Road Less Traveled
How I Scaled My Speaking Biz Into A Multi-Million Dollar Empire of Impact.
Staring at my reflection in the window of a long-closed airport shop, I remember thinking: I look like a zombie.
I certainly felt like one.
It was the spring of 2009 and I was sitting on the ground, propped up against a roller bag full of my dirty clothes. It was almost midnight, my flight had been cancelled, and I had just left a message with my wife letting her know it had happened. Again.
One of my favorite things as a new Dad was getting my son out of his crib in the morning to play. But it wasn’t going to happen tomorrow. Again.
My stomach was sick with loneliness and a vending machine granola bar. I could barely keep my eyes open. And when I briefly pictured my bed at home, I may or may not have started to tear up a little.
In my zombie-like state, I took inventory: I was “successful” in my speaking niche. I was making more than enough money with more than enough speaking opportunities ahead. Not only that, I was seeing how my years of hard work were genuinely making a positive impact in the lives of students and parents around the country.
There was just one problem: I was totally burnt out.
I was exhausted and restless at the same time. I had booked myself solid (awesome!) but left no margin in my personal life (awful!).
To make matters worse, I was feeling the angst of a flawed business model that had created my success: Leaving what mattered most to me in order to tell others about what should matter most to them.
My life didn’t feel much like LIFE.
Now before you go thinking, “Oh, poor Joshy-Bear. It must be SO HARD being SO successful”, let me be clear about two things:
#1 Only my wife gets to call me Joshy-Bear.
#2 I’m not complaining about the success. I was just “waking up” to a reality I hadn’t fully prepared for: the CHALLENGE of success.
Success is obviously a wonderful challenge that I hope everyone has to deal with. But success is also tougher and lonelier than you imagine it will be when you’re first getting started.
There’s something I realized that night at the airport I believe we can all benefit from, whether your business is generating 6-figures a year or no figures at all yet.
I realized I was wearing “golden handcuffs”…yet I held the key.
And the key was NOT generate more leads.
It was NOT book more gigs.
It was NOT grow my email list.
The key was a paradigm-shift in how I approached my business that would eventually make it possible to:
• Exponentially grow my impact and income (to the tune of millions of people impacted and millions of dollars generated).
• Travel far less, renew my energy, and stop being distracted by the tyranny of the urgent.
• Spend more time with my family, more time with friends, and more time doing things that filled me up rather than left me burnt out.
Are you in a similar place? Watch this value-packed webinar where I dive deep into HOW to scale your business.
The MYTH of Scaling
Scaling your business doesn’t mean working longer hours just to make more money (that’s how you end up a zombie crying on a roller bag of your dirty clothes).
Scaling Your Business Means Shifting Your Current Psychology, Strategy, and Execution.
The recipe for greater success doesn’t call for MORE of the same ingredients. It calls for DIFFERENT ingredients altogether.
Scaling your business means:
- Rethinking how you get paid and how you can truly add the most value to your customers.
- Tearing up your One-Person org chart in order to build an elite team aligned for your mission.
- Tweaking your current habits in order to create new ones that set you up for growth.
All that is to say, if you’re going to scale your business, you’re going to have to CHANGE. And the biggest change you’ll have to make has to do with YOU.
That’s where the paradigm-shift comes in.
TO GET MORE SUCCESSFUL, YOU HAVE TO GET OUT OF YOUR OWN WAY
I ended up a zombie because I had reached the end of ME.
I had no more time to give, no more energy to spend, and no more motivational mojo to offer. I was running on fumes and all my relationships were suffering for it. Things had to change.
Actually, I had to change.
In his must-read book on business, What Got You Here Won’t Get You There, Marshall Goldsmith details the 20 most common roadblocks to a person’s success. Almost all of them boil down to a single theme: YOU are the person preventing your greater success.
This can happen because of:
• Your need to call all the shots.
• Your desire to take all the credit.
• Your plan to keep all the money.
• Your unwillingness to delegate your weaknesses.
When I first heard that, I felt like Goldsmith was speaking directly to me. After all, I couldn’t ignore my reality any longer: I had created a business that depended completely on ME. On my ability to show up and my ability to deliver (i.e., speak at an event).
If I couldn’t work (e.g., I got sick or missed a flight or went on vacation), I didn’t get paid.
I basically had a high-paying manual labor job.
That was the “aha moment” at the airport.
That’s when it hit me that Goldsmith’s words applied to my situation exactly: WHAT GOT YOU HERE WON’T GET YOU THERE.
I realized my future success depended on me building a business that didn’t depend entirely on me.
So staring at the closed bookstore window, I looked my reflection in its bloodshot eyes and decided to change. And that decision eventually changed everything – for the better. I hired a few business mentors, surrounded myself with folks who had scaled their businesses and began painfully shifting the way I thought and acted.
As a result my business’s org chart transformed:
And so did our revenue:
I don’t show you this stuff to brag. It makes me feel self-conscious to lay them out in all their pie-chart glory.
I share those numbers with you to make two points:
1. SCALING INCREASES YOUR IMPACT & INCOME.
2. YOU’LL NEED OTHERS TO MAKE THIS HAPPEN.
If you’re like me, you believe you have something that can make the world a better place – a product, a service, a message. And the more people that buy it, experience it, hear it, the better.
But in order to make that happen, things are going to have to change.
YOU will have to change.
WATCH this value-packed webinar where I dive deep into HOW I scaled my business.
But the good news is this: The changes you need to make aren’t as complicated as you might think. So if you’re ready to scale up from where you are now, here are the FIVE things to consider.
1. OWN YOUR LIMITATIONS
You’ve GOT to embrace the fact: there’s only so much YOU to go around. You have a finite amount of creative energy and time. Because you are finite like the rest of us, you’re going to have to ask for help, hire help, or barter for help. Either way, you’ll need help, and it’s going to cost you something.
This is tricky is because you got to where you are now by YOU being really good at ______ (speaking, training, writing, etc)
Scaling will demand you setting up systems, teams, and processes that will be really good at ________
2. RUN BUSINESS DIAGNOSTICS
What products, services, or messages are generating the most revenue RIGHT NOW? What marketing approaches or systems have you used that have worked the best? Where have you noticed income plateaus? Any decreases? Is there something your customers keep asking for but you keep ignoring?
What’s not going well is or is simply draining life from you? What do you love and need to protect? Do you need to let go of something GOOD to make space for something BETTER?
What’s your cost per lead? Cost per customer? Lifetime value of a customer? What’s the ROI of that recent marketing campaign you ran?
Answering questions like these requires some hard thinking, some research, and even – gulp – some math. But the resulting clarity will help you know what needs to change.
“Aha moments” only show up once you’ve done the hard-thinking.
3. EARN THE RIGHT TO SAY NO
As we get our business rolling we start developing certain habits. These habits serve us well at first, but they have to change to accommodate growth.
For example, in the speaking business we tend to focus on booking as many gigs as possible. Our habits develop around the tasks needed to accomplish that goal. But if we want to scale our speaking business, we’ll actually have to SAY NO to some gigs in order to allow the time, energy, and the focus for building out new facets of our business (like a book, course, or event).
At first, that won’t compute. You’ll think, “Why would I do that when I could just get on a plane and make $5K?”
Well if you’re after long term growth, impact, and success, you have to understand that no will allow you to expand your business in ways that can earn many multiples of your speaking fee.
4. MAKE A CLEAR PLAN TO DIVERSIFY & SCALE
Too many of us jump to this one first because it’s the most fun…and fail as the result. We dream up new idea after new idea without doing the prep needed to make those ideas sustainable.
I get that.
Like you, I’d rather start new things than finish things I’ve started. Especially when things get a little boring or tedious or just plain difficult. (which they always will, include the new things)
I’ve accepted the fact that success happens when you move ideas from dream to done.
So don’t start writing a book to compliment your speaking business if you don’t already have a sustainable speaking business going. Don’t create that online course if you haven’t already road-tested the material. And don’t skip the steps of owning your limits, taking inventory, and setting up systems or you’ll just be getting in your own way again.
(I’ll show you HOW I made a plan to scale in this webinar)
5. FIND SOMEONE WHO’S BEEN WHERE YOU WANT TO GO
Pick someone further ahead of you and glean all you can. This last one will make #1-4 easier, faster, and more productive. In fact, I believe it might be the single greatest thing you can do to successfully scale your business.
Because learning from someone who’s already been there will help significantly reduce the time and cost involved in amplifying your reach. It will also help you avoid obstacles you’re not yet aware of, jump over pitfalls they’ve already navigated, and soar past the traps they’ve successfully broken through.
I personally invested a crap-ton of money (as we say in Oklahoma) in mentors who had achieved results similar to what I wanted to do.
I’ve found that at this stage of the game, one conversation pointing you in the right direction can save you hundreds of thousands of dollars and often generate even more.
Whatever method fits best with your time, budget, and connections, just do it! Your investment will take you further, faster than you ever thought possible assuming you implement.
It takes a village to scale a business.
Make the paradigm-shift with me and get out of your own way. What got you here is great. Well done! But it won’t get you there. And there is where we both know you’re meant to be.
Find a mentor. Build a team. Gather traveling companions and cheering fans for your next big step. Then get stepping.
Because as a former zombie, I can testify that life isn’t in the solo act, it’s in the all-star cast. And when that “clicks” for you like it did for me, the golden handcuffs will fall off and you’ll be free to succeed in bigger ways than you can imagine.
How to Scale Your Impact & Income
I’ll be going into detail about the essential ingredients I used to scale my business from a $250K/yr “manual labor job” to a multi-million dollar empire.
This webinar won’t be a great fit for everyone. You need to have already achieved a certain level of success and be willing to rework your business model in order to benefit most from what I’ll be teaching. But if that sounds like you and you want to learn how to sail past your limitations in order to massively grow your impact and income, then I’ll see you there.