Scale Your Core Offer
What is scale? What do I mean when I say scale? Scale is what has to happen in order for your business to not stall out. So I'm defining scale a little bit differrently than I even personally have in the past, maybe scale a little bit differently than you understand it. In other words, if you keep running your business the same way year in and year out, if you keep hitting the same revenue targets year in and year out, it is almost guaranteed that eventually your business is going to stall out. In other words, you're gonna have to work harder and harder and harder to maintain that even footing. So even though it might feel sustainable, I'm gonna tell you it will reach a point where that even keel is not sustainable anymore, where the hardwork that you have to put in to maintaining that position is going to make it impossible to keep coming back and making your business work. So instead, we need to look at how you're going to grow into the futuer in a sustainable, intentional, purpose-d...
riven, highest-contribution kind of way. And we need to look at what that scale is going to look like for you so that you have a plan for not stalling out, so you don't succumb to working harder and harder for the same kinds of results. So to do that, we need to figure out where we're gonna go from here. I'm gonna come back to the original question that I asked you with this class. What if you stopped thinking about how to make more money and started thinking about how to make your highest contribution? What if instead of always asking yourself what else you were gonna sell, what else you were gonna market, what else you were gonna create, you started asking yourself what is the one thing, the one essential thing I can do for my customers? What is that one essential offer that I can put out into this world to make the biggest impact in my customer's lives? I know that the five of you here have defined that, have figured that out, I hope you at home have as well. But that's sort of a picture of what your offer looks like right now, or what it might look like a couple of months from now as you further refine it and figure out what it looks like. In this lesson, and as we start talking about what scale really is, I wanna ask you, what does your highest contribution look like five years from now? What does your highest contribution look like five years from now? I want you to think about, again, how you're not just gonna stay on that even footing, how things aren't gonna just stay the same. But what might you like to grow into five years from now? So this is not a trick question. I don't want the answer to end up being, it looks the same, I just wanna keep doing it. Because you're gonna find that that's harder and harder and harder to do every year. So how are you going to grow? What is it going to look like? How is it going to evolve five years from now? To allow you to change your company to evolve your company so you don't have to work as hard? I don't want you to be working as hard five years from now as you are right now. I probably want you to still be working hard if you want to be, but maybe just not as hard. I don't want you to have to push as much. I don't want you to have to put in that extra time. I want you to be doing the things you want to be doing. So I'm gonna put you guys on the spot. What does your highest contribution look like five years from now? Now, remember, even though this is being memorialized in video, you can still change your minds even later today. When we're celebrating after the class is wrapped, you can say, Tara, I changed my mind already! That's fine. (laughs) But I wanna know, as you're thinking right now, what does your offer, what does your highest contribution, what does this company that you're creating look like five years from now? Greg, I'm gonna start with you.
Yeah, you know, I put down I wanna connect as many people as possible with fantastic learning experiences. So I come across just great people every day who just have something worth sharing. I wanna help them broadcast that out to the people who really wanna see it, and as many people as possibel. Whatever that looks like.
Okay, cool. What I like about the way you phrased that there too is that it sounds like it's actually your clients' customers-centric. Which is really cool, I love that.
Thank you. Jennifer.
I want, in five years from now, to have artists be clearer about what it is they're doing, where they fit in a larger art historical context, and be able to convey that in the most powerful way possible.
Nice, and what do you think that looks like in terms of your company?
Um, I actually would like to build out a team of art historians to work with me to help artists be more successful.
Is it wrong that I picture like Indiana Jones and a taem of Indiana Joneses as art historians that are helping artists?
Uh, well, primarily it's more women these days. It has been for a while, but no. No, but it's also the idea of, on a personal note I like the thought of so often times in humanities, a religious studeis woman, you understand, that so many folks end up getting degrees, and they're piecing together adjunct lives. And if you do have a tenure-track job you're still getting paid crap. So it'd be great to have a way to support other art historians and empower them to use their powers for good.
Yes, I love this, I love this! It makes me so happy, yes, because what you're really, yeah, I mean, you're defining a mission now. Now it's not just about the artists, it's about the craft of art historian-ing. (laughs) and it's about providign work for others, and that's huge. In a very similar way to Greg's, right, where we're thinking about a whole system of people here and how you're gonna make a huge contribution to that system of people.
And I was actually having a conversation with my accountability buddy last night, and I was saying, so, uh, where's Ashley in her PhD program and what was she thinking about? Because I really, you know, think we need to figure out where we can go with this.
I love it.
Yeah, 'cause there are people who don't want to be, what do they say in So Cal, freeway fliers? Driving from school to school to school to adjunct in one day? To piece together a shitty salary? So.
Yes, I love it, yay! Maria?
I think for me, one of the things that I experience right now in my business is that it's a bit solitude, like practicing on your own. So for me it would be collaborating with other practitioners, being in groups, maybe even creating programs where people can collaborate together so we can help one another, by taking away the pieces from other practictioners and filling it in where I have something to offer for others. So for me it would be about collaborating in the holistic nutrition field, but also maybe with doctors or in health care in general. I think there's so much need for education, I think, for people, so.
So maybe your highest contribution five years from now looks like a holistic wellness practice where you're bringing in other people, you're collaborating on a regular basis, and clients are coming to you, patients are coming to you and saying, let's create a whole holistic, integrated solution to my problem. I don't just need this, I don't just need this, I need all of you.
Yeah, and I think there is, there is in that whole holistic field there is a lot of need for making systems flow more easily, and I think it's just everyone's trying to figure it out on their own, so I think that is a part I wanna play, I wanna be part of that.
Yeah, so I love this because to me that says you're thinking now of yourself as the owner, the CEO of this business and not, I don't wanna say Not Just, because there's not a Just about this, but you've actually changed how you think about your role in the company at this point. You're not the practitioner, you're the CEO. And yes, you're gonna continue practicing, and you're gonna continue to hone your craft, but now you're building something bigger than yourself, you're really crafting that highest contribution.
Yeah, that's the vision.
Yeah, exactly. Galen?
So I started doing what I'm doing online in person. And part of it, a large part of it was to create community, a supportive network of other parents who have similarly-aged children and to learn about how they develop, to learn about what we can do to play with them, but also to support and learn from each other, because there's so much value in observing others and being with others and being able to have that back-and-forth with other parents. And I birthed my first child outside of the US in a place where there is an infrastructure, actually, for parents that connects families who have children of around the same age and who live locally, with each other. And I, the missing piece I think for me, is the conenction, right now, is the connection of other families with each other. And I would like to be the facilitator to make that happen. So in my head, it looks like little bubbles of people, small groups of families with similarly-aged children, infants and toddlers who don't actually need to be in the same physical space, but can be in this lovely, warm community space that exists on the internet. Everything else does. So that's the goal.
I love it, so instead of just creating an online community of parents and just a resource library, you're really creating an infrastructure, a framework of connectign families together so that they can raise the next generation to be the people they want them to be. And the people they want to be as that next generation. That's amazing, I love it. Alaya?
Yeah, I think I've been working with entreprenuers for about 10 years now, and I've seen so many people come and go, so many people dealing with frustrations, that what I really wanna do, and what I'm really passionate about is helping people enjoy running their businesses. Basically, I mean it's, they're frustrated, they're tired, or they give up, or they're not able to grow them in the way that they want to. And so, I really like being there, or showing them ways to make running their business easy so that they can do what they wanna do with their time.
Awesome. You guys are incredible. You at home, you are also incredible. Please let me know what this vision is for your highest contribution for five years from now. You can let me know on Twitter, I'm @taragentile there. Instagram's another really great place to find me, I'm @taragentile there, it's very easy. We like to keep things streamlined and focused. But this is super important. Not only is this kind of big-picture vision, but then the nitty gritty. What does this company look like five years from now? How many customers do I wanna be serving? How many people do I wanna have working for me? What kind of infrastructure do I wanna have in place? So you guys have given me, and given all of us, such great examples of that initial vision that you're now having for five years from now. What I want to ask you to do when you go home, this evening, maybe later on today, maybe while we're talking here after class, and for you guys, while you're continuing to do this work after the class is over as well. I want you to get crystal clear. I want you to get detailed. You know what, not all of these details are gonna come true. Doesn't matter. What matters is that you put that kind of vision, that kind of intention, that kind of purpose, that kind of thought process behind where you're actually headed with your business so that then you can reverse engineer it. Remember earlier I said reverse engineer, that's the philosophy of my life. That's what we're doing ehre. Start five years out, start 10 years out if you want to, and reverse engineer it. Speaking of which, that's exactly what we're going to do. This might look familiar 'cause it's just the same graphic that I used for your customer journey, but now this is your journey. Because your business is going to grow and change because of the work that we've been focused here, focused on here today. So right now we've started defining that five year goal, as I said, I want you to take that home, take it with you maybe to a coffee shop and get really clear, get really clear on what you wanna be doing. Five years from now one of the things I wanna be doing is going to Capitol Hill and speaking to law makers about what you guys as digital small business owners need from public policy, and a new social safety net for the new economy. That's part of the detail that I work into my five year goal. CoCommercial's going to allow me to do that. What's your business going to allow you to do, and how is your company going to evolve to allow you to do that? And then I want you to work backwards. Take a couple steps back in a couple of years, and look at the three year goal. What is that three year goal? How are you gonna have to position your business, what trajectory are you going to need to be on three years from now to feel pretty confident you're gonna hit that five year goal. Is there a particular milestone, is there a particular number of customers that you're working with, a particular iteration of your product that you wanna be on, what does your company look like, what does your team look like, how much money are you making, what does that look like at the three year mark? A little past halfway. Then I want you to back up two steps and two years again and I want you to look at a year from now, or no matter when you're watching this. What do you want your business to look like a year from now? How are you gonna know that you've taken the steps to put yourself on the trajectory to get to that three year milestone and that five year goal? What are you going to have to accomplish in a year from now? And then finally, of course, we have now, and we have the next couple of steps that we can take. In that next year, there are four quarters. What piece of this are you gonna bite off every quarter? What more are you going to add in? What more are you gonna take off your plate? Who are you gonna hire, where are you gonna find the customers, what does that look like, quarter by quarter by quarter? There's another class in this series called Goal Setting and Planning To Grow Your Standout Business, I get a lot more into that process in that class. I have so much fun teaching that class, and it's just one day long as opposed to two, so it's half the amount of time of this class. So if you're looking for a next step and you're thinking this is maybe where I need to go, that's going to be a great class for you to take. But otherwise, just kind of plan it out. What is the story of your business going to be over the next year, the next three years, the next five years? Write it out, talk it out. If writing's not your thing, tell somebody, record it. Have a conversation with your partner, your girlfriend, your boyfriend, your mom, your dad, your sister, your brother. Have a conversation about it, and let them know this is the trajectory I'm on. This is how I'm gonna scale by business into the future. Make it real. Own it. Own that you are building that company that's five years out instead of struggling to make ends meet or get ahead right now. Erase that identity, and decide right here, right now, that the business you envision five years out is the business you are actually growing. You are in charge of that business right now. You are. Like, I'm not asking for like, crazy mental leaps here. You really are, right now, the executive of that business, just five years in the future. So start acting like it, start making decisions like that business owner insetad of trying to piecemeal thing together. Or instead of really owning that struggling business owner mentality. So again, your path to your highest contribution, that five year mark, or maybe three year, you wanna think 10 years or maybe more out. Ask yourself what milestones you wanna hit three years from now to ensure you're on the right path, what milestone do you wanna hit one year from now to ensure you're on the right path, what milestone do you wanna hit next quarter to make sure you're on the right path?