Perhaps you’ve gotten in a rut or feel stuck in your business despite “doing all the right things” but not seeing the growth you’d love
Leverage Your Business Model
Shift how you deliver your work so you are no longer working hours-for-dollars and get more clients so you can work with two to ten times your current number of clients, while working fewer hours.
AT THIS POINT in your business, it is likely impossible for you to grow exponentially. Could you handle ten times the number of clients tomorrow (as it relates to your current business model/delivery method)?...
AT THIS POINT in your business, it is likely impossible for you to grow exponentially. Could you handle ten times the number of clients tomorrow (as it relates to your current business model/delivery method)?
A few years ago, when the movie The Secret came out and experienced extensive viewership, rumor had it that many of the business owners featured in this popular documentary experienced so much visibility as a result of their appearance in the film that their businesses couldn’t handle the exposure. Some of these businesses were not set up to handle all of the unexpected interest. Their business models (and systems or structures) were not ready to accept that many new clients, and a significant opportunity was lost.
How you deliver your work to clients and customers matters more than you might think. Your current business model most likely cannot be scaled, and yet by shifting your business model, you can be ready to experience exponential growth, at the same time as exponential down time.
By keeping your existing business model the same, you are depriving countless people of your beneficial solutions. At this moment, somewhere on the planet, there are legions of people or organizations that could use what you have to offer...
By keeping your existing business model the same, you are depriving countless people of your beneficial solutions. At this moment, somewhere on the planet, there are legions of people or organizations that could use what you have to offer. They have a problem that you can solve, but you’re too “small” to be able to help all of them. You are likely keeping yourself back because you’re at full capacity, not able to take on that much more work without imploding.
Right now, you’ve chosen one business model, but it likely has you feeling trapped. What you may not know is that there are literally countless different possible permutations for how you could deliver your solutions or services in a beneficial way, without having all the results or delivery depend entirely on you.
For some business owners, scaling the business exponentially could be the equivalent of a moral obligation. Here’s what I mean. I’d like you to imagine that you have stumbled upon the cure for cancer. You know your methodology works, and that you help each person you work with individually to heal. Deep down, you wish everyone could have access to this method, but right now, there’s no more of you or your time to go around. Your current delivery process (meaning, your business model) dictates that you can only work one-to-one with up to twenty clients at one time.
Your argument could be, “Yes, I have the cure for a disease that could revolutionize the world if I could work with lots more people, but I can’t do that because I must deliver it one-to-one for it to work. There is no other way.”
Valid? Perhaps with your current business model, yes. But we’ve worked with many health practitioners and healers within our programs who originally believed only they could deliver their work the way they currently do, otherwise “It wouldn’t work.” Meanwhile, they were leaving a lot of money on the table, burning the candle at both ends and most importantly, not making themselves available to so many more people who need them.
So, they would stay stuck at twenty clients, when they could be able to have an impact on two hundred or two thousand people’s lives at a time, if only they shifted their business model.
A belief like “It wouldn’t work” is something I call a Sacred Cow, a belief that you hold as untouchable and unchangeable, even though
it’s just a belief and beliefs can be changed. These deeply held beliefs of there being only one way to deliver a service (and it’s usually “the way it’s always been done, and for good reason”) are simply not true, no matter the industry.
When there’s a will, there is always a way, especially when we are willing to be creative. First, it requires a shift in mindset, a willingness to see things differently and to try a different approach. Once that shift is made, usually by challenging existing beliefs, the new leveraged business model shows up, one that helps us work one-to-many versus one-to- one and we can begin doing this work in a much greater, exponential capacity.
Here’s my gentle argument back to the “It won’t work any other way” rationale: assuming that what you do genuinely helps people, is good for them, provides true value, makes their lives better than before, provides a future result they want or brings a benefit to the planet, the more individuals or companies you serve, the more you make the world a better place. There is a moral obligation to make this available to more people. Therefore, holding yourself back from growth is not doing anyone any good.
Let’s stay with the cancer example for a moment.
Imagine all the tens of thousands, even millions of people with cancer and their family members whose lives would be positively affected by your methodology. Imagine them waking up every night with a cold sweat, in fear and praying for a solution to their health challenge. The only two reasons they’re not solving their problem (curing their cancer) are 1) they don’t know about you and your method yet (an issue of marketing), and 2) you haven’t switched to a business model that is leveraged enough to provide your solution to many more people than the original fifteen to twenty that you have capacity for now (an issue of delivery, or business model).
The solution to both of these has to do with you deciding to do things differently going forward, even if it means stepping outside of your comfort zone.
If you’re a logical person, it might make sense that helping more clients and customers is a moral obligation. If you’re a spiritual person, it may feel like a divine obligation. And if you’re financially driven, it may simply feel like a financial obligation, to your employees, their families, and your own family.
Either way, my message to you around your business model is that you cannot be of service to more people and leverage your revenues and impact on the world if you stay working one-to-one. The goal therefore is to clone and multiply YOU or what you provide, infinitely, so you can help as many people as possible to have a better life.
Getting out of your current comfort zone will help you work with ten to one hundred times more people. Most entrepreneurs start their business as the Doer, the jack-of-all-trades. They set up their business from the “I will do the work because I’m good at it and I like doing it” mindset. Sadly, this is where most stop, some spending their entire career in one particular delivery model, with no exit strategy at the end of their career, because everything depended on them doing the work.
A few eventually hire other people to do the work, which allows them to take the role of Manager, rather than the Doer, to create systems, processes and then build a talented team that eventually frees up the entrepreneur to no longer deliver all the work, allowing them to focus on expansion and make more, working far less.
Sadly, very few ever experience this because old rules dictate the future. They stop themselves by thinking, “Well, this is the way we’ve always done it,” or “This is how we do things in my industry. It wouldn’t work any other way.”
But what if we were to wipe clean your existing thinking about how you do business and think beyond your existing comfort zone? The Tabula Rasa exercise, as we call it in the program, is your opportunity to release the shackles of past decisions that may be preventing you from scaling your business, even if only on paper for now.
To achieve this and expand your thinking, here are several questions you can ask yourself now:
- What would need to shift in my business for my company to provide our product or service to ten times the number of clients or customers we work with now?
- What other industries or segments of the population need what we provide, beyond who we serve now?
- What would need to change to be able to provide my solution beyond my existing geographic limitations, across the globe?
- Who is already doing this, in my industry or in another industry? How?
- How could I remove ME in the delivery and replace myself with others or rely more heavily on technology?
There are lots more people (or companies, industries, etc.) who need what you have to offer way beyond the current geographic area or type of client you’re currently limited to. To greatly multiply your business and add another zero to your yearly revenues, put a focus on replacing you and then eventually multiplying your process by ten or one hundred times in all capacities, including marketing, sales, delivery, referral generation, exposure, product creation, manufacturing, etc.
Doing so may seem overwhelming at first, especially if you have no direction or haven’t done this before, and you attempt to tackle it alone. But with the right strategy, support and accountability, you can put one foot in front of the other and within a relatively short period of time, you can shift things to be able to serve so many more people.
It simply requires a shift in mindset and a willingness to get out of your current comfort zone. Everything you seek is on the other side of this.
It’s time to embrace the “Mini-Me Mentality.” Even though you (per- haps rightfully) believe you are the only one who can do what you do for your clients and customers, there are countless others who are capable of doing it too, some just as well as you, if given the chance...
It’s time to embrace the “Mini-Me Mentality.” Even though you (per- haps rightfully) believe you are the only one who can do what you do for your clients and customers, there are countless others who are capable of doing it too, some just as well as you, if given the chance. There are skilled people out there secretly begging to slide into an already existing platform and process, not wishing to reinvent the wheel you’re currently using.
Meaning, there are people out there who would love to work for you and help deliver your work to your clients and customers. They are uniquely positioned to sell your products, consult with your clients, work with your patients, facilitate your groups, and would relish the opportunity to do it for you without having to run a business on their own.
Even though they’re perfectly capable of having their own business doing what you do, many would prefer never to have to start a process from scratch, deal with the marketing and sales, or manage people or operations. They would prefer to work with existing systems, not be in charge of hiring or firing, handling employees or worrying about making payroll every week.
Not everyone is wired to take big risks, as you likely have been. Not everyone is happy being a dragon slayer. Some people would be delighted to be your “mini-me.” For them, it would be an honor to be your trained clone or license an existing solution that works (such as yours). They prefer to avoid all those headaches. They’re happy to just do the “client-facing work,” the work you are currently doing all by yourself now.
Allowing someone else to come into your business to do the work you are currently doing requires a mindset shift, mainly, that you are not the only one who can provide the result. Once you embrace the mindset that someone else can do the delivery for you, in a very qualified way, you will find the person and, eventually, many people who will do it happily for you.
There are also many ways of delivering what you offer using associates, facilitators, automated technology systems and software solutions, licensing, franchising, or online delivery of products and courses. In fact, the possibilities for providing solutions to many, many more people are endless.
Again, what’s required is believing that you are not the only one who can physically provide the result and embracing a business model that does it for you, whether it’s through other people, software, or through any other means.
It’s time for your company to expand from working one-to-one or with a very small number of people to working with hundreds if not tens of thousands of people. It starts with a decision and commitment to change your business model through a shift in how you see delivering your work in the world and with the right guidance and direction.
Michelangelo understood the difference between Art and Craft. Art history teaches us that Michelangelo hired a large number of assistants throughout his career. Working on the Sistine Chapel ceiling, several assistants prepared plaster, mixed paints, and climbed up and down ladders to deliver him supplies.
When Michelangelo felt that an assistant had enough talent to actually paint, he would allow the assistant to paint a part of the landscape, a patch of sky or a small figure. One of Michelangelo’s longtime assistants, Pietro Urbino, worked with him for over twenty-five years and helped him with a number of important works we think of today as solely Michelangelo’s works.
Michelangelo is known worldwide as a masterful artist, one of the greatest of all time, and yet he was aided by a skilled craftsman for most of his career. We believe and assume that he “delivered” 100 percent of the work he is known for, but in fact, he didn’t. He only delivered a percentage of it: the vision and the art, as opposed to simply the craft.
There is an Art and a Craft in your business too.
With an Artist, we think of innovation, mastery, heart, passion, unique brilliance, intuition, innate talent, expression, magic, alchemy, something singular that can only be communicated or produced by one person in one way. The vision.
In thinking about a Craftsman, on the other hand, we think of a skilled manual worker, someone who learns how to produce something functional, who learns a trade using his hands. We think of a job or activity that requires a skill that can be repeated. The hands that do the work.
In the delivery of successful results, many business owners blindly believe that they alone must be responsible for 100 percent of the work. Because of this, they stay stuck in a one-to-one model, being able to work with only a few clients or customers, because there are only so many hours in the day and only so much of the business owner to go around.
This is not true, not in a leveraged business.
A few years ago, my husband Derek experienced an injury in both of his knees while skiing in Colorado. He had torn his ACL and meniscus in both knees and flew home to New York City to have surgery with one of the best-reputed orthopedic surgeons in the U.S., especially among professional athletes. The surgeon met with Derek for an incredibly short period of time, quickly established the injury in both knees, leaving the appointment after no more than five minutes. In came the second-in-command.
Post-operation, the surgeon once again came in to check on Derek for about ninety seconds, then shook his hand, smiled and said goodbye.
Both surgeries turned out very well and my husband felt he had “brand-new knees.” But it dawned on us that the famed surgeon didn’t do all of the work. His aides did a majority of it, under his strict supervision and using his proprietary, innovative methods, the ones for which this surgeon is known worldwide. Sounds a lot like Michelangelo.
We teach our business owners that Craft is a process that produces results. (We’ll talk about The Reliable Results Process™ shortly.) Craft is “how we do things around here to produce a desired result,” the procedure, the proven methodology, the system we follow.
Craft doesn’t require intuition or magic. It’s a formula, based on the original innovation or vision, that can be replicated and followed by someone else with similar results. And Craft can be as much as 80 percent of the reason for an outcome, sometimes even 100 percent.
The other 20 percent is Art, the vision, the innovation, the added je ne sais quoi that only you can provide.
And here’s the piece I would like for you to really get. You can teach someone else to do the 80 percent of the Craft or delivery, and then come in and do the last 20 percent of the Art. Or vice versa: begin the process with 20 percent of Art (like a diagnosis or drafting up the plans) and then allow someone to finish it with the remaining 80 percent of Craft.
Either way, clients don’t always need 100 percent of what you (the business owner) currently provide them in order to get the results they seek. Eighty percent can be taught or done by someone else, duplicated or automated, depending on your type of business and industry. You can even decide whether that last 20 percent of Art is crucial for you to do, or if you do indeed want to do it. It’s up to you.
Entrepreneurs often say, “But they will never do it like me!” and if you are thinking this too, you are correct. No one will do it exactly like you. You are uniquely brilliant at some aspects of what you do. But as one of my mentors once told me, “Good is good enough.” Sometimes, 80 percent is better than zero percent.
But perhaps someone else who is talented can take over the 20 per- cent of Art you used to provide. Every person has their own set of gifts and unique brilliance, and while no other person can replicate yours exactly, they come with their own.
To follow our earlier analogy that relates to having the cure for cancer, I will ask you this: would you rather have a dozen people experience a cure because you were the one who was responsible for helping them, or tens of thousands, because you had special elves delivering the work with you?
You are not personally responsible for your clients’ results, your process is. Yes, you’re good at what you do for your clients because, in part, it comes naturally to you. In fact, you’ve been doing this for so long that it’s most likely an intuitive process...
You are not personally responsible for your clients’ results, your process is. Yes, you’re good at what you do for your clients because, in part, it comes naturally to you. In fact, you’ve been doing this for so long that it’s most likely an intuitive process. The problem is, this intuitive process lives largely in your head. It requires you, your time and your focused personal attention. Which means that it’s not necessarily scalable.
But a proven process is scalable.
The way for you to get out of your current business model and leverage your business is to document every single step of the process by which you currently create reliable results for your clients. (This is a different documentation process than the systems and operations we talked about earlier regarding how your business runs.)
Again, you may be thinking, “No, a documented process won’t work in my business. Every client and customer of mine is different, they have different issues and they all need highly customized solutions. A one-size- fits-all model would never work for me!” You wouldn’t be the first to think this. In my experience, many business owners have the initial belief that, without their highly intuitive role in the process of creating highly customized solutions, clients can’t get positive results.
Yes, it may be true that all clients could benefit from highly customized solutions, but it’s not the only path to predictable results.
Here’s what I mean:
In my first business, a holistic health and nutrition coaching business I called Natural Transformations, I helped people eat more whole foods and, when possible, helped them with their chronic health concerns by changing their diet and lifestyle choices.
One day, a woman came in with elevated cholesterol numbers and wanted to change her diet to aid her recovery, along with what she and her doctor were doing together. Up until that point in my business, I had mostly helped people lose weight and gain energy by consuming whole foods. That being said, I’d never specifically treated a cholesterol problem before and wasn’t yet familiar with what particular foods to recommend, which I admitted to her. She was still interested in getting my help.
Undeterred, I pulled from my bookshelf an encyclopedia-sized naural healing book, with health concerns listed from A to Z. We flipped to the cholesterol section and I handed her the book and asked her to read the food recommendation paragraphs while I took notes for her, including how to source these foods and cook them in a way to make them taste good.
The book recommended reducing the consumption of meat, dairy, sugar, processed foods, soda, and caffeine, among other things. At the same time, it recommended consuming more whole grains, organic vegetables, leafy greens, beans, sea vegetables, and water.
After she confirmed this with her doctor who gave her a thumbs up, we both went to task, me teaching her how to cook brown rice without making it stick to the pot, how to steam kale and dress it so she would like it, and make better lifestyle choices overall. Every two weeks, she came in for our session and grew a repertoire of healthy food preparations and “cleaner” living.
Over a short period of time, she was happier, clearer, she slimmed down considerably and got positive news about the cholesterol from her doctor. We were thrilled.
Not too long afterward, a client came in with anemia, another health concern I hadn’t experienced or treated before. I grabbed the book again and we flipped to the anemia section, and among other things, the book recommended reducing the consumption of meat, dairy, sugar, processed foods, soda, and caffeine, and recommended consuming more whole grains, organic vegetables, leafy greens, beans, sea vegetables, and water. She too got better.
Then, another new client shared with me that she’d just been diagnosed with a brain tumor, and in addition to working closely with her doctor, she wanted to increase her chances of recovery with positive food changes. We looked in this book and the recommendation was to reduce the consumption of meat, dairy, sugar, processed foods, soda, and caffeine, and increase the consumption of whole grains, organic vegetables, leafy greens, beans, sea vegetables, and water.
She dutifully came to our sessions, our group cooking classes, our visualization and affirmations workshops and increased her yoga and meditation practice.
Within months, she giddily shared with me that her brain tumor had vanished, likely with the course of action her doctor had given her, and perhaps also because of the shifts she made with her food and lifestyle choices. Her doctor had been surprised by how quickly the brain tumor had shrunk.
It dawned on me that a pattern was emerging here.
As I flipped through the book, apart from some very specific recommendations that pertained to the particular health concern, practically every entry in the natural food healing book recommended the same thing, as you can now guess: reducing the consumption of meat, dairy, sugar, processed foods, soda, and caffeine, and increasing the consumption of whole grains, organic vegetables, leafy greens, beans, sea vegetables, and water.
Coincidence? Probably not.
I began to see a pattern (in life and business) and noticed that just about everything could be improved with a particular set of “remedies,” a system of common denominator steps that would create results for most everyone. I applied this “reliable results process” in my holistic nutrition business, with great success, even for people who simply wanted to shed those last five extra pounds.
Having this reliable results process allowed me to start thinking and moving beyond solely providing customized solutions for individuals and into also offering more leveraged group programs that were also more affordable for my clients because they didn’t involve as much one- on-one time with me.
It wasn’t until I started my first company, now called Boldheart.com (the parent company of our many programs, originally called ClientAt- traction.com), that I saw the same thing happen again.
I had discovered as a result of my own experience in filling my first two practices, and in witnessing hundreds of my clients’ success stories, that practically every business owner could attract a consistent stream of new clients by understanding 1) what interests their ideal client, 2) what their major struggles are, and 3) what will make them buy their services.
After just one year of working with dozens of individual clients, I noticed a consistent pattern. All my clients, without exception, needed to master the following steps to attract and sign on ideal, high-paying clients:
- Make client attraction a priority.
- Strategize their unique positioning in the marketplace.
- Craft their ideal client profile.
- Construct their compelling marketing message.
- Package what they know, offer and charge.
- Create pull-marketing materials.
- Get out there in a big way.
- Create their marketing action plan.
- Become a master of closing the sale.
- Implement systems for consistent action and results.
That’s when my Proprietary System, The The Leveraged Business System®, was born and it helped hundreds of my clients get tremendous results from our private coaching.
What I never imagined in the beginning of creating this Proprietary System is that it would eventually allow me to go from working solely with one-to-one clients, to then working with small groups over the telephone, to creating home study products that generated multiple Six Figures a year, to teaching the system during three-day workshops with hundreds of attendees at each workshop. The system also solidified my reputation as a respected business mentor.
In the end, it became the bones of a complete education for business owners working toward making their first 10K a month consistently, which then morphed into the marketing process we now teach in our initial program, before a business owner is ready to leverage.
The process of leveraging one’s business that I’m describing in this book (and what is now the Leveraged Business program) was created in the exact same way: based on unending research and experimentation, and documenting the process by which I leveraged my own business to Seven Figures, while gaining my life back. This Reliable Results Process is made up of the Eight Activators within the program (a taste of which is now in this book).
The program has since helped hundreds of entrepreneurs at the Leverage level to confidently turn their yearly revenues into their monthly revenues, while gaining their life back and being able to spend more time with their children or traveling.
That being said, your own Proprietary System, once documented and put in place, replaces the need for extreme customization. It is about documenting the common denominators needed for success and shifting your business model to provide that. It has the potential for reliably predicting positive future results for anyone who follows it, while allowing you to leverage your business even further because it can be duplicated or handled by others. This is leverage and it works across all industries.
The solution for cloning your (formerly intuitive) process is to examine every client case study you have worked with, and look for the pattern (formula) you used with the client to reach their desired goal. If you look closely enough, you will notice the similarities and common denominators.
The next step is to document these common actions into a process, step by step, in chronological order. We’re talking about getting the essence of what works across the board for all clients, without the customized part, and putting it down on paper.
We look at Content (the steps), Context (the delivery) and Culture (the experience clients receive) to create the reliable results clients will get every time. By nailing these down, you’ll begin to see a very distinctive pattern that will emerge.
NOTE: There is an important distinction between this Reliable Results Process (Content, Context, and Culture) vs. your Operations Manual (administrative procedures). This process is the documentation of the steps through which you currently take your clients so they create the results they’re currently experiencing with you. It’s the answer to the question, “What must my clients and customers learn, do or experience to get positive results, in a predictable, reliable way?”
Your process must be (practically) guaranteed to work. Even in the early days of my first coaching business, I knew in my heart that, if someone followed all the steps to my proprietary system (the ten steps I laid out above), they would get new clients consistently. To me, it was impossible not to, if you trusted the process and followed the formula in earnest. I believed in its efficacy so much that one of my early taglines became, “More clients, in record time, guaranteed.”
Having a money-back guarantee attracted a lot of attention at networking events and on the speaking circuit, primarily because I believe that business owners are often skeptical of anyone who says that they can help you increase your results very quickly. But when I offered a guarantee along the lines of, “Try this and if it doesn’t work, you will get your money back,” they became very intrigued and many hired me.
I didn’t want to attract tire kickers, chronic skeptics or whiners who wouldn’t be willing to do the work. So, mine was a conditional guarantee, meaning, to be eligible for the money-back guarantee if it didn’t work, they would have to apply all the steps, fill out all the worksheets provided, complete all the assignments, follow the instructions, etc. If they did this and didn’t get more clients, I would refund their coaching investment in full. The people who hired me agreed that this was fair.
Despite offering a conditional money-back guarantee, I was very nervous at first. I was wary of being taken advantage of, probably just as much as the clients originally were wary of investing in their business growth. There was a silver lining to this slight discomfort on my part.
I had to create a The Leveraged Business System that was truly foolproof, that worked every time. Not only was my name on it, but now there was a money-back guarantee.
The money-back guarantee offer pushed me to further improve my system to create a verifiable, repeatable process that gave my clients (practically) guaranteed results. It had to work or my business was on the line. And so the more I learned and experimented with new strategies for attracting ideal clients in my own business, the more I tweaked the program to make it even better.
Whenever I found a new way to improve the closing of the sale process, I immediately added it to the scripts my private clients received. When I believed that having access to the recordings of our coaching calls helped my clients implement better, I added this as a bonus to my offerings. When I understood that daily accountability increased my cli- ents’ results, I implemented systems and practices to make the program even better, without charging more.
When I realized how much better their results were once I incorporated mindset teachings, I wove those into all of our processes in the program.
Although we are past the days of getting the attention of business owners by offering a money-back guarantee, we have kept tweaking our system for over twenty years to continually make the process better (and we still do.) This has allowed the process to morph into a Reliable Results Process for our clients, without the need for extreme customization. Because of this, now other people can teach this trusted process, other coaches coach our members, and content delivery can be automated.
Even though you may not have a business coaching company, the same can be true for you.
Consistency and reliability is scalable, whereby customized solutions aren’t. When you build your Reliable Results Process so that your clients’ results can be (practically) guaranteed, then you will be able to systematize, automate, or outsource your process into a more leveraged business model than you have now.
Look up the ladder. When presented with the opportunity to switch their business model into one that will reduce the business owner’s time, involvement and access, many entrepreneurs feel overwhelmed at the thought of reinventing how they deliver their products or services...
Look up the ladder. When presented with the opportunity to switch their business model into one that will reduce the business owner’s time, involvement and access, many entrepreneurs feel overwhelmed at the thought of reinventing how they deliver their products or services. They don’t know where to start, don’t see how they could pull it off, feel it can’t be done in their industry and, frankly, they often draw a blank as to how to even go about it.
No need to worry or start from scratch!
The business model you seek, one that is truly leveraged and allows you to work with ten times the number of clients and customers (or more), already exists, either in your industry, a similar industry, or in a completely different realm of business. All you have to do is look for it.
If you come from the mindset that someone else, in another company much bigger than yours, has already leveraged their business to the
level you’d like to someday reach, all it takes is some fact finding, asking around, and seeing what other people are doing.
(Incidentally, this is why successful business owners choose to mastermind with other highly successful business owners year after year. What works in one type of business can often be duplicated in another industry or a totally different type of business. Napoleon Hill wrote about this in Think and Grow Rich, in the “Masterminding” chapter: in a collaborative model like this, everyone learns from the collective wisdom of the group.)
This act of seeing what already exists, what we call Looking Up The Entrepreneurial Ladder™, is a kind of fact-finding mission that starts with a simple question:
If you were to look up an imaginary ladder in your industry, bypass any individual or company that is doing “somewhat better” than you (we can use revenues or earnings, or even reach, if that’s an easy benchmark), and go even further up the ladder to those doing ten times what you’re producing, who is there?
To see a bigger future for yourself and actually believe that it can be done, the following questions will help you shift your mindset:
- Who else does what you do in your field, but ten times bigger? (This might be in your industry or another, similar industry.)
- What things do they do better?
- What do they provide their clients/customers that you don’t?
- How are they positioned in your/their marketplace?
- Who do they target as clients or customers? What kind of marketing angle do they use? Where do they advertise? What media do they use?
- How much do they charge?
- Finally, how exactly do they deliver their work in a leveraged way? How does this compare to the way you’re delivering your work?
If they’re doing as much as ten times what your company is doing a) they are likely onto something you don’t know about yet, and b) they’ve proven that it can be done. There is “proof of concept” here. This means that, if they can do it in your industry or another similar one, you can too.
This type of inquiry works.
The business owners who have transformed their businesses by doing this exercise over the course of two days are the ones who cross the seven-figure mark. They appreciate the process of inquiry that comes out of pulling themselves out of their day-to-day operations and entering a new environment where they can safely ask themselves these questions, and discuss their answers with other growth-minded entrepreneurs, without fear of judgment.
The questions above give them an opportunity to see a bigger future for themselves than they have previously seen and help them tremendously in achieving forward motion.
An interior designer who was hovering for many years in the low Six Figures looked up the ladder and saw a national interior design firm with higher level clients, bigger projects, higher fees, more junior designers actually doing the work, higher-level marketing and social media, storefronts, product lines, etc. It pulled her out of her existing “rut” and into thinking and acting much bigger in her business.
She now had a new, much more affluent target audience, new marketing, new skill level, a new brand and website, and so on. She knew what to target because it first became possible for her in her mind’s eye. Within two short years, she was well on her way to Seven Figures because she now had a path to model. She now has a million-dollar business because of this strategy and the direction she received.
It works in all industries. The same process has happened with a salon owner, an executive coach, a dental hygiene consulting practice, a professional organizer, functional medicine practitioners and chiropractors, a website designer, an online marketer, a relationship expert, and hundreds of others. It’s a process that works, again and again.
So, who’s ahead of you on your own Entrepreneurial Ladder™? (Please understand that this exercise certainly isn’t about copying what someone else is already doing, especially someone in your industry. That’s not something you can do with integrity. Rather, it’s about getting inspired, breaking that self-imposed ceiling by stretching your mindset around what’s possible for you, modeling certain aspects of what’s working for someone else, while doing things in your own way, one that is representative of your brand and essence.)
There’s no need to rip off the Band-Aid that quickly. After look- ing up this proverbial ladder, it can become confusing, and, frankly, terrifying to go from one business model (the current one that pays all the bills) to an unknown one. The saying, “The devil you know is better than the devil you don’t know” is alive and well when making this kind of change and can accurately describe how many entrepreneurs feel.
There is a sense of worry that, if they release the one trapeze rung they’re used to holding onto then grasp the other (presumably bigger) one, they will fall and lose all they’ve built so far.
That’s not what we’re suggesting. You don’t need to pour all you’ve done so far down the drain. There is a lot to be said about successfully transitioning from one business model to another, with an emphasis on the word transition.
A hybrid business model can be a good transition point, whereby you continue to do some elements of what you deliver the same way you have for years, while adding new elements that will begin to remove you from the delivery, or to work with groups, or even to bring on associates, allowing you to work with many more people.
This transition period in shifting business models allows you, for a short period of time or even a year or two, to keep one hand on the original trapeze rung and grasp the other as well, at least until the confidence and proof of concept is there.
Some of our members have done just this. Instead of moving directly from doing one-to-one work onsite with executives in corporations, to working only with groups of executives at the coach’s location, they instead created a hybrid business model. They still worked privately with their original clients, but also added access to a pre-recorded (common denominator) curriculum that could be consumed online by not just this one client, but all clients. They also added additional coaches to work with the executive’s team.
Hybrid business models can look like this (or a combination of these):
- private work + online curriculum + group Q&A calls
- private work + group sessions + private forum
- private work + associates stepping in to help out and add more value
- private work + a three-day event for all clients at once
This hybrid option gave them the ability to keep offering “private work” but also to begin transitioning to leveraged business solutions beyond the hours-for-dollars business model. If you look at what’s up your Entrepreneurial Ladder and what your current business model is, what’s the bridge?
You too can start there, before taking the full leap. Just don’t get too comfortable in this “transition” place. We eventually want to move you to a fully leveraged business model, so you can work with more people, while getting your freedom back.
Resistance is simply The Big Breakdown Before the Big Breakthrough. The resistance you may experience when the idea of moving to the next level of business comes up is a rite of passage for many business owners. In fact, it’s fairly predictable...
Resistance is simply The Big Breakdown Before the Big Breakthrough. The resistance you may experience when the idea of moving to the next level of business comes up is a rite of passage for many business owners. In fact, it’s fairly predictable.
With the decision to move from a one-to-one business model into a more scalable one, fears will come up. When we help business owners multiply their revenues by shifting their delivery model, it’s not unusual for a roomful of otherwise confident and successful adults to experience fears and hold on to beliefs about why “It won’t work for my business.”
Here are some of the fears we’ve regularly seen come up for entrepreneurs as they step into changing into a different, more leveraged business model:
Fear of being copied by competitors or by their own employees if the work goes online; fear that clients will no longer get results and leave; fear of losing control; fear of being embezzled, harassed, overwhelmed, publicly criticized, or humiliated; feeling inadequate or like they’re not good enough to play at that level; worried they will lose their integrity, approachability, and authenticity once they get bigger; fear of feeling like a fraud or being found out for not having it all together, fear that it was all a “lucky streak” and not duplicatable; fear of failure; fear of overexposure from too much success; even fear of death, which is a surprise to all, etc.
As our entrepreneurs have admitted, many of these can feel irrational, but were nonetheless still present for them. These fears and beliefs are absolutely normal reactions, as I’ve experienced in my own entrepreneurial journey and from having witnessed thousands of business owners on their path to leverage.
We call each successive move up a “new level,” and with each new level comes a new set of fears and general sense of resistance. In our program, we call this phenomenon:
“New Level, New Devil.”
The closer an entrepreneur gets to breaking through to the next bigger level, the more fears and resistance will come up. Essentially, it’s fear of change, one of the greatest paralyzing factors that keeps you from going bigger.
When the fear strikes, an energy of wanting to dig your heels into the ground and stop all forward movement appears. Instead of taking big actions toward the next level, you may find yourself self-sabotaging, questioning, waffling, being indecisive, wondering if you really want to move up, preferring instead the “devil you know,” and staying in your comfort zone. And a great urge to go hide under the covers.
This has happened to me many times in my own business. In fact, it’s now so predictable that I’ve come to expect it. So should you. Once you recognize it as Resistance and you understand that it’s a mindset trick being played on you by your ego to keep you small and safe, you recognize it for being what we call The Big Breakdown Before the Big Breakthrough.
There are different types of breakdowns that I’ve seen “show up,” primarily an urge to want to retreat in a big way, feeling, “It’s not worth it” or “I can’t do this.”
Steven Pressfield, in his book The War of Art, writes, “The danger is greatest when the finish line is in sight. At this point, Resistance knows we’re about to beat it. It hits the panic button. It marshals one last assault and slams us with everything it’s got . . . Be wary at the end.”
Thoughts of resistance will come up, such as:
- “Who do you think you are, anyway?”
- “This isn’t for you. You can’t do this!”
- “Why do you have to be so greedy? Be happy with what you have!”
- “You don’t have what it takes to do this.”
- “You don’t deserve to be that successful.”
- “You’ll never amount to anything, you never have, so why bother!”
These thoughts can seemingly come out of nowhere, even for very successful people. Yes, they can feel debilitating, but they’re not “real.” They are just random thoughts going through your mind, things you picked up in childhood or as part of your culture that are now causing doubt, fear and worry, and essentially having you question whether it’s safe to leave your comfort zone.
Do not underestimate this resistance. It is prevalent and can be debilitating to business growth.
So, how do you get past the resistance or as we call it, the “drunk monkey” thoughts polluting your mindset and sabotaging your forward motion? 1) observe the resistance, 2) be comfortable being uncomfortable, 3) understand that it really isn’t valid, and that 4) it’s just your old paradigm not yet having integrated with your new stretch goals.
Then, circle back around to the fact that your obligation (moral, divine or financial, as you prefer) to serve many more people is far more important than any fear or discomfort you may be experiencing in the short term. Each time you experience this resistance, recognize it for what it is and know that you are on the verge of a new bigger break- through. Then, celebrate. If you use this process, you will eventually move past the resistance and into big action.
Beware of Growth Guilt. Another big deterrent for some business owners in making the decision to change their business model and go for scalability comes in the form of guilt. “I have so much already, why would I want more? Isn’t this enough?”
The following is a common scenario. Entrepreneurs often ask, “How do you keep from feeling guilty when everything in your business is going well but people around you are going through a difficult time? What do I do when someone tells me how much they’re struggling in their business, but then ask me how I am doing in mine? Part of me wants to hide my success so they don’t feel bad about their own situation, but I work too hard at creating something amazing to diminish it.”
They admit to getting caught up in the idea that it’s not noble or integrous to go beyond what they have, as though it were shameful to abandon the one-to-one business model and strive for more. Beliefs come up around the idea that expanding means that we are leaving “us little people” behind.
Here are some fears we’ve heard many times:
Fear of being personally criticized and judged by friends and family (even colleagues and clients) for having “made it” while they’re still struggling; fear of abandonment and disapproval from their community; fear of not belonging anymore because they broke the social stereotype; worrying that others (including family members) will now start knocking on their door for money and they won’t be able to say no, etc.
This is what I’ve come to call Growth Guilt, and it stops business owners who seek expansion from actually taking the actions that would result in growth.
How does one get past Growth Guilt? Understand that your journey is yours, and theirs is their own. You do not owe anyone anything, any money, and certainly you do not owe anyone the act of staying small so as to not outshine them.
There’s no need for you to feel guilty for wanting to create more impact in the world or being rewarded for it.
We all have the opportunity to stretch and do more. If your family, friends, business colleagues (or anyone else for whom you might be making yourself small) genuinely wanted to know how you got to where you are or achieve what you’re attempting to achieve so they could attempt the same, they would ask you. That’s what successful people do. They look at others who are doing well and say, “How did you do it? What are you doing now that’s working?” and they model it or join them on the path.
Keep on doing what you’re doing and being the best person you can be, without flaunting it or rubbing it in. It’s tempting to want to have others in your life drink the proverbial Kool-Aid you’ve been drinking, but refrain until they ask. It can absolutely backfire on you and affect your relationships.
If they ask for advice, give it to them. If they don’t, there’s no need to offer it, or to feel guilty for your own willingness to do things differently. When they ask, “How’s business?” and you feel that they’re not actually interested in your answer, you can simply answer, “It pays the bills!” and then change the subject and ask about them.
Then, keep on going.
What’s the impact of applying the Business Model Activator in your business? Michelle went from working as the only person delivering results in her business, to having an entire team of qualified consultants doing it in her proprietary way.
Michelle explains it to you in her own words: “When I met Fabienne, I was in the place where I’d given myself a year to make my business work or I was going to shut it down. I was running my business on the side of my corporate job, and had only made about $4,000.
“Even though I was someone who’d been very skeptical about anyone trying to sell me anything, I trusted Fabienne. I work with corporations, but the models that are taught here work. What is true for B2C is absolutely applicable for B2B. So I rolled up my sleeves with my accountability partner (one of the best aspects of the Leveraged Business program is that you no longer need to figure this out on your own!) and made it work.
“In just two years, I’ve surpassed $500,000 in this business. But, what has been incredibly inspiring is watching others achieve and surpass their goals and knowing that this entire community has my back. I’ve seen others achieve greatness and then lovingly share how they did it.
Which has meant I could do it too.” —Michelle Tenzyk