the capacity to grow even more.
Want to know more? Check out this article 5 Ways to Eliminate Employee Apathy in Your Business.
You can lead your business to the next level
As a founder of a business that quickly grew to millions of dollars of revenue, I’ve been down this road. I’ve had to overcome these same hurdles.
I don’t say this lightly. I believe in you as a leader. I know you, as the founder, have so much more to offer your business and your clients. It breaks my heart to see founders settle for less than they can achieve and less than they deserve, and I am passionate about seeing founders thrive and take their businesses to the next level.
You don’t have to work harder or longer anymore. I’m here to do the heavy lifting to help you and your teamwork smarter. The strategies are ready; now, it’s time to run the plays. And if there is anything I know to be true about a founder, it is this: Once they know which direction they want to take, once they have a vision of what the future could look like, nothing will stand in their way.
Nothing will stand in your way. You can end the people problems and firefighting by getting the right people in the right seats, doing the right things. We’ll give you space to breathe, create, and dream by building a strong decision-making team around you. Then, we’ll light the match and watch the rocket take off as we get all your people aligned, empowered, and thinking like owners.
The greatest joy I had while running my own business was the moment I realized that I could take a step back, and nothing would fall. Instead, the business would keep moving forward. That’s when I knew I had built an incredible company.
Now that you know these three core principles, you are set to experience this same joy and take your business to the next level.
Want to know more? Check out my free Creating Capacity eCourse.